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CadeForeverfar

What you dislike most about the series?

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And I wouldn't mind seeing more criticisms along the lines of - "The trials the characters face need to have more of an impact. Rand doesn't even care that he lost a hand so its not really a big deal." Instead all you hear is "People NEED to DIE!!" As if characters dying instantly increases the quality of the story being told.

 

I'm not saying that characters shouldn't ever die or that it can't be used to great effect in the story. I'm just saying its not the only way to create tension and its not some necessary and positive story telling device that will make a story always better.

 

Also, I like most of these characters. I'm not going to be particularly happy (not saying angry at the author, just sad) if characters I like end up dead. I'm certainly not going to root for it. To me the scene with Rand almost killing Min was just as effective in creating tension and a sense of danger as someone dying would have been.

 

If there is another way to cause tension without using deaths, RJ did not know what it was. There really is no tension in this series, and it makes it seem a little "kiddie". I mean, Harry Potter was written for children and people die. When you read parts you've never read before, you know that anybody can die anytime. With WoT...

 

 

The search for the bowl of winds

 

Was long and boring. You knew the whole time everything would turn out OK, and nobody was going to get killed.

 

Graendal tryin to bag Perrin,

 

Is stupid, because you already know ahead of time no matter what Graendal tries, it will end in failure, and Perrin will be just fine.

 

Rand's kidnapping,

 

Was also boring, because just like all the kidnappings that came before and after, you knew he would be rescued and nobody important would be lost during the rescue.

 

Perrin rescuing Faile;

 

Was stupid for several reasons, the #1 reason being it took 3 frickin books, and the whole time you knew that Perrin would rescue Faile, you just didn't know how or when he would hurry up and get it over with.

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, there were some tense parts, and some excitement, but it is missing an element. When you read a good book, part of the excitement is that you don't know how it's going to end. When you read a kids book and can see the ending coming from halfway through the book, that's not really entertaining for adults. I only recently had a child, so have just gotten back into reading children's books :biggrin: but there it is. When you are reading the WoT for the first time, and you get to about book 4, you have it figured out. Nobody is going to get hurt in this fight of good vs evil.

 

 

I actually really don't like it when characters die in books. Especially with Steve King, he makes you love them so much, and then abruptly kills them. I thought the first 4 books of aSoFaI were obnoxious due to the amount of deaths (and gore and profanity for profanity's sake). But I tell you, I'm reading the new one, and I haven't been this hungry for a story in a long long time. I want to know what's going to happen, and each chapter is exciting, because it could be that character's last chapter. When GRRM's character falls in the river, you pretty much consider him a gonner. When he gets rescued, it's a total surprise! When Nyn fell in the river, I just rolled my eyes and wondered who was going to fish her out. I already knew how that was going to end, with Nyn safe and sound.

 

 

I guess there is a fine line between too many deaths and not enough deaths. No deaths is boring (in a story like this one, the age old battle of good vs evil). If the WoT was a football game, at the end of the game the score would be good guys 100, bad guys 0, the good guys would have no dirt on their uniform... and the crowd would be snoozing peacefully in the stands. (If you're not American, feel free to replace the phrase "football game" with the phrase "football match")...

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And I wouldn't mind seeing more criticisms along the lines of - "The trials the characters face need to have more of an impact. Rand doesn't even care that he lost a hand so its not really a big deal." Instead all you hear is "People NEED to DIE!!" As if characters dying instantly increases the quality of the story being told.

 

I'm not saying that characters shouldn't ever die or that it can't be used to great effect in the story. I'm just saying its not the only way to create tension and its not some necessary and positive story telling device that will make a story always better.

 

Also, I like most of these characters. I'm not going to be particularly happy (not saying angry at the author, just sad) if characters I like end up dead. I'm certainly not going to root for it. To me the scene with Rand almost killing Min was just as effective in creating tension and a sense of danger as someone dying would have been.

 

If there is another way to cause tension without using deaths, RJ did not know what it was. There really is no tension in this series, and it makes it seem a little "kiddie". I mean, Harry Potter was written for children and people die. When you read parts you've never read before, you know that anybody can die anytime. With WoT...

