Finally starting the last 3 books of The Wheel of Time

NewJeffCT

First Post
Many years ago - some time in the early 90s, I'd guess - I started reading the Wheel of Time. I really enjoyed The Eye of the World, and the subsequent books were good as well. I'd never read such a massive series of books, and it was fantasy as well. And, I liked the main characters - Rand, Mat, Perrin, as well as Nynaeve and Egwene.

However, after books 4 or 5 or so, the next few books seems to really start dragging with seemingly minor plot lines hanging on for a book to a book and a half. Some time around 1997 or 1998, I picked up A Song of Ice & Fire and was stunned by A Game of Thrones and the maturity level of the writing and the great plot twists in it, as I'd already gotten bored with a lot of the cliche story lines in much of fantasy literature. So, I read the first three books of A Song of Ice & Fire and once 2001 hit, my life changed quite a bit - new job with crazy hours, marriage, fatherhood, and then another new job happened over the next several years.

Heck, I didn't even read A Feast for Crows when it came out - my limited reading was reading Dr. Seuss and other kiddie books to my daughter. No time for anything for me. Then, I heard that Jordan had passed away and I lamented that I'd never be able to see an end to that series.

But, finally, I got back into reading around when my daughter was old enough to read Harry Potter, and then Martin finally put out A Dance with Dragons and I re-read the entire Ice & Fire series again (the Red Wedding was still gut wrenching the second time through 10 years later...) and then again.

After my 3rd time through Ice & Fire, I needed new fantasy, which is when I had read the Brandon Sanderson had picked up the series from Jordan, with the blessings of Jordan's widow and with Jordan's notes. So, I started the series again from book 1 and found myself enjoying the books from a more adult perspective this time around. I plowed through Winter's Heart and Crossroads of Twilight (still a chore to get through) and Knife of Dreams (much better), and am now starting The Gathering Storm. I think it will be a satisfying ending, but I have almost 3 whole books to finish it up. Seems like a lot to wrap up in only 3 books, but it's obviously been done.

If people get the chance, I'd also recommend the audiobooks - Michael Kramer (doing the male POV chapters) and Kate Reading (the female POV chapters) do a very good job overall on the audiobooks. I like having a woman doing a woman's POV, which was a switch from the mainly single narrator audiobooks I've listened to before (the excellent Jim Dale doing the Harry Potter series, and the also excellent Roy Dotrice doing A Song of Ice & Fire)
 
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In The Gathering Storm, you can definitely tell it's Sanderson instead of Jordan; the characters were just slightly off. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I'm sure it's difficult to pick up a style that you're not quite used to.

The Towers of Midnight, to me, was actually the best of the Sanderson WoT series. Here, he is definitely reaching his stride, and the plot and character development actually feels like Jordan's work. It has a very good, solid pace, and was quite enjoyable.

A Memory of Light was good; I enjoyed it and felt it had a satisfying conclusion. But even though Sanderson had spread the final book into three books, the last book STILL felt rushed to me. The pacing was almost break-neck, and there were several plot-lines that felt rushed more than they should have been.

Overall, I was impressed, and the books by Sanderson made me a fan. I've since read Elantris and his Mistborn Trilogy (which, to me, was absolutely superb).
 




Dioltach

Legend
I began reading WoT when Eye of the World first came out, and read each subsequent instalment as they were published. Around Book 6 they began to drag, and by Book 9 I was forcing myself to continue. I started on Book 10, but as soon as I saw as Jordan was just introducing more complications I gave up. I've bought all the other books, but I've never been able to convince myself to get started.

I get the idea that it's not a story about a small group of characters anymore, but about a whole world fighting for salvation. And I think that's a good thing: in how many books/movies does the fate of the world depend on one or two people, and no one else knows what's going on? I just feel that there's too much filler in the books, too much desire to detail every aspect of the main characters' lives. How long does Perrin mope around after Faile, for example? Surely the point of each chapter should be to carry the story forward?

I'll be going to the Caribbean for a fortnight in November, though, so maybe I'll try to pick the series up again. A slow pace should suit me there.
 

NewJeffCT

First Post
I began reading WoT when Eye of the World first came out, and read each subsequent instalment as they were published. Around Book 6 they began to drag, and by Book 9 I was forcing myself to continue. I started on Book 10, but as soon as I saw as Jordan was just introducing more complications I gave up. I've bought all the other books, but I've never been able to convince myself to get started.

