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batcaver

How Do You Rank The Books Thus Far?

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I couldn't find anywhere that this has been done recently. I want to know how you guys rank the books, from best to worst, more enjoyable to least, whatever you like. Also, if the placement of a certain book stands out to you then say why. Here's mine:

  1. The Shadow Rising - The origin of the Aiel is my favorite sequence of the series. TDR had finished a few plotlines that I felt were a bit cliche in fantasy and this book is where WOT really marks out it's own territory for me.
     
  2. The Great Hunt - So many good sections in this book. The pace is break neck but the world building is so solid that even the introduction of a magic horn can't spoil it : )
     
  3. The Fires of Heaven - First of Mat as a general, Moiraine taking out Lanfear, and mercifully no Perrin.
     
  4. The Eye of the World - Even if certain things jar with the story later, this book stays pretty exciting from start to finish
     
  5. The Gathering Storm - Had trouble ranking this one. Veins of Gold and A Fount of Power were two of the best moments of the series IMO, but this book also had some of the worst( Mat in general, the Semi spanking, various bad prose moments and WOT anachronisms)
     
  6. The Dragon Reborn - Lots of great plot resolution here, but it couldn't quite fill the shoes of the impressive first two books. And I've always just kind of thought that Callandor was a little silly.
     
  7. Lord of Chaos - Pros - Mazrim Taim and Asha' man, Rand's captivity and Dumai's Wells Cons - Aside from short bursts of plot advancement the pace of the series seems to slow significantly
     
  8. Knife of Dreams - Somewhat of a return to form after a few lackluster books. Wraps up Malden plot, but by then I barely cared. Showed lots of intriguing glimpses of things like the Black Tower or the Forsaken, but then left it there.
     
  9. Towers of Midnight - Another book with serious disparity in terms of my enjoyment. It was fantastic to see decades of plot development pay off, yet it feels marked more by Robert Jordan's absence than anything in the book. Rand feels particularly mishandled.
     
  10. A Crown of Swords - Initiates the boring middle section of the series. Shadar Logoth scene was cool though, and some of the political maneuvering was interesting. The Kin and the Sea Folk make me drowsier than allergy medicine.
     
  11. Winter's Heart - Total disappointment in the Forsaken at the cleansing. I no longer have the sense that anything can happen the way I did in the early books. Lots of boring Aes Sedai fidgeting. Perrin broods.
     
  12. The Path of Daggers - Um, did anything happen in this book?
     
  13. Crossroads of Twilight - The absolute nadir in terms of my interest in the series. Merciless Perrin. While I like Tuon from a plot perspective, I've never liked her for Mat. Yuck. Unbelievable for me. Also, it's now impossible for me to separate my feelings about this book from the experience of the wait before and after.

I haven't done a reread since right before TOM came out, so I'm looking at the Wiki to remember. I might be a little rusty in a few places. But I want to hear what other people think.

Edited by batcaver

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Alright, my ranking is similar if not quite exactly the same.

 

1. TFoH, for pretty much the same reasons as you.

2. TSR. I'm a big fan of the Aiel plot line i guess.

3. Hmm, this is tough. I'll say WH, although I agree that the Perrin stuff was kinda meh. Cleansing and Rand FINALLY talking to Min/Avi/Elayne made up for it though.

4. TGH. Falme. Enough said.

5. TDR, for the same reasons as you said, excepted i liked it better than TEotW

6. ToM. I liked the plot development, and it was nice to see at least a few key meetings take place (Mat/Birgitte reunion, bring back Moiraine, etc), although some parts seemed mishandled.

7. TGS. VoG really was amazing, the rest of the book was very average for Robert Jordan (which is still good).

8. ACoS. Its nice to see Rand start to go crazy, and, perhaps more importantly, get it in with Min.

9. TEotW. Before i get murdered for this ranking, i just sorta feel that it didn't really fit in with the rest of the series in terms of writing style. And, perhaps more importantly, no Mat POV (as far as i can remember).

10. LoC. The coverart really put it off to a bad start, and I was sad to see Avi go.

11. KoD. See above.

12. CoT. I agree it kinda sucked... actually scrap that it sucked bad except for the Mat/Tuon interaction. If it wasn't for that, it would be at the esteemed position of 13th. And i mean... come on Perrin, here's a solution to your problems. A straw. Suck it up.