 

 

The search for the bowl of winds

 

Was long and boring. You knew the whole time everything would turn out OK, and nobody was going to get killed.

 

Graendal tryin to bag Perrin,

 

Is stupid, because you already know ahead of time no matter what Graendal tries, it will end in failure, and Perrin will be just fine.

 

Rand's kidnapping,

 

Was also boring, because just like all the kidnappings that came before and after, you knew he would be rescued and nobody important would be lost during the rescue.

 

Perrin rescuing Faile;

 

Was stupid for several reasons, the #1 reason being it took 3 frickin books, and the whole time you knew that Perrin would rescue Faile, you just didn't know how or when he would hurry up and get it over with.

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, there were some tense parts, and some excitement, but it is missing an element. When you read a good book, part of the excitement is that you don't know how it's going to end. When you read a kids book and can see the ending coming from halfway through the book, that's not really entertaining for adults. I only recently had a child, so have just gotten back into reading children's books :biggrin: but there it is. When you are reading the WoT for the first time, and you get to about book 4, you have it figured out. Nobody is going to get hurt in this fight of good vs evil.

 

 

I actually really don't like it when characters die in books. Especially with Steve King, he makes you love them so much, and then abruptly kills them. I thought the first 4 books of aSoFaI were obnoxious due to the amount of deaths (and gore and profanity for profanity's sake). But I tell you, I'm reading the new one, and I haven't been this hungry for a story in a long long time. I want to know what's going to happen, and each chapter is exciting, because it could be that character's last chapter. When GRRM's character falls in the river, you pretty much consider him a gonner. When he gets rescued, it's a total surprise! When Nyn fell in the river, I just rolled my eyes and wondered who was going to fish her out. I already knew how that was going to end, with Nyn safe and sound.

 

 

I guess there is a fine line between too many deaths and not enough deaths. No deaths is boring (in a story like this one, the age old battle of good vs evil). If the WoT was a football game, at the end of the game the score would be good guys 100, bad guys 0, the good guys would have no dirt on their uniform... and the crowd would be snoozing peacefully in the stands. (If you're not American, feel free to replace the phrase "football game" with the phrase "football match")...

 

 

Well speak for yourself, but I certainly didn't 'know' any of those things were going to happen. Faile is one of my favourite characters and I was sure she was going to die for three books, so I certainly feel Robert Jordon couldn't have made it any more tense for me.

 

As for Rand's kidnap scene, I never thought he would die, but for me that whole Dumai's Wells scene was full of drama and tension. I was horrified when I first read it, especially the part where the Shaido get literally ripped to piece by the Asha'man.

 

The whole lack of death thing I've posted about before, in this thread I think, so I won't say it again. But it should be said that there is a good deal of deaths on the 'light' side. Most of them may be side characters, so it of course very much depends on your opinion on those characters whether or not they affected you. For me, some of the character deaths have been quite tragic. But I echo what others have said about death not being needed to create tension.

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More annoying things:

 

[Paragraph deleted. Read our code of conduct]4

 

One more thing: mysteries that just don't matter much. I have only read up through Knife of Dreams, so I don't know as much as everyone else here does. Maybe Demandred's secret identity has been revealed, or maybe not. But to go by the discussion here, it would seem that Jordan/Sanderson admit that Demandred's secret identity doesn't even appear "on screen" until at least TGS. If that is the case, then what the hell good is the mystery? If there aren't any clues to be gleaned, then a mystery cannot be solved, and the ultimate revelation is meaningless. Same with Mesaana: I gather her secret identity has been revealed by now, but the only clue I remember--something about a fringe on her dress?--doesn't seem to be planted anywhere else for an observant reader to notice. (Maybe I'm wrong about that.)

 

The problem with these clueless mysteries is the lack of suspense. Real suspense is when we readers know something that the characters don't. There just isn't enough of this in WOT. I'll give an example of suspense done well: in Gene Wolfe's four-volume series THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN, an important character is revealed, halfway through, to the reader alone and in a subtle fashion, to be an alien invader disguised as human. We then get to spend the rest of the series watching this disguised alien interact with other characters without any of them having a clue, but we live in dread for them because this character is so smart and charming and almost entirely unsuspicious--though we get hints of nefarious doings which we alone can recognize. When his evil alien nature is finally revealed to everyone, near the very end of the story, it is done in a manner which completely changes the game for everyone, and sets us up for the major themes of the story's sequel, THE BOOK OF THE SHORT SUN.

