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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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He said he'd have structured it differently if he'd realized how the fans would react to it. But these days people hardly even notice - it's just a stop between WH and KOD, and not too bothersome. It's different when you're waiting 2-3 years between books.

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Yeah I liked CoT just fine. There's a lot of good stuff in it, and so long as you read it in the sense that its the first half of Knife of Dreams it's fine.

 

The issue is in that, having waited three years to get the first half of novel where not much happens, and then have to wait years more for the conclusion... yeah, that rankled.

 

But now KoD is out, read CoT then KoD and it's fine.

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yeah my first read through the series was right after TGS came out so I didn't have to wait between COT and KOD so I enjoyed it. COT is a great book in preparing what happens in KOD

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yeah my first read through the series was right after TGS came out so I didn't have to wait between COT and KOD so I enjoyed it. COT is a great book in preparing what happens in KOD

 

Yeah, I mean originally CoT and KoD were meant to be one book, but they got split. Same with tPoD and WH--hence the problems with tPoD and CoT. It's why I never understood the anger over the split and the 'this is NOT what RJ wanted'. So what, RJ had a history of underestimating how much space his stories would take. At least tGS, TofM and aMoL break at satisfying points in the plot.

 

But yeah, read together they work just fine.

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I also read them together. My brother lent them to me last year, and that's when I started. So I could read through everything until TGS, and a few months later I read ToM.

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Well it's ok now that we have more books afterwards but when CoT came out... Not a happy puppy then...

 

Yeah I think most of the negativity surrounding the book was from those of us who had to live with CoT as the "last book" in the series from the time it came out until Knife of Dreams was released. I find some of my friends who didn't start reading the series until recently actually favor CoT as a break from Rand and a welcome focus on some of the backup characters/storylines. It is also a kind of a buildup to the following books for new readers. Even when I do re-reads there is a feeling of buildup in CoT especially since most of the books up to and including Winter's Heart have a plot with some type of grand confrontation sometimes two or more meaningful ones. When you finally get to see the inevitable outcome of the events told in CoT in the later books (the eventual defeat of the gholam at Mat's hands, Rand's fake and eventually real meeting with Tuon, Egwene's eventual takeover of the White tower, ect.) it seems appropriately done.

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You know, I hear a lot about how the slowness of some of the middle books isn't such a big deal for people if they aren't waiting for two years for the next volume. And I initially felt that that was the problem myself. But my recent experience with trying to get friends into the books suggests that the slowness of certain volumes is a real problem for many readers who don't have to wait any longer than it takes to walk to their bookshelf, where the next volume is waiting. Many comments about emo blacksmiths who should man up a bit, interminable road trips with a circus, and so on.

 

And honestly, I don't try to convince them otherwise. The fact is, Jordan let the series get away from him, and I completely understand why that turns some people off. But so what? It's still a great series, on the whole.

Edited by randsc
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CoT is NOT fine. Its like RJ took all the boring stuff that was going to happen late in the series and put them all in one book.

 

 

Anyone who says otherwise has a case of fanboyism. The book just isn't that good compared to the rest of the series.

 

 

That book is so hard to get through on rereads. Only good parts are the Mat parts. And thats because RJ could write about Mat doing anything and it would be great.

Edited by UGAShadow
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Its like RJ took all the boring stuff that was going to happen late in the series and put them all in one book.

 

..That book is so hard to get through on rereads. Only good parts are the Mat parts.

 

Problem is, (almost) nothing happens in CoT. I just did a reread, and it was a pain getting through it. You could probably skip it altogether and hardly notice you missed anything. I think it was 600 pages before I came to a part I enjoyed reading. Rest was just a chore.

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Yeah I liked CoT just fine. There's a lot of good stuff in it, and so long as you read it in the sense that its the first half of Knife of Dreams it's fine.

 

Interesting. I find myself thinking of KoD as the prologue to what would have been the original AMoL.

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You know, I hear a lot about how the slowness of some of the middle books isn't such a big deal for people if they aren't waiting for two years for the next volume. And I initially felt that that was the problem myself. But my recent experience with trying to get friends into the books suggests that the slowness of certain volumes is a real problem for many readers who don't have to wait any longer than it takes to walk to their bookshelf, where the next volume is waiting.

