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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
MasterAblar

What makes WoT a success

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What makes wheel of time a success? i think its the massive world, the unique and interesting power system that has great depth and mysterious unlike many other magic systems and Robert jordans greatest strength the foreshadowing and the reoccurence of characters from previous books.

 

What could have made it better? The non die hard fans that i hear talk about wheel of time all talk about how good it was up to book 6 then it becoming a drag from their to book 11. So if the series was to be redone by Robert Jordan i think Joining books COS and POD. WH. Scrap the whole whats happening to the other characters during the cleansing that occured in COT or just intergrate it into small povs in WH. then combine KOD and TGS and have one final book between AMOL and TOM. Cutting the more dragging plots such as bowl of winds, Egwenes camping outside the white tower and culling other plots to not drag such as perrin rescuing Faile. Then the series would be much more customed towards more casual readers. Then again if that happened the die hard fans wouldnt be as happy because we didnt get as much information about our world. For me i could have had the series drag for another 5 books and it wouldnt have bothered me.

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I'd pretty much agree with NitroS.  Its the scale of the world, and the detail of all the different cultures and groups.  Because the world is so fleshed out you can completely immerse yourself.  I would say the epic length of the series also contributes.  This gives the series time to develop the characters and numerous subplots.  I think the different tiers of characters also add something.  Most fantasy novels you have main characters, minor characters, and villains.  In the WoT you have the three Ta'veren, and then the main wondergirls, and then another layer with people like Thom, Moiraine, and Lan.  And then another layer with Siuan, Gareth, Tuon, etc., and a further layer for Dyelin, Talmanes, etc., and thena layer of properly minor characters.  I think the diversity of characters and the way they join up into different combinations for different plot arcs.  You get to see interaction between all of your favourite characters and everyone else because everyone gets a lot of time in small groups together.

 

I think its failings are that some of the books did get bogged down and the focus was away from main characters for too long (e.g. CoT).  Additionally, I would say it wasn't concluded in a particularly satisfying way.  Too many loose ends left with no attention or rushed to completion, and there wasn't a sense of drawing back together between the main characters which would have given a better sense of closure and symmetry to the series.

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The thing that sets WOT apart for me is the extensive development of the characters over a long course of time...even of secondary characters.  

The individual biases... the internal struggles vs. the perceptions of characters by others... an important and knowledgeable character like Moiraine who has a power that most have still being biased against Perrin's abilities because they are an "older" magic.  Laras being deveoped enough that you can believe she would help Min or Egwene.  It really makes you believe in them, and by extension the well developed world they live in.  

 

The world development is only a hair behind this for me... again, the extensive development of the power/magic system and all the details make me believe in this world.  Jordan was the first person for me to come close or equal to Tolkien in this regard... but I put character development first because Tolkien wasn't a good as Jordan at developing his characters.  Many of his are a little more iconic... not because he wasn't an excellent storyteller, but I think because he was more of a legend creator, and thus his characters were a little more iconic than real like Jordan's.  Tolkien did end up doing a better job of creating an epilogue for every main character...largely through the Appendices.  I think many of our frustrations with the tiny details at the end of AMOL are caused by Sanderson's respect for Jordan... if the epilogue of certain characters wasn't written out by Jordan, he didn't make it up... It's as if he was okay with creating new material for a character to get them from A to a Jordan preset B, but creating new material at the end scared him.  I can understand that... I just think it frustrated those of us who grew up reading every bit of Tolkien's Appendices and Silmarillion to flesh out our characters' storylines.

 

The fact that I knew I was investing all this time in a single storyline was also really important to me, and one of my favorite things about this series.  I was a Lost fan and a Fringe fan because each was a completed series with an over arching story.  I despise Fantasy that creates a successful stand alone book or trilogy that suddenly morphs into a continuously running soap opera with no end in sight... that is very false for me.  WOT series could have been several books longer and I would have been completely fine because I knew I was working towards a goal, and I wanted to enjoy every minute of the journey for as long as possible.

 

I cannot say enough good about this series... truly one of the most impactful reads for me in my life.  If anyone can tell me of another series this good to start on next... one with an over arching storyline like this... I'd greatly appreciate it!!

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GRRMartins A Song of Fire and Ice ('Game of Thrones) has more politics, less magic, and much more graphic sex and violence, but the world building, character development and writing skill are equal to Jordan (many believe better) but be prepared for a lot of shocks and darkness.

