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Lady Noble

Attempting Wheel of Time series...

90 posts in this topic

Anyone else want to attempt to read this series with me?

If you've read it before any advice to give a newbie? I'm a few chapters in and not hooked. I joined a WOT site, but it's obviously not as active as this one!

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It's old-school and a little old-fashioned these days, although not as much as some series, and the first book is not the best, being a bit too derivative of Lord of the Rings. It does improve a lot, particularly in the Book 2-6 period, and I think is worth reading, but if you're coming to it after ASoIaF and some other later series, it may feel a bit retro.

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It really slows down at book 5.  The best of the later books, in my opinion is The Gathering Storm.  I skipped Books 7, 8, and 10.  I don't feel like I missed a thing.

 

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I keep meaning to re-read them. It's been years. 

I remember the first time I read them, it did take me a bunch of chapters to really get into it.

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6 hours ago, Gronzag said:

Fame of the WOT series far exceeds its quality. 

I don't necessarily agree.

I'm with Wert that WoT is representative of another time.  For its day, it was the best fantasy out there and we all owe Robert Jordan a debt of gratitude for opening the doors to all the multi volume epics we sit around and bitch about not being done today.  If it hadn't been for him, we might all still be reading trilogies.  :lol:

 

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I love WoT and don't think it's overrated at all. Except for maybe the last book because I don't think BS stuck the landing, but that's the cruel world in which we live.

As far as reading advice, I'd say don't plan to read them all back to back. I prefer to read series straight through, but I'm crazy and even I get a bit fatigued in the middle. So I would read 2-3 and then read something else until you are feeling in the mood to visit Randland again.

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Robert Jordan fell ill and died before he could finish the series. The last three volumes are by Brandon Sanderson and they leave like a hundred subplots unresolved. I therefore wouldn't recommend WoT anymore. It showed great promise but didn't live up to it.

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15 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

It really slows down at book 5.  The best of the later books, in my opinion is The Gathering Storm.  I skipped Books 7, 8, and 10.  I don't feel like I missed a thing.

 

As someone who hasn't read the series, could you explain why:

a) you decided to skip some of the books?

b ) you decided to read book 9 in the middle of these skipped books?

i'm genuinely curious by the way, rather than being critical or anything. As I said I haven't read the series so I'm assuming this makes some kind of sense rather than just being random

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16 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

It really slows down at book 5.  The best of the later books, in my opinion is The Gathering Storm.  I skipped Books 7, 8, and 10.  I don't feel like I missed a thing.

 

Skipping three books and not feeling like you missed anything is the worst thing I can imagine someone can say about book series.

As I said in some other threads, I stopped reading WoT after finishing The Dragon Reborn. It was just too boring for me, as I didn't feel much was going on. It's been a while since then, so I might feel otherwise if I read them now, but I'm not going to try.

Also, I'd like to nominate @Werthead for Understatement of the Year award for this comment:

16 hours ago, Werthead said:

the first book is not the best, being a bit too derivative of Lord of the Rings.

I'd say it's at least as blatant a rip-off as The Sword of Shannara.

Edited by baxus

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Tried to them via audiobook a couple of years back. Didn't work even in that fashion. I say things get too slow after book 3.

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1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

As someone who hasn't read the series, could you explain why:

a) you decided to skip some of the books?

b ) you decided to read book 9 in the middle of these skipped books?

i'm genuinely curious by the way, rather than being critical or anything. As I said I haven't read the series so I'm assuming this makes some kind of sense rather than just being random

A) I read the summaries and they didn't seem to particularly move the central story forward.  Just new renditions of stories already told.  

B ) Winter's Heart is a bit different.  Very significant events in that book.

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The series peaks at book 3. 

After that, Jordan lost control of the story. 

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I would say that if you're not really interested after a few chapters, that's not a great sign.  As a series it does drag on a bit but the first book is pretty streamlined.

One tip for readers put off by the density - just read the main character povs. There's three guys and four girls and you'll miss barely anything from the main crux of the story.

