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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
William Bittner

Any advice on finishing the series?

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I read the first 4.5 books when they first came out, but couldn't finish Fires of Heaven. The story just dragged. And I've heard a lot of people say the rest of the series just gets worse. But I have such fond memories of the early books that I want to restart the series and finishe it. Especially since it concludes with books finished by Brian Sanderson. (I just loved The Way of Kings!)

 

So any advice on how to plow through the whole batch? I'm thinking I just have to slow down and be patient and look for beauty in his long-windedness.

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Well those lots of people are in the minority, big time. Yeah books 5 and 6 drag a little bit, but I still enjoy them. I say just give it another go and try to take in the story, imagine yourself there. I myself pretend that I'm right there with them fighting or sitting at the table drinking an ale or whatever. :)

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Hahaha, I have to agree with you on the middle books of the series. On my first read-through I was literally flipping pages and scanning chapters of book eight, thats how much it dragged on. The first books are excellent, but for the middle section you have to persevere a bit. There are some scenes in those books that are brilliantly written, but they are too far and too few. Once you reach book 11, however, you are out of the muddy water (mostly) and you will find yourself enjoying the series a whole lot more. The series is kind of like a valley with a dip in the middle. I have to say though, once you reach the top, the read was worth every hour.

 

P.S. The way of Kings was amazing I really think that if Brandon keeps it up, he could outdo the wheel of time (given another 20 or so years to write the other 9 books). If you're reading this and you haven't read tWoK, turn off your computer, go to the bookstore, and buy it now :wink:

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I also never saw the huge difference in books.

Yes some of the middle ones are not the best in the series but i thought they were good.

It will be easier now that you can read them back to back, it was worse when you were let down by one of the books and had to wait years for the next one.

 

RJ will at times get really really wordy, perhaps overly so. If you hit one of those areas and cant get into it just breeze over it and continue on after it is done.

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The only one that is slightly painful IMO is Crossroads of Twilight. Each of the other books have truly epic moments(for example tPoD the Damona Campaign is some of the best writing in the entire series) and as of KoD things picked back up big time. Some people have an issue with the quality of prose dropping off under BS but that has more to do with the editing/revision process than anything else. As you already are a BS fan it shouldn't be an issue.

Edited by Suttree

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Regardless, you shouldn't feel the lull in TFoH. It's a good book, and LoC is better. True, neither is TSR, but both easily outdo TDR.

 

Now, WH and CoT, yes, they are tiring at times. But it shouldn't be that much of an issue for you, having KoD, TGS and ToM to read after you're finished with them. Just go ahead and start reading :smile:

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Keep in mind that a lot of the criticism of it getting worse came from the time when the books were being released.

 

CoT, as suttree mentions, one of the most heavily criticised books of the Wheel, arguably the worst, comes from the fact that it had been over a year, perhaps 2 (not sure of the exact time) since the previous book had come out. When it was released, nothing really big happened in it, nor were any major plotlines resolved, there is a lot of details that needed to be included, but are not considered particularly riveting. So after waiting around 2 years, people get the book which has little main-plot development, and expect to wait another 1-2 years until the next book comes out. It is definitely understandable that there was uproar.

 

However, now you do not have to wait, you can read the middle books consecutively, which makes them easier to read. I am not saying you will think they are great, as it does drag, I just think that the negativity surrounding that part is not so extreme. In fact, I quite enjoyed CoT, apart from a few chapters. And trust me, there is no such problem in waiting for the final book to come out. Indeed, if there was a problem it is that it cannot be released soon enough. There is plenty to keep you occupied from the latest book Towers of Midnight.

 

Having said that, also keep in mind that this IS a Wheel of Time fanbase. Of course we all believe that the series is worth reading. So I will say that in part you will have to decide for yourself if you are interested enough. If you find it intriguing enough and want to continue on, but are dissuaded by the long-prose and the relatively slow pace, I will say that, yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everything will pay off and the past 3 books have picked up the pace. The best way to describe it is that it is like a roller-coaster. The first books were the little drop that gets your adrenaline pumping, the middle books are the build-up ascent, the final books are the drop where everything pays off and crap starts to really hit the fan.

