…and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., better known by his pen name, Robert Jordan, has died. In March of 2006 he announced that he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis. At the time he said he had been given a life expectancy of four years. Since then his frequent updates through his blog were upbeat and positive.

I started reading his epic series The Wheel of Time in 1990. The series rivals Tolkien’s work in scope and detail. Perhaps too much detail; I must confess I stopped reading after the seventh book, A Crown of Swords. I decided I would wait until he finished the series, then go ahead and read the whole thing. I was excited when I heard, after the eleventh volume came out in 2005, that the series would conclude at the end of Book Twelve. Now, sadly, it appears the book and the series will go unfinished.

George R.R. Martin has posted a very nice eulogy on his blog here.