I get the idea that it's not a story about a small group of characters anymore, but about a whole world fighting for salvation. And I think that's a good thing: in how many books/movies does the fate of the world depend on one or two people, and no one else knows what's going on? I just feel that there's too much filler in the books, too much desire to detail every aspect of the main characters' lives. How long does Perrin mope around after Faile, for example? Surely the point of each chapter should be to carry the story forward?

I'll be going to the Caribbean for a fortnight in November, though, so maybe I'll try to pick the series up again. A slow pace should suit me there.

It was kind of frustrating when you see - first, the Dark One's touch is causing winter to be unusually long... then, you have an unusually hot and long summer, also caused by the Dark one... then, you have food going bad too soon because of the Dark one. It's a bit too repetitive.

That said, Knife of Dreams (book 11) was a big improvement over books 9 & 10 in terms of action and moving the plot forward... and, I'm hoping book 12 is similar.
 

NewJeffCT

First Post
OK, I just finished Towers of Midnight, so I'm 2/3 of the way through the final trilogy. I thought Gathering Storm was very good, definitely an improvement over the previous books, though I did think Knife of Dreams was better than the books before it. The action was strong throughout, though Towers of Midnight takes it up another notch and was very good throughout, with exciting POVs featuring Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Gawyn and Rodel Iturelda, not to mention Rand. Kind of disappointed with the 3 women in Rand's life - Aviendha seemed almost forgotten until the end of Towers, Elayne was kind of dumb at times, and Min seems relegated to the background.

Sanderson is good, but he does throw some anachronisms in there which seem out of place when compared to Jordan (i.e., Mat talking about his "new technology" - I googled technology and it was something that didn't come into use until the latter half of the 19th century.) On the plus side, he doesn't go on for pages describing the dress of the women and how much cleavage women from the different nations show.

I wonder how different it would have been if Jordan had written the last three books? Would Jordan have been able to finish it in three books?
 

Orius

Legend
Sanderson is good, but he does throw some anachronisms in there which seem out of place when compared to Jordan (i.e., Mat talking about his "new technology" - I googled technology and it was something that didn't come into use until the latter half of the 19th century.) On the plus side, he doesn't go on for pages describing the dress of the women and how much cleavage women from the different nations show.

He's not bad, but there are places where his personal writing style is not only noticeable, but it sticks out like a sore thumb. Some people have jokingly referred to RJ's writing as "Low Chant" and BS as "Common". ;) Still, I'm glad to see the story actually get finished. There are some chaaracters he doesn't seem to have a good handle on, either. In particular, Mat; BS doesn't write him as entertaining as RJ did. OTOH, I've always thought of Elayne as a dumb blonde. :p

Another big gripe I've seen some fans mention is how BS divided the story in tGS and ToM. Some stuff that was included in ToM might chronologically belong in tGS, for example Aviendha's visit to Rhuidean and parts of Perrin's plot. The first third of Jordan's final work supposedly had things get progressively darker and darker, not just with Rand, but with everyone else until the final scene in tGS.

A lot of the complaints are overstated though IMO. It's better than leaving the story unfinished at the end of Knife of Dreams.
 

NewJeffCT

First Post
He's not bad, but there are places where his personal writing style is not only noticeable, but it sticks out like a sore thumb. Some people have jokingly referred to RJ's writing as "Low Chant" and BS as "Common". ;) Still, I'm glad to see the story actually get finished. There are some chaaracters he doesn't seem to have a good handle on, either. In particular, Mat; BS doesn't write him as entertaining as RJ did. OTOH, I've always thought of Elayne as a dumb blonde. :p

Another big gripe I've seen some fans mention is how BS divided the story in tGS and ToM. Some stuff that was included in ToM might chronologically belong in tGS, for example Aviendha's visit to Rhuidean and parts of Perrin's plot. The first third of Jordan's final work supposedly had things get progressively darker and darker, not just with Rand, but with everyone else until the final scene in tGS.

A lot of the complaints are overstated though IMO. It's better than leaving the story unfinished at the end of Knife of Dreams.

Yes, that's the most important part - the story was finished. And, while the writing style may not have been to everybody's taste, Sanderson was working with Jordan's extensive notes and the ending probably captured the general gist of what was supposed to happen.
 

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