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If you find certain areas to drag, listening them via audiobook can be a good change of pace. You can be doing something while listening to it (driving a car, working around the house, etc.) and if you happen to miss a sentence or two along the way, so what? You will still catch the important parts, and the two voice actors who do the WoT audio books are very good, IMO, and I really like that they have a male and female reader to read the male and female PoVs.

 

I don't tend to find many of the books to lag (WH would be the closest IMO), but with other books where I've struggled, I've found this to be an extremely effective method.

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Some people have an issue with the quality of prose dropping off under BS but that has more to do with the editing/revision process than anything else. As you already are a BS fan it shouldn't be an issue.

 

I dunno, I liked WoK but I still felt there was a drop in quality with TGS. Probably because BS was trying to adjust his writing style to try and strike a familiar chord without just imitating RJ's work. I don't blame him, it's gotta be hard as hell to just step up and fill another author's shoes towards the end of such a massive undertaking.

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I actually had a good strategy of reading the books. In the middle books (yes where it dragged) I just read the rand/mat/perrin chapters etc. and skipped the female chapters (yes I'm a male). My mum also read the books and I would just let her summerize the chapters of nynaeve, egwene etc. So I did get all the information required and it wasn't such a drag.

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Keep in mind that a lot of the criticism of it getting worse came from the time when the books were being released.

 

CoT, as suttree mentions, one of the most heavily criticised books of the Wheel, arguably the worst, comes from the fact that it had been over a year, perhaps 2 (not sure of the exact time) since the previous book had come out. When it was released, nothing really big happened in it, nor were any major plotlines resolved, there is a lot of details that needed to be included, but are not considered particularly riveting. So after waiting around 2 years, people get the book which has little main-plot development, and expect to wait another 1-2 years until the next book comes out. It is definitely understandable that there was uproar.

 

However, now you do not have to wait, you can read the middle books consecutively, which makes them easier to read. I am not saying you will think they are great, as it does drag, I just think that the negativity surrounding that part is not so extreme. In fact, I quite enjoyed CoT, apart from a few chapters. And trust me, there is no such problem in waiting for the final book to come out. Indeed, if there was a problem it is that it cannot be released soon enough. There is plenty to keep you occupied from the latest book Towers of Midnight.

 

Having said that, also keep in mind that this IS a Wheel of Time fanbase. Of course we all believe that the series is worth reading. So I will say that in part you will have to decide for yourself if you are interested enough. If you find it intriguing enough and want to continue on, but are dissuaded by the long-prose and the relatively slow pace, I will say that, yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everything will pay off and the past 3 books have picked up the pace. The best way to describe it is that it is like a roller-coaster. The first books were the little drop that gets your adrenaline pumping, the middle books are the build-up ascent, the final books are the drop where everything pays off and crap starts to really hit the fan.

 

Best answer right here. I was a complainer about the books dragging, however now that I re-read, it wasn't so much that the books were bad, it was that we had some story-lines that we had to wait for completion 5-6 years. We were all just waiting for Plots A,B, and C to be wrapped up, and Jordan was busy wrapping up Plots D,E & F. Plus you had the added delay of New Spring (the prequel) which may have had interesting stuff, it didn't quite tell anything new plot-wise. Now that the last book is out, you shouldn't have to much to worry about with it dragging. My favorite book in the series personally is Crossroads of Twilight.

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Keep in mind that a lot of the criticism of it getting worse came from the time when the books were being released.

 

CoT, as suttree mentions, one of the most heavily criticised books of the Wheel, arguably the worst, comes from the fact that it had been over a year, perhaps 2 (not sure of the exact time) since the previous book had come out. When it was released, nothing really big happened in it, nor were any major plotlines resolved, there is a lot of details that needed to be included, but are not considered particularly riveting. So after waiting around 2 years, people get the book which has little main-plot development, and expect to wait another 1-2 years until the next book comes out. It is definitely understandable that there was uproar.

