The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rjblue, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    Is anyone else picking up a copy of A Memory of Light tomorrow? I know there are a few other members who've read the WOT series.

    I only started reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan just as Brandon Sanderson began to finish the series, so I've had a nice time anticipating each book, without worrying that I'd pass away before the story ended.

    I did the same with Harry Potter- didn't start reading it until just before Deathly Hallows was published.

    I'd love to be in a big city and get to go to a release party event for one of these kinds of books.

    I was hoping to be able to take tomorrow off and read the book in one fell swoop, but we are swamped at work, and I'm going to have a few late nights to finish it.

    eta- Just read this and thought it was interesting:
     
  2. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I'm not picking up a copy because I intend to reread the whole series in sequence. The two year wait between books was problematic due to the complexity of the wheels-within-wheels story lines.

    But I'm pumped that it's out as it's my signal to begin the reread. I've got six months of bliss to look forward to, at least, and expect that Brandon Sanderson will bring the series to a brilliant close. I enjoy Sanderson's other work and think that he may have done a better job finishing the series than Jordon would have. Though Jordon's passing was sad and untimely.
     
  3. MarieM

    MarieM Grumpy Cynical Ice Dance Lover

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    I need the book like now. I ordered it and hope I'll have it for the week end. Let's pray ! :)
     
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  4. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    For some reasons the books showed up early in Israel, so I was able to pick one up for my brother before the actual publication date. ;)

    I'm not a WoT reader, but I do read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books, which have been published for about as long only with longer breaks: no. 8, which will not be the final one, is due out this fall. So I can identify with this to some extent; it'll be so strange when that series finishes, whenever that might be!
     
  5. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Gabaldon should have stopped at the 3rd book. The rest have been downhill ever since. :lol:

    In the theme of the last of a series, the last Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris will be out this spring. I'm predicting Sookie ends up with Sam.
     
  6. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    No, the fifth was by far the low point. 4 and 6 were pretty good and 7 wasn't bad. The first three are the best, though, and I agree she could have stopped there.

    That was very OT. I think any further discussion on non-WoT series should probably go in the main books thread, right? :)
     
  7. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    We have TV show threads and Movie threads. Reading a book series- with an anticipated ending- is quite a different experience than reading a self-contained novel, or non-fiction book. It's even a different thing than reading books with the same setting and characters. I love Orson Scott Card's Enderverse (although not OSC, he's a jerk), but I'd never go out on the first day to pick up a new book about Ender. There is no sense of needing to know what happens next.
     
  8. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I went past the local SFF shop this morning (they opened early because of the release of A Memory of Light) and got my copy. :) I managed to read 40 pages over my lunch break, and now I'm trying to figure out how to get out of as many chores and obligations as possible this week so I can finish it! :lol:

    I started reading WOT in my early teens, when the first book was translated into Swedish. It was the main reason I started reading books in English (I couldn't wait for the translations) and the main reason I am now *very* leery at starting unfinished series. :p

    I really loved the first 6 books and re-read them lots of times, but the series took a serious dip for quite a few books (Crossroads of Twilight :yikes:), and when Jordan passed away I stopped reading until the very last Sanderson manuscript was handed over to TOR. I don't envy Brandon Sanderson's job, and he's done okay so far, although there are some things I really don't like with the co-written books, and I really, really wish Jordan would have gotten to write his last book (not that I know how he would've crammed it all into one, but I digress).
     
  9. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I can relate to all this series angst, although I haven't read any WoT. I'm a fan of Janny Wurtz' Wars of Light and Shadow series, but I knew I was in trouble when she had her protagonists drink a longevity potion that will keep them alive until age 500 at least. Years go by between the books and I haven't been able to get any of that longevity potion for myself.
     