13. TPoD. I haven't reread the books in about a month now, and I have no recollection of what happened at all. Was this the one with Rand arbitrarily fighting the Seanchan for like half the book...? I have no idea, and thats probably a bad thing. Was there an epic battle at the end? Did anything happen here at all?

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Alright, my ranking is similar if not quite exactly the same.

 

1. TFoH, for pretty much the same reasons as you.

2. TSR. I'm a big fan of the Aiel plot line i guess.

3. Hmm, this is tough. I'll say WH, although I agree that the Perrin stuff was kinda meh. Cleansing and Rand FINALLY talking to Min/Avi/Elayne made up for it though.

4. TGH. Falme. Enough said.

5. TDR, for the same reasons as you said, excepted i liked it better than TEotW

6. ToM. I liked the plot development, and it was nice to see at least a few key meetings take place (Mat/Birgitte reunion, bring back Moiraine, etc), although some parts seemed mishandled.

7. TGS. VoG really was amazing, the rest of the book was very average for Robert Jordan (which is still good).

8. ACoS. Its nice to see Rand start to go crazy, and, perhaps more importantly, get it in with Min.

9. TEotW. Before i get murdered for this ranking, i just sorta feel that it didn't really fit in with the rest of the series in terms of writing style. And, perhaps more importantly, no Mat POV (as far as i can remember).

10. LoC. The coverart really put it off to a bad start, and I was sad to see Avi go.

11. KoD. See above.

12. CoT. I agree it kinda sucked... actually scrap that it sucked bad except for the Mat/Tuon interaction. If it wasn't for that, it would be at the esteemed position of 13th. And i mean... come on Perrin, here's a solution to your problems. A straw. Suck it up.

13. TPoD. I haven't reread the books in about a month now, and I have no recollection of what happened at all. Was this the one with Rand arbitrarily fighting the Seanchan for like half the book...? I have no idea, and thats probably a bad thing. Was there an epic battle at the end? Did anything happen here at all?

Yup TPoD was exactly that. All it really gave us was more info on the flaw of callandor when Rand kills most of his own army along with the Seanchan.

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There was just another thread on this the other day...

 

Rankings for me tend to change but they currently stand at...

 

1. TSR

2. TFoH

3. LoC

4. KoD

5. TDR

6. EotW

7. TGH

8. TPoD

9. ACoS

10. WH

11. TGS

12. CoT

13. ToM

 

 

For those questioning tPoD you have to remember it has some of the best writing in the entire series. The Rand/LTT interaction is brilliant, the Damona Mountain Campaign is about the best military action we see in the series and "A Cup of Sleep" one of the most touching moments. That was when it really hit home for me the sacrifice Ashaman make in order to serve the world at TG. Polished prose really matters to me so TGS and especially ToM just don't stand up. It is really noticeable on subsequent rereads. That is without even getting into all the continuity errors, mistakes, timeline issues etc.

Edited by Suttree

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There was just another thread on this the other day...

 

Rankings for me tend to change but they currently stand at...

 

1. TSR

2. TFoH

3. LoC

4. KoD

5. TDR

6. EotW

7. TGH

8. TPoD

9. ACoS

10. WH

11. TGS

12. CoT

13. ToM

 

 

For those questioning tPoD you have to remember it has some of the best writing in the entire series. The Rand/LTT interaction is brilliant, the Damona Mountain Campaign is about the best military action we see in the series and "A Cup of Sleep" one of the most touching moments. That was when it really hit home for me the sacrifice Ashaman make in order to serve the world at TG. Polished prose really matters to me so TGS and especially ToM just don't stand up. It is really noticeable on subsequent rereads. That is without even getting into all the continuity errors, mistakes, timeline issues etc.

Woops forgot about A Cup of Sleep.

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There was just another thread on this the other day...

 

Rankings for me tend to change but they currently stand at...

 

1. TSR

2. TFoH

3. LoC

4. KoD

5. TDR

6. EotW

7. TGH

8. TPoD

9. ACoS

10. WH

11. TGS

12. CoT

13. ToM

 

 

For those questioning tPoD you have to remember it has some of the best writing in the entire series. The Rand/LTT interaction is brilliant, the Damona Mountain Campaign is about the best military action we see in the series and "A Cup of Sleep" one of the most touching moments. That was when it really hit home for me the sacrifice Ashaman make in order to serve the world at TG. Polished prose really matters to me so TGS and especially ToM just don't stand up. It is really noticeable on subsequent rereads. That is without even getting into all the continuity errors, mistakes, timeline issues etc.

