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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Wulf

Series pacing, thoughts?

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I originally broke away from the series some years ago, I think midway through Crossroads of Twilight.  All I really remember is that I read most of the book and absolutely nothing happened while two groups of Aes Sedai stared at each other across a field (if my memory can be trusted), then something interrupted me and I never got back to finish it.

 

I'm a third of the way through Path of Daggers this re-read, planning to finally finish off the series, and I'm wondering if I'm starting to see the beginnings of what dampened my interest the first time.  Not enough to matter yet, but enough to question.

 

A third of a book that could probably be summarized as "a bunch of women use a bowl and blow up a farm.  Also, Perrin exists."

 

I really don't remember much from here on so avoiding spoilers would be appreciated (but seriously, i acknowledge my stupidity for coming here with an aversion to spoilers, so whatever may be may be) but what do you guys think of the pacing throughout?

 

I remember rumours of RJ deciding to stretch it out to 13 books having an effect, or just that he'd created too many plot threads and couldn't do them all justice in a finite number of words.

 

Do you notice a shift as you read through, or does it seem consistent?  Does it pick up in the later books?

 

Does anybody ever eventually figure out that no, that other character doesn't understand women, the women don't understand the men, and they can probably stop thinking about it every 30 seconds?

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Path of Daggers begins two long arcs that are not very popular: the Faile kidnapping, and Elayne's machinations for the Lion Throne. Both only get resolved 3 books later, in Knife of Dreams.

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yeah, nearly everyone says that 8-10 are really slow.

During my first read through, I only noticed it in 9, and in all of my rereads I skip those two arcs. And the majority of the wonder girls' adventures.

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47 minutes ago, TheSociopath said:

yeah, nearly everyone says that 8-10 are really slow.

During my first read through, I only noticed it in 9, and in all of my rereads I skip those two arcs. And the majority of the wonder girls' adventures.

 

I would like to see a new edition of the series, with the various arcs moved into their own, dedicated books. So for example, we would have an entire book for Faile's kidnapping, and an entire book for Elayne's lion throne arc, then books dedicated to Mat and Rand as necessary. This can even happen earlier than book 8.

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Morgase and Tallan-bore should get their own spinoff series.

 

It might add up to a book of its own if you added together every paragraph of her heart yearning for the curve of his lips, but no, she mustn't, he's too young, and luckily the darkness conceals the fullness of her womanly blushing, yet the full heat of it reaches her voice as she tries to command him to go, but no, the words will not come, for surely hope would die within his breast should those words find utterance, but young Tallanvor is not the sort of manly man's man that could leave his unrequited love behind.

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You’d be better off hoping for a million dollars. 

 

Personally these pacing/arc problems don’t bother me like they did now that there a bunch of good books on the other side. 

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I can't think of anything that would be worse then a whole book on nothing but Faile's kidnapping or Elayne taking the throne.  The pacing has always been an issue, the first 6 books things flew bye and then it seemed to of slowed to a crawl, and then as if it was a rush in speed to get it done.

 

In the end it still seems like more time should of passed from Rand being found to the LB.

Edited by Sabio

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12 hours ago, Sabio said:

I can't think of anything that would be worse then a whole book on nothing but Faile's kidnapping or Elayne taking the throne.  The pacing has always been an issue, the first 6 books things flew bye and then it

slowed to a crawl, and then it seemed as if it was a rush in speed to get it done.

 

In the end it still seems like more time should of passed from Rand being found to the LB.

I heartily agree with your thoughts about Faile and Elayne.

 

But yeah, I wouldn't have minded the last few books taking a slightly slower pace. 

 

As to the idea about various arcs having their own book, the only one that I particularly agree with is the mat/tuon arc. Even after multiple rereads, I still have no idea which book thats in. I think it starts in 6 and lasts through 7?

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On 6/16/2018 at 10:31 AM, Sabio said:

I can't think of anything that would be worse then a whole book on nothing but Faile's kidnapping or Elayne taking the throne.  The pacing has always been an issue, the first 6 books things flew bye and then it seemed to of slowed to a crawl, and then as if it was a rush in speed to get it done.

 

In the end it still seems like more time should of passed from Rand being found to the LB.

 

If their plots were all isolated in their own books, you can just skip those books and have it summarized when necessary.

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Those arcs don't irritate me half as much when I'm not waiting for them to finish lol :)

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Not worth it's own topic, but i suppose it'll fit here....

 

Did RJ fire his editor around book 9-10?

 

There were a few mixups with saidin/saidar in the early books but overall pretty error-free.  I've come across multiple mistakes in the past couple of books that should've been caught as they completely break the flow of the sentence.  Like he went back and changed the wording in the sentence, but left part of a fragment of the old one.

 

Also:  I really, really, really don't care about Faile, or Elayne.  Damnit RJ....

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18 hours ago, Wulf said:

Not worth it's own topic, but i suppose it'll fit here....

 

Did RJ fire his editor around book 9-10?

 

There were a few mixups with saidin/saidar in the early books but overall pretty error-free.  I've come across multiple mistakes in the past couple of books that should've been caught as they completely break the flow of the sentence.  Like he went back and changed the wording in the sentence, but left part of a fragment of the old one.

 

Also:  I really, really, really don't care about Faile, or Elayne.  Damnit RJ....

 

I believe his editor was his wife, so I don't think he fired her... :laugh:

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Honestly I think it depends on edition you're reading. I'm doing my reread of mostly early or first print runs and there are quite a few things I've noticed. Said in/Saidar is big, but there are some spelling errors, sentences that don't make sense, etc kind of throughout.

