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Your Favourite Books in the Series

Barid Bel Medar

What is your Favourite Wheel of Time Book?  

132 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your Favourite Wheel of Time Book?

    • The Eye of the World
    • The Great Hunt
    • The Dragon Reborn
    • The Shadows Rising
    • Fires of Heaven
    • Lord of Chaos
    • A Crown of Swords
    • Path of Daggers
    • Winters Heart
    • Crossroads of Twilight
    • Knife of Dreams
    • The Gathering Storm
    • Towers of Midnight
    • A Memory of Light

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Shadow Rising-A simply brilliant book.  The entire walk through the glass columns which allowed to see not only the history of the Aiel, but the world back to the AOL was masterful.




This is the best written stuff in the genre called epic fantasy.

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Sorry off topic but what is your point about Bakker? That dude has been really good about keeping things on track.

 Well, his original idea was a very compact story, written very tightly. And right now - I think - he is building a complete mythology. I don't like it. Maybe Abercrombie is a better example. 


Im not an expert when it comes to fantasy: to qoute my brother's wife: "epic fantasy = WOT.  :smile: GRRM has a 4-5 good chapters but Jordan is a god among men."

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The Shadow Rising is easily the best! Perrin's epic takeover of the Two Rivers was one of the best story lines ever. The history of the Aiel and a glimpse of the Age of Legends and the beginning of the War of Power was intriguing. Mat gets his Ashandarei and battle memories.  Nynaeve beats Moghedian was the first time we actually get a gauge on how powerful she is. Turmoil in the Tower brought more excitement. Great book through and through.


The worst book is easily the Crossroads of Twilight. To rewrite it would take three words. "Egwene got captured." Everything else was BORING!

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Easily my favorite.  The scene in the glass columns is perhaps my favorite in the entire series.





These are about equal.  LOC has Dumai's Wells and KOD ties up three long-running plot threads in very satisfying fashion. 




Great but not outstanding.  Nothing jumps out enough for me to comment on, but it was one of the books in the golden age of WOT.




Close behind the above four.  This is where RJ really starts to hit his stride and find his own voice, and I really love the idea of a book mostly absent of Rand -- it allowed the other characters to shine through, especially Mat and Perrin, and to a slightly lesser extent (as we'd already seen them on their own) Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne.






These three are about equal, a good step behind TDR.  There's plenty of good stuff, but the pacing has begun to unfortunately slow down.  TPOD has some great moments (e.g. Egwene's conversation with Talmanes), but it also lacks Mat, so it winds up below the other two.




I've found on subsequent re-reads that I actually don't mind the endless politicking as much as I once did.  Plus, it has Mat.





I'm torn with these guys.  On the one hand, there's a lot of great stuff in there.  Foreshadowing, character introductions, heightened tension, suspense.  On the other, it's RJ before he settled into his writing style.  And no Mat.





Nothing against Brandon Sanderson -- he did the best he could with an impossible task-- but the out-of-character moments, use of modern terminology, and choppy prose and pacing were far too jarring for me to truly enjoy those books.




Yeah.  Felt rushed, forced, and very incomplete, plus it suffered from the same problems of the previous two.  I didn't completely dislike it, but it was ultimately very unsatisfying.

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Apparently most people have an actual numerical ranking?  I don't really have a precise ranking, though I do sort of group the books mentally.


-TDR through LoC are my favorites, with plenty of action intermixed with enough breaks for character development, but while still having sufficient character viewpoints that even the minor characters actually have import.  I'd say TSR is my favorite among these, but I love all of them.


-EoW and TGH are solid, but you can definitely tell that RJ was still sort of figuring some things out, both stylistically and in terms of the world, limitations of the magic system, etc. They're interesting, but I always get a bit of an unpolished feel whenever I read them.


-WH and KoD through AMOL all have their moments, but also have notable flaws.  I still enjoy reading them though. 