That's true. It's worth remembering little moments like that nestled away in the middle of some of the books. Those are the rewards of rereading; the little minor moments that you forget against the big climactic scenes.

 

I'm liking the diversity so far.

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TGS and ToM would be the top candidates, due to breaking the long-standing tradition of static, overindulgent, boring scenes saturated with scenery and costume porn, and an overabundance of side-plots which mostly lead nowhere, or nowhere important. Not to mention incredible amounts of gender weirdness and plot conveniences. TGS and ToM may not be the most ground-breaking fantasy novels in the history of literature, but they are well-paced, exciting, wholesome, and don't lie to the reader. Basically, the exact opposite of RJ's work.

 

RJ is good at world-building, but as far as creating novels that you would want to read again and again? He should have left that to someone else - anyone else. Hopefully, AMoL will be as exciting as it should be, the prologue and first chapter were fairly good. At the very least AMoL is bound NOT to have gratuitous female-on-female bondage scenes which make me think the author was giving himself a treat under the table while writing them.

 

Oh, and RJ completely sucks at writing combat scenes. Sword duels conveyed through a recitation of ridiculously-named sword forms which are never described or previously mentioned will stay with me forever. Kind of makes you wonder why he chose to write about a world entering an apocalyptic war with Pure Evil.

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1. TSR

2. EotW

3. TFoH

4. KoD

5. TDR

6. LoC

7. TGH

8. TGS

9. TPoD

10. ToM

11. NS

12. ACoS

13. WH

14. CoT

 

I seem to be the only one that's included New Spring - This list is subject to change though as I've just started aCoS in my most recent reread, and I think my opinion on the middle books will have changed this time around, not waiting for the next book frustration.

 

I know that I've placed WH really low - and this is in spite of the cleansing. For me the smaller moments like a Cup of Sleep are better and more satisfying to read. I can't really place what is most important out of things like story advancement, quality of prose, characterisation, etc it's the juxtaposition of everything that either works or doesn't.

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TGS and ToM may not be the most ground-breaking fantasy novels in the history of literature, but they are well-paced, exciting, wholesome, and don't lie to the reader. Basically, the exact opposite of RJ's work.

 

Can't remember if I asked you before but what are some of your favorite fantasy authors? What would you consider to be "ground breaking" novels?

 

RJ is good at world-building, but as far as creating novels that you would want to read again and again?

 

Interesting as the most common complaint against TGS and ToM is the rereadabilty is almost nil due to unpolished prose and the many issues that Team Jordan have owned up to. They even changed Sanderson process and pushed back the editing time to get AMoL "right". It was precisely the level of immersion one gets from RJ's writing that has led to people reading these books so many times over. The subtle foreshadowing, the little things you pick up on each time through. That is the reason why these communities exist, precisely because people do want to read them over and over again.

Edited by Suttree

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Can't remember if I asked you before but what are some of your favorite fantasy authors? What would you consider to be "ground breaking" novels?
Lord of the Rings, SoIaF, Chronicles of Amber. Reading these novels is an experience. Reading RJ's WoT is like running from one interesting scene to another interesting scene, with abysmally long, soul-crunchingly boring and unapologetically bizarre instances in-between.

 

That is the reason why these communities exist, precisely because people do want to read them over and over again
That's hardly an indicator of quality, there's an online community for everything. I, personally, don't see why anyone would want to reread most books in the series. The first books essentially portray unlikable or two-dimensional characters moving from point A to point B on foot, bickering, and complaining a lot. The last books (pre-Sanderson) are essentially the same characters sitting in one place, bickering, and complaining a lot. You have to labor and suffer before getting to the interesting parts, in this series.

 

 

RJ's three major flaws:

 

1. Pacing problems. Both within the scope of the series, and within each individual book;

2. Bizarre modes of behavior which don't seem to be based on any convincing in-universe or real-world logic;

3. Overabundance of costume and scenery porn.

 

BS mostly does away with these, and the quality improves accordingly.

