Monday, February 15, 2010

We rode on the winds of the rising storm. We ran to the sounds of the thunder. We danced among the lightning bolts and tore the world asunder. - Crossroads of Twilight

I’ve been a fan of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan for a little over a decade now. For most of that time, I’ve been a disgruntled acolyte of the vast and rich world that Jordan had created. By the time I picked up the first volume, The Eye of the World, half of the current 14 books had already been published.
I’m going to say the first 5 or so books are the best written of the series by far. Jordan gives us a world full of scope and history, with characters that you come to love and hate, and doing it all that very descriptive way that only can do. Then from about book 6 on is when the Train wreck happens.
At this point, it just seems like the story as whole just gets away from him. He throws in so many plots and subplots, that it just becomes a convoluted mess that takes books to sort out. Plus there’s the fact that major characters don’t even bother to show up in some of the books. At one point, I just kept on reading just because I wanted to see it through to the end of the series.
When I first heard the news that Robert Jordan passed away a couple years ago, I admit I was kind of angry, frustrated, and disappointed that he wasn’t able to finish the series. I know that was a little self centered at the time, but I got over it. Especially when I heard that he took some really detailed notes right before he died so that someone could finish were he left off. Enter Brandon Sanderson.
I’ve never have read any of Sanderson’s books, but from what I’ve heard, he’s pretty competent at what he does. And being a fellow Utahn, I guess I could support him. Sunday I finished the latest Wheel of Time book that came out last October, The Gathering Storm. It’s the first of three that Brandon Sanderson helped put together and that will wrap up the series. And I’ve got to admit, I really enjoyed it.
It still had the Robert Jordan feel and vibe to it, with a little Sanderson flair. I’m liking it because it didn’t have the sense of being bloated like the last few have been, but it had a sense of finality to it. Things are starting to wrap up. Plus, it just seemed to flow better as well.
If you were one of those people that became disillusioned with the whole thing, I implore you to at least read The Gathering Storm. It’s made me a believer again.


Anonymous said... 6 onwards were so awesome. Re-read them. :)

Anonymous said...

I never got why some people hated the mid-later books so much... I've read the whole series 3-4 times and occasionally contemplate doing it again.

Smurfs O'Malley said...

Theres a few reasons why I didn't enjoy the later books as much. Jordan left out major characters out of whole books. And it just felt like the story got away from him. I think he could've got the series to be under 10 books easy.

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