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Rank the Wheel of Time Books


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I recently decided to make a list ordering my least favorite WoT book to my favorite, and I posted this on my website.


I wanted to see where everyone else decided to rank the Wheel of Time books.  If you don't want to rank all of them, then you can put down your favorite and least favorite book from the series.


Here is the short version of my ranking


14. Crossroads of Twilight

13. The Path of Daggers

12. Towers of Midnight

11. A Crown of Swords

10. A Knife of Dreams

9. Winter's Heart

8. The Dragon Reborn

7. The Gathering Storm

6. Lord of Chaos

5. The Eye of the World

4. The Great Hunt

3. A Memory of Light

2. The Shadow Rising

1. The Fires of Heaven


A more detailed reasoning for these rankings are at my site.




So everybody rank the Wheel of Time books.

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Three least favorite books:


A Memory of Light - Trollock slaying goreporn, complete lack of structure, off-handed and illogical resolutions to multitudes of plot-lines which had no place being in the last book. AMoL felt more like fanfiction than a WoT novel, numerous established in-universe rules were violated for the convenience of the plot (unrestricted channeling in Shayol Ghul, men initiating the link, Dark One being the source of all evil, sa'angreal suddenly lacking a safeguard against burning out, etc.)


Crossroads of Twilight - extremely detailed descriptions of how nothing of relevance happens. Annoyingly repetitive scenes of people in different parts of the world suddenly feeling massive amounts of the One Power being channelled somewhere. These scenes would have been interesting and intriguing to read before we read about Rand cleansing Saidin near Shadar Logoth, not after. After WH we already know everything there is to know about the Cleansing, and seeing its effects through other people's eyes doesn't give us any new information.


Dragon Reborn - intentional obscurantism on part of the author gives us second-hand accounts of Rand's journey to Tear, and establishes the "fails to live up to his hype" trope by introducing an alleged super-duper master manipulator Bel'lal who never manipulates anyone into doing anything (aside from extremely blunt attempts at taunting Rand into taking the Callandor), doesn't have any kind of personality or back-story (aside from being a mean guy who wants power), and gets killed off three minutes after entering the stage.



Five most favorite books:


Shadow Rising/Fires Of Heaven/Lord of Chaos. Balanced, fast-paced, mature enough not to be a blatant derivative of Tolkien and Frank Herbert. Plenty of adventures and excitement, villains who do not feel like cackling card-board cut-outs (Lanfear and Asmodean), new and relevant information about the world and its rules. Without these three books, WoT would not have had enough readers/sales to warrant a final volume.


Knife of Dreams. Things start happening again. Three more books like that, and the series would have been ready for a proper finale.


Gathering Storm. Brandon Sanderson dropped the ball with AMoL and ToM, but Gathering Storm was a fun read.

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14. Crossroads of Twilight

13. Path of Daggers

12. Crown of Swords

11. Winter's Heart

10. Knife of Dreams

9. Tower's of Midnight

8. A Memory of Light

7. The Dragon Reborn

6. The Gathering Storm

5. The Eye of The World

4. The Great Hunt

3. The Fires of Heaven

2. Lord of Chaos

1. The Shadow Rising

Edited by Leopoled Boothe
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Nice poll here about people's favorite books and some rankings. These threads pop up every now and then and it is always interesting to check out people's thoughts.




1. TSR
2. tFoH
3. KoD
4. LoC
5. TDR
6. TGH
7. tPoD
8. CoS
9. tEotW
10. WH
11. tGS
12. CoT
13. AMoL
14. ToM

Edited by Suttree
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On a scale of 1 - 10


1. TSR (10)
2. tFoH (10)
3. LoC (9,5)
4. KoD (9)

5. tEotW (8,5)

6. aCoS (8)
7. TDR (7,5)
8. TGH (7)
9. tPoD (7)
10. WH (7)

11. tGS (6,5)

12. BWB (6,5) (The Big White Book)

13. NS (6) (New Spring)
14. CoT (5,5)

15. ToM (4)

16. AMoL (1)

Edited by Mik
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you do have sixteen books on your list,

what does bwb stand for?

Maybe it shouldn't be there, but it's the Big White Book.