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]That's hardly an indicator of quality, there's an online community for everything. I, personally, don't see why anyone would want to reread most books in the series. The first books essentially portray unlikable or two-dimensional characters moving from point A to point B on foot, bickering, and complaining a lot. The last books (pre-Sanderson) are essentially the same characters sitting in one place, bickering, and complaining a lot. You have to labor and suffer before getting to the interesting parts, in this series.

 

Oh I wasn't attempting to relate popularity and online fandom to quality. I see the points you focus on and aknowledge the issues, my main point with the rereads once again was the foreshadowing and cinematic quality of the prose which allows for a good deal of immersion. BS's blunt(sometimes flat out terrible prose) just makes it impossible to lose yourself in the story. The 4th wall is consistently broken, combine that with poor characterization and lowest common denominator plot work and it leads to some major issues. I just don't see much of what those books offer aside from plot gratification. It should be interesting to see how Sanderson deals with a long series in the "Stormlight Archive". I would like to check in after book 4 or 5 and compare them to the middle WoT books. The pacing to my mind largely has to do with where we were in the story arc. KoD showed RJ had things going in the right direction, BS was able to take advantage of the story being in a place in which it was going down hill. Combine that with his non descriptive style and you obviously see an increased pace.

 

Looking at those other series I really like Martin(although we are seeing similar issues Jordan had now that the series is stretching on). Never read Zelazny so I will have to give it a shot. Have you read Bakker at all? To my mind he is the best fantasy author out at the moment. It is just tough when you read his work or say Rothfuss. The writing quality IMO is just so far superior to what we get in TGS and ToM. Bakker at least holds up outside of genre very well, it is just tough having to "read down" to Sanderson.

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I'm now reading CoT for the first time now and I'm just totally stuck somewhere in the middle of the book. It's frustrating, by far I've been reading quite a speed. It's nice that it's not just me who thinks the book kinda sucks.. Hope to get past it quick and move on.

Oh, here's my list so far:

 

1. TSR

2. TGH

3. LoC

4. TEotW

5. TFoH

6. NS

7. ACoS

8. TDR

9. WH

10. TPoD

11. CoT

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1. TSR

2. EotW

3. TFoH

4. KoD

5. TDR

6. LoC

7. TGH

8. TGS

9. TPoD

10. ToM

11. NS

12. ACoS

13. WH

14. CoT

 

I seem to be the only one that's included New Spring - This list is subject to change though as I've just started aCoS in my most recent reread, and I think my opinion on the middle books will have changed this time around, not waiting for the next book frustration.

 

I know that I've placed WH really low - and this is in spite of the cleansing. For me the smaller moments like a Cup of Sleep are better and more satisfying to read. I can't really place what is most important out of things like story advancement, quality of prose, characterisation, etc it's the juxtaposition of everything that either works or doesn't.

I forgot about New Spring. It did give new depth to Moiraine and Lan, but other than that it was meh for me. I think it would have worked much better as one among other outrigger novels as planned, adding development to the series as a whole. I still think it shouldn't have been done until after the main series was completed. Obviously this means we wouldn't have it, but if we'd gotten another main novel instead it would have been well worth it imo.

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1. TGH - Flickerflickerflicker.. Not to mention some of the most meaningful foreshadowing in the entire series throughout IMO, Nyn's ter'angreal trip

2. LOC - A good initial change of pace for the series, I think, even if he gets bogged down by this pace as the series progresses. Rand's development in this book is well done, IMO

3. TSR - High point for Perrin. Mat's door drips, Rand's ter'angreal trip, Rain in the Waste

4. tEotW - When we read this book for the first time, who knew the trip we were about to embark on. Good "on the run" pacing gets the reader hooked, and I've never looked back

5. tFoH - Rand and Aviendha's relationship here is probably the best written relationship in the series. Battle for Cairhien is good, followed by Lanfear, followed by Rhavin, one of my favorite battles

6. TDR - I kind of like how we don't really see Rand's POV through most of the book. Perrin's Tear scenes (blacksmithing, freeing Faile) are good, and this is where Mat became my favorite character

7. POD - The whole campaign against the Seanchan is one of my favorite sequences. I am the Storm! A Cup of Sleep, as has already been mentioned, also is a personal favorite