I was also sort of disappointed by the last three/four books. It was a good effort by Sanderson but didn't really manage to capture the charm of the books, such as it is.

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5 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

As someone who hasn't read the series, could you explain why:

a) you decided to skip some of the books?

b ) you decided to read book 9 in the middle of these skipped books?

i'm genuinely curious by the way, rather than being critical or anything. As I said I haven't read the series so I'm assuming this makes some kind of sense rather than just being random

 

4 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

A) I read the summaries and they didn't seem to particularly move the central story forward.  Just new renditions of stories already told.  

B ) Winter's Heart is a bit different.  Very significant events in that book.

There are a few Meereenese Knots in the series where several arcs get really bogged down for a while. The story seemed to get away from Jordan a bit towards the end(the same complaints lodged at GRRM with AFFC and ADWD) and, sadly, he died prior to finishing the last three novels and story. Sanderson was both a blessing and a curse. He breathed fresh air into the series and got the arcs moving again, but he never captured the magic of the series, so to speak, in regards to characterization and the world. I was happy he took up the task of finishing the series for Jordan, but I can't help to think, what if Jordan had been able to finish his work. Characterization was my main complaint with his handling of the end of the series.

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Opinions vary. :P I'm mostly with Starkess although I haaaaaaaate book 10.  Probably read 2-4 like a billion times in High School. The last book was meh but I think Sanderson did the best he could with what he had, it's more imho, that the second to last book wraps up a lot so there isn't much to do. I rant. 

Tl;dr: book 1 ok, book 2-5 great, book 6-9 meh, fuck book 10, 11-13 great, last book meh.

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Quote

 

Robert Jordan fell ill and died before he could finish the series. The last three volumes are by Brandon Sanderson and they leave like a hundred subplots unresolved. I therefore wouldn't recommend WoT anymore. It showed great promise but didn't live up to it.

 

I don't really agree with this at all. There's some minor stuff left on the table, but some of that was by Jordan (who admitted in his notes that he'd set some stuff up with no idea on where it was going, and he did quietly just abandon some foreshadowed stuff long before Sanderson showed up). Overall, the ending was both thematically appropriate and delivered the expected levels of action, and most of the characters reached an ending that was quite appropriate.

I'm torn on telling people that:

WoT may actually work far better if you consider Egwene to be the main character, not Rand. Her character arc is reasonably well-paced, whilst Jordan keeps running out of stuff for Rand to do and putting him on ice for half a book or sending him off on ill-advised side-plots

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The 'action' was really bad in the last book. Notably because Sanderson's significantly worse at writing battle scenes than Jordan was.

I think that's what irritated me most about A Memory of Light, it wasn't good but on top of that it wasn't good in a way that made it very clear it was a Sanderson book rather than a Jordan book. You can't really blame Sanderson for that I suppose but after being reasonably positive after reading The Gathering Storm it was a disappointment.

Edited by ljkeane

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The biggest problem I had with that stuff is that Sanderson did completely forget about the army sizes that Jordan had carefully set up quite early in the series and developed carefully, and the relative numbers of soldiers/channellers/other forces was completely off balance compared to what had been established over thirteen previous books. That was irritating.

Venturing into spoiler territory. I think the OP wanted more just the recommendations on how people found the series.

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I feel that the series is too long to justify the effort. You will be spending months reading a series that's most definitely a mixed bag. In that time, you could read many great works.

I honestly have many problems with the series. Characters in their twenties generally behave like adolescents. I found the use of fake curse words ("Light!") immature and would have preferred if Jordan just didn't bother with profanity at all. There is very little sense that the main characters are ever in danger. The sexual politics in the work are at best a nuisance and at worst a deal breaker.

If you want a more succinct work that also bridges 'retro' fantasy with the more political fantasy of today, I'd instead recommend Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. That series has its issues as well, but you won't be spending as long of a time dealing with them.

Edited by Cithrin's Ale

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