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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Luckers

Prologue Through to the End of the Epilogue--Full Book Discussion.

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Having recently finished the book, I found it to be generally entertaining given the sheer amount of action it has but quite bare otherwise. I imagine most will be pleased regardless, all the fireworks serving to distract from any storytelling shortcomings.

 

That being said, any disappointment I have is somewhat tempered by the previous two books. Which is a way of saying that I think we have been quite prepared now, given the building prior evidence, to expect something like this. One too many long running storylines have been unceremoniously put out to pasture before for us to be shocked at more of the same now.

 

Still, as fair warnings to those that have not read the book yet, a lot goes unresolved and even more is resolved unsatisfactorily. I wonder if this is a function of the author dying or just the original intention all along; if the latter, it seems quite perverse . . . all that time building up secondary characters and dozens upon dozens of side plots . . . and for what, exactly?

 

As for specific criticism: the Forsaken were once again cardboard villainy defined (nothing new there, that ship sailed long ago); some of the main characters played strangely minor roles and disappeared from the narrative completely at times; the political situation in the aftermath of the last battle went wholly unexplained; the resolution to the Ishamel/Rand conundrum read like terrible fan fiction (somewhat mitigated by its late arrival in proceedings); and the ending was just  . . . not all that good (not particularly well written, not really all that emotional, kind of flat in tone and pretty sparse when you consider the series it’s closing).

 

As for specific praise: Egwene’s storyline actually finished on a high (and probably ended up constituting the best written character arc, from start to finish, of the six main characters); the action scenes were all a very fun read (and consider that most of the book is action, so this was really important); I liked how some developments purposely played with our expectations and how there were actual tangible consequences for many of the characters involved (although saving them all for the last book was very Harry Potterish); the stuff dealing with the Dark One and his role in the story was quite good; and, as strange as this sounds, I was happy that a lot of my big predictions were wrong, since it meant surprises along the way.

 

My final thought is that I am honestly befuddled that a series so justifiably infamous for its meandering storyline would have such an abrupt finish, almost comically so. I am nowhere near as invested in the series as I was fifteen years ago but remain somewhat annoyed thinking back on how much time I spent thinking on all the intricate theories and discussions that these books were seemingly designed to provoke. As it turns out, the grand majority of that stuff did not end up meaning much, if anything, in the end.

 

Postscript: I would probably rank the book as the best since ACoS and not as good as any of the first six; TSR beats it by several country miles and easily retains its title as the best book in the series. And for those that consider my judgment disparaging, when you consider that ACoS came out almost seventeen years ago, AMoL comes off as quite the achievement (and I don’t mean that as backhanded compliment either; I read ACoS when I was eleven years old – it feels like a lifetime ago).

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Well . . . the Sharan society was NOT depicted in a very good light. Even before Demandred got there, it seemed pretty "evil" . . . darker even than the Seanchan.

 

I'm also not sure if Demandred ever really "loved" his people. He was consumed, obsessed with beating Lews Therin and at the end of the day he is still Forsaken.

i didn t say demandred, i meant his people loved him and were broken when he died...especially his lover. Even taim said that demandred has become softer since he went to sharan...and demandred himself thought perhaps , if he didn t was consumed with hatred, things could be different and that would actualy care about sharan

 

Soooooo....gotta ask, because it almost has to be someone we know, who was Dem's lover???

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For what it is, it's quite good.  If you like myself wanted a bit more:  MORE exposition, MORE detail, MORE answers, MORE clarity then we'll have to be satisfied with speculation.   Again, we have had hints that Jordan's plan all along was to leave us a world free of the Dark One but with much still left to do and questions that need answering.   I suspect that the Last Battle was very tightly controlled and plotted by Jordan and Sanderson had little wriggle room to improvise, add, or subtract.

 

It would definitely be a worthy question at a signing to ask how much of this book's events were dictated by Jordan.

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Well . . . the Sharan society was NOT depicted in a very good light. Even before Demandred got there, it seemed pretty "evil" . . . darker even than the Seanchan.

 

I'm also not sure if Demandred ever really "loved" his people. He was consumed, obsessed with beating Lews Therin and at the end of the day he is still Forsaken.

i didn t say demandred, i meant his people loved him and were broken when he died...especially his lover. Even taim said that demandred has become softer since he went to sharan...and demandred himself thought perhaps , if he didn t was consumed with hatred, things could be different and that would actualy care about sharan

 

Soooooo....gotta ask, because it almost has to be someone we know, who was Dem's lover???

A woman you have never met before who is not particularly well characterized.  She loves him . .  . and that's basically it.  Her name's Shendla for what it's worth

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You have a problem with the abrupt finish? I didn't. It never expected RJ too tie up everything. RJ said so himself. I really loved the ending and one part really made me laugh:)

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so Taim, Demi, Cyndane, Moridin are toast.

does Moggy do her spider thing and disappear when the going gets tough?

To Seanchan perhaps? To the outrigger novel which is never going to happen :P

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You have a problem with the abrupt finish? I didn't. It never expected RJ too tie up everything. RJ said so himself. I really loved the ending and one part really made me laugh:)

 

I  know exactly the part.  I KNOW IT!!!!   Let's see . . . okay I got it.   SCREAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMM.    right???

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so Taim, Demi, Cyndane, Moridin are toast.

does Moggy do her spider thing and disappear when the going gets tough?

To Seanchan perhaps? To the outrigger novel which is never going to happen :P

 

Oh she goes to Ebou Dar . . . but I doubt she'll be in any novels, outrigger or not.   She'll be keeping company with good old Suffa more likely than not.  ;)

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so Taim, Demi, Cyndane, Moridin are toast.

does Moggy do her spider thing and disappear when the going gets tough?