  10. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    I definitely agree about the drop in quality after the first six books. When I started reading, I had a general rule about never reading a series that: (1) was longer than a trilogy; and (2) wasn't already complete. I actually deviated from that rule by picking up The Eye of the World when I was a senior in college, because the second book was already out and the third and, I was told, final book was going to be published in a few months. That was spring of 1990. :lol:

    I was hooked on the books through law school and remember the active usenet discussion groups where everyone would dissect every prophecy. Back then, someone would always ask what would happen if Jordan died before finishing the series, which turned out to be quite prescient. I continued to pick them up as they were released, but grew increasingly bored with them as Jordan kept introducing new characters, segued on long tangents that took multiple books (that damn circus!), and seemed to take the focus away from the core characters that I really cared about. The last few books I picked up out of habit, but either skimmed or read about 50 pages and set aside. However, I did order this one through Amazon. It was supposed to arrive today, but now appears to be held up for an extra day by Fed Ex. :mad:
     
  11. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I agreed about the drop in quality as far as reading a page-turning series went. I skimmed quite a bit - especially Crossroads of Twilight when I first read them. However as far as epic world building, and massive plotting, those books are great. Re-reading them with all the spoilers and internet at hand, it is amazing how the smallest detail can be a significant point. It compares to how essential Dobby and the elves were to the Harry Potter story, but seemed a disposable element when introduced- except that WOT has that to a massive level. I love how there are these core, central characters and then 1000's of secondary characters- just like there would be in a real conflict. (Okay, I could still give up Faille and also all the Sea Folk, without a qualm)

    I would recommend for anyone who loved the first books but gave up, to find a summary on the internet of the middle books, and then begin with The Gathering Storm. I didn't miss Jordan's style simply because I found the story, and especially the ending of that book so amazing.
     
  12. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    I invested a lot of time in that series before I realized it was a plot by the shadow government in Guam to strip us all of our humanity. Jordan needed an editor badly--you can see after Fires of Heaven how the plot just ran away from him and he just delved into minutia at the expense of good writing. I know he's an excellent world builder, but at some point, people have to do more than move three feet in the snow for four. damn. books.

    I might peek at the ending. There were a few characters I cared about and some I hope met horrible, horrible ends.
     
  13. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    Brandon Sanderson is speaking and signing tomorrow (Wednesday) at my store. SOOOOO excited! :cheer2:
     
  14. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I hope that readers who meet him give him many thanks. I've read his blog and am impressed by his dedication to his readers. He feels it is his duty to deliver a book every two years and sometimes writes 18 hours a day. He published the first book of his own major series in between completing WOT - I forget the title now, but it was excellent. In fact, discovering Sanderson was even more exciting to me than knowing he would wrap up WOT. The Mistborn series was wonderful.
     
  15. MarieM

    MarieM Grumpy Cynical Ice Dance Lover

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    I think Sanderson did a terrific job finishing Jordan's work. I like his style a lot more than jordan.
    Still no book over here. Boooooooooooooooooooo
     
  16. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    If this series is truly at an end then I think I will start to read it now. If Mr Martin has taught me anything it is to never read an unfinished series. :lol:
     
  17. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I finished it yesterday. It was very satisfying- all of the major questions were answered nicely, and another age begins.

    I skimmed some of it, because battle descriptions are just "blah,blah,blah" for me. In a few weeks I'm going to re-read it more slowly and pay more attention to the dialogue, etc.

    Minor quibble
    -Alivia helping Rand to die was a major letdown after it seemed like it was going to be a part of Rand defeating The Dark One.

    Best moment of awesome-
    Egwene going out in a crystal explosion that defeated Taim. There was no way she was going to live without Gawyn (although I still think she could have chosen someone more her equal).

    My favourite scene in the whole series is still when
    Verin reveals herself as Black Ajah
    in The Gathering Storm. I missed all the clues to that one in the 10000 pages that came before.
     
  18. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    I've been waiting to comment, because I'm very ambivalent about the book. I think there were some great moments, including some involving my favorite characters, but it felt like the story missed a lot of scenes that I had been waiting to read for decades. I felt like Sanderson had some favorite characters (Perrin, Androl, Lan) and spent a lot of time on them, but completely missed the mark on others (Mat, Nynaeve, Moiraine). Nynaeve and Moiraine, in particular, felt like total afterthoughts in this book.

    I felt like Sanderson spent so much time on the mechanics of the battle and the endless slaughter of trollocs that he forgot to include many emotional beats.
    A few missing things that really jumped out at me were:

    -- Not having actual scenes between Nynaeve and Lan at any point after his bond was passed to her in the last book and the Last Battle. I can't even recall if they exchanged any words before the final battle. Just a few paragraphs of them finally being together after so much time apart -- and finally her having his bond which was such a big issue going back to book one. We also never got any sense of Nynaeve's reaction to what she was feeling through the bond even as Lan made repeated suicide charges at the trollocs and suffered a lot of injuries. The most Sanderson wrote was vague sentences like "Lan tried to convey his pride in his troops" or "Lan sent his love to her." Ugh. (I do understand why there couldn't be a Nynaeve's POV after Lan sheathed the sword, because it would have spoiled the reveal, but someone could have observed her reacting to what she felt through the bond. We saw Egwene affected by Gawyn being stabbed before he died, so even Moiraine noticing Nynaeve have a physical reaction would have acknowledged the emotional connections.)