8. COS - The entire Ebour Dar arc was fun to read for me, and I liked Rand's return to Cairhien. The Battle with Sammael was OK, biggest thing being Rand's first and only in person meeting with Moridin

9. KoD - Matt and Perrin finally resolve their long arcs. Mat's campaign to get out of Altara and Tuon's thoughts as she begins to really see Mat for who he is to an outsider are some of my favorite moments

10. WH - Cleansing of saidin is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. Rand's time in Far Madding is pretty good

11. ToM - Initially after first read placed it very high. However, re-readability has somewhat lowered its value since. Mat's Tower of Ghenji sequence and his battle with the gholam stick out in particular for their high quality

12. CoT - Book that really kind of lost itself, in many ways, I think as too many characters were developing too slowly all at the same time. That said, I still enjoyed Mat's sequences, and Perrin's Aiel interrogation

13. TGS - I liked Rand's fall to Darkness, and the Battle of Tar Valon. But Mat's loss of Voice in his opening chapter really puts this one at the bottom of the list because it was the first time EVER I willingly put down a WoT book during the first read-through barring sleep, work, etc.

 

That being said, I have enjoyed all the books in the series, and my ranking continually changes depending on my current read through and what new things I've discovered in them.

Edited by DaoineSidhe

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  1. TSR - re-read perhaps 10-11 times in the past 18 years. Brilliant: The Pillars at Rhuidean, Mat and Snakes/Foxes, Egwene dreamwalking, Perrin in the Two Rivers - masterful balance.
     
  2. LoC - This is where things start to go to crap. Dumai's wells is the best ending sequence out of any of the books.
     
  3. TFoH - Pluses: Moraines sacrifice, Nynaeve and Moghedien help out Rand to pule plot lines together, Mat! Minus: Nynaeve and Elayne countryside jaunt (and sniping)
     
  4. TGH – The book where the incredible scope of the world starts to become apparent. Goes in a different direction that expected... lots of great Easter eggs. Falme is great.
     
  5. TPoD – The best writing in the series, especially concerning Rand's thread. I totally bought his worsening anger and megalomania, while still keeping some core elements of the character. Pace is slower, but still enjoyable. Lack of Mat is noticeable.
     
  6. TDR - classic adventure, Mat jumps up in my eyes by leaps and bounds.
     
  7. EotW - a little rough with the ending for a first time read (Aginor over draws the power... how exactly? The eye of the world was needed.... why?) that make more sense on re-read when a foundation of the world is better established. Lots of great little moments showing that the Characters care about each other without going over the top (Rand holding Mat when he is terrified about being left, Egwene giving reassuring/ asking for reassurance from Perrin at the stedding by asking him if he will dance with her at beltine, Egwene acceptance of Rand at the end after it is revealed he can channel)
     
  8. ACoS - first book where the plot started to slow for me. Cadsuane's introduction is fascinating. Rand is going downhill, but it feels like a natural progression. Morgase makes horrible decisions. Aes Sedai in salidar seem less and less impressive (and capable) the more we know them. Mat is treated like crap by everyone, including people who swore an oath to him (which was odd to begin with), but he is otherwise still fun here.
     
  9. TGS - Egwene kicks so much ass, that I feel like I am no longer reading the WOT (Good guys rarely get to rock this hard this long), but it still feels mostly earned . I really, really liked Veins of Gold, and Dark Rand's confrontation w/ Cadsuane is compelling, from a character development standpoint. Cadsuane spanking Semirhage is weird... I just don’t know if I buy it (total RJ, though)
     
  10. KoD - Better than the two previous books by far, and the pace does pick up, but not as much as it should have. The Mat stuff was great and there was plenty of it, minus the lamp shading of the Aes Sedai with him (their apparent lack of competence actually bugged me here, taking me out of the story). The Semirhage ambush was weird... Rand's foreshadowed injury was rather ... prosaic. Rand officially becomes obtuse regarding Taim and the Black Tower - you can practically see writer fiat shouting at you here (I AM SAVING THIS FOR LATER! ,<handwave> These aren’t the Darkfriends you are looking for!)

The last three are hard to compare – I put em all equal

 

11. ToM - Lots of great scenes (aside from Hinderstap, blech), but sometimes it doesn't hang together well. Apples First is a great first chapter. Loved the Tower of Genji, and Perrin was great again for the first time since LoC. The Building Egwene -Rand conflict is weird... it feels that all the parts of their complicated relationship in their new roles are identified, but they don’t really fit together making Egwene sound schizophrenic.