 

Exactly.

 

I was introduced to TWoT by a friend in late '08, so I didn't have to wait for any volumes, other than the last 2 books. And while I loved books 1-6, I didn't hate books 7-11, but I didn't like the direction Jordan decided to take at that point. I didn't like it one bit, in fact.

 

I had decided to give up the series midway through KoD, shortly before TGS was released in fact, but my friend insisted that I read it, claiming that the series had picked up the pace. Since I trust this guy's criteria and he knew about the issues I had with the previous 4 books, I decided to finish KoD and move on to TGS, which was very good and then, ToM, which I thought was excellent.

 

But, as a whole, I'd have to say that 1: the series did drop off significantly right after that amazing battle at Dumai's Wells and 2: CoT is the weakest link in the chain, IMO.

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Problem is, (almost) nothing happens in CoT. I just did a reread, and it was a pain getting through it. You could probably skip it altogether and hardly notice you missed anything. I think it was 600 pages before I came to a part I enjoyed reading. Rest was just a chore.

 

Let's take a look on that nothing:

 

1) Mat leaves Ebou Dar, Mat+Tuon

2) Perrin hunting Shaido

3) Faile in the Shaido camp

4) People learn of the cleansing

5) Elayne collects her estates (she should have done it earlier) and lines up her allies (Windfinders, mercenaries, high houses) and her spymasters. She fails to treat the Black Ajah threat correctly, however.

6) Darkfriend plots about Caemlyin and Elayne.

7) Egwene stuck on the riverside. Negotiations. Cuendillar. Rebel politics awesomeness. Egwene getting most of the world news wrong (especially those concerning Rand). Approach the black tower for circles. The Seanchan dream + Mat bowling. Murders in the camp.

8) Alviarin+Mesaana

9) The Red decide on bonding warders.

10) AS and Ashaman start to work together.

11) Rand's party is set up.

12) Perrin and Mat ready to roll. Egwene taken.

 

Yes, it's a book that sets up and prepares storylines. It's a shame they had the gall to release it without KoD.

The storylines are refreshing and awesome, but all of them just prepares stuff. I can see how annoying this could be without KoD released and waiting for it some years already.

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I have enjoyed CoT in all of my rereads. As Luckers said, it is the 1st half of KoD.

 

The first time I read it I was annoyed, but I had been waiting for it. If anyone is a GRRM fan, the feeling after my first read of CoT was similar to the feeling I got after reading the recently released A Dance With Dragons. But at least CoT moved the story along by setting up KoD. it is yet to be clear to me that the story progressed at all in aDwD.

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I have enjoyed CoT in all of my rereads. As Luckers said, it is the 1st half of KoD.

 

The first time I read it I was annoyed, but I had been waiting for it. If anyone is a GRRM fan, the feeling after my first read of CoT was similar to the feeling I got after reading the recently released A Dance With Dragons. But at least CoT moved the story along by setting up KoD. it is yet to be clear to me that the story progressed at all in aDwD.

I totally agree. I liked both (CoT and ADwD) well enough while I was actually reading them (yes, I did enjoy Elayne's plot line, sue me), but as soon as I was done I was very dissatisfied. In GRRM's case it was aggravated by the (very very) long wait, but I do recall having the exact same feeling with CoT (well, actually, I never gave up on WoT, whereas I'm now quite disillusioned with ASoIaF). Just like you said, though, I don't think I'd have had any issue with it if KoD were already out.

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I have enjoyed CoT in all of my rereads. As Luckers said, it is the 1st half of KoD.

 

The first time I read it I was annoyed, but I had been waiting for it. If anyone is a GRRM fan, the feeling after my first read of CoT was similar to the feeling I got after reading the recently released A Dance With Dragons. But at least CoT moved the story along by setting up KoD. it is yet to be clear to me that the story progressed at all in aDwD.

I totally agree. I liked both (CoT and ADwD) well enough while I was actually reading them (yes, I did enjoy Elayne's plot line, sue me), but as soon as I was done I was very dissatisfied. In GRRM's case it was aggravated by the (very very) long wait, but I do recall having the exact same feeling with CoT (well, actually, I never gave up on WoT, whereas I'm now quite disillusioned with ASoIaF). Just like you said, though, I don't think I'd have had any issue with it if KoD were already out.

