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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Wheel of Time in Retrospect


  

104 members have voted

  1. 1. Which book was your favorite?

    • The Eye of the World
    • The Great Hunt
    • The Dragon Reborn
    • The Shadow Rising
    • The Fires of Heaven
    • Lord of Chaos
    • A Crown of Swords
      0
    • The Path of Daggers
      0
    • Winter's Heart
    • Crossroads of Twilight
      0
    • Knife of Dreams
    • The Gathering Storm
    • Towers of Midnight
  2. 2. Which book was your least favorite?

    • The Eye of the World
    • The Great Hunt
    • The Dragon Reborn
    • The Shadow Rising
      0
    • The Fires of Heaven
    • Lord of Chaos
    • A Crown of Swords
    • The Path of Daggers
    • Winter's Heart
    • Crossroads of Twilight
    • Knife of Dreams
    • The Gathering Storm
    • Towers of Midnight


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While I know my choices, I wanted to get a feel for what the community thinks are the best and worst books in the series. Make sure to comment on why you feel the way you do about each choice and if you have the time, also what your second favorite book was along with the reason for it :smile:

 

My favorite book in the series is the Knife of Dreams. Why?

 

1)The book begins with an incredibly intense sword fight between blademasters(Galad has the skill if not the title at the beginning). Then he goes on to lead the Children- I can't see a better thing happening than the fanatic Whitecloaks being led by someone with a little common decency and honor that lacks the zealotry that infects the lot of them.

 

2) Mat, my favorite character, shines in the chapters with his PoV while courting Tuon and showing his tactical brilliance fighting the Seanchan

 

3) Perrin's freaking chase FINALLY ends and along the way he actually does something interesting making an alliance with Tylee Khirgan, I especially like the character of her second in command, who seems to be on the edge of laughing at the grimmest of things

 

4) Egwene is making great progress in the WT in getting the AS to agree with her views of Elaida and of her status as a full sister (also I like Silviana's character).

 

5) Rand captures the most interesting/cool forsaken(IMO) Semirhage with her vast knowledge of healing and the human anatomy/biology

 

6) The Seanchan are dealt their second stunning setback (first was by ashaman/rand, this time by Ituralde)

 

6) And finally, The Golden Crane flies again!

 

 

Least favorite? Tie between The Great Hunt and specifically Perrin's chase of the Shaido/Faile in Winter's Heart & Crossroads of Twilight. That was probably flat out the most frustratingly long and boring part of the entire series.

 

TGH: Rand is mostly isolated from the others and stuck with Selene/Lanfear when in Randland and is not even in the same world for a good portion. I found the part with him, hurin, loial, and selene really slow/boring.

 

Lastly, my 2nd favorite was The Shadow Rising.

Aiel. Must I say more?

Edited by Ashandarei
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TEotW is my personal favorite.There is so much to look forward to.

I just remember a feel of knowing that there was a lot more to come.

All three Ta'verens story lines were good.I always felt it was a good

stepping stone for the rest of the series.We also get an introduction

to the OP which just felt very original to me.

 

CoT just felt like it lacked focus and clarity.As part of a whole it isn't bad

but the book itself feels lacking.The Faile/Shaido arc always felt so

disappointing in its length and CoT is the peak of this.

 

Second favorite has a lot of contenders.But LoC takes the spot Dumai's Wells

is such an epic ending.So many of the characters get a baptism in fire in

this book.It helped to solidify the series for what was to come.

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Favorite: The Shadow Rising

 

This book is just everything that is cool about the Wheel of Time. The scope expands greatly, Rand is powerful and clever without being crazy and emo, Perrin has a big heart and leads the TR to victory, the history of the Aiel, everything is just epic.

 

Least favorite: Crossroads of Twilight

 

I don't dislike this book as much as other people seem to. In fact, I mostly like it and in some spots (the Mat chapters) I really, really like it. But it is the slowest paced book and doesn't advance any of the plotlines a whole lot. And even though I don't dislike Elayne, I find her plotline very boring because I am just not that into political manuveouring and she gets a lot of screen time in this book. Also, having close to zero Rand in the book was a big let down, especially when you are expecting to see the fallout of the Cleansing after WH.