-CoT, PoD and to a lesser extent CoS: Blech.  When I reread the series recently, I pretty much skimmed over these.  I'll be fair and say I understand RJ's intent that "the Dark One's touch on the world is making things sort of freeze in place and slow down".  I just don't think it works.  Honestly, I actually think some of the legit criticisms people have of the way AMOL wrapped things up (e.g., ultra-fast pacing, lack of character reunions, many minor characters essentially vanishing, Moiraine) were heavily rooted in the fact that there's little to no action for like 1,500 pages in the middle of the series.  Absolutely, BS could have written AMOL better, but there was just way too much left to "hey this needs to get handled before the Last Battle" that caused issues.

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Lord of Chaos, if simply for the most memorable scene for me (Dumai's Wells):


"Kneel and swear to the Lord Dragon, or you will be knelt."

100% agree with this.

That was a pretty sweet part. Also regarding Dumai's wells I also liked how Rand finally worked together with the "Lews Therin" voice in his head to break the Aes Sedai shields 


Since the parts I like are in different books and I cant remember which book exactly I'll say my favourite parts. Favourite part is different for each character. My favourite part regarding Matt was once he started the Band and his escape from the seachan. My favourite part with Rand was once his madness was gone and he started remembering more and more from the AoL (especially when he tells cadsuane off by saying how old he his compared to everyone alive). Favourite part with Perrin was probably in AMOL when he uses his insane powers in the last battle. 

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It's too hard!

I've given up and instead just put the books in tiers.

1. tSR, tFoH, LoC- The start of the series proper- major changes for Rand, Mat and Perrin. Band of the Red Hand. Dumai's Wells.

2. tDR, tGH- Ingtar was a great character. Rand faces his destiny. Mat's luck begins.

3. tEotW, aMoL- First and last books will always be special. Lan gets a happy ending.

4. tGS, ToM- A refreshing change with Brandon. Finally gets some plot elements resolved. (That's you, Byar!)

5. aCoS, WH, KoD- Mat scenes the saving grace of slow plot movement.

6. tPoD- No Mat. Could really have been split between books 7 and 9.

7. CoT- Again Mat the only saving grace.

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Voted TFOH simply because I like Mat's gratification (slightly) better than Perrin's, but those two are very close.  Like several others who have posted, however, I like to view the books as a series of arcs and rank them that way.


TEotW, TGH, TDR- These books, obviously have a very Tolkien-esque feel and are woven together by the recurring Ishamael battles and Rand's struggle with his identity.  Focus is on world-building, and, despite the various awful things that happen to the characters, they have a peaceful, innocent feel to them.  Battles are written on the sky or fought by legends, all the mishaps are healed or corrected (Mat and the dagger, Egwene and the Seanchan), and there's a charm to the storytelling that instantly established a sense that something special was happening here.  I rank this arc second, with a huge gap between it and third place.


TSR, TFoH, LoC- Here's where the story begins to lose its innocence.  That's driven home most bluntly (IMO) in the scene where Perrin is returning to Emond's Field after being ambushed by the Trollocs, and the villagers are calling for their missing loved ones.  Death and bloodshed are now a part of the series--whether at Dumai's Wells, Cairhien, or the Two Rivers--and all those people aren't going to die redemptive deaths like Ingtar's Last Stand.  Tragedies now leave scars: Perrin's family, Mat's hanging, and Rand's growing insanity from the box.  This arc is the clear #1 choice.


ACOS- I put this one by itself because it doesn't seem to fit with either the preceding or following, and strikes me, while still a good book, as RJ's first real misstep.  While, unlike in CoT, a fair amount is accomplished, it doesn't tie in with the previous arcs and doesn't lead into new ones.  Memory may fail me here, but Rand's behavior seems better fitted to pre-LOC Rand rather than the one who's about to enter the downward spiral of PoD.  The Bowl of the Winds always seemed like something for Nynaeve and Elayne to do, rather than being a character-driven necessity.  And Egwene, well I don't remember her accomplishing a whole lot here.  A good book in a vacuum, on reflection, I'm not sure how well it fits with the rest of the series.