 

12. WH - The book has a great ending finally showing how teamwork can actually beat brute force (Cleansing!), and a couple of other great parts (Cadsuane's manipulation to get Rand free in FM), but in general feels like it goes WAY off the rails, with less adherence to previous structure and foreshadowing, and more focused on new characters at the expense of old. As a natural progression of ACOS and TPOOD, the book gets incredibly bogged down in the detail. Lots of focus on things not foreshadowed in the first 5-6 books, and therefore out of left field, and often not very logical - Far Madding, as either a culture, or plot device, was hard to buy for many reasons.

 

Most distressing is that RJ is FAR more interested in secondary and tertiary characters than any of the Emonds Field 5, and they all suffer for it (except Egwene, who does some good work.) Everyone is stupid/incompetent/marginalized compared to Cadsuane in the Rand/Nynaeve plot, and it seems contrived at times. Perrin's plot has completely lost its way and is buried in snooze inducing minutiae. Way too much time spent on the nitty gritty details of Mat's escape plan, and Tylin while at least interesting in ACOS, become insufferable, but at least there is good payoff w/ Kidnapping Tuon. The Triple warder bond, which involving many longstanding characters we are all interested and invested in, in comparison, is too blunt, surprising and short compared to the slow creep in individual POV's on plotting and the like, such as Elayne's political maneuverings, which drag. This book could have used MUCH more aggressive format editing.

 

13. CoT - I actually really liked the concept - Start with a world changing event (the Cleansing) for all the important power groups, get a variety of reaction shots, and monitor how it changes their plans and go from there. The execution is what fails, with far too little progression in each thread. Perrin chapters are becoming skippable (but I still like him, but despite the last couple books). The Aes Sedai are becoming delusional (why exactly would Ashaman accept Bonds, especially from Reds? Or with Salidar, with the terms they are talking about?) Finally, WAY too much time spent in the White Tower to little effect.

 

14. NS - While I like Lan and MOiraine together in the main series, I dont buy the Bonding based on the text here, which I found both suprising, and really disappointing. The rest was interesting, but fluff, and Cadsuane's introduction felt like retconning a little bit (see!... she's was a big player all along!)

Edited by Damer Sedai

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14. NS - While I like Lan and MOiraine together in the main series, I dont buy the Bonding based on the text here, which I found both suprising, and really disappointing. The rest was interesting, but fluff, and Cadsuane's introduction felt like retconning a little bit (see!... she's was a big player all along!)

I was disappointed by New Spring as well. It did three things (kind of unnecessary, but interesting background trivia). 1) Showed the depth of the Suain/Moiraine friendship, 2) Introduced Cads (I agree with you completely here too, she seems like a late addition. Too much time is spent in the tower/with AS for a legend to be neglected, specially when she captured Logain), and 3) Introduced Lan. It didn't really seem to be a WoT book, it seemed too blunt and simple compared to the rest of the series, even Brandon's books (I dont think his are that bad either, but they arent my favorites of the series).

 

What I found interesting is how similarly Egwene and young Moiraine think and act. It gives me hope for Eggy 20 years down the road.

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1. TSR

2. EotW

3. TFoH

4. KoD

5. TDR

6. LoC

7. TGH

8. TGS

9. TPoD

10. ToM

11. NS

12. ACoS

13. WH

14. CoT

 

I seem to be the only one that's included New Spring - This list is subject to change though as I've just started aCoS in my most recent reread, and I think my opinion on the middle books will have changed this time around, not waiting for the next book frustration.

 

I know that I've placed WH really low - and this is in spite of the cleansing. For me the smaller moments like a Cup of Sleep are better and more satisfying to read. I can't really place what is most important out of things like story advancement, quality of prose, characterisation, etc it's the juxtaposition of everything that either works or doesn't.

I forgot about New Spring. It did give new depth to Moiraine and Lan, but other than that it was meh for me. I think it would have worked much better as one among other outrigger novels as planned, adding development to the series as a whole. I still think it shouldn't have been done until after the main series was completed. Obviously this means we wouldn't have it, but if we'd gotten another main novel instead it would have been well worth it imo.

