/ The Wheel of Time

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mostly harmless - on 23 Jan 2013
Has anyone read this or any part of it? I've got The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt and The Dragon reborn waiting in my unread book pile. Am I going to regret wading through ~12k pages by the time I've finished it? I don't mind an epic fantasy tale but it does need to go somewhere.

Thanks in advance

Dave
Kyle Warlow - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:

Im on book 9. Definitely worth a read. Enjoy.
andy_e on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:

The first three are worth reading, I'm now somewhere through the 4th one!
David S Gainor - on 23 Jan 2013
I gave up around book 10. Be warned, the series massively declines around number 7, and whole books go by with very little happening in terms of plot and character development. There's also around 145857329 minor characters, all with very similar sounding names, who you will not be able to keep track of without a well organised system of charts and diagrams.

The women spend all their time moaning about how incompetent men are, and vice versa, and the author seems to enjoy spending endless pages going into microscopic detail about everyone's clothes, and what tea they drink.

In all honesty, I wouldn't bother. There's far better stuff around. Try George RR Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire', or Joe Abercrombie's 'First Law' trilogy. Life's too short for the Wheel of Time.
hnmisty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to talon_guy:

Me too!
I've been there for about 2 years, I tend to pick one book up, start reading it, put it down, start reading it, put it down, start reading another...I usually have about 10 books on the go at once. Works ok if the plots are easy to follow, but the WoT books have got so many different characters that I've found if you put it down for longer than about a minute you forget who's who and where they all are. Think I'm going to have to start no 4 from the beginning again and plough on...
mostly harmless - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to David S Gainor: It was a discussion at work about ASOIAF that lead (indirectly) to TWoT. I'll have a look out for The First Law trilogy though.

I think I'm probably going to crack on with what I've got and see how it grabs me.
John_Hat - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:
> I don't mind an epic fantasy tale but it does need to go somewhere.
>
> Thanks in advance
>
> Dave

Isn't it still missing an ending?
Grey area - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:

The last three books (by the new author) pick the pace and the style up again. Much better than the middle few books and I'm enjoying the last one at the minute however I'm not sure I'm still reading the series out of bloody-mindedness :)
Mr Lopez - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Grey area:

Agreed. It's almost worth it to waddle through the shitty books in order to get to read Sanderson's volumes. Almost... TBH better head straight to his Mistborn or Stromlight Archive series.
freerangecat - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:

I got hooked on these about 8 years ago and steamed through all of the ones available at the time, but lost momentum after that and haven't read any that have been published since so would need to re-read them all to finish the series now. I'm not sure I can face it, as the suspense keeps you going the first time around. Saying that though, I'm off work with post viral fatigue and pretty fed up now so it might be a good little project!
climbingpixie - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to John_Hat:

No, the final book (book 14!) was released a couple of weeks ago so the series is now finished!
wilding - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:

Avoid at all cost. The first one is okay, if just another derivative "ordinary boy becomes hero" tale. The series gets worse, rapidly. I couldn't finish the third one as it was so bad.

I think Wheel of time is the series to which George RR Martin is referring to when he says fantasy got really bad in the 80s and early 90s. Although he is too nice to name the actual author or books.

Kimono - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:
i think the acronym says it all: TWOT
jayjackson - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:
I didn't find WoT particularly special, although the plot roles along at a reasonable pace, and it is an easy read.

I found that quite a lot of sub-plot is repeated, particularly the way the main characters feel about the opposite sex, and I found this pretty tedious after a while. Can't say I agree about the complexity of the characters - nowhere near as many minor characters as Game of Thrones.

The books do improve again towards the end.

I found The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson in a charity shop for a pound the other day, and it is superb. Would definitely recommend this over WoT, and also Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy.
Rob Oram - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless: I thought the first three or four books were really enjoyable. The series definitely took a dip in quality during the middle as the story seemed to be really dragged out and so many characters introduced each with their own story line that never seemed to get resolved. That said it has definitely improved again for the last two or three books and I believe the end is at last in sight as the final book is due for release imminently (if it hasn't been already).
freerangecat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to jayjackson:

Have you read any of the Sword of Truth books? I mentioned to a friend that I might give WoT another shot and they suggested these. I'm stuck in book 2 of Game of Thrones - I got bored part way through. I want to know what happens to some of the characters, but couldn't wade through the rest.
jayjackson - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to freerangecat: Not heard of Sword of Truth, I'll have a google...