 

However, now you do not have to wait, you can read the middle books consecutively, which makes them easier to read. I am not saying you will think they are great, as it does drag, I just think that the negativity surrounding that part is not so extreme. In fact, I quite enjoyed CoT, apart from a few chapters. And trust me, there is no such problem in waiting for the final book to come out. Indeed, if there was a problem it is that it cannot be released soon enough. There is plenty to keep you occupied from the latest book Towers of Midnight.

 

Having said that, also keep in mind that this IS a Wheel of Time fanbase. Of course we all believe that the series is worth reading. So I will say that in part you will have to decide for yourself if you are interested enough. If you find it intriguing enough and want to continue on, but are dissuaded by the long-prose and the relatively slow pace, I will say that, yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everything will pay off and the past 3 books have picked up the pace. The best way to describe it is that it is like a roller-coaster. The first books were the little drop that gets your adrenaline pumping, the middle books are the build-up ascent, the final books are the drop where everything pays off and crap starts to really hit the fan.

 

This^

 

When you are able to read the books straight through without waiting, it's not that bad at all.

It was having to endure long waits with less substance in books 8-10 then we were used to in 1-7.

The first 7 books came out in just a little over a 6 year period, then, it took 7 years to get out the next 3 and almost 10 years from aCoS to KoD and NS was also released during that time as well.

 

It's not that aPoD, WH and CoT are not well written, it's just that there isn't a whole lot of major plot development and some of the side plots like Faile's imprisonment are far too drawn out. There are however, a hell of a lot of details that set up the final books though.

As I said though, the long wait between 7 and 11 was the killer for most. Not having to wait almost 10 years takes a lot of the edge off for first time readers.

 

The other thing I would like to say is that, while you might be having having trouble getting through tFoH now, there are big parts of that book that you will come to appreciate more later on.

And, you'll just have to trust me but Lord of Chaos is one of the best books in the series and it is jam packed with goodies. Not to mention what IMO is the most spectacular ending of any book in the series.

Edited by Finnssss

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I have read the series a few times but recently I have been listening to it an audio, I would suggest if you don’t want your interpretation of the books altered then don’t.

 

I have already mentioned this on making a movie or TV series thread, but when you listen you cannot filter out to the same extent and there’s a bit of emperor’s new clothes at times. I’ll give you an example; (Spanking) and the threat of spanking, Christ there’s an inordinate quantity of it, you kind of blank it out when reading but whilst listening it’s there continually. The female characters dialogue is basically at times is centered around it. How they could turn the books into a movie or TV series I don’t know because it’s almost epidemic in all the various cultures of the books, grown women beating women it eventually destroys the credibility of the female characters, in the Gathering Storm Egwene’s rump is pounded continually.

Edited by TheePazuzu

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I have read the series a few times but recently I have been listening to it an audio, I would suggest if you don’t want your interpretation of the books altered then don’t.

 

I have already mentioned this on making a movie or TV series thread, but when you listen you cannot filter out to the same extent and there’s a bit of emperor’s new clothes at times. I’ll give you an example; (Spanking) and the threat of spanking, Christ there’s an inordinate quantity of it, you kind of blank it out when reading but whilst listening it’s there continually. The female characters dialogue is basically at times is centered around it. How they could turn the books into a movie or TV series I don’t know because it’s almost epidemic in all the various cultures of the books, grown women beating women it eventually destroys the credibility of the female characters, in the Gathering Storm Egwene’s rump is pounded continually.

 

You're never too old for a spanking. The threat works in real life. try it sometime.

 

To the OP, I agree with the rest of the posters. I didn't feel any dragging at all, if you can read them back to back it must help.

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well there are lot of smart people advising you to plow on and you will love it eventually I mean yes there is no doubt that it drags a bit after first six but wen you take wider picture in the consideration it becomes better. for my two bit read on this is the greatest fantasy epic since LotR in my humble opinion

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I came fairly late to the series, CoT was the first one I had to wait on and I remember being really disappointed with it since every chapter I was hoping to see Rand. On subsequent rereadings I can see how it is good, but the first time through any of the books you will be plowing through chapters of characters you don't care as much about hoping the next one is about the ones you do, especially after book five or so. If you ever read them again you will just skim those chapters and still have a greater appreciation for them because of the amazing things that those characters will do in the future.