 

I liked parts of NS - but am going to try and get hold of the original novella - when I've finished my reread it may be moved lower.

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Here is a list of my favorites. I find myself not rating New Spring or Brandon's work because they seem so different from the other books

  • The Shadow Rising - An exiting novel in which many great things happen. Perrin's storyline is great; The Aiel waste is fascinating; the Tanchico part is excellent, no week points.
  • The Eye of the World - This got me hooked. A page turner from start to finish.
  • The Path of Daggers - This book saved the series for me. Just when I thought the series was a long "good vs evil" type story, Path of Daggers introduced a new wrinkle . PoD forces us to take the Seanchan seriously as villians who are as dangerous as the dark lord! I thought that added a second "evil empire" (I realize the Seanhean were in The Great Hunt too) was creative and really hooked me into the rest of the series.
  • The Great Hunt - A great story from start to finish. Our heroes are in dangerous situations and start to assert themselves
  • The Fires of Heaven - Great story, exciting battles and a great ending
  • Knife of Dreams - resolves most of the subplots involving the Edmund Fielders) + Elayne. Exciting from start to finish
  • Lord of Chaos - The beginning of the political manuevering (for Team Light) that will lead to the last battle
  • Winter's Heart - Begins storylines that are crucial to the Rise to power of the Edmund Fielders
  • The Dragon Reborn - Good story but the climax seemed to come out of the blue. Granted, the previous sentence could be said about several books, but it seems have bothered me more when reading in TDR. One minute the heroes are on a journey when they suddenly get caught up in a climatic battle
  • Crossroads of Twilight - A book that is mainly about relationships The most exciting battle (between the Sea fold and the Seanchan) takes place off-screen -- which means that the battle was not a part of the book. Instead, the volume was midpoint of 4 stories and I feel the volume would have been better if better if one of the plotlines had been completed
  • A Crown of Swords - Some great action scenes - but I felt the series became a lot more interesting when the Seanchan showed up at the end (as stated in my comments on Path of Daggers)

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I tend to put them in tiers, it being so hard to differentiate between some of them.

 

TSR/TGH/TFOH/TGS

 

LOC/TEOTW/TDR

 

ACOS/ToM/WH

 

KoD (for some reason I just can never remember much of what happens in this book.)

 

CoT

 

TPOD

 

Ranking anything at the bottom just feels wrong.

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This thread is reminding me of so many good things I'd forgotten about that now I'm wondering if I do want to do a reread before AMOL after all.

 

Does anyone else think that the foreshadowing in the early novels felt maybe a little over done or heavy handed? I remember in my last re-read thinking that if I read one more time that Galad would do the right thing no matter what the cost I was going to have to throw the book out the window. There were other things like that too. You gotta give your readership a little credit and assume that if you put it out there a couple times they're gonna get it. On the other hand, the prophecies play such a crucial role in the story that it's hard to say where the line is on some things. Also, the theories derived from all of the foreshadowing have really kept a lot of people going in the long waits between books. Rand's end has been sooooo heavily foreshadowed, and I really hope that AMOL has some surprise interpretations of some of the prophecies and forteellings.

 

TPOD definitely seems to be the most divisive novel here.

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Does anyone else think that the foreshadowing in the early novels felt maybe a little over done or heavy handed? I remember in my last re-read thinking that if I read one more time that Galad would do the right thing no matter what the cost I was going to have to throw the book out the window. There were other things like that too. You gotta give your readership a little credit and assume that if you put it out there a couple times they're gonna get it.

 

Depends on what you are comparing it to. There is some that is both some that it is obvious and some very subtle foreshadowing. Once you get to TGS and ToM however you appreciate how light a touch RJ had. Characters constantly feel the need to announce their intentions or spell things out for the reader in excruciating detail. Sanderson never fails to use the sledgehammer, even when a chisel will do.

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Does anyone else think that the foreshadowing in the early novels felt maybe a little over done or heavy handed? I remember in my last re-read thinking that if I read one more time that Galad would do the right thing no matter what the cost I was going to have to throw the book out the window. There were other things like that too. You gotta give your readership a little credit and assume that if you put it out there a couple times they're gonna get it.

 

Depends on what you are comparing it to. There is some that is both some that it is obvious and some very subtle foreshadowing. Once you get to TGS and ToM however you appreciate how light a touch RJ had. Characters constantly feel the need to announce their intentions or spell things out for the reader in excruciating detail. Sanderson never fails to use the sledgehammer, even when a chisel will do.