I have finished the first five books in Martin's series, and I do really like it.  Not as nostalgic for me as WOT... maybe because I come from a very rural,  country, Southern family...even though I've lived in Atlanta now for years...so I really relate to the Two Rivers gang... especially Nynaeve's and Perrin's conservativeness even thought they are out in the world...and Mat's eternal complaining about doing the right thing even though in the end he'd never do anything but the right thing.  :wink:   With Martin, I love Jon, Arya, Tyrion and Melisandre, who scares me and fascinates me at the same time!  Also, I'm intrigued with Bran and his newest "situation".

 

I need something else though, because I decided after one episode of the TV series that the characters would never fit my imagination, so I'm skipping them... and it's my understanding after starting the series late that I could wait yearssssssss in between books now that I'm caught up.

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I vote for:

1) plenty use of interesting magic

2) intricate politics

3) interesting character interactions

 

As others have noted, the biggest flaw of WoT is the middle books. Since I was introduced to WoT on Winter's Heart, I don't have to wait as long as others. Brandon's books are a very much welcomed relief for me; I prefer a finished (while not perfect) WoT, rather than unfinished WoT.

 

I also followed GRRM. I was excited at first, but the low use of magic rather turned me off. Not too mention the graphic violence in aSoIaF made me dizzy.

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[removed]

wouldnt it have been easier to just link him this thread http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/75695-need-reading-suggestions/ the 3rd post is by you and summarises everything you made in your 2 posts + other peoples suggestions instead of congesting the aMOL spoiler board.

 

 

I vote for:

1) plenty use of interesting magic

2) intricate politics

3) interesting character interactions

 

As others have noted, the biggest flaw of WoT is the middle books. Since I was introduced to WoT on Winter's Heart, I don't have to wait as long as others. Brandon's books are a very much welcomed relief for me; I prefer a finished (while not perfect) WoT, rather than unfinished WoT.

 

I also followed GRRM. I was excited at first, but the low use of magic rather turned me off. Not too mention the graphic violence in aSoIaF made me dizzy.

I agree with everything you say. If you google top epic fantasy series on google pretty much every list has a review about the series and most of them say how RJ wove too many plot points that they got away from him and after book 6 it just dragged sometimes taking pages to describe a room. Which for the casual reader is a big deterrent. I also prefer a finished WOT with all the complaining on these forums its almost like people wished it ended with RJ death like he wanted to but TGS is probably my favourite book in the series up there with LOC.

 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar

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I'm not sure how it began - but this topic isn't about other books/ authors. This is about WoT - it's successes and failures. 

 

If you wish to discuss or look for other books, there are threads for it - NitroS supplied one of them. 

 

Any further derailment shall be removed. 

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@Barid

I agree that asking for suggestions should go elsewhere but how can you not discuss other books in relation to what makes WoT a success. That seems rather narrow focused.
 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

If that's what you took away as the central conflict of asoiaf it may be time for a reread. The mysteries are far more in hidden and less in your face but they are central to what is going to happen down the line.

As for WoT it is pushing it to say things got out of control at book 6. 8-10 are the ones that most cite as getting away from him with only CoT really being problematic. What made the WoT great is still in those books and the writing quality never suffered. All the mistakes, unpolished prose, blunt plotwork etc makes it hard to even rank TGS-AMoL with the others. I mean in almost every post for weeks you have been inventing different explanations trying to argue against the many issues people have with AMoL. The fact is they are there and every corner of the fandom(Theoryland etc.) are discussing them.

 

As an aside how is critiquing a book "complaining"? Would love to hear you try and make that argument to some of my old English professors. I have seen a couple claim they wish the books had never been written. That RJ's legacy has been tarnished and they would have preferred the notes. Those people seem to be in the minority however and most of us have been clear around how grateful we are for the work Brandon has done.

Edited by Suttree

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That is not the point, nor did anyone say other books cannot be compared to WoT. 

 

You will see that I have not removed post that discussed other books in relation to WoT. 

 

However, none of the removed posts had anything to do with WoT at all, but a list of suggestions or opinions on other books. 

 

In any case, I'll not further derail the thread. Back on topic. 

 

Edit: Of course, if you wish to discuss the matter further, send me a PM. However, this thread is not the place. I only replied in the first place to make it clear if anyone misunderstood that discussion of other books is allowed of course, just that it should be in comparison or relation to WoT and the topic at hand. 

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@Barid

 

I agree that asking for suggestions should go elsewhere but how can you not discuss other books in relation to what makes WoT a success. That seems rather narrow focused.

 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

If that's what you took away as the central conflict of asoiaf it may be time for a reread. The mysteries are far more in hidden and less in your face but they are central to what is going to happen down the line.