 

That's how it's done, people. Imagine, say, that Demandred is Mazrim Taim. Yes yes, I know, Jordan/Sanderson and others have ruled him out as a possibility, but just for the sake of argument: imagine that we readers discovered this, say during the course of LORD OF CHAOS, but the secret was kept from Rand and the others. Now that would create a terrible sense of suspense, us knowing that a Forsaken was leading the Ashaman! Mesaana in the White Tower should be suspenseful, but since we don't know which one she is, it is just another meaningless mystery to stretch out over hundreds of pages. All too often in WOT, when Jordan does shoot for a variety of this suspense, we are treated to mysterious characters that seem obvious to us and who should be obvious to our heroes--take Lord Luc being Slayer, for example. Luc is so obviously a villain in disguise that there is no suspense at all--we know damned well he's up to no good, and Perrin seems almost dumb in the way he hates and distrusts Luc and yet is surprised when he learns that Luc is Slayer. Sometimes, Jordan gets it right: Egeanin befriending Nynaeve and Elayne is a good example, and the moment when Domon reveals that Egeanin "do be Seanchan!" is a terrific and memorable one just because we've been waiting in suspense for that revelation to come, and to see how the Supergirls react to it.

 

Okay, rant over. I like WOT, but it's good to get these things off my chest. Over the course of thousands of pages, irritations do tend to build up a head of steam.

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One more thing: mysteries that just don't matter much. I have only read up through Knife of Dreams, so I don't know as much as everyone else here does. Maybe Demandred's secret identity has been revealed, or maybe not. But to go by the discussion here, it would seem that Jordan/Sanderson admit that Demandred's secret identity doesn't even appear "on screen" until at least TGS. If that is the case, then what the hell good is the mystery? If there aren't any clues to be gleaned, then a mystery cannot be solved, and the ultimate revelation is meaningless. Same with Mesaana: I gather her secret identity has been revealed by now, but the only clue I remember--something about a fringe on her dress?--doesn't seem to be planted anywhere else for an observant reader to notice. (Maybe I'm wrong about that.)

Using the information you have read so far, it is possible to correctly identify Mesaana's identity - the leading suspect turned out to be correct. It's not always easy to see the clues when there are so many other details, but they are there.

 

That's how it's done, people. Imagine, say, that Demandred is Mazrim Taim. Yes yes, I know, Jordan/Sanderson and others have ruled him out as a possibility, but just for the sake of argument: imagine that we readers discovered this, say during the course of LORD OF CHAOS, but the secret was kept from Rand and the others. Now that would create a terrible sense of suspense, us knowing that a Forsaken was leading the Ashaman!
The problem with this is we have much evidence to suggest Taim is up to no good, and Rand is apparently oblivious to it. OK, he's not Demandred - he could still be a Darkfriend. So isn't that suspenseful? It fits your criteria.

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Length of series - This is only really a complaint you'll hear when a series hasn't finished yet. There have been plenty of series that went longer than RJ's and to me dragged on much more. Yet they're still enjoyable, and generally people don't complain about the length because they're usually aware of how many books there are in the series. Fans of this series started to get anxious though, that this series possibly wouldn't get finished when it was apparant that RJ's health was declining, and this frustration translated to wanting to throw blame around for why it wasn't finished yet. I really have been more than irritated at the implications I've heard that Team Jordan was milking us for money, which doesn't even make any sense when you consider how successful sequels and WoT spinoff stories could have been. It's obvious to me that Jordan was an artisan, and cared deeply about the masterpiece he was putting together. To think that he would let that story be influenced by personal greed is just a shock to my senses.

 

 

Which series have this many books? The only one I know of is the Deverry cycle by Katherine Kerr.