Agree totally regarding Game of Thrones, my climbing partner got into them, but I just can't be arsed to wade through them all either - got to the end of Book 2 and then got diverted by A Confederacy Of Dunces (again such a good book) and some easy to read SciFi by Neal Asher.
jayjackson - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to freerangecat: Ah, Terry Goodkind - his books have been on my kindle wishlist for a while, will make a more concerted effort to have a look now they come with a recommendation...
freerangecat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to jayjackson:

I hadn't heard of them until this morning. I'm going to see how far I get re-reading WoT then will give them ago. I got up to book 10 (might have been 11, it was a while ago!) last time mostly while revising for/doing/after 3rd year uni exams so read them one after the other quite quickly (chemistry - I didn't get much sleep but did ok in the exams!). Once I could get the next one it was too long after after reading the others and I couldn't get into it.
gav - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to freerangecat:
> (In reply to jayjackson)
>
> Have you read any of the Sword of Truth books? I mentioned to a friend that I might give WoT another shot and they suggested these. I'm stuck in book 2 of Game of Thrones - I got bored part way through. I want to know what happens to some of the characters, but couldn't wade through the rest.

Sword of truth suffers the same drop off in the middle as WoT including a 700 page diatribe about the author's hate of communism. There's definitely good stuff in there thoug, but avoid at all costs the most recent book which was written after the seties "finished"h. IMO the WoT is better than SoT and SOIAF and the poor middle books are somewhat overstated.
RockSteady on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to mostly harmless:

I love the Wheel of Time and just finished the 14th and final novel.

For me, the first 6 books get better and better as they go along. Some of my favourite fantasy books of all. The 7th and 8th get bogged down and a bit slow, the 9th is good, and then the 10th and 11th are terribly slow and basically bad.
At this point the original author, Robert Jordan, unfortunately passed away. However, Brendan Sanderson took over and wrote an excellent finale sequence of three books from Robert Jordan's detailed notes.

I've not read a more densely woven and layered story than the Wheel of Time, and generally think it's rather better written than most fantasy. There are cheesy elements to it for sure, but the scale is properly epic.

I love it, and thoroughly recommend it to fantasy readers.
Mr Lopez - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to RockSteady:
> (In reply to mostly harmless)
>
> I love the Wheel of Time (...) Some of my favourite fantasy books of all. (...) I've not read a more densely woven and layered story than the Wheel of Time,

Oh man, you are in for a treat then. There are some excellent series out there that make WoT read like 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar". ;-)

RockSteady on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> (In reply to RockSteady)
> [...]
>
> Oh man, you are in for a treat then. There are some excellent series out there that make WoT read like 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar". ;-)

Name some please Mr Lopez. I like a treat.
Mr Lopez - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to RockSteady:

I've been following this list/blog for years and it hasn't failed me http://bestfantasybooks.com/top25-fantasy-books.php so you can do worse than using it for 'inspiration'. I personally share most of the opinions, but obviously different people will have differing tastes.

This here is worth reading as well http://bestfantasybooks.com/worst-fantasy-books.html

The comments section on each book also helps decide what to try and read, but there's wide opinions there due to, i believe, the age/maturity disparity of some of the 'reviewers'...
Mr Lopez - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to RockSteady:

P.s. Just noticed that WoT gets a mention in both lists
Mr Lopez - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to RockSteady:

P.P.S. I have loads of the books that feature in that list which are sitting doing nothing in my room.
Noticed you are in London, so if you can collect i'd probably be up for offloading them for a decent price. There's a minimum of 3 years reading all in all. (40 books or thereabouts)
RockSteady on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Thanks for that website - gives me some ideas.

As for the book collection - very kind offer but I've got too many books already! Hence mainly reading on my Kindle these days. Will be doing some downloading off that list.

Browsing that top 25 I think it might be a matter of differing taste - I've read many of the books/series in that list eg. Malazan series, Song of Ice & Fire, Gormenghast, Kingkiller Chronicles, LOTR obviously, Farseer Trilogy (I thought quite childish/poorly written), Blade Itself (found quite hackneyed/childishly written), Gentleman Bastards series, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Thomas Covenant (well written but didn't personally like the style), American Gods, Empire Trilogy.

For what it's worth I'd hold Robert Jordan's writing up against any of them except Tolkein, Peake and Susannah Clarke. His story is more 'traditional fantasy' than many and his portrayal of women characters leaves something to be desired (most of them are annoying!), but for the absorbing landscape and portrayal of his world and a pervading kind of Macarthyist paranoiac threat that anyone could be a servant of the enemy, I rank Wheel of Time with the best of them.
freerangecat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Wow, that list should keep me going for a while! I've only read any WoT and Game of Thrones from there so plenty of ideas. I'm almost regretting restarting WoT now. I've watched way too much telly over the past 5 1/2 weeks and have just been signed off work for another 2 weeks, so it's time to lose myself in a few books :-)

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