To Seanchan perhaps? To the outrigger novel which is never going to happen :P

 

Oh she goes to Ebou Dar . . . but I doubt she'll be in any novels, outrigger or not.   She'll be keeping company with good old Suffa more likely than not.  ;)

haha thats awesome :) speaking of which, whatever happened to good old Liandrin

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To those saying the ending is too abrupt.  I don't mean to ignore your feelings or even nessecarily disagree with you, but I do want to say, sometimes reality is abrupt.  Jordan was always out to leave us hanging, as others have said.

 

Beyond that, if this is supposed reality, then reality ends without big finishes and perfectly wrapped up arcs.

 

I can't help but remember fondly a book by L.E. Modesitt Jr.  The character is wronged by someone very early in the first book of his story.  At the end of the books about him he does indeed face and destroy the person who wronged him.  From a across a battlefield in a way where the bad guy never even knew what got him or even that the person he was facing was the same person he hurt back in the beginning.  The hero comments to this even, but in the real world things don't always tie together for an epic story.

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If nothing else, the book was a very entertaining read. I hope that came across. The only thing I would have found unforgiveable was if it was dull. I don’t really account it a great fantasy book though or a particularly good bookend to a long running series.

 

I am actually curious how people would compare it to other books that ended a big sequence of books. Are there any Malazan readers here? If so, how would you compare the book to The Crippled God in terms of simply ending a massive fantasy series?

 

I'm trying to think of other recent examples but the length of WoT is pretty unique.

Edited by Alleluia_Cone

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It was not the abruptness of the ending that disturbed me. Just the lack of explanation for some things, and the fulfillment of certain prophecies in a very underwhelming or even illogical way.

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It sounds like the way the DO is dealt with is rather lame. There has been this big build up until now, and then to end it with a philosophical statement about the necessity of the DO sounds rather lame.  Goodkind ruined what could have been a decent series with his objecivist philosophy. Terry Brooks ruined the Sword of Shanara with a lame ending. It seems that a lot of fantasy authors like to build up a good story and get their fans involved, and then piss them off with a lame ending that makes them wonder why they wasted their time reading it.

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It was not the abruptness of the ending that disturbed me. Just the lack of explanation for some things, and the fulfillment of certain prophecies in a very underwhelming or even illogical way.

bet one of the prophecies shes referring to is the "Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed." as  it relates to the eclipse

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If you want to talk about a decent long running epic fantasy series that truly is ONE story, there are few out there.

 

Believe it or not, Harry Potter would count and I thought the last book was quite good.

 

Then we have Wheel of Time but the problem here is that it was finished by a different author and we may never know how much was mandated by Jordan and how much Sanderson put in completely himself. 

 

Maybe Terez can help but Luckers posted that FIFTY PERCENT of the events of the last three books weren't in the notes at all meaning what?    That Brandon just made that up all by himself out of whole cloth???   What????  Is this true?

 

If you do a word count by author you will find that the last three books comprise about 25% of the entire Wheel of Time sequence!  No offense to Brandon who I love as an author but that depresses the hell out of me.   :(

 

Anyway, I'm hoping someday Brandon will let us know just exactly what parts of the final sequence was plotted by Jordan and what parts he had to do completely by himself as well as the rationale for how he approached that writing and the decision making involved.

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It was not the abruptness of the ending that disturbed me. Just the lack of explanation for some things, and the fulfillment of certain prophecies in a very underwhelming or even illogical way.

bet one of the prophecies shes referring to is the "Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed." as  it relates to the eclipse

 

Yeah . . . there wasn't too much exciting about that.  I mean eclipse happened, then the sun came out, and everybody was like . . . oh okay.  Carry on then.  Not very epic and sort of pointless?

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If you want to talk about a decent long running epic fantasy series that truly is ONE story, there are few out there.

 

Believe it or not, Harry Potter would count and I thought the last book was quite good.

 

Then we have Wheel of Time but the problem here is that it was finished by a different author and we may never know how much was mandated by Jordan and how much Sanderson put in completely himself. 

 

Maybe Terez can help but Luckers posted that FIFTY PERCENT of the events of the last three books weren't in the notes at all meaning what?    That Brandon just made that up all by himself out of whole cloth???   What????  Is this true?

 

If you do a word count by author you will find that the last three books comprise about 25% of the entire Wheel of Time sequence!  No offense to Brandon who I love as an author but that depresses the hell out of me.   :(

 

Anyway, I'm hoping someday Brandon will let us know just exactly what parts of the final sequence was plotted by Jordan and what parts he had to do completely by himself as well as the rationale for how he approached that writing and the decision making involved.

If i had to make a guess i would say the manner of the sealing the bore was prob mandated by RJ as well as the fulfillment of prophecy and foreshadowing-the stuff closest to the end of the story and BS simply filled the blanks and the scenes leading to the end

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It was not the abruptness of the ending that disturbed me. Just the lack of explanation for some things, and the fulfillment of certain prophecies in a very underwhelming or even illogical way.

 

I cannot help but think this is going to be like when Lost ended. To many unanswered questions left dangling and an ending that brought lots more questions than resolution. I did enjoy and appreciate the ending of Lost, unlike so many, and I think I will feel the same way about WoT when all is said and done. When you consider how long I've been reading/obsessing and that we are on author #2, I find joy and appreciation simply in having closure. I kinda like and appreciate the philosophical reasoning behind not killing the DO, although it seems I may be alone in this. Now I just have to get my hands on the book....

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At least there is going to be an encyclopedia produced for WOT.

 

I PRAY that its entries have some information about the future post-Last Battle.  I would be so stoked for that . . .

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