 

Obviously off topic now, but I have not read ADwD (despite working in a bookstore), though I vaguely remember hearing after AFfCs that ADwD was the "other PoVs" that were missing from AFfC. Thus very much not really advancing the plot any further... So to kinda link this back to WOT. If that's true, and ADwD was disappointing because of that, maybe we should appreciate the somewhat screwy timeline in WOT.

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tGS came out while I was still in the middle section somewhere, so I didn't have to wait for KoD, I basically read through the series nonstop. At that time, I had no problem with the book, but I really understand those who were not satisfied when they had to wait for KoD.

 

On rereads it's the book I'm most likely to skip though. As Jhinko said, the book kind of feels like a chore.

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If that's true, and ADwD was disappointing because of that, maybe we should appreciate the somewhat screwy timeline in WOT.

No, I actually believe that division by character (or plot lines) makes more sense than by time, so I prefer GRRM's approach to RJ's (the problem with ADwD wasn't that it was only half the characters, it's that nothing happened with those characters that were actually in the book. Well, close enough). Again, though, none of that matters when the series is done.

 

Still, I'm not saying that CoT is my favorite WoT book. Far from it. If it's not my least favorite, it's tied with TPoD.

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Obviously off topic now, but I have not read ADwD (despite working in a bookstore), though I vaguely remember hearing after AFfCs that ADwD was the "other PoVs" that were missing from AFfC. Thus very much not really advancing the plot any further... So to kinda link this back to WOT. If that's true, and ADwD was disappointing because of that, maybe we should appreciate the somewhat screwy timeline in WOT.

Brandon talked about this some at a small book signing I attended about a year ago. He says it's a structural difficulty that is apparently almost impossible to avoid in lengthy epic series. He brought up both RJ and GRRM as examples, and he's also said that the timeline decisions were made in regard to TGS/TOM because they wanted to avoid 'the COT problem'.

 

I can understand why some don't like COT much. It was the first book I had to wait for, and when I finished I felt a little cheated, but overall the cliffhanger ending was exciting to me. I liked Perrin's plotline because the suspense over Faile (which translated into 'interminable plotline' for us) was really driving him over the edge, and the climax of his line in that book was, I think, supposed to be frustrating for us so that we would relate to what Perrin was going through. But it didn't come off quite like RJ wanted it to, partly because nothing was resolved at the end of the book, and no major action aside from Egwene's capture. One thing I think RJ could have done better would have been to move the attack on Algarin's to the end of COT. He could have used that as extra frustration to lead to Rand's decision to make a truce with the Seanchan, and the last scene of COT for Rand would have been the same. He would have also had to move 'At the Gardens' to somewhere in COT, but I think he could have made that work, doing The Golden Crane somewhere earlier in KOD (it was necessary to build off the attack on Algarin's to lead to Lan's frustration, but that could have been saved for KOD).

 

Again, it's not a huge deal if you're reading straight through, but the lack of resolution in all plotlines is the worst problem. I enjoy reading the book, but I have gone through periods where it seemed like a chore to read COT.

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I tend to favour the later books over TEotW, TGH and TDR, despite the slower pace. Yes, CoT felt underwhelming when it was released but, as others have said, much of that was due to the long wait between books. The restructuring Terez described above might have improved it significantly.

 

In particular, I find TGH to be the hardest book to re-read, because it has such a simple--and contrived--plot. Rand, Mat and Perrin chase after the Horn; Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne and Min do stuff in the Tower. Then a few miracles happen to whisk everyone across the continent where Plot Events can take place. There are many important and exciting scenes in the book, but the overarching plot is weak.

 

One thing I think makes the later books subtly frustrating is the contrived lack of interaction between the main characters--despite nearly everyone having access to Gateways since mid LoC. Yes poor communication is a theme of WoT, but it simply doesn't hold up when individuals or small groups can easily jump around on a whim. Say what you will about the fantasy "telegraph" in ASOIAF, but it lets the main plot lines interact indirectly, which makes the story feel less claustrophobic. Portal stones were cool. The Ways were cool. Instant transportation like Travelling, however, needs to be fit into the story very carefully or it ends up causing havoc with your suspension of disbelief.

 

-- dwn

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