 

The pacing does start slowing down for sure. I noticed this time through my reread (just started WH) that the whole Illian thing was actually the first really slowed down thing in book 6-7.

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Well at least the illian army gathering was suppose to be slow.  But when certain events like Mat kidnapping Tuon, Failes rescue, Perrin learning wolf dream etc start taking multiple books you want to scream,

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I think part of the reason people don't like Brandon's book because with pre-existing pacing issues he had to squeeze everything in and the end result wasn't perfect. The whole Valan Luca arc totaled up between Mat, Elayne and Nyneave, probably wasted half a book or more and Perrin's storyline from start to finish was a mess. The biggest problems were he married his editor and he fuelled Tor's rise so there was no one to tell him no. Some of the slow parts don't have any redeeming value but this will be all we have since there are no more notes.

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I'm just coming to the end of KoD now.

 

Some of these storylines might factor into the longer term plan, but I can honestly say that absolutely none of this book was *riveting*.

 

Faile?  I never felt she was in danger.  The casual threats of rape were unpleasant but not overly interesting.

 

Perrin?  He got from point a to point b.  Passable reading, but nothing to raise the hackles or stir the soul.

 

Mat?  Mat had spurts of being interesting but it was so spread out it's hard to be excited about the overall thing.

 

Tuon, all I can really say is that she's the most interesting romance in the series.  But that's more a shot at Jordan than a real compliment.  I don't recall being overly bored during any of Tuon's sequences, but something needs to happen before I start glossing over bits of those.

 

Luca, still don't care.

 

Rand exists.  Blew off a hand.  Oh well, moving on.  (Very self-aware of him.)  (Semi's plan was pointless and anti-climactic, btw)

 

Elayne is ridiculously boring.  I don't care how much she blames Rand for her condition, or how little she enjoys goat's milk.  It's not fun reading.  And I feel comfortable calling her stupid for trusting in prophecy too much.  Min said she'd deliver the children alive.  She never said she'd live for more than 2 seconds after that, or that her children wouldn't be Black Ajah blackmail fodder over the dragon reborn.  She wasn't scared for even a second during her capture?  Then she lacks imagination.

 

"How'd they find us?"

"A woman warder!"

"And I'd have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!  Nyah!"

 

"Hey, I know that we're losing this battle terribly, but what if we finally decided to use the Power strategically, despite the fact that we've spent the entire book making excuses for why we can't?"

"Ye gods, that's just crazy enough to work! As long as somebody's shouting Elayne's name at least.  It won't work unless there's a rallying cry."

"FOR ELAYNE AND ANDOR!"

"Your crown, milady."

 

 

I'm not being intentionally negative, I'm just finding it hard to be overly positive.  There's nothing that makes this *bad* reading, it just seems to have lost the magic that made it *good* reading....

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On 7/20/2018 at 4:22 PM, Wulf said:

"Hey, I know that we're losing this battle terribly, but what if we finally decided to use the Power strategically, despite the fact that we've spent the entire book making excuses for why we can't?"

"Ye gods, that's just crazy enough to work! As long as somebody's shouting Elayne's name at least.  It won't work unless there's a rallying cry."

"FOR ELAYNE AND ANDOR!"

"Your crown, milady."

 

Birgitte should stick to shooting people with a bow, she's obviously got no tactical sense.

 

Why would you send an cavalry against channelers? Why not just ambush them with a company of archers?

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On 7/24/2018 at 10:47 AM, solarz said:

 

Birgitte should stick to shooting people with a bow, she's obviously got no tactical sense.

 

Why would you send an cavalry against channelers? Why not just ambush them with a company of archers?

^THIS^

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If I remember the rescue was a very paniced OMG we have to save her type of thing, so their wasn't a lot of time to gather forces and prepare a proper attack.  (Again I am just trying to go from memory)  Since they had the head start there was no real chance to get ahead and prepare an ambush.  Most importantly with Elayne in there, do you really want to pepper everything with arrows,  not to mention channelrs could simply make a shield from air and block arrows?

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12 hours ago, Sabio said:

If I remember the rescue was a very paniced OMG we have to save her type of thing, so their wasn't a lot of time to gather forces and prepare a proper attack.  (Again I am just trying to go from memory)  Since they had the head start there was no real chance to get ahead and prepare an ambush.  Most importantly with Elayne in there, do you really want to pepper everything with arrows,  not to mention channelrs could simply make a shield from air and block arrows?

 

They were able to Travel to a location ahead of the black ajah. They could have prepared an ambush.

 

You don't need to pepper everything with arrows, just get a squad of sharpshooters and take out all the AS simultaneously. It's been mentioned numerous times that AS are just as vulnerable to arrows from the dark as anyone else.

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Solarz has a wonderful point. But, I can't think of anyone who has ever accused anyone in that arc of having much sense. 

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On the BS books part yeah I remember reading the blog post he did about the decision to split AMoL into multiple books. Started writing and realized it would be impossible for one book.

 

KoD is the one where things started to speed back up, but BS didn't have much of a choice but to wrap things up quickly and try to wrap everything he could up neatly as possible.

 

I know a lot if people really hate the BS books, but I think he did the best he could, it was never going to be RJ, and he did inherit a pretty impossible task. 

 

I think if he'd been able to take his time he could have done better (looking at SA which is shaping up to be one of the greatest Epic Fantasy series of all time IMO) but it is what it is.

 

I believe TD and Harriet both acknowledged RJ wouldn't have actually only done one more book either, and based on the pacing toward the end I think he would have fit probably 4-5 more books in tbh.

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