 

As for WoT it is pushing it to say things got out of control at book 6. 8-10 are the ones that most cite as getting away from him with only CoT really being problematic. What made the WoT great is still in those books and the writing quality never suffered. All the mistakes, unpolished prose, blunt plotwork etc makes it hard to even rank TGS-AMoL with the others. I mean in almost every post for weeks you have been inventing different explanations trying to argue against the many issues people have with AMoL. The fact is they are there and every corner of the fandom(Theoryland etc.) are discussing them.

 

As an aside how is critiquing a book "complaining"? Would love to hear you try and make that argument to some of my old English professors. I have seen a couple claim they wish the books had never been written. That RJ's legacy has been tarnished and they would have preferred the notes. Those people seem to be in the minority however and most of us have been clear around how grateful we are for the work Brandon has done.

 

To me 7-8 and 10 were the real drags; WH actually came across as much more interesting (admittedly, 10 may have suffered because it was the first I had to wait for, but few seem to disagree; it was a bit underwhelming).

 

What made WoT great for me, is the intricate web. I recently (well, started after CoT, maybe even after KoD) read the Malazan books, and notice a very strong difference; with WOT you may reread book 1 and think 'hey, cool, this was written about here'... even if it got a bit cheesy by the end (like, we knew Egwene would be an awesome Amyrlin before it ever happened. Somewhat undermined by the ending, but still). With the Malazan series, rereading book 1 is not as fun because, by expanding the world to more viewpoints, it becomes clear just how little initial information, which people really believed in, was correct. And also how little effort was actually worth it, even though some small bits add up to the ending.

 

So, the 'it's all one tapestry even if a bit big' makes it good; especially towards the second half it wasn't WoT's action-packed nature, at least :)

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@Barid

 

I agree that asking for suggestions should go elsewhere but how can you not discuss other books in relation to what makes WoT a success. That seems rather narrow focused.

 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

If that's what you took away as the central conflict of asoiaf it may be time for a reread. The mysteries are far more in hidden and less in your face but they are central to what is going to happen down the line.

 

As for WoT it is pushing it to say things got out of control at book 6. 8-10 are the ones that most cite as getting away from him with only CoT really being problematic. What made the WoT great is still in those books and the writing quality never suffered. All the mistakes, unpolished prose, blunt plotwork etc makes it hard to even rank TGS-AMoL with the others. I mean in almost every post for weeks you have been inventing different explanations trying to argue against the many issues people have with AMoL. The fact is they are there and every corner of the fandom(Theoryland etc.) are discussing them.

 

As an aside how is critiquing a book "complaining"? Would love to hear you try and make that argument to some of my old English professors. I have seen a couple claim they wish the books had never been written. That RJ's legacy has been tarnished and they would have preferred the notes. Those people seem to be in the minority however and most of us have been clear around how grateful we are for the work Brandon has done.

The plots getting away from him isnt my POV i said its the reviews you get of the series when you google top epic fantasy series. for example the top list for Fantasy has WOT as number 10 and i know this list doesnt mean anything but if your new to the fantasy genre and you google top fantasy series the first thing you read about a series is this

 

"Yes, there are problems with the novels. As so many of you kindly

love to point out in  comments, Jordan completely loses control of

the plots around book 6 and the series spirals out of control for

another 5-6 books. Yes, there are too many characters to keep track of.

Yes, women are portrayed as two-dimensional characters. Yes, Jordan

spends too much time detailing every single little detail, especially

on filler stuff that becomes annoying after 10 pages, let alone 10

thousand pages."

 

When you get reviews like this it could be a detterent to start the series.

 

The die hard fans of the series only have problems with book 10 by Jordan but for the topic of what could have made it better would be to make it more accessible to new casual readers such as a condensed later half of the series.

 

Actually if you actually followed my posts my main discussions have been on Demandred and Shara and the reason for having lack of channelers because the one power was made too powerful in the earlier part of the series which Brandon didnt fix and i couldnt see how he could. aMOL has plenty of flaws and issues but when i read a book i dont get to the end and say hey in book 2 this was said and this is slightly contradictive even though we dont have the whole story so im not going to enjoy the book. When i read TGH i dont go omg ishy is the 2nd most powerful channeler ever he has access to stores of angreal and ter angreal and has been loose on the world for 100's of years learning to channel and then he simply dies by a farm boy that has been channeling and using the sword for not even a year. You ignore these things and enjoy the series and books for what they are.

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Actually if you actually followed my posts my main discussions have been on Demandred and Shara and the reason for having lack of channelers because the one power was made too powerful in the earlier part of the series which Brandon didnt fix and i couldnt see how he could.

Come on Nitros, people have addressed this in a number of different places with you already. Even if one was to concede there is an issue with them being too powerful(which most here at DM don't) there are a number of solutions that have been outlined for you. Channelers can be made to balance channelers. Given how many other balls were dropped in these last three books IMO it was a mistake not a conscious choice.