PoD, WH, CoT- Two factors combine to make this the most-hated arc in the series, the common complaint over not enough happening, but also the increasingly darker tone of the series.  And the latter is where I think RJ made his biggest mistake of the series--he took all the joy out of it.  Many of the victories are fractured or incomplete--Rand vs. the Seanchan, Rand vs. the Asha'man, Perrin vs. the prophet--and even those that are fulfilling are marred by tragedy or give the characters little to no time for celebration.  Contrast the cleansing with the Battle of Emond's Field, or even Dumai's Wells.  At Emond's, many people have died, but Perrin sees Faile again, sends off the Whitecloaks, and even gets to meet a cousin of his when he thought his family was lost.  Very moving and touching.  At Dumai's, there's no celebration after, but the moment he breaks out of the box and thinks, "I'm the Lord of the Morning," you feel the triumph and vindication, as well as get to share in a "Wrath of An Angry God" moment.  At the cleansing, Rand and Nynaeve are unconscious, the Aes Sedai are weeping over their dead, and Cads isn't even sure the Source is clean.  The reader does, and gets the accompanying thrill of satisfaction, but not being able to share it with the characters robs the moment of a good portion of its emotional heft.  This arc ranks last, by a long shot, among the RJ material.


KoD- Another one that stands alone.  KoD finally breaks through the drudgery and wraps up ton of story lines, and no doubt (again, IMO) would have been the strong lead-in to the race to the finish line had RJ survived.  Alas, that was not in the cards, and the jarring tone and (at times) character portrayal of TGS precludes this from being grouped with it.  A great book, but destined always to be a what-if.


TGS, ToM, AMoL- I have little complimentary to say about Sanderson's style, and will pass on offering a critique.  Suffice it to say that TGS and ToM did an adequate job of bringing the series to a head, but the wretched abomination that was AMoL all but ruined the story for me.  I may at some point pick up the series for yet another re-read (which would be approximately my 15th), but it would take something remarkable for the pages of these last three will ever see the light of day again.

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TGS, ToM, AMoL- I have little complimentary to say about Sanderson's style, and will pass on offering a critique.  Suffice it to say that TGS and ToM did an adequate job of bringing the series to a head, but the wretched abomination that was AMoL all but ruined the story for me.  I may at some point pick up the series for yet another re-read (which would be approximately my 15th), but it would take something remarkable for the pages of these last three will ever see the light of day again.

 Great summary overall GenPender. Sadly enough the quoted seems to be a sentiment heard more and more as time goes on. As the intitial thrill of plot gratification wears off the issues are just far too large to ignore. I truly wonder what the ultimate legacy of this series will be down the line given how poorly it all ended.

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actually I agree with most of the above mentioned sentiments, but I think that legacy of the series is going to remain undiminished at least for the people who read it from the beginning and even the new readers are going to love the series. First books are simply too epic for anyone to put them down once they start.

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I really laught of loud (spelling? hmm) whne I read this.



But also true, I feel exatcly the same way.


ans I really like your list and your reasoning, though my ranking would be slightly diffrent...

Egwene's spell as damane made me hate the Seanchan more than I have ever hated a fictional group before.

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I'm willing to bet that the lasting legacy of the WOT series will remain as one of the very best series of fantasy novels ever written. That is my opinion, and frankly, I doubt that I am the only person who believes this. Obviously, there are some people who were greatly disappointed by AMOL, however, I am certain that the disappointed fans are and shall remain the minority opinion of WOT fans.

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I'm willing to bet that the lasting legacy of the WOT series will remain as one of the very best series of fantasy novels ever written. That is my opinion, and frankly, I doubt that I am the only person who believes this. Obviously, there are some people who were greatly disappointed by AMOL, however, I am certain that the disappointed fans are and shall remain the minority opinion of WOT fans.

I totally agree.

I think that the only reason that there are so many criticisms of Sanderson is that the series began in the early 90s. People have been with the series so long that they might as well have done a PhD in WoT! They've reread the Jordan books so often that anything else feels wrong. That's fine- I'm sure Robert Jordan has similar feelings.


By contrast, my first read-through took me all the way up to tGS, and though I noticed the extra name on the cover, I didn't really feel that the tone jarred for any character bar Mat- and even Sanderson admits his Mat in tGS was awful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series, and am grateful that it is finished.