I enjoyed reading it lots


I know it's written by Teresa Patterson....but to me it's part of WoT & part of RJ's story (just like New Spring is part of the whole)


(added info to earlier post)

Edited by Mik
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1. The Shadow Rising

2. The Fires of Heaven

3. Lord of Chaos

4. The Great Hunt

5. The Gathering Storm

6. The Dragon Reborn

7. The Eye of the World

8. Towers of Midnight

9. Knife of Dreams

10. A Crown of Swords

11. Winter's Heart

12. A Memory of Light

13. The Path of Daggers

14. Crossroads of Twilight

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1.  TSR

2.  TFoH

3.   LoC

4.   BWB

5.   ACoS

6.   PoD

7.   WH

8.   CoT

9.   TGS

10. TEoTW

11. TDR

12. TGH

13. ToM

14.  KoD

15.  AMoL



No books in my list were actually bad. These books are ranked based on impact. I do believe as Mik does that the Big White Book is canon. I do not like the idea of following the Star Wars way of canonisation, and would rather accept canon in the way that Doctor Who does, where everything is. Much easier that way.

Edited by wotfan4472
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  • 4 weeks later...

I notice that every time we do this the order of my list varies slightly but I can say with confidence that for me 


TSR - LoC was the best part of the series followed by:

EtoW - TDR then:

KoD - AMoL and CoS and finally

PoD - CoT is the worst part of the series (though there were still some great moments here)

Edited by Leopoled Boothe
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1. FoH

2. TSR

3. KoD

4. TDR

5. LoC

6. WH

7. PoD

8. TGS

9. TGH

10. CoS

11. AMoL

12. NS

13. TEotW

14. ToM

15. CoT


I must say though, the epilogue of A Memory of Light, regardless of what anyone might think of what happens in it, is still one of the best written endings I've read. I truly felt emotional after it and books don't do that to me.

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Hmm, I have to think a bit, it's been a while since I reread the whole series.


1. LoC. Because 'kneel, or you will be knelt' is one of the most powerful scenes in the series, IMO (it would have been even better if Taim was 'just' power-hungry)

2. TGH. Ingtar's darkness, and Rand's growth, combine to make it great. Special mention to the Seanchan for being really just powerhungry maniacs, even if Suroth was actually evil. The whole Damane sequence... And Rand vs. the Amyrlin was a much better story here than in ToM.

3. TSR. Because the Two Rivers and the Rhuidean bits were heart-wrenching and yet heroic.

4. TGS. Because it has so much that actually translates to any world. Just how far do you go to defeat evil? And was Rand actually wrong to balefire that fortress of Graendal-puppets?

5. tEotW. The story of Manetheren sucked me in, and I never got out again. Plus it probably has the best ending of the early series (although a large part of it is halfway-retconned into irrelevance in TGH).

6. KoD. I am a sucker for good stories, and Nynaeve rallying the Malkieri relied on it.

7. tFoH. It doesn't stand out too much, but given where it is in the series, that still makes it darn good.

8. WH. The cleansing, and the scenes in Far Madding, were pretty good. Bonus points for explaining why all these Forsaken had been such wacko's (they were generals, not soldiers).

9. ACoS. Again, nothing much to remark on.

10. ToM. Good story, Rand laying the smack down, but Egwene was jarring. Almost felt like a bit too much emphasis on how good Rand and Nynaeve were compared to these silly AS.

11. TDR. It threw Rand as main character out of the window, and while it was okay, I feel it didn't handle that so well.

12. AMoL. It could have been more, and there are some consistency issues (which we can discuss elsewhere), it still dragged me in and on to the end.

13. tPoD. First book where, at the end, I thought 'why the hell is it called this anyway?'. Not enough a point to the story, though it's also the last book that was published at the time I read it, so this may be coloured by having to wait for WH.

14. CoT. Someone has to be last, and CoT had no excuse to get away.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well...in fairness...to do it right you can only really rank New Spring and Eye of the World up until Knife of the Dreams.


The last three...''books''...can't justifiably be considered canon.


Looking more and more like this position is gaining more and more support among those who matter...




Edited by The Fisher King
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  • 2 weeks later...


you do have sixteen books on your list,

what does bwb stand for?

Big White Book is slang for "The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time", a reference book with some truly hideous pastel artwork. It was pre-Book Nine I think.


14. Book Ten. The almost unedited volume that was sacrificed to keep plot points in step.

13. Book Eight. Rand wanders around, talks to Asha'man, gets beat-up by Maidens, and poisons an Asha'man. Oh, and a couple characters we don't know do interesting stuff.

12. Book Seven. Lots of good things happen, especially with Mat and intro of Cadsuane, but Sammael is only dead because Mr. Jordan says so. Waited a year and a half for a book that ended with "huh?".