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My favorite book in the series is The Fires of Heaven. The reason is alot of my favorite things happened in this book. For example, the Battle of Cairhien, which is one of the largest battles in the entire series. Second, Mat's awesome military mind makes its debut in this book. Plus the Moiraine and Lanfear showdown. Finally, Rand frees Andor and maybe the biggest mystery in the series appears and was just finally solved for good in the last book. The Fires of Heaven is a great book.

 

My least favorite book was Crossroads of Twilight. I understand what Robert Jordan was doing, but I just did not like the book as well as the others. I got bogged down for a while. Plus I hate how Rand, who is my favorite character, started to disappear almost in the later books and in this one I think he is only in there twice.

 

My second favorite book of the series has to be Towers of Midnight. Like The Fires of Heaven alot happens in this book. Plus we see characters starting to get their heads on straight. For example Perrin, and Rand is back to what he should have been. Also, one of my all time favorite female characters if not my favorite returns. Finally, I like it because it is setting up the end. You can feel the conflict building in this book. The Shadow is on the move and the the showdown is coming. Man I can't wait for A Memory of Light.

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I think I can safely say that we as a WoT reader community almost unanimously disliked CoT because of the Perrin/Shaido stupidity. Also, Grayson, I have to agree, my 2nd favorite is The Shadow Rising, I had forgotten about it over the course of reading the series but it's where we first meet the Aiel in force as well as when Rand's thing with Aviendha begins, I loved that book. *goes to edit first post and relegate ToM to 3rd*

Edited by Ashandarei
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1) TSR

2) KOD, TFOH, LOC

5) ACOS, TPOD*, TOM

8) WH*, COT*, TGH

11) TGS, TDR

13) EOTW, the Shaido stuff from *d books above

 

I've written my reasons for liking TSR here and elsewhere before, most recently here (in brief form); I dislike EOTW because it's the most sloppily written book of the series, and honestly the least interesting as well. The prologue is, of course, great. "The Web Tightens" is a very good chapter. Then... eh, "The Traveling People", "Caemlyn", "The Long Chase", "There Is Neither Beginning Nor End". Not much good stuff in this book. The ending is just horrible. If I hadn't bought the next two along with it and been told it gets better later, I would have given up then and there. TGH and TDR are simplistic, too, but TGH has the awesome ending and some good early chapters, while TDR actually has a lot of good material, though it's structured and plotted in a way that really puts me off. TGS also has good material, but Sanderson's attempt to broadly mimic Jordan's style clashed horrifically with his prose. And COT... look, I just don't read most of the Shaido/Perrin/Faile stuff between ACOS and KOD. The rest is decent. I really like the bluesy kind of atmosphere Jordan created for Mat's arc from mid-WH through COT.

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It was a very difficult decision choosing my favorite book. It was kind of a toss up between The Shadow Rising and Towers of Midnight. I the end I had to go with Towers of Midnight for several reasons:

 

-I've always been a big Perrin fan and TofM was the first book in a while where Perrin was really enjoyable to read. He had some good moments in KoD but it was nice to see him finally learn how to use the wolf dream and accept his role as a leader.

-Finally got the ToG storyline. Mat and Thom are also two of my favorite characters and they both got a change to shine. Plus the return of Moiranine.

-The Rand/Tam reunion was very touching. I kinda wish he had elaborated on it more but still a very moving scene.

 

The rest I'd have to put in this order:

 

1. Towers of Midnight

2. The Shadow Risining

3. The Gathering Storm

4. Lord of Chaos

5. The Fires of Heaven

6. The Great Hunt

7. Knife of Dreams

8. The Eye of the World

9. The Dragon Reborn

10. Winter's Heart

11. The Path of Daggers

12. A Crown of Swords

13. Crossroads of Twilight (probably no surprise here)

 

So really I guess I pretty much agree with popular opinion, the stretch between LoC and KoD was the weakest part of the story with CoT being rock bottom. I guess my top picks may vary some from other readers' choices.

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The Shadow Rising is the best, its just a summation of everything that's awesome about WoT. After that it's a little murkier.

 

1) The Shadow Rising

2) The Fires of Heaven, Lord of Chaos, Knife of Dreams

3)) Towers of Midnight, The Great Hunt ACOS, TPOD*, TOM

4) A Crown of Swords, The Gathering Storm

5) The Path of Daggers, Winters Heart

...

...

...