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Length of series - This is only really a complaint you'll hear when a series hasn't finished yet. There have been plenty of series that went longer than RJ's and to me dragged on much more. Yet they're still enjoyable, and generally people don't complain about the length because they're usually aware of how many books there are in the series. Fans of this series started to get anxious though, that this series possibly wouldn't get finished when it was apparant that RJ's health was declining, and this frustration translated to wanting to throw blame around for why it wasn't finished yet. I really have been more than irritated at the implications I've heard that Team Jordan was milking us for money, which doesn't even make any sense when you consider how successful sequels and WoT spinoff stories could have been. It's obvious to me that Jordan was an artisan, and cared deeply about the masterpiece he was putting together. To think that he would let that story be influenced by personal greed is just a shock to my senses.

 

 

Which series have this many books? The only one I know of is the Deverry cycle by Katherine Kerr.

 

Xanth Novels, Malazan series, Sword of Truth, Chronicles of Amber (10 unless you count the prequels 15), Riftwar Cycle, Drizzt series, then you get all into the extended storylines in the worlds like Forgotten Realms, and the world of Magic the Gathering, and so on and so forth. And some series go way longer than the ones I've mentioned.

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Length of series - This is only really a complaint you'll hear when a series hasn't finished yet. There have been plenty of series that went longer than RJ's and to me dragged on much more. Yet they're still enjoyable, and generally people don't complain about the length because they're usually aware of how many books there are in the series. Fans of this series started to get anxious though, that this series possibly wouldn't get finished when it was apparant that RJ's health was declining, and this frustration translated to wanting to throw blame around for why it wasn't finished yet. I really have been more than irritated at the implications I've heard that Team Jordan was milking us for money, which doesn't even make any sense when you consider how successful sequels and WoT spinoff stories could have been. It's obvious to me that Jordan was an artisan, and cared deeply about the masterpiece he was putting together. To think that he would let that story be influenced by personal greed is just a shock to my senses.

 

 

Which series have this many books? The only one I know of is the Deverry cycle by Katherine Kerr.

 

Xanth Novels, Malazan series, Sword of Truth, Chronicles of Amber (10 unless you count the prequels 15), Riftwar Cycle, Drizzt series, then you get all into the extended storylines in the worlds like Forgotten Realms, and the world of Magic the Gathering, and so on and so forth. And some series go way longer than the ones I've mentioned.

 

Ah I was thinking of a series with the central characters. True about Xanth. I haven't read any of those in years.

Amber has that many? Wow.

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Was Rand getting his hand blown off not proof that victory would be costly?

 

Was the scene of Rand being tortured in a collar and chocking the life out of his beloved Min not terrifying and tension filled? It was still disturbing and scary dispite Min not dying.

 

Those are good examples that I'd forgotten. Maybe I just haven't read the books recently enough, but what I'm trying to get at is that RJ often stated that the Light was on its last legs, but it's difficult to really see that without actually thinking about what's happened so far. The protagonists have really been rolling along, mowing down almost everything in their paths. We get glimpses of trouble in the world, but I don't think it really strikes home.

 

This is exactly how I feel. The Light is on it's last legs? Really? Huge miss on that one. However, I'm not sure character deaths would be the answer. Hell, more dark povs showing the Chosen plotting and, sometimes, succeeding in screwing things up in the world might do the trick.

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I would say the inconsistency of the quality of the books (obviously I don't expect all the books to be masterpieces when you're writing a 14 book series), but the difference in the amount of enjoyment I get out of reading books 1-5 compared to 8-10 is night and day.

 

Also I would agree on the lack of meaningful character deaths. I don't want a ASOIAF style bloodbath, because I like getting attached to characters and when your favorite characters all constantly die off it can suck sometimes too.

 

But, for instance, I will agree that Moiraine not actually dying feels.... off... in some way, and actually cheapens the end of TFOH when you go back and read it. Reading her letter to Rand seems kind of emotionless when you know she's not actually dead. Gawyn dying saving Egwene would have been another good choice, as it would have given a generally disliked character a real heroic death.

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I would say the inconsistency of the quality of the books (obviously I don't expect all the books to be masterpieces when you're writing a 14 book series), but the difference in the amount of enjoyment I get out of reading books 1-5 compared to 8-10 is night and day.

 

Also I would agree on the lack of meaningful character deaths. I don't want a ASOIAF style bloodbath, because I like getting attached to characters and when your favorite characters all constantly die off it can suck sometimes too.