 

The excuses for these issues are really getting stretched thin now. Your example above with Ishy doesn't have anything to do with the majority of the problems under Brandon. Timeline, blunt plot work, poor characterization, and egregious mistakes all run rampant. To anyone who has followed this series from a HCFF perspective they literally fly off the page and jar you out of the narrative. Again I know people look for different things in their fantasy and the more casual fan who likes fast pace and action most likely wouldn't be bothered. For those that don't mind how slow WH or CoT were because of the expansive feel, continuity and beautiful writing the problems are of an all together different nature. Unfortunately the quality dropped in the last few books for a variety of reasons. The bar has been raised in fantasy lately and for the first time many of us felt we were "reading down" in the world of the wheel and that is not a fitting end. Unfortunately the rushed nature and lack of polish really stands out.

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I'm going to out on a limb here and say what made WoT a success was the story and how basically the first 6 maybe 7 books always had a cliffhanger or "more to come."

 

some plotlines got too blurry and convoluted, but for the most part, when i was done with book 2,  i needed to know what happens in book 3.  

 

Maybe i kept waiting for Rand to win?  It was around book 6 or 7 i figured out that this series would take forever and would need 30 or so more books to finish it.  

 

I also think what fueled the fire was the internet.  Fans flocking to say what they feel about the story and give their own takes on the outcomes, made us want to know what REALLY would happen.  

 

If the internet was around when Tolkien wrote LOR, maybe that series would have gone 15 books...haha, just kidding.

 

What I would really love - is if these characters could be treated like the Mazalans (sp?) and branch off in different backstories, but we already know all we need to know about their past, we just want to know their futures...

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Actually if you actually followed my posts my main discussions have been on Demandred and Shara and the reason for having lack of channelers because the one power was made too powerful in the earlier part of the series which Brandon didnt fix and i couldnt see how he could.

Come on Nitros, people have addressed this in a number of different places with you already. Even if one was to concede there is an issue with them being too powerful(which most here at DM don't) there are a number of solutions that have been outlined for you. Channelers can be made to balance channelers. Given how many other balls were dropped in these last three books IMO it was a mistake not a conscious choice.

 

The excuses for these issues are really getting stretched thin now. Your example above with Ishy doesn't have anything to do with the majority of the problems under Brandon. Timeline, blunt plot work, poor characterization, and egregious mistakes all run rampant. To anyone who has followed this series from a HCFF perspective they literally fly off the page and jar you out of the narrative. Again I know people look for different things in their fantasy and the more casual fan who likes fast pace and action most likely wouldn't be bothered. For those that don't mind how slow WH or CoT were because of the expansive feel, continuity and beautiful writing the problems are of an all together different nature. Unfortunately the quality dropped in the last few books for a variety of reasons. The bar has been raised in fantasy lately and for the first time many of us felt we were "reading down" in the world of the wheel and that is not a fitting end. Unfortunately the rushed nature and lack of polish really stands out.

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I agrees Slutt. This is an awesome book and Cot sucked terribly. Good to see you finally talk sense. I agrees. That's a fact. IMO.

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@Barid

 

I agree that asking for suggestions should go elsewhere but how can you not discuss other books in relation to what makes WoT a success. That seems rather narrow focused.

 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

If that's what you took away as the central conflict of asoiaf it may be time for a reread. The mysteries are far more in hidden and less in your face but they are central to what is going to happen down the line.

 

As for WoT it is pushing it to say things got out of control at book 6. 8-10 are the ones that most cite as getting away from him with only CoT really being problematic. What made the WoT great is still in those books and the writing quality never suffered. All the mistakes, unpolished prose, blunt plotwork etc makes it hard to even rank TGS-AMoL with the others. I mean in almost every post for weeks you have been inventing different explanations trying to argue against the many issues people have with AMoL. The fact is they are there and every corner of the fandom(Theoryland etc.) are discussing them.

 

As an aside how is critiquing a book "complaining"? Would love to hear you try and make that argument to some of my old English professors. I have seen a couple claim they wish the books had never been written. That RJ's legacy has been tarnished and they would have preferred the notes. Those people seem to be in the minority however and most of us have been clear around how grateful we are for the work Brandon has done.

The plots getting away from him isnt my POV i said its the reviews you get of the series when you google top epic fantasy series. for example the top list for Fantasy has WOT as number 10 and i know this list doesnt mean anything but if your new to the fantasy genre and you google top fantasy series the first thing you read about a series is this

 

"Yes, there are problems with the novels. As so many of you kindly

love to point out in  comments, Jordan completely loses control of

the plots around book 6 and the series spirals out of control for

another 5-6 books. Yes, there are too many characters to keep track of.