6) The Eye of the World

7) Crossroads of Twilight

 

The Eye of the World I don't really like that much due to the (deliberate) similarity to Lord of the Rings and general embracing of more fantasy cliches. I always tell people when I recommend the series to them that the first book isn't great but after that it picks up.

And CoT just sucked, HUGE disappointment when I first read it. I hated the way it all happened on the same day, and I hated that we didnt get to see results from the cleansing, and that none of the plotlines went anywhere.

KoD on the other hand was awesome because so many of those terrible, drawn out plotlines came to satisfactory resolutions.

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I had to vote for The Shadow Rising, although I really enjoyed Towers of Midnight (fair play Brandon, it was epic!) The Shadow Rising was the first of the Wheel of Time books I devoured, and by that I mean i read it in a day and a half or so minus sleep ha ha, first post btw so hi everybody ;)

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Favourite: The Shadow rising - It just seemed so.... full, if you know what I mean. Fantastic battles, brilliant thinking by Rand all round, to even outthinking and capturing a forsaken, breaking the Aiel. Just so much. It was like eating a gourmet meal that filled you to the brim.

 

Least favourite: COT - Because it was dead straight boring. That's why. Little niceties here and there, but the same as putting flash seat covers in a corolla, it's still dead boring.

Edited by Tollieman
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My list:

 

1. The Shadow Rising/The Great Hunt (tie)

3. The Eye of the World

4. The Fires of Heaven

5. The Dragon Reborn

6. Lord of Chaos

7. The Gathering Storm

8. Towers of Midnight

9. Knife of Dreams

10. Winter's Heart

11. The Path of Daggers

12. A Crown of Swords

13. Crossroads of Twilight

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Well I didn't vote because I couldn't make up my mind between tSR and tFoH. Those two together form the highest point of the series, imho. I really, really enjoyed KoD, though I don't know now, if it was objectively that good, or if it was that after so long, reading a (GREAT) WoT book just bumps it up in my mind.

 

CoT is far and away the only book I really did not like. People tend not to like 7-8 all that much too, but maybe because I read the first 9 books all at once, the story flowed better and I don't mind them. WH got tedious, but the last act made up for a LOT.

tEotW I tend to view as seperate from the rest, tGH I am not too fond of.

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Eye of the World: A- (Excellent start to the series, subtly sets up several of the series plotlines)

The Great Hunt: A (Something significant happens in nearly every scene of this book, fantastic ending)

The Dragon Reborn: B+ (Jordan took a risk in diverting the focus away from Rand, but this lets Perrin and Mat's characters shine even more)

The Shadow Rising: A (The story splits into three separate storylines that all have incredibly satisfying conclusions)

The Fires of Heaven: A- (I thought this books started off really slow but had a great ending)

The Lord of Chaos: B+ (I'm not as a big a fan of this book as some others at this site, I thought the wheels were spinning in place for a lot of the novel which is a complaint I had with the next 4 books in the series as well. But the plot builds to an epic finish.)

A Crown of Thorns: B (A good, but not great book. Ebou Dar with the exception of the Mat scenes was boring and the rest of the characters did not do much until the end)

The Path of Daggers: B- (Filled with good scenes, but the pacing of the novel suffered during the Perrin and Egwene sequences)

Winter's Heart: B- (If not for a great ending, this might be my least favorite book of the series)

Crossroads of Twilight: C+ (While not as bad as some make it out to be, this still marks the low point of the series)

Knife of Dreams: B (While it took a while to get going, this novel finally got the plot moving again. The last chapters were all excellent)

The Gathering Storm: B+ (Some did not like Sanderson's writing style, I actually thought that it injected some much-needed energy into the series.)

Towers of Midnight: A- (Frenetically paced compared to the 6 novels before it. Some parts of it still seemed off in the writing and characterization but it was a great set-up for AMoL)

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Favorite: tSR. I only have to look at my copy and see that it's nearly falling apart to realise that this is the book I've re-read the most.

 

Least favorite: CoT. When I put down the book thinking; the timeline hasn't advanced a fucking millimeter. Blood and ashes. Jokes had been made about events in the book slowing down, but to actually hit the rewind button for an entire installment! Gah!