    -- No reunion between Moiraine and Lan or Moiraine and Siuan. They had started the road decades earlier; that should have been acknowledged.

    -- The fates of a lot of characters were never revealed. (Certain other characters, such as Padan Fain and Alanna, felt like they were dealt with only because they had to be, but without the depth they should have had.)

    -- The fate of the Tinkers? The Shaido? I understand that Jordan didn't want to have a long epilogue that dictated what would happen in the next age, but it just seemed like there should have been a little bit more.

    That may change your view about the book. I thought a lot of the dialogue was terrible.
    Moiraine at Merrilor

    I didn't mind that, but
    I have always hated the idea of the body swap since it was foreshadowed. It just felt like a cheap way out. And I hated that, after all the build-up to how important Moiraine would be for the Last Battle -- including that Rand could not win without her -- she did nothing. The same with Nynaeve. Their should have been more at Shayol Ghul for them to do.

    That's another scene I'm ambivalent about.
    I liked what Egwene accomplished, but her actions were basically: (1) she chose an immature warder; (2) he acted immaturely; (3) she did not act to protect herself when he died (by passing the bond); and (4) she then basically committed heroic suicide. It served the plot, but didn't feel like Egwene, who had grown so much to fill the role of Amyrlin. I also thought the sudden "oh, I can undo balefire with this brand-new, previously unknown weave that we'll call the Flame of Tar Valon" was terribly done. That could have been foreshadowed over time by having people see the effects of overuse of balefire and start studying how to counter it.

    For pure awesomeness, Lan sheathing the sword was my personal highpoint. That had been discussed in book two, so it was great to see it used. Of course, the way Lan reached Demandred and the notion that the Dark One's greatest general would engage in three one-on-one duels were totally absurd, but I'll overlook that because Lan deserved that moment.

    Funny, because
    I remember the debate about that from early one. It began when Verin said that Moraine sent her to help Rand, which appeared to be a lie and raised questions about whether she was bound by the Three Oaths. That led to years of internet speculation about whether she was Black Ajah. It was still a surprise to realize that she was a mole and I liked how her confession played out.

    My biggest gripe:
    Androl and the gateways. God, do I hate the character of Androl with the power of 1,000 blazing suns. It did not surprise me to read after the book that he was Sanderson's creation who was used to accomplish things that Robert Jordan indicated should happen. I didn't want to spend that much time in the final book reading about a Johnny-come-lately character at the expense of ones I've cared about for 20 years. And the truth is that if Androl could do what he did with gateways, the battles should have gone completely differently. The whole battle strategies made no real sense. If Jordan wanted lava flowing through gateways, he could have just had some mention in prior books about the Black Tower experimenting and learning about new ways to use gateways, which could have then been incorporated into the Last Battle without making it all about Androl.
     
  19. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    Yes, I'm guessing that he falls in the category of reader who loves the battles and is annoyed by many of the women of the books.

    I REALLY missed Nynaeve, and Moiraine's return seems almost pointless. The annoying Sea Folk were kept to a ledge with that bowl- I thought they'd have a different part to play.

    One thing I'm pleased about is that the demise of the
    disgusting practice of enslaving channelling women and treating them as animals
    is spelled out for us in the signing of the treaty.

    Most frightening part of the book for me is
    when they are about to rip the babies out of Elayne.

    One funny thing is that I've seen several people complain about the epilogue and that was written by Jordan. It IS his ending.

    I really like Pevara and Androl.
     
  20. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    Ummm. . . . Not really.
    The Seanchan only agree not to enslave Aes Sedai. They can keep damane in their own territories and, as shown with Moghedien after the battle, take the position that they can enslave any woman who is not Aes Sedai.