Yes, women are portrayed as two-dimensional characters. Yes, Jordan

spends too much time detailing every single little detail, especially

on filler stuff that becomes annoying after 10 pages, let alone 10

thousand pages."

 

When you get reviews like this it could be a detterent to start the series.

 

The die hard fans of the series only have problems with book 10 by Jordan but for the topic of what could have made it better would be to make it more accessible to new casual readers such as a condensed later half of the series.

Given the considerable success of the series, with seven consecutive number one bestsellers, I think it's fairly hard to argue that it is unduly hard for the casual reader to get into - especially as unless people are starting from the middle, problems in the latter half of the series are not an impediment to getting into it as the casual reader, or any reader, will already have read several books by the time they get to it. In fact, by reducing the number of books significantly you probably stop it reaching the levels of success it did - it would be a done series much sooner, but books sell best when they are released, so it would become a series where new readers come in at a trickle rather than a flood.

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What I like best is the world. Nothing comes out of nowhere. There is no random characters discussing something at the start of the book that just coincidentally is vital at the end. Everything has a justification in universe, and anything new (up until RJ stopped writing atleast) easily slots into how the world works. There is also a consistancy in the writing, as if they are all just one book spread over several volumes, which another author mentioned in this book cannot do. GRRM has little world building pieces set into his series, but they are each confined to their own book, that stupid maiden and the bear song being the most blatant example.

 

WoT feels like there is an entire world there, much like A New Hope felt like. At the start of the series there are things happening in the world that have little relation to the characters, just there to make it feel more real. Though all those events do come to focus on the main characters eventually, RJ was forward thinking enough to build an in-universe reason for dues ex machina.

 

This is a large reason why what BS wrote isn't as good to me. There is no world anymore. Everything happens for exactly the reason that it has to happen for and the things that don't need to happen only happen to the main characters. The entire world essentially ceases to exist outside of the main characters PoV as soon as TGS prologue ends.

 

That said, RJ did spend too much time on trivial points. Perrin rescuing Faile taking so many books is unconscionable, but even in his slowest points he was still able to create living, breathing villages and towns and societies rather than the movie set, cardboard cutout places usually seen in fiction.

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What I like best is the world. Nothing comes out of nowhere. There is no random characters discussing something at the start of the book that just coincidentally is vital at the end. Everything has a justification in universe, and anything new (up until RJ stopped writing atleast) easily slots into how the world works. There is also a consistancy in the writing, as if they are all just one book spread over several volumes, which another author mentioned in this book cannot do. GRRM has little world building pieces set into his series, but they are each confined to their own book, that stupid maiden and the bear song being the most blatant example.

 

WoT feels like there is an entire world there, much like A New Hope felt like. At the start of the series there are things happening in the world that have little relation to the characters, just there to make it feel more real. Though all those events do come to focus on the main characters eventually, RJ was forward thinking enough to build an in-universe reason for dues ex machina.

 

This is a large reason why what BS wrote isn't as good to me. There is no world anymore. Everything happens for exactly the reason that it has to happen for and the things that don't need to happen only happen to the main characters. The entire world essentially ceases to exist outside of the main characters PoV as soon as TGS prologue ends.

 

That said, RJ did spend too much time on trivial points. Perrin rescuing Faile taking so many books is unconscionable, but even in his slowest points he was still able to create living, breathing villages and towns and societies rather than the movie set, cardboard cutout places usually seen in fiction.

Indeed. RJ's worldbuilding is done to a level that most other authors just don't bother with, and is a great strength of the series. GRRM might be a great writer, but he is not a great worldbuilder - it's basically just copy and paste mediaeval history, and would fall flat if it wasn't for the skill of the writer and the great characters. The only other fantasy author that springs to mind as matching RJ is Tolkien, and his interests lie in different areas, as he was more interested in constructing a mythology than a living, breathing world.

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@Barid

 

I agree that asking for suggestions should go elsewhere but how can you not discuss other books in relation to what makes WoT a success. That seems rather narrow focused.

 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

If that's what you took away as the central conflict of asoiaf it may be time for a reread. The mysteries are far more in hidden and less in your face but they are central to what is going to happen down the line.

 

As for WoT it is pushing it to say things got out of control at book 6. 8-10 are the ones that most cite as getting away from him with only CoT really being problematic. What made the WoT great is still in those books and the writing quality never suffered. All the mistakes, unpolished prose, blunt plotwork etc makes it hard to even rank TGS-AMoL with the others. I mean in almost every post for weeks you have been inventing different explanations trying to argue against the many issues people have with AMoL. The fact is they are there and every corner of the fandom(Theoryland etc.) are discussing them.