 

This and this. Except that for me, books 1-6 were excellent and then, the series went downhill till TGS, perhaps. Also, the ASoIaF bloodbath part lol. I love that series, precisely because of its unpredictability. You never know who just might bite the dust when you turn the page.

 

Oh, and the Aes Sedai of the Third Age. How the Forsaken haven't been able to wipe out these bickering, useless, primitive, ignorant, arrogant, obnoxious hags is beyond me...except that the Forsaken haven't proven to be the best villains in the history of fantasy either, of course. So, I guess I'll add the incredible lameness of the bad guys to this list.

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-Egwene's pride, arrogance, self-importance, and self-glorification

-EVERYTHING about Gawyn

-Mat

-Mat's story arcs

-Perrin

-Perrin's story arcs

-Girl Perrin is sleeping with

-Girl Perrin is sleeping with's story arcs

-The fact that most of the characters I hate (see above) will survive the LB and that most of the characters I love (Graendal) will not

-The fact that Rand lost his left hand

-The fact that Cyndane and Moghedien are mind-trapped (makes them much less interesting)

-The fact that Semirhage was killed off immediately after finally being introduced

-That the discovery of Messana's alias (a brown that kept to herself) was greatly downplayed when it could've been amazing

-All the damn lip licking

-Book Eleven

-The hundreds of unnecessarily introduced characters that often leave you saying "who the hell is that again?"

-That someone as BLAND as Perrin gets more chapters and screen-time than Nynaeve who is interesting

-That Perrin gets any chapters at all

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- Egwene's little confidence in Rand. (Come on, " Napoleon Rand is always right" )

- Gawyn (Just an useless character)

- Elayne (Just a fool on the Lion Throne)

- Gender division - exclusion

- Red Ajah

- Where is Demandred?

- Not enough of Shara

- DFs controlling the BT

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Most of the significant female characters are all super self centered;

 

Egwene: thinks she is always right and just bullies everyone around. (even is Nynaeve does too, she does it in a way that is not very insulting, at least to me)

Elayne: same as Egwene. Also she pushes the Kin around like their her property, all the while supposedly "thinking of them as her people", when she actually thinks of them like property.

Cadsuane is the same. They all think in a way that say, "I'm more all knowing than everyone else".

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Cadsuane is the same. They all think in a way that say, "I'm more all knowing than everyone else".

 

Well in Cads case it's pretty much true...

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Tel'aranrhiod. It always bored me before, but this time through the series I am struck by just how phony and unsubtle the whole concept is.

 

Incessantly repeated stereotypes: stout innkeepers; cooks who wield wooden spoons as weapons; ugly commoners/beautiful nobles; Brown ajah aes sedai with ink smudges on their noses; women with hard stares that should knock a horse flat and cause everyone around them to jump or run scared; "soft, as a stone is soft"; characters never ever guessing right about what someone else thinks; characters constantly lying to themselves and others out of sheer stupid pride; everyone thinking Rand's insane when he's just thinking out loud; shadowspawn attacks that are all too easily defeated and which serve little or no purpose, just an excuse for action in an otherwise frequently tension-free storyline.

 

And Mat's a jerk to Rand.

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everyone thinking Rand's insane when he's just thinking out loud;

 

 

I agree with most of your point, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone refute the point that Rand is clearly insane (pre-VoG).

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Faile and Elayne. Two totally unneccessary characters.

 

Yeah because saving the world by righting the weather counts for nothing?

 

Totally agreed on Faile though...

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Faile and Elayne. Two totally unneccessary characters.

 

Yeah because saving the world by righting the weather counts for nothing?

 

Totally agreed on Faile though...