    Having said that, I think it is likely that Mat and Min will eventually cause some change in how the Seanchan treat channellers, but it is far from settled by the treaty. Rand makes the demand for freedom for all channellers, but Tuon refused. I actually suspect that this probably would have been the subject of the outrigger novels that Jordan hinted about, which most people seem to believe were going to be focused on Mat and Tuon.
     
  21. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    The key point for me
    is that they got Tuon to agree that girls who can channel are going to be allowed to leave the Seanchan if they don't want to be collared. And the knowledge that sul'dam can also channel is going to very quickly destroy the feeling of safety that the Seanchan get from collaring their women. It's not stated literally in the book, but I can comfortably extrapolate it as a dying evil.
     
  22. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I finished, and I'm very ambivalent too. I assume we're stuck with the new character POVs because it's easier for Sanderson to write the ones Jordan never wrote, but it does leave me feeling rather cheated. I don't give a tiny rat's ass about Gawyn or Galad and while I didn't mind Pevara & Androl or Talmanes, I would've rather read Nynaeve, Moiraine and Siuan. 700 pages of endless battle descriptions and
    Nynaeve and Moiraine are barely in the book at all. What was the point of bringing back Moiraine in the first place? Surely some other (stronger) female channeler could've helped Rand at the Bore and we could've cut the last three books down to two?

    I think
    Egwene's agreement with Tuon was actually that they couldn't take any women from outside their territory without their explicit consent? So Moghedien being collared was pretty damned awful, even if I think the only thing we're meant to read into it is that she got her just desserts.

    I certainly hope so. I really wish the book had spent some of the 700 pages it spent on battles trying to resolve that issue, or at least starting to resolve it. As it stand the very last thing said on the topic is that
    everyone not wearing an Aes Sedai ring is fair game, including the Kin. I was waiting for Tuon to have to face that she could channel, but it never happened, eventhough they had a perfect opportunity when the command post was attacked
    . I also wish they'd spent a little more time resolving
    the men vs women theme that's been running throughout the series. I always thought that in the last book they'd realize they could achieve greater things if they just worked together, and instead the only thing even close to something like that is Galad and Perrin killing women and Aes Sedai and Asha'man bonding one another + Rand using all three powers to seal the Bore. So basically all characters just had shitty communication skills and acted like children all through 14 damned books?

    It seems like a lot of people hated the epilogue, but that played out pretty much exactly as I thought it would
    except the magic pipe. I did not guess the magic pipe. :lol:
    . My biggest gripe was probably the Sharans.
    Not only are the pseudo-Africans the only people to fight on the side of the Shadow, the Sharan channeler that Mat catches is mentioned again, only to point out how quickly she accepted her role, and how unusal that was! If you're very charitable while reading that, I guess it could be interpreted as "they have a shitty caste system", but it really came across as "pseudo-Africans make good slaves", which is not what I want to read, ever, least of all in a book written by two white guys. I don't know what Sanderson and his editors were thinking in letting that stand (it certainly didn't add anything to the story). Mat has some "Oh, I suppose I shouldn't have gotten my own slave if I'm trying to convince Tuon to stop enslaving people, and then sort of shrugs it off.
    It left a bad taste in my mouth.

    The fate of Padan Fain and Alanna also felt like afterthoughts.

    In all I thought it was an okay end to the series, but it really drove home how the last three books could've been 2 with some editing and how much I would've liked Jordan to finish his series himself. I'm not sure I'd re-read the series again, even if I still love the first 6 books.
     
  23. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    It was a GREAT event! HUGE turnout, the fans were fun, and Brandon was so accomodating to them all. A nice surprise was having Harriet MacDougal (Jordan's widow and editor of the entire series) and Maria Simons (Jordan's assistant and "continuity editor") along for the event too!
     
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  24. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    It must be a relief for them to finally be able to answer any question with Jordan's answer or plotting. A lifetime of answering "Wait and see," has ended. It would be so much fun to go a fan event. I envy you.

    More gripes upon reflection:
    Really it only was Perrin who was essential to Rand's success. His dreamspike was what kept the dreadlords from joining in the fight against Rand.

    Aviendha and Elayne got a fair amount of coverage, and they are the major female characters I find least interesting. Her interlude with Rand was annoying. So the world is at risk, and Rand prepares by having sex with her all night. Bleh.

    Things I liked:
    Tuon's reaction to Min, and Min not being a pushover.

    Logain's holding out against the circle, and his stuggle to understand his place and his power.