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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

On the verge of giving up on the series...


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I just started reading the Winter's Heart (finished the prologue) and I am on the verge of giving up on the series... Again and again the main characters are acting as spoiled children with no clue about inter personal relationships or even how leaders should act.

 

For example, Rand keeps treating the Ashamen as disposable garbage, never making any effort to induce loyalty, he just expects blind obedience for nothing in return... I am guessing the writer wants to build up to something with the Asha man, either they will all go insane or turn out to be darkfriends BUT from how Rand is treating them I was not surprised that some of them rebelled against him already in the previous book. He keeps treating them like shit and expects everyone to respect/honour him just because of his title... Loyalty and respect are earned not taken.

 

I am also frustrated with Elayne... she is making sooo many stupid decisions and is letting pride guide her actions most of the time, which makes things harder for everyone in Andor which is now on the brink of a civil war.

 

Most of the time all of the bad things that happen throughout the series could have been avoided if people would not be so stupid, proud and full of themselves and would just make a small effort to communicate and explain themselves a bit more...

 

I still kinda like the series, I am still curious what will happen buuut the characters are just sooooo stupid it makes me want to scream! Sorry for the rant, I just had to write out something... 

 

Did anyone else experience similar rages while reading the books and should I push through and just finish the rest? ( I was at the same point a couple of times during the series and almost quit once per book 🙂) heh I think I heard somewhere that the point of art is to induce strong emotions and in this case, it is working well ...

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Many people read New Spring around books 7-10, it's a good reprieve.

You could always do what I did, and read the Great Gatsby between books 8 & 9. That really made me appreciate fast paced writing!

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I wanted to quit with Crossroads of Twilight. 
 

SD is right, New Spring is a great refresher, and there’s no shame in taking a break. The ending of nine is amazing, and eleven is one of the best books in the series. 
 

Brandon Sanderson’s writing is much faster paced, and the characters become less stupid and frustrating. 
 

Of course it’s your choice, but for me, pushing through the books is well worth it. 
 

Hopefully this was helpful!

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Ah thanks for the replies, I am glad I am not the only one who got stuck. I still want to know how the story ends though 🙂

 

By the way, the New Spring, does it have any spoilers? Or will it be ok if I just go ahead and read that before the whole series? 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Blobster said:

Ah thanks for the replies, I am glad I am not the only one who got stuck. I still want to know how the story ends though 🙂

 

By the way, the New Spring, does it have any spoilers? Or will it be ok if I just go ahead and read that before the whole series? 

 

 

The story past CoT is great. 
 

Nope! It is a prequel, and all it does is go over Moiraine and Lan’s backstory. It was originally released after CoT, but I read it in between the Dragon Reborn and the Shadow Rising, and was just fine. 

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yes, the characters are being very dumb. it's intentional; they are supposed to be flawed, and to have to overcome those flaws. they will, later.

by the way, i don't remember elayne doing anything stupid during the ascension. she handled things well in that regard.

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Characters are supposed to have problems, they're supposed to make bad decisions and suffer the consequences of those bad decisions. The flaws make the character. People who handle every situation brilliantly don't need to learn or grow, and Rand and Elayne still have a long way to go.

 

Personally, I found books 8-10 to be the most difficult to get through in the series, but for a different reason than you. They can be a slog as the point of view characters have multiplied so far that each individual story line inches along a bit at a time. Also, Robert Jordan developed a bit of a habit where when something exciting is about to happen he'd abandon that story and find another character elsewhere doing something much more boring and only decide to revisit the exciting part in a few hundred pages, or in the next book, or two books later when all of the excitement has worn off.

 

I think the payoff is definitely worth it. Books 12-14 are quite epic and the conclusion is very satisfying. You'll be glad you went along for the ride, even though where you are at can be rather dry.

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Yes, the books become enjoyable again when Brandon takes over.  And the finish is satisfying.

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Rand's hardened himself. He's not allowing himself personal relationships with the Asha'man because he feels like he created their organization simply so they could be used as weapons. And that eats at him. He's not comfortable with it, or happy with it, and hates himself for it, but he feels obligated to do it. He forces himself to see them as tools and weapons because he feels like if he does otherwise he won't be able to complete his role.

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Personally, I was really thankful for Knife of Dreams because if you think Winters Heart is bad... Brah, you ain't seen nothing yet. 

 

Most of my friends who started me on the series back in like 2000, never finished because of Crossroads of Twilight. 

 

So yeah. 8-10 are a slog, and honestly I thought RJ had lost it and his writing just sucked. But then whalah. 11 was really really good. So. Yeah.

 

Push through. It's worth it. 

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No, New Spring doesn't have spoilers for anything that happens after where you are in the books. 