 

As an aside how is critiquing a book "complaining"? Would love to hear you try and make that argument to some of my old English professors. I have seen a couple claim they wish the books had never been written. That RJ's legacy has been tarnished and they would have preferred the notes. Those people seem to be in the minority however and most of us have been clear around how grateful we are for the work Brandon has done.

The plots getting away from him isnt my POV i said its the reviews you get of the series when you google top epic fantasy series. for example the top list for Fantasy has WOT as number 10 and i know this list doesnt mean anything but if your new to the fantasy genre and you google top fantasy series the first thing you read about a series is this

 

"Yes, there are problems with the novels. As so many of you kindly

love to point out in  comments, Jordan completely loses control of

the plots around book 6 and the series spirals out of control for

another 5-6 books. Yes, there are too many characters to keep track of.

Yes, women are portrayed as two-dimensional characters. Yes, Jordan

spends too much time detailing every single little detail, especially

on filler stuff that becomes annoying after 10 pages, let alone 10

thousand pages."

 

When you get reviews like this it could be a detterent to start the series.

 

The die hard fans of the series only have problems with book 10 by Jordan but for the topic of what could have made it better would be to make it more accessible to new casual readers such as a condensed later half of the series.

Given the considerable success of the series, with seven consecutive number one bestsellers, I think it's fairly hard to argue that it is unduly hard for the casual reader to get into - especially as unless people are starting from the middle, problems in the latter half of the series are not an impediment to getting into it as the casual reader, or any reader, will already have read several books by the time they get to it. In fact, by reducing the number of books significantly you probably stop it reaching the levels of success it did - it would be a done series much sooner, but books sell best when they are released, so it would become a series where new readers come in at a trickle rather than a flood.

ive gone to my casual reader friends and said try wheel of time after finding out its 14 books all 1k pages long they said they dont have the time for the series, yet they will read twilight just because of the hype and its such a small series to smash through. If your going on sale numbers harry potter and Twilight are the best series in the genre. dont be silly. Read the reviews on top fantasy series to read and then read the comments and you will get the general consesus on what the more casual readers think of the series and not the die hard fans who half the posters read them write something and instantly believes it.

 

 

 

What I like best is the world. Nothing comes out of nowhere. There is no random characters discussing something at the start of the book that just coincidentally is vital at the end. Everything has a justification in universe, and anything new (up until RJ stopped writing atleast) easily slots into how the world works. There is also a consistancy in the writing, as if they are all just one book spread over several volumes, which another author mentioned in this book cannot do. GRRM has little world building pieces set into his series, but they are each confined to their own book, that stupid maiden and the bear song being the most blatant example.

 

WoT feels like there is an entire world there, much like A New Hope felt like. At the start of the series there are things happening in the world that have little relation to the characters, just there to make it feel more real. Though all those events do come to focus on the main characters eventually, RJ was forward thinking enough to build an in-universe reason for dues ex machina.

 

This is a large reason why what BS wrote isn't as good to me. There is no world anymore. Everything happens for exactly the reason that it has to happen for and the things that don't need to happen only happen to the main characters. The entire world essentially ceases to exist outside of the main characters PoV as soon as TGS prologue ends.

 

That said, RJ did spend too much time on trivial points. Perrin rescuing Faile taking so many books is unconscionable, but even in his slowest points he was still able to create living, breathing villages and towns and societies rather than the movie set, cardboard cutout places usually seen in fiction.

Indeed. RJ's worldbuilding is done to a level that most other authors just don't bother with, and is a great strength of the series. GRRM might be a great writer, but he is not a great worldbuilder - it's basically just copy and paste mediaeval history, and would fall flat if it wasn't for the skill of the writer and the great characters. The only other fantasy author that springs to mind as matching RJ is Tolkien, and his interests lie in different areas, as he was more interested in constructing a mythology than a living, breathing world.

 I dont get the fanboyism of Tolkein the books pale dramatically compared to the movies for me. Normally when i read books and watch the movies i always thinkt he books are so much better, more interesting and provide alot more detail, such as the harry potter movies compared to the books. With Lotr the books seem so blunt and things come out of no where, like in the hobbit, so many things just end bluntly, like the death of smaug, Tolkein literally just introduces this bard character 5 seconds before he kills smaug and adds a random detail about an arrow being passed on through the generations to add some mystique and history to the attack which seems too sudden and way too forced. As well as scenes like the introduction of erabor in the movie compared to the book. If RJ had a enemy like smaug in his series he wouldnt have some random aes sedai from the white tower with no history just take him out, he would lead into it with a pre used character like the death of belal.