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I misread your beginning sentence to be honest if you’re struggling Fires of Heaven you ain’t going to make to the end.

The trouble with wheel of time is that’s it’s a great idea, one of the best in fact, but unfortunately the female dialogue eventually becomes increasingly meaningless and convoluted.

 

The only advice I would give since you have already read quite a few of the books is to skim the female chapters.

Edited by TheePazuzu

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I agree with reading the books from one to the next. I recently finished New Spring and the main sequence novels without stopping, about one book per week, and there was never a dull moment, at least none long enough to be remembered. The momentum of the story just kept building all the way to ToM, when I nearly died. I had to break after almost every chapter. It would not have been like that with long intervals. Time would have eroded familiarity and interest.

 

If only AMoL had been there to reach for. But we all have to wait, and I'm not sure about doing another full read through between now and then. I'm curious what others are going to do to prepare. I'm thinking of starting 10-13 in early December to "settle in" and get some momentum going for the finale.

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The thing about reading WoT is that it has a lot of padding, intersperced with truly epic scenes. If you're on TFoH, there's good news and bad news: it gets even slower, particularly once you hit TPoD, and CoT is an entire book of build up that doesn't pay off until KoD. However, there is plenty to make books worthwhile, and as Tarmon Gai'don approaches, the world really does fall apart. The plot is incredible (IMO, at least, keep in mind that this is a fansite after all), and while some parts are a slog, others are some of the best writing I've ever read. Once you hit the Sanderson books the pace jumps dramatically-very little filler in TGS or ToM! And it looks like AMoL might be the best of all...

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Funny, in many ways, the story didn't really get started until book. Books 1-3 remind me of time spent in low level D&D games. Books 4-7 started to show what the WoT was really about. Books 8-10 we really define the three main characters. Making 11-13 show how all those extra characters brought a lot to the story. I can only hope that 14 is group correctly with 11 through 13.

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I actually had a good strategy of reading the books. In the middle books (yes where it dragged) I just read the rand/mat/perrin chapters etc. and skipped the female chapters (yes I'm a male). My mum also read the books and I would just let her summerize the chapters of nynaeve, egwene etc. So I did get all the information required and it wasn't such a drag.

 

Exactly what I am doing on my reread..I am not reading any Elayne chapters, and very few Egwene chapters. Ny is ok as she is with Rand a lot.

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I actually had a good strategy of reading the books. In the middle books (yes where it dragged) I just read the rand/mat/perrin chapters etc. and skipped the female chapters (yes I'm a male). My mum also read the books and I would just let her summerize the chapters of nynaeve, egwene etc. So I did get all the information required and it wasn't such a drag.

 

Exactly what I am doing on my reread..I am not reading any Elayne chapters, and very few Egwene chapters. Ny is ok as she is with Rand a lot.

 

This isn't something I could do, but to each their own.

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Can't understand this skipping of chapters buisness myself. Now don'tget me wrong on my 1st read through I was a little impatient, wanting the story to move forward quicker. However, after my 3rd re-read (which with the exception of Elaynes accension to the lion throne chapters I thouroughly enjoyed- more so than my 1st read) I have come to the conclusion that these books would be nowhere near as good if it did. In all honesty I can hand on heart say that if Sanderson came out tomorrow and announced "Sorry guys, big mess up, I need another 3 books to do this." It would not bother me. I think it's this "slow pacing" as people call it that makes the books. Remember in just about every thing we undertake, it's the journey itself that's the real joy. Not the destination. Finishing or completing something can often leave you with a slight feeling loss. Looking back, you realise it was what happened between the start and the end that brought the enjoyment. It's going to be tough not having any new material on Rand, mat and Co.

 

In short, if you find it heavy going, these aren't the books for you.

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