Edited by Grandis
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CoT. When I put down the book thinking; the timeline hasn't advanced a fucking millimeter. Blood and ashes. Jokes had been made about events in the book slowing down, but to actually hit the rewind button for an entire installment! Gah!
COT covers approximately as much time as WH or KOD, and more than ACOS.
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I voted for Winter's heart as my favourite book, because of the chapter 'a lily in the winter'. It was such a brilliant chapter and i never laughed so much ;) But i actually liked all the books. I also really loved Crossroads of Twilight.

 

So I don't really have a least favorite book, so it was hard to pick one. I decided to go with Towers of Midnight, because you do see some negative consequenses of the splitting of the book. ( i am not sure how they could have done it differently) I still enjoyed the book immensely.

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Whenever I see threads about this, I'm always way surprised that people don't like TGH! That's gotta be in my top 3 or 4. On the other hand, I'm never surprised that CoT is the least favorite. I'm a TSR fan, like most people. It has SOO much happening.

 

As to the title of your thread, I thought this was sort of a, "if you could start the series all over again, would you still read/finish it?"

 

It's an interesting question to me, because I started this series when I was about 14, and so I absolutely fell in LOVE with it; but I think if I had started it just last year (at age 28) I don't think I would've been able to get through it.

 

My younger brother, who is 24 now, started the series last year on my recommendation, and he really struggled to get through it; however, I told him to stick with it, and he is now totally addicted BECAUSE OF BRANDON SANDERSON'S additions to the series. I find this very interesting, because my brother would always complain about how much he hated RJ's writing, and RJ's characters, etc... (I disagree because I'm an HCFF, but still... I see his points), but once my brother read TGS, he was hooked again (like the first few books) and now he's re-reading the whole series in preparation for aMoL.

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Personal fave book is between shadow rising and Lord of chaos. But if pushed then it has to be book 4.

 

Worst book: I thought i would never see any book which was much worser than crossroads of twilight, Certainly jordan's lowest point.

 

But sanderson beat him when his second book surpassed that of book 10 in terms of all action and not much happening at the same time. Towers of midnight sucked. Just a filler book apart from moraine's arc which was long overdue in my opinion

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CoT. When I put down the book thinking; the timeline hasn't advanced a fucking millimeter. Blood and ashes. Jokes had been made about events in the book slowing down, but to actually hit the rewind button for an entire installment! Gah!
COT covers approximately as much time as WH or KOD, and more than ACOS.

But they didn't actually backtrack.

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ACOS did, actually. So did TPOD. So did KOD. And TGS. And TOM. WH and TOM are unique among them, yes, in that so much of their content appears prior to a major chapter of the previous book – actually TOM is much more egregious about this, since for WH/COT it's just the one chapter, and it might be more appropriate to call that a flash-forward than COT a backtrack.

 

In any case, I'm not going to argue that the editing for the TPOD/WH/COT/KOD/TGS/TOM block has been great; obviously, it hasn't. If I were ever to try to re-edit the back half of the series, I would almost certainly produce something much different. I'm just saying that your claim that the timeline didn't advance is incorrect. COT covered 21 days after the Cleansing, which is, while not the enormous length of time covered by TGH, TDR, or LOC, or for that matter the sprawling mess of TGS and TOM, not the shortest in the series, nor totally out of line with several others, and it's closer to the lengths of the series' most popular books, TSR and TFOH, than are the lengthiest. TSR, for instance, covered precisely 40 days, and we actually saw only 27 of them.

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I agree with the poll results. I think some people may have chosen their favorite book based on their favorite moment in the series, like those who chose Winter's Heart (the Cleansing) or Lord of Chaos (Dumai's Wells). But The Shadow Rising is easily the most consistently awesome book from cover to cover. For me, it was an easy choice because my favorite moment of the series also happened in TSR - the Rand's Rhuidean ter-angreal sequence.

 

So, I'm not surprised that TSR did so well in the poll. I am a little surprised that anybody liked a book less than Crossroads of Twilight.

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I liked The Shadow Rising the most, although I think I had the most fun with The Eye of the World, because I didn't know what to expect and I had very optimistic hopes for how the series would turn out.

 

I first started reading the series after Crossroads of Twilight and before Knife of Dreams. A friend gifted me the "Ba'alzamon Trilogy," a box set of the first three books. (It wasn't called that on the box, but that's how I think of it now.) I read the three books and enjoyed them. I really liked Ishamael--and I was very surprised that Ballzy turned out to be Ishamael; I had read the books so fast that I missed all the hints. I really liked Mat, and was starting to warm up to Nynaeve, and I really liked Lanfear.

