Where to begin? There are no beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time. Summarising this was never going to be easy, but here we go. In Tolkien-esque fashion, history fades to myth, myth fades to legend- but because time is circular in the Wheel of Time, legend fades to prophecy because the age that gave birth to it will one day come again.
Our civilization will continue to advance as the wheel rolls on, our civilization one day discovering magic and entering into a period known as “The Age of Legends”, with unprecedented prosperity and peace for mankind. Ultimately the Age of Legends will end in catastrophe, with mankind discovering an imprisoned source of energy known as “The True Power”, breaking the seal on the prison and ultimately releasing the Dark One and his power into the world. In the ensuing war, mankind became scattered and divided, the very continents thrown apart and civilization left in ruin. The Dark One was ultimately cast back into his prison by a man known as the Dragon, but at terrible cost.
The survivors of this conflict were reduced to swords and hand tools- but retained a limited knowledge of magic. These last people attempt to rebuild the world with what little they have and their fragments of the lost knowledge from the age before- while knowing that one day the Dragon will be reborn, the Dark One’s prison will give way, and the world will be plunged into chaos once again.
For those of you who have yet to read the Wheel of Time, my my. The series started with the release of The Eye of the World in 1990, and rapidly evolved into one of the most detailed fantasy worlds in all of literature. The author Robert Jordan tragically passed away in 2007, leaving extensive notes for the final installments which would be completed by Brandon Sanderson. With the posthumous conclusion of A Memory of Light in 2013, the epic cycle was completed, and dear god is it a good read. One of the best series I have ever read, and a strong recommendation to any fantasy lovers out there.