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Should I read Robert Jordan's books?


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#1 giant snake

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:04 PM

Hear me out please

I'm not asking because I'm a lazy reader, but I have so many books that I have planned to read and I usually put multi-volume series at the back of the list. In fact I only picked up ASoIaF on a whim and I was really lucky that it is as good as it is. Other than that, I've read the Dune series (by the original author) and the Conan stories by RE Howard and Sprague de Camp. That pretty much does it for fantasy. I did read Lord of the Rings a long time ago, but I didn't really like it that much and don't have an interest in reading more of Tolkien.

I did read one of Robert Jordan's Conan books and I actually thought it was really good. That combined with ASoIaF always being compared to Robert Jordan is kind of making me want to read it. The thing is, I've heard a lot of negative hype around the books; they go on too long, they lack focus, and that they don't end properly.
1) Are those accusations true?
2) In your opinion, how does it compare to Ice and Fire, quality wise?
3) What kind of fantasy book is it? Is it realistic and reminiscent of some period in history? Which series I know is it most like?

#2 SkynJay

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:39 PM

http://asoiaf.wester...-worth-reading/

#3 giant snake

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:39 PM

I'd ask there but the original question is very vague and the thread has become kind of bloated and off the rails. I read the rules on these things and I think I'm following the spirit of the rule by putting a more specific recommendation question out there.

#4 Rapsie

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 12:59 AM

The first few books were good, but I stopped reading around Path of Daggers / Winter's Heart, because I got bored. Also the female characters are a little cartoonish at times.

#5 kingofashes

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 05:08 AM

It was one of the first fantasy series I read so it will always be kinda special.

I'm trying to reread before I read the last book and although the books aren't as good as I remember there are still bits I loved reading.

I'm not sure what I would compare it too but asoiaf isn't it.

Give it a try. If you don't like it then you can always stop but atleast you'll know.

Edited by kingofashes, 03 May 2013 - 05:10 AM.


#6 wolverine

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:13 AM

Umm a quick search will reveal threads almost identical to your questions. There is a thread comparing WoT to ASOIF and there is one posted by SkynJay answering your first question.

1) Yes it goes too long. Ending was fine.
2) Lower quality than ASOIF.
3) Pretty tough to tell you what series you know it is like when you have 3 on your list and I would not compare it to any of those.

It was one of my first fantasy series and I loved it. Still appreciate many of the things Jordan did. Best world building IMO and a neat magic system that made it feel more real. Books 7-11 drag as almost everyone will admit, but if you like his writing it is not so bad for the most part.

#7 WrathOfTinyKittens

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:06 AM

The Wheel of Time is one of the most successful fantasy series of all time, which means that it is worth reading simply due to its influence. It's also very good. The parts written by RJ can get a little bloated, but the man was a talented writer who wove an incredibly intricate plot. Sanderson dropped the ball with a lot of Jordan's intricacies and interesting plotting, but he provided an appropriate emotional conclusion to the series.

Worth reading? I'd say so. But it is very long and drags in parts.

#8 giant snake

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:52 PM

Thanks for the feedback. From your descriptions it sounds like something I'll put on my list. Going to have plenty of time to read it in the next year.

#9 Serious Callers Only

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:48 PM

No

#10 peterbound

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:20 AM

I'd ask there but the original question is very vague and the thread has become kind of bloated and off the rails.


Just like this one will, in about 5 more posts.

#11 Errant Bard

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:02 AM

I think the question should be redefined in: "I only read three sff series, would you recommend I read WoT next, or do you have another, better series to recommend?". And to this question, I'm pretty certain that the majority of responders would give the name of another series.

#12 Taemlyn Blackfyre

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:40 AM

I think it is safe to say that Robert Jordan put fantasy back on the map in the 90s. He has his detractors and the haters will tell you it's a waste of time, but how can you put any faith in the opinion of somebody who only read part of the way into the series? Imagine if you stopped reading ASOIAF after 2 or 3 books?