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Well, I was so disappointed (but not unexpectedly so) in aMoL I've been avoiding these boards since I finished, for fear I'd say something I'd regret, or might be hurtful to someone who read it. But I can do this: for me, TSR is the clear #1, and TGH is the clear #2. Put 3-5 in a hat and pick, they were all wonderful. I put tDR a clear 6th, and tGS and KoD in a virtual tie next. Next I go with New Spring. Everything below that I felt was either hard to read, too slow, or somewhat disappointing because of the awesomeness that preceded it. 10-12 were still good in spots, 13-15 had their moments, but the issues, some characters being off, or total lack of anything happening made them tough to like. My list in full: 


1. The Shadow Rising. Definite #1 for me. All the Aiel stuff and the trip through the Portals and explorations of T'A'R. Very cool. The world gets bigger and more detailed, starting here. Plus, the epic triple ending, Perrin's win and Faile's triumph in the Two Rivers, Rand's win (sort of) in the Waste, and Nynaeve's battle with Moggy and the foray into the Palace in Tanchico. Oh, and Siuan gets overthrown. The best multi-arc ending in the series.


2. The Great Hunt. Some flaws, but still my favorite of the first three, but only barely. Intar's reveal. Our first look inside the Tower and Aes Sedai. Lanfear as Selene. Egwene's capture and rescue. Rand decides to Sheath the Sword. Great stuff.  Still, a definite #2.




3. The Eye of the World. Again, some flaws, I still don't understand how Aginor died, what a loser. But other than that, a fantastic book. I still get chills when Moiriane tells the TR folk their history, and when Agelmar tells Nynaeve Lan's. The Green Man's sacrifice. Rankings 3-5 are so close for me, you could put them in any order.


4. Lord of Chaos. The ending is, IMHO, the best single arc ending in the Series. Dumai's Wells is simply epic.


5. The Fires of Heaven. I haven't cried that much reading a fantasy book (Mo's demise) since Thorin Oakenshield bit the dust. Mat's battle around Cairhien is also epic.




6. The Dragon Reborn. The first 6 are the best 6 in my book. But this one is my least favorite of them.




7. The Gathering Storm. Yes, I know there were issues. And maybe I was just so happy the series was back, but I thought both Egwene's and Rand's arcs were beautifully done.


8. Knife of Dreams. Jordan gets back on track.


9. New Spring. You give up after you are dead. Early Mo, Lan, and Siuan, I really liked it. Everything below this one, I felt disappointed in in some way.




10. A Crown of Swords. In retrospect, it's not that bad, the one's before it were just so good. But a bit predictable at the end.


11. The Path of Daggers. A better book on re-reads than when I first read it.


12. Winter's Heart. Yes, some dreary stuff in the middle. And Elayne forgets about linking (aargh!). But the Cleansing scene and the wonderful scene with Elayne and Avi becoming sisters at the beginning make it worth reading.




13. Crossroads of Twilight. Not enough happened. RJ realized he had got himself into a pickle, and the Cleansing was so earthshaking that everyone would have had to feel it and it needed to be acknowledged in every arc with a channeler.


14. A Memory of Light. Too much not addressed, and too much in the first 300 pages was just utterly painful to read. An ending is better than no ending, I guess.


15. The Towers of Midnight. Trainwreck. Despite some really nice parts with Perrin and Faile and Hopper's passing.

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that's a tough choice. I absolutely loved the end of Knife of Dreams when Taim says, "You know how the saying goes? Let the Lord of Chaos rule."


however if i could choose the last three as one novel then that one would be my favorite (gathering storm, towers of mid, amol).

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I had a tough time choosing between Lord of Chaos and Shadow Rising, but I enjoyed all that happened in Lord of Chaos.  Nynaeve Healing stilling/gentling was one of my favourite scenes.  Egwene being named Amyrlin was great - "perhaps she'd forgotten what passed for humour in her time with the Aiel" - haha!


There were just some really great moments in that book.

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