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Given the considerable success of the series, with seven consecutive number one bestsellers, I think it's fairly hard to argue that it is unduly hard for the casual reader to get into - especially as unless people are starting from the middle, problems in the latter half of the series are not an impediment to getting into it as the casual reader, or any reader, will already have read several books by the time they get to it. In fact, by reducing the number of books significantly you probably stop it reaching the levels of success it did - it would be a done series much sooner, but books sell best when they are released, so it would become a series where new readers come in at a trickle rather than a flood.

ive gone to my casual reader friends and said try wheel of time after finding out its 14 books all 1k pages long they said they dont have the time for the series, yet they will read twilight just because of the hype and its such a small series to smash through. If your going on sale numbers harry potter and Twilight are the best series in the genre. dont be silly.
1. Anecdotal Fallacy.

 

2. Mr Ares said nothing about quality of a series being based around sales. Sales numbers can certainly be an indicator of "casual readers" however...which was exactly the point.

Edited by Suttree

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@Barid

 

I agree that asking for suggestions should go elsewhere but how can you not discuss other books in relation to what makes WoT a success. That seems rather narrow focused.

 

GRRM is the same for me it is just politics and a dark story ive read up to book 4 and while it is interesting my favourite characters all dieing and the lack of magic has made it hard to become obsessed with it like the WOT. It just seems like Elaynes succession attempt with more plots and less magic, Im bassically just reading to find out who ends up on the throne Which becomes tedious after a while. While the mystery of the one power and the looming last battle always kept you wanting more in WOT.

If that's what you took away as the central conflict of asoiaf it may be time for a reread. The mysteries are far more in hidden and less in your face but they are central to what is going to happen down the line.

 

As for WoT it is pushing it to say things got out of control at book 6. 8-10 are the ones that most cite as getting away from him with only CoT really being problematic. What made the WoT great is still in those books and the writing quality never suffered. All the mistakes, unpolished prose, blunt plotwork etc makes it hard to even rank TGS-AMoL with the others. I mean in almost every post for weeks you have been inventing different explanations trying to argue against the many issues people have with AMoL. The fact is they are there and every corner of the fandom(Theoryland etc.) are discussing them.

 

As an aside how is critiquing a book "complaining"? Would love to hear you try and make that argument to some of my old English professors. I have seen a couple claim they wish the books had never been written. That RJ's legacy has been tarnished and they would have preferred the notes. Those people seem to be in the minority however and most of us have been clear around how grateful we are for the work Brandon has done.

The plots getting away from him isnt my POV i said its the reviews you get of the series when you google top epic fantasy series. for example the top list for Fantasy has WOT as number 10 and i know this list doesnt mean anything but if your new to the fantasy genre and you google top fantasy series the first thing you read about a series is this

 

"Yes, there are problems with the novels. As so many of you kindly

love to point out in  comments, Jordan completely loses control of

the plots around book 6 and the series spirals out of control for

another 5-6 books. Yes, there are too many characters to keep track of.

Yes, women are portrayed as two-dimensional characters. Yes, Jordan

spends too much time detailing every single little detail, especially

on filler stuff that becomes annoying after 10 pages, let alone 10

thousand pages."

 

When you get reviews like this it could be a detterent to start the series.

 

The die hard fans of the series only have problems with book 10 by Jordan but for the topic of what could have made it better would be to make it more accessible to new casual readers such as a condensed later half of the series.

Given the considerable success of the series, with seven consecutive number one bestsellers, I think it's fairly hard to argue that it is unduly hard for the casual reader to get into - especially as unless people are starting from the middle, problems in the latter half of the series are not an impediment to getting into it as the casual reader, or any reader, will already have read several books by the time they get to it. In fact, by reducing the number of books significantly you probably stop it reaching the levels of success it did - it would be a done series much sooner, but books sell best when they are released, so it would become a series where new readers come in at a trickle rather than a flood.

ive gone to my casual reader friends and said try wheel of time after finding out its 14 books all 1k pages long they said they dont have the time for the series, yet they will read twilight just because of the hype and its such a small series to smash through. If your going on sale numbers harry potter and Twilight are the best series in the genre. dont be silly. Read the reviews on top fantasy series to read and then read the comments and you will get the general consesus on what the more casual readers think of the series and not the die hard fans who half the posters read them write something and instantly believes it.

Suttree already addressed this, but I would like to add that I've told you before that you're not reading my posts properly (not just me, you do it to others as well), and I would like you to stop. The large readership indicates it is probably read by a lot of casual readers, and problems with the middle books won't be an impediment to people starting the series unless they start in the middle.