 

Fwiw, many readers find the same faults with the characters that you do, particularly around this point in the series.  It is worth keeping in mind, though, that Rand is legitimately insane at this point, and all the other main characters, barring Nynaeve, Min and Galad, are barely 20, with all the teenaged hubris that entails, confronting institutions that are themselves pretty stupid and hubristic, having suffered from a few millennia of corruption and decline.  I will say this, hopefully without spoiler, that the problems that stem from a lack of communication "cross-group," will get worse from here, before they get better.

 

This is, I think, another one of those examples of how this series really shines only on multiple read-throughs.  The first time through them, as you're reading, there's so many things that don't make sense, and won't, until the whole story is done and there's time to ruminate on how all the little bits and pieces fit together.  Things that can be kept in mind and appreciated really only only the second or subsequent read-throughs.  It's only when we're done anticipating the culmination of the story, of wanting them to just get on with it, that we can go back and appreciate how these annoyances can be realistic and immersive representation of how problems can be born of a failure to communicate, that is itself born from pride, uncertainty, paranoia, fear, and so forth, some of which may be well-justified.  In other words, these are some very painstaking set-ups, and right now, you're in the pain part.  The real tragedy is that Jordan didn't get to write the pay-offs for much of that pain.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’m finding the series very slow to be honest 

I’m on the shadow rising and I find Rands parts with the Ariel painfully slow

People say it has some shockingly moments but this far it’s pretty predictable I find 

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9 hours ago, Pembie said:

I’m finding the series very slow to be honest 

I’m on the shadow rising and I find Rands parts with the Ariel painfully slow

People say it has some shockingly moments but this far it’s pretty predictable I find 

If you find it slow through Shadow Rising, stop now.  You will never make it through to the end...

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Too many people read the series like some Oprah Winfrey show on "how to open up and treat everyone with respect for long term relationship".  This series is supposed to be read as desperate struggles by young heroes in trying to prevent absolute destruction of the world by the Dark One within 2 years.  Things to remember are:

  • Rand is not trying to conquer and rule like Artur Hawkwing, but unite all kingdoms to fight in the Last Battle
  • Rand has to unite kingdoms and fight the Last Battle before he becomes completely insane and unable to fight the Dark One (he has only 2 years total to do this)
  • Rand does not want to make friends in case he goes insane and kill those he cares about (he suffers from Lews Therin's kinslaying trauma)
  • White Tower that was supposed to be the bulwark against the Shadow is broken and becomes an hindrance.
Edited by boldnbeautiful
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I will carry on book 5 I think for me personally where it starts to get interesting There seems a big shift with Rand to the of I think he might be the big bad at the end with his madness

 

But I don’t think I will watch the show I don’t think the story is that good for that just yet I’m expecting Ewenge to become over powered and maybe die in the dream world at some point

 

Min story in book five is interesting and the stuff with the Queen is also so yeah I’m liking this one better 

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  • 3 weeks later...

You have to understand all the circumstances going on. Rand has a voice in his head telling him to kill anything that has the male power, Elayne is trying to take on a new role with several forces out against her. They made mistakes but we also have info they dont and they are flawed thats what is so great about WOT. Sometimes when rand is at his worst you freaking hate him you want him to get over his own ego. You have to put into perspective the trials he has faced the world that hates him the constant betrayal and inner turmoil. Not to give anything away but there is a pay off referred to as the veins of gold DONT LOOK IT UP but it makes it all so worth it. Rands story ark and growth is almost spiritual. You are in the middle of the biggest critique of wheel of time and that is the midbook "slog". On the plus side i still hold even the worst wheel of time book is great there are great scenes in that slog and it goes by fairly fast consider listening to the audiobook for those few it really flies by then. What comes after is so worth it knife of dreams is amazing and Sanderson is the only author I consider on par with RJ. The final three books i cant even express the amazingness just stick through its worth it I promise. 

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On 8/11/2021 at 6:36 PM, Pembie said:

I’m finding the series very slow to be honest 

I’m on the shadow rising and I find Rands parts with the Ariel painfully slow

People say it has some shockingly moments but this far it’s pretty predictable I find 

If you dont like shadow rising then there is a good chance you wont like the series. Some think it gets better as it goes and I agree in some sense I still hold that Shadow rising is the best book outside of MOL and if pacing is your problem it is going to get SIGNIFICLLY slower in about 4 or 5 books.

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Stick with it!  The characters are certainly flawed and all have imperfect information which exacerbates their poor decisions.  Its how they overcome those decisions, the consequences, and the way they keep moving forward in the face of what most believe may very well be the end of everything that makes the story.  There are lulls throughout but there are a lot of things that go on in all the books that lead to decisions and events towards the end.  Worth it to read it all.