TWOT is Epic Fantasy at its best. It begins as a sort of parellel to LOTR, with a very familiar setting and main characters, much in the way that ASOIAF is loosely based on the War of the Roses. There is a LOT of magic used and the politics/intrigue can be extremely convoluted. Also, the backstory takes quite a lot of getting used to, as it has a cast longer than any other book series I've come across and the history spans thousands of years.

I recommend that you read the first book and decide what to read next. There are some incredibly good writers, such as Robin Hobb, Katharine Kerr and Raymond E Feist (who has possibly more detractors than RJ) that may suit your tastes a little more.

#13 wolverine

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for the feedback. From your descriptions it sounds like something I'll put on my list. Going to have plenty of time to read it in the next year.


If you have plenty of time try the first and see what you think.

#14 Sansa_Stark

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:21 AM

The books are weird for me. Like, the beginnings are usually boring, but the last 200 pages or so are always great. And I find myself attached to the characters. A lot of the times their quirks and the romances are funny in an unintentional way.

#15 Reposado

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:21 PM

The other thread went off course as will this one. But it started with the same question and there were several flat nos in the beginning. If you asked the same question about Abercrombie you wouldn't get that kind of a response.

The mere fact that this question has to be asked is the most solid indication if the answer

#16 Switchback

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

The other thread went off course as will this one. But it started with the same question and there were several flat nos in the beginning. If you asked the same question about Abercrombie you wouldn't get that kind of a response.

The mere fact that this question has to be asked is the most solid indication if the answer


I don't know that I agree with this. The series is clearly well-loved. It's got to be one of, if not the, most successful fantasy series ever. Every book since early on has been an immediate best seller.

I think asking the question at all just reflects a concern about the length of the series. Getting into a 14 book series, with each book hovering around 1000 pages, is a serious time commitment Hell, if every book in the series was Storm of Swords good, there would still be people unwilling to jump into something that long.

As to the question in the OP, I say check out the first book or two, and if you're enjoying them, you like the characters and the world, the plot is exciting, then keep going. You can always bail at some point if/when you lose interest, but I personally think it's a really awesome world and plot, and really enjoyed following the characters through the story throughout all the books. Definitely worth a shot in my mind.

#17 Errant Bard

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

It's got to be one of, if not the, most successful fantasy series ever.

I think the prize would rather go to Harry Potter or Twilight, which in itself gives some indication as to whether popularity is really an objective indicator of quality.

#18 Switchback

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:49 PM

I think the prize would rather go to Harry Potter or Twilight, which in itself gives some indication as to whether popularity is really an objective indicator of quality.


I'm not trying to claim the series is objectively good. I don't believe fiction can be objectively good or bad. I'm saying the series has many, many fans, who love all the books. And that someone who hasn't started the series asking whether it's worth getting into such a long series shouldn't in itself be some kind of indictment on the quality of the work.

#19 Errant Bard

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:58 PM

I'm not trying to claim the series is objectively good. I don't believe fiction can be objectively good or bad. I'm saying the series has many, many fans, who love all the books. And that someone who hasn't started the series asking whether it's worth getting into such a long series shouldn't in itself be some kind of indictment on the quality of the work.

True enough, out of context reviews to someone with little experience in the genre are going to be pretty meaningless, and this thread is meaningless this way, I suppose.

But then again, starting from the same logic, our opening poster should try Twilight and Harry Potter, at least first book.

There is always the series length angle, though, no matter the quality, it would probably be better to read a dozen standalones or a half dozen short series than embarking on WoT, unless you drop it at the first book, which defeats the purpose.

#20 Shryke

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:05 PM

The other thread went off course as will this one. But it started with the same question and there were several flat nos in the beginning. If you asked the same question about Abercrombie you wouldn't get that kind of a response.

The mere fact that this question has to be asked is the most solid indication if the answer


And there's a bunch of people saying Yes to, so I guess, like before he asked the question, it's up to the OP to decide if it's worth giving a shot. Opinions are mixed.