 

 

What I like best is the world. Nothing comes out of nowhere. There is no random characters discussing something at the start of the book that just coincidentally is vital at the end. Everything has a justification in universe, and anything new (up until RJ stopped writing atleast) easily slots into how the world works. There is also a consistancy in the writing, as if they are all just one book spread over several volumes, which another author mentioned in this book cannot do. GRRM has little world building pieces set into his series, but they are each confined to their own book, that stupid maiden and the bear song being the most blatant example.

 

WoT feels like there is an entire world there, much like A New Hope felt like. At the start of the series there are things happening in the world that have little relation to the characters, just there to make it feel more real. Though all those events do come to focus on the main characters eventually, RJ was forward thinking enough to build an in-universe reason for dues ex machina.

 

This is a large reason why what BS wrote isn't as good to me. There is no world anymore. Everything happens for exactly the reason that it has to happen for and the things that don't need to happen only happen to the main characters. The entire world essentially ceases to exist outside of the main characters PoV as soon as TGS prologue ends.

 

That said, RJ did spend too much time on trivial points. Perrin rescuing Faile taking so many books is unconscionable, but even in his slowest points he was still able to create living, breathing villages and towns and societies rather than the movie set, cardboard cutout places usually seen in fiction.

Indeed. RJ's worldbuilding is done to a level that most other authors just don't bother with, and is a great strength of the series. GRRM might be a great writer, but he is not a great worldbuilder - it's basically just copy and paste mediaeval history, and would fall flat if it wasn't for the skill of the writer and the great characters. The only other fantasy author that springs to mind as matching RJ is Tolkien, and his interests lie in different areas, as he was more interested in constructing a mythology than a living, breathing world.

 I dont get the fanboyism of Tolkein the books pale dramatically compared to the movies for me. Normally when i read books and watch the movies i always thinkt he books are so much better, more interesting and provide alot more detail, such as the harry potter movies compared to the books. With Lotr the books seem so blunt and things come out of no where, like in the hobbit, so many things just end bluntly, like the death of smaug, Tolkein literally just introduces this bard character 5 seconds before he kills smaug and adds a random detail about an arrow being passed on through the generations to add some mystique and history to the attack which seems too sudden and way too forced. As well as scenes like the introduction of erabor in the movie compared to the book. If RJ had a enemy like smaug in his series he wouldnt have some random aes sedai from the white tower with no history just take him out, he would lead into it with a pre used character like the death of belal.

The Hobbit is not the Lord of the Rings. His goals in the two works are not necessarily the same. As it is, Tolkien had certain interests, in mythology and language for example, and these things inform LotR, in particular the worldbuilding, which was what was praised. If you have no appreciation for worldbuilding then Tolkien's achievements here are unlikely to be your cup of tea, but the guy created languages - not just a few words, but actual languages - for his world. He was also, as previously stated, interested in creating a mythology, more so than he was in creating a functional world.

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Nicely said Mr Ares. It is for his languages that Tolkien is as good as Robert Jordan was for his world building and characterisation. But I also believe that Robert Jordan's prophecy and foretelling and dreaming scenes all conclude very well. AMoL is messy, granted, but the future progressions that Jordan placed throughout the series actually work. To me, it was almost as if he knew he would not finish it himself, and the next writer would not be anywhere near as good as he was.

 

This is just what I think anyway.

Edited by wotfan4472

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  I can also honestly say that a HUGE amount of people have reading skills that are not up to reading these, and would find the Narnia novels themselves to be very difficult. I was at LoTR level when starting WoT, and I was 13, and considered an alien!!. The only way to get critics to change their minds about this series is the adaptations that are being done, as most people I have spoken to have said, that they will wait for "the movie", after wanting to know what I am reading and how good it is, after seeing me with a different novel during my breaks at work (because I am a nutter whom carries them around with me wherever I go!!! ;D).

Edited by wotfan4472

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The quality of the writing and story is what made WoT so successful.

 

RJ told what was mostly a simple story, but he breathed life into it and connected us with the characters in a way that I have never experienced before.  I didn't read the books because I wanted to find out what happened next; I read them because I enjoyed reading the writing and seeing through the characters eyes.  RJ did this through meticulous attention to detail in a way that is very difficult for his audience to appreciate.  In fact, the only way I have come to appreciate it is because of the stark difference we see in Brandon's attempt to finish the series.  Quality and care is woven throughout the series in a way that I have personally never seen before in a fantasy series.

 

As many have pointed out, RJ's actual prose and quality of writing is far from masterful.  He did not write poetry.  He wrote the style that felt most comfortable to him and managed to immerse his readers into his world in a way that would challenge even the greatest authors though.

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