That's definitely been true for me as well. I just finished TOM again tonight, and there were so many moments like that where the characters felt like bad actors, just there to perform a function without subtlety or personality. From things I've written in the past I have an understanding of how one can get "too close" to one's work to view it objectively or read it the way a fresh reader would, but even so...Mat talking to Setalle Anan about boots...Jordan's irony about Mat's aversion to nobility always felt so natural to his character, even when he was working in fantasy cliches. In TGS and TOM it just smacks of (wink wink, it's Mat the scoundrel) overstatement and the particular brand of sarcasm he uses feels extremely out of place to me. It's overkill almost every time, and I don't recall ever actually thinking any of it was funny.

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  • The Path of Daggers - I love the character interactions in this book, from Rand and LTT to Egwene and Talmanes. I even like Elayne in this one because she's not being too OTT risky in it, and is doing some good (Bowl of Winds and all that). Also, 'A Cup of Sleep' is my favourite scene in the whole series...
  • The Fires of Heaven - Mainly for Mat and his beginnings as a General. Plus Talmanes! I also love the Moghedien/Nynaeve plot in this book and the Rahvin fight at the end. Plus, I was never too big a fan of Moiraine, so I was kinda happy when she left the series, even if only temporary.
  • A Crown of Swords - There's a lot of Mat so I'm not complaining, and there's some Beslan too, so win win! I don't remember a lot of the Rand stuff in this book but I think it's where he gets stabbed by Fain and does some deals with the Sea Folk, right? I quite enjoyed that, and the beginnings of Rand/Min relationship - it's a good book, in my opinion.
  • The Gathering Storm - I love this book for Rand. Especially after the Semirhage moment when he turns even colder. I thought it was interesting to read. Not a fan of the Cadsuane besting Semirhage bit though, and nor for Egwene. Perrin finally calms down as well, which is good because I like the Perrin/Faile relationship overall, but the chasing storyline was a bit too long, even for me.
  • The Great Hunt - Again, Rand is my main reason for loving this book. I didn't like it so much when I first read it, but on re-reads it always strikes me how much Rand has changed in this book what with the denying he's a Lord all the time and stuff. On the other hand, I really dislike the Nynaeve/Elayne/Egwene/Min parts of the book and struggle to read them every time I read the book.
  • Winter's Heart - Character interactions. Purely that. And Rand finally faces up to Elayne, Min and Aviendha which is a good scene. We also finally meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and that's a good storyline too. I don't have any major issues with this book, apart from the Egwene bits. But that's in every book, so...
  • The Shadow Rising - This was my favourite book the first 3 reads I did of the series, but since then I think I've lost interest in all the action scenes. I do enjoy reading it though, about the Aiel and Perrin's story is amazing in it, and going back to the Two Rivers is wonderful.
  • The Eye of the World - It's the beginning of the series, so it's amazing. No issues, but books later on are better, I think.
  • Towers of Midnight - I didn't know where to place this one. I like Towers of Midnight, but I've only read it twice and I can't remember it all completely. I remember enjoying the Rand bits and the Perrin bits, but also being disappointed by the Perrin and Mat reunion. It actually bugged me how played down the announcement of Mat being married to the (then thought) Daughter of the Empress was, and how Elayne didn't even react to the news he was married. Ugh, just ugh.
  • Knife of Dreams - Tuon and Mat bits are good. Not a lot of Rand and too much Perrin. And too much Egwene, but there ya go.
  • The Lord of Chaos - This book confuses me, because so many people like it, and I always found it a bit dull. There are a few moments I remember liking, such as Rand meeting the Two Rivers girls, Mat meeting Olver, Naelson, Talmanes, but the majority of it I don't remember sticking out as amazing, so...
  • The Dragon Reborn - I don't like this book. I only like the Mat bits and I like the fact we finally get his PoV in this, but other than that the rest of it... just Rand being a bit self-pitying which I didn't like reading about, and Egwene learning she can dream. Meh.
  • Crosswords of Twilight - The majority of the book is Egwene, so I can't read it without almost crying all the time. That and Perrin moping is just too much. I've only read through the whole thing twice and that's enough for me.

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