 

Well, I went to the bookstore and got The Shadow Rising. Heh. I remember thinking to myself, "Gee, I wonder if it's even still going to be in print?" Imagine my amusement when WoT had a whole shelf at the bookstore! TSR was awesome. Ishamael was out of the picture, so Lanfear was running the bad guy side of things, which suited me just fine, and on the good guy side we got a whole bunch more Mat, Nyn, and now Aviendha, who became another favorite. The plot of the book was almost gripping, the level of mystery and intrigue was still high, and of course there was Rand's trip to Rhuidean in particular, which is still my favorite part of the series. Nynaeve completed her redemption in this book; she had started out in TEotW as a very annoying character, and now had matured wonderfully.

 

Really, that book was just RJ at his best. The LotR crutch was gone, and RJ hadn't yet lapsed into his decadent period.

 

I expect AMoL will be my second favorite, but that remains to be seen.

 

My least favorite is Lord of Chaos. That takes a little bit more explaining, since Crossroads of Twilight is the "obvious" worst book in the series. After Lanfear got knocked out of the picture, a few things happened. First, I lost the sense that the bad guys had any chance of winning. Second, I was beginning to realize that Jordan was one of those writers who couldn't kill off his top-level protagonists. Third, and most importantly, the "master" plot of WoT just really slowed down. Fourth, Lanfear had been my favorite character and I lost a lot of investment in the story. Fifth, I didn't like the premise of resurrecting the Forsaken. Sixth, Rand I started to lose my ability to relate to Rand. Seventh, the annoyance factor of some of the second-level protagonists picked up big time.

 

All of these things detracted from LoC. I went into it with high hopes, and got a big disappointment. That was the book that I decided I didn't really like the direction the series was going in. But I was still invested in the series; I wanted to see how it would turn out. And I knew Moiraine and Lanfear would be back, from the minute I first read that scene at the docks, and I hoped that she would have a big part yet to play. (And I am still hoping that today.) So I pressed on, and the subsequent books in the series just got worse and worse. That's why CoT wasn't so bad: By that point, I was already skimming portions I didn't care to read. LoC, on the other hand, I gave a deep read.

 

Things turned around somewhat with KoD. The plot picked up again, and things started to look up. I had always trusted that RJ had a big finish in mind, and KoD felt like the beginning of the end for me. KoD was also the first book I had to wait for, which makes me doubly glad that I mostly enjoyed reading it.

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ACOS did, actually. So did TPOD. So did KOD. And TGS. And TOM. WH and TOM are unique among them, yes, in that so much of their content appears prior to a major chapter of the previous book – actually TOM is much more egregious about this, since for WH/COT it's just the one chapter, and it might be more appropriate to call that a flash-forward than COT a backtrack.

 

In any case, I'm not going to argue that the editing for the TPOD/WH/COT/KOD/TGS/TOM block has been great; obviously, it hasn't. If I were ever to try to re-edit the back half of the series, I would almost certainly produce something much different. I'm just saying that your claim that the timeline didn't advance is incorrect. COT covered 21 days after the Cleansing, which is, while not the enormous length of time covered by TGH, TDR, or LOC, or for that matter the sprawling mess of TGS and TOM, not the shortest in the series, nor totally out of line with several others, and it's closer to the lengths of the series' most popular books, TSR and TFOH, than are the lengthiest. TSR, for instance, covered precisely 40 days, and we actually saw only 27 of them.

 

Well then, allow me to rephrase. CoT was the book, for me, when the backtracking became egregious, because it involved the entire book.

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My least favorite is Lord of Chaos. That takes a little bit more explaining, since Crossroads of Twilight is the "obvious" worst book in the series. After Lanfear got knocked out of the picture, a few things happened. First, I lost the sense that the bad guys had any chance of winning. Second, I was beginning to realize that Jordan was one of those writers who couldn't kill off his top-level protagonists.1 Third, and most importantly, the "master" plot of WoT just really slowed down. Fourth, Lanfear had been my favorite character and I lost a lot of investment in the story. Fifth, I didn't like the premise of resurrecting the Forsaken.2 Sixth, Rand I started to lose my ability to relate to Rand. Seventh, the annoyance factor of some of the second-level protagonists picked up big time.

 

1,2Agreed! I even started a thread about it: Character Immortality

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