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No! Don´t give up! I would recommend using the frustration as fuel for your wish to see certain characters fail or succeed as the story goes on! Then when they do fail you will fee satisfaction and when they don’t you have even more fuel!

 

I hate this series with the intensity of a thousand burning suns and I love it in the same way, sometimes more.

 

I think the story is amazing because it can make us feel like that! If it wasn’t we just wouldn’t care at all. We wouldn’t rage at it or want to shake some sense into the characters. We wouldn’t be here talking about it. It has issues of course, but show me a book that doesn’t have any as you read it or in hindsight.

 

I don’t know how old you are but I can tell you that when I started reading, I was just about to turn 19 and the character flaws you listed weren’t so obvious to me, it all made perfect sense, putting Rand and co. on my friends’ shoes or even mine at the time? The world would have been doomed from page 1.

 

I didn’t start hating the way they acted until I was way older and could clearly see how just communicating their thoughts and feelings could have shortened the story by a couple of books or more, but that is the beauty of it!

 

These kids are just that! You wouldn’t put most adults on most of the positions they are put on, thinking the teens in the story have issues for me is redundant, the problem of the series is the adults really, it’s terrifying to think the way they all just drop the ball so utterly and it makes perfect sense that they would too.

 

So maybe a shift in perspective is what you need to continue to read and enjoy the books, we all want to be the hero so we put ourselves in the shoes of the main characters but imagine yourself as random foot soldier #25 that is watching all the Nobles run around like headless chickens.

 

Maybe you are one of the poor Asha´man with barely a tickle of power. For thousands of years those like you have been hunted throughout the lands and now this crazy guy says it’s okay to Channel?

 

Or random Aes Sedai #15. The way of life you are used to, the way it has been for thousands of years is crumbling around you and worse there are several teenagers calling the shots!

 

So yeah, stick with it! Be strong. You can do it! And even if you finish the whole series and think that it was a waste of time you never know, maybe the Amazon series will be amazing and you will be able to compare the two and even talk about it more fully if it becomes mainstream.

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Ok I’m slightly confused why Lanfear attacked Rand in book five just before he goes off to avenge the queen dying I thought Lanfear was somehow cleverly using Rand to maybe gain something in the future or maybe for him to fall in love with her yeah that’s quite odd that every woman nearly is in love with Rand but Lanfear just attacks him which I thought didn’t really fit with her character

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Honestly I think everyone has that sort of struggle with the books at some time. 

 

It’s inevitable with a series that spans so many books that at some point it is a slog. Especially one like WoT where so many characters means so many divergent storylines that eventually with the Sanderson wrap ups kind of get pinched back together. 

 

My own moment happened right at book 8 where I got mighty tired of reading about a character and then not revisiting their plotline for like infinity chapters later. 

 

Almost lost me on my first readthrough. Thats why on subsequent readings i now read each thread individually during the 8-10 books just to keep some semblance of flow going without having to tap the literary breaks every time a chapter ended. 

 

Still, I am sure when you get through all the books you will have enjoyed the ride 🙂

Edited by CaddySedai
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It's worth it.  I quit after I finished Winter's Heart as I was waiting for Crossroads to come out but never went back to it because it was then I learned RJ had cancer and I was one of those people who decided I wasn't going to keep going unless only he was able to finish.  Thankfully a friend convinced me to try it again after Brandon finished it and I have read through it all the way after that and listened to the audio books and plan to do it again after the first season of the TV series finishes.

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I confessed in some post that I got rid of all my WoT books*. Even the hardcovers. Except the The Eye of the World (it's too beautiful and holds too many memories).

I am now getting ready to get the serie complete in one go as a set. Including the first book, because otherwise it would look wrong on my bookshelves.

 

I never read the Sanderson books either, but having read this thread I am actually ... not so much 'getting excited about it' but less apprehensive. I will re-read and then read the rest.

 

* Someone borrowed my books. Cracked all the spines. The hardcovers are just too heavy to carry around for reading. How does someone crack book spines of books you BORROWED??? Hm? Who does that? WHO??

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11 hours ago, Pembie said:

Ok I’m slightly confused why Lanfear attacked Rand in book five just before he goes off to avenge the queen dying I thought Lanfear was somehow cleverly using Rand to maybe gain something in the future or maybe for him to fall in love with her yeah that’s quite odd that every woman nearly is in love with Rand but Lanfear just attacks him which I thought didn’t really fit with her character

She had just found out about Aviendha and Rand, and got a bit jealous.  Lanfear "loved" Lews Therin from the Age of Legends.  Avi, Elayne and Min are fated to love him.  I don't think anybody else really does.

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