 

Aside from riding to gather reinforcements for the Two Rivers, in doing so saving many lives, including, most probably, one of the three ta'veren on whom the continued future of the world may depend :P And, you know, having the political and practical knowledge to do much of the management of Perrin's forces and helping him act as a leader when he seems determined not to. Yep. Faile does nothing :P

 

OK, in case that came across as a little snappy, not intended, I just haven't let out the Faile love for a while ;) I wouldn't label Faile as "necessary" in a sense- her role COULD have been played by another. But then, the same's true of many other characters in the book. Faile works well with Perrin because they complement each other, at least in terms of their skill sets. He is strong, cautious, he wants, or believes he wants, a simple life. Faile is political, she has knowledge of how to manage a large force of people on the move, and how to deal with other politicians- bear in mind that whilst we see Rand and Mat accomplishing a lot, not only by their ta'veren natures- Mat has his luck, Rand has his memories, and the knowledge by the world that he is the Dragon Reborn- when dealing with powerful leaders and other authority figures with much more experience behind them. Perrin, on the other hand, relies a lot on Faile in these matters- in ToM, for example, he lets Faile take the lead in negotiations with Elayne, because it is her strength, not his. Faile is very much a supporting character in a literal sense of the word- she's almost tailor made in her skills to be a good team with Perrin- and when he doesn't have her, he goes a little crazy trying to get her back- he allies with the Seanchan, he'd probably have allied with the Dark One himself. That's my thoughts on why Faile works for the plot, at least in part. I enjoy her as a character in her own right, though I recognise that most people disagree ;P

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Faile and Elayne. Two totally unneccessary characters.

 

Yeah because saving the world by righting the weather counts for nothing?

 

Totally agreed on Faile though...

 

Aside from riding to gather reinforcements for the Two Rivers, in doing so saving many lives, including, most probably, one of the three ta'veren on whom the continued future of the world may depend :P And, you know, having the political and practical knowledge to do much of the management of Perrin's forces and helping him act as a leader when he seems determined not to. Yep. Faile does nothing :P

 

OK, in case that came across as a little snappy, not intended, I just haven't let out the Faile love for a while ;) I wouldn't label Faile as "necessary" in a sense- her role COULD have been played by another. But then, the same's true of many other characters in the book. Faile works well with Perrin because they complement each other, at least in terms of their skill sets. He is strong, cautious, he wants, or believes he wants, a simple life. Faile is political, she has knowledge of how to manage a large force of people on the move, and how to deal with other politicians- bear in mind that whilst we see Rand and Mat accomplishing a lot, not only by their ta'veren natures- Mat has his luck, Rand has his memories, and the knowledge by the world that he is the Dragon Reborn- when dealing with powerful leaders and other authority figures with much more experience behind them. Perrin, on the other hand, relies a lot on Faile in these matters- in ToM, for example, he lets Faile take the lead in negotiations with Elayne, because it is her strength, not his. Faile is very much a supporting character in a literal sense of the word- she's almost tailor made in her skills to be a good team with Perrin- and when he doesn't have her, he goes a little crazy trying to get her back- he allies with the Seanchan, he'd probably have allied with the Dark One himself. That's my thoughts on why Faile works for the plot, at least in part. I enjoy her as a character in her own right, though I recognise that most people disagree ;P

 

I totally agree. I have always liked Faile, especially since she provides the impetus for one of the few genuinely emotional scenes in WOT, when she gets Perrin to grieve for his dead family. Also, the love between Faile and Perrin is a great deal more believable than the romances between Rand and his somewhat fabricated three "wives" (to say nothing of Mat and Tuon!). The Perrin-rescuing-Faile-from-Shaido plot goes on WAY too long, but that is the only complaint I have about Faile's presence in the books.

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I totally agree. I have always liked Faile, especially since she provides the impetus for one of the few genuinely emotional scenes in WOT, when she gets Perrin to grieve for his dead family. Also, the love between Faile and Perrin is a great deal more believable than the romances between Rand and his somewhat fabricated three "wives" (to say nothing of Mat and Tuon!). The Perrin-rescuing-Faile-from-Shaido plot goes on WAY too long, but that is the only complaint I have about Faile's presence in the books.

 

Yeah, I agree about the Shaido plotline, but I find that Perrin's scenes in that tend to drag more than Faile's- possibly because there's more of them, or possibly because his thoughts are all quite similar in them.

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In regards to introducing characters that have no use. I mentioned earlier (didn't I? :blush: ) that he'd introduce characters only to kill them off later.

 

One of the characters that came to mind recently was the whole 'school' scenes. What was the deal with that? Rand gained nothing.. He just discussed philosophy with the 'beloved professor' character.. He called Min pretty and distracting... Then was killed off. Useless waste of my time that had NO bearing on the story.

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