11. Book Five. Moiraine dead, Lan missing, Asmo question raised, the Aiel give up all expectation of understanding Rand while demanding he understand them. Plus, Couladin dies. And balefire argument starts: double plus ungood.

10. Book Nine. Starts the far too-long Faile-is-missing plot point, and the beginning of the Caemlyn-wallow (though she got there in Book Eight). Plus, Rand cleanses Source. Book Ten next (shudder).

09. Book Eleven. Mat rejoins Band, gets married promises to rescue Moiraine. I believe Faile is rescued(Book Twelve?) and the Caemlyn Wallow ends. RJ ends his direct writing on a high note.

08. Book Twelve. Plenty of goodness, but Rand really sucks in this book. Until the Veins of Gold. And Egwene is proven to be hoo-ah! (That's good). Publishing errata are distracting.

07. Book  One. Love it. Starts it all.

06. Book Two. Even better. Bought like four paperback copies re-reading it.

05. Book Three. Last of the before-me books. Series could have ended there. This was when RJ still had a great hold on the series' growth. Re-read to galore.

04. Book Four. Aiel and Asmodean. Rand is sitting pretty.

0pi. Books Fifteen, Sixteen, and Seventeen. The story would have grown that much, I think had Mr. Jordan lived. I wish he had (as do we all).

03. Book Thirteen. Mat and Moiraine. 'Nuff said.

At this point I must confess a tie in my mind, but I will rank them as follows:

02. Book Fourteen. Light wins, but unlike every other book, the writer has to stuff EVERYTHING in this one, and there is too much to stuff. No pov 'tween Lan/Moiraine. Very complicated battle. Left with an it's over feeling, but it's good.

01. Book Six. Highest point of the series, last book where he controlled growth o' story. Two quotes: "They have caged Shadowkiller." and "Kneel and swear to the Lord Dragon, or you will be knelt."  Can't beat that ending.

Edited by Asgard Thorin
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  • 6 years later...
  • Moderator

14. Path of Daggers. Mat's absence makes this my least favorite book. 


13. Crossroads of Twilight. There are good moments, but nothing really happens.


12. Winter's Heart. While I love the Mat/Tuon plotline, the book is still slow. (NOTE: These last 3 really should have been a single book)


11. Fires of Heaven: Perrin's absence is a problem. And I don't love the saved by Balefire plot contrivance. I do love Moiraine's whole arc in this book.


10. Crown of Swords: I really like the end of this book. The duel in Shadar Logoth is good stuff.


9. Knife of Dreams: Rand's encounter with Min while under Semirhage's control is terrifying - some of the best writing in the series.


8. The Great Hunt: I love almost everything about this book, so it's shocking to see it so low on the list. Certain things about all the other books just pull on me harder than anything in this one I guess.


7. Towers of Midnight: Rand in the apple orchard and the Tower of Ghenji are both favorites. Weakest of the Sanderson volumes.


6. Eye of the World: Again, I love everything about this book - except the end, which is a little messy for me. Again, shocked to rank it so low.


5. The Dragon Reborn: So much to love about this book. The assault on the Stone is pure greatness.


4. The Gathering Storm: Natrin's Barrow, Egwene's ascension and the ending on Dragonmount. Amazing.


3. Lord of Chaos: Dumai's Wells. 


2. The Shadow Rising: Rand and the Aiel. Rhuidean. 


1. A Memory of Light: I recognize the criticism. It's valid. I get it. But I still feel like this series paid off with a truly epic and wonderful ending. And I just feel like satisfying endings are so important.  


Edited by Elder_Haman
Corrected accidental duplication of title.
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  • 1 month later...

I find it interesting that virtually everyone agrees that:

#1) Crossroads of Twilight = terrible. Slow and nothing happened. Worst book. The friends who started me on this series when I was a 6th grader stopped reading at Crossroads of Twilight and never finished because it really was that bad.

#2) The Shadow Rising is top 3  (except for Elder_Haman who left it off his list completely??)= best villain character-development. 

#3) The Lord of Chaos is top 5 (people who disagree with this are just plain wrong) = Dumai's Wells is the best scene in the book and on it's strength alone this book is top 5. 



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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

#2) The Shadow Rising is top 3  (except for Elder_Haman who left it off his list completely??)= best villain character-development. 


I didn't actually leave it off the list. It's #2. What I did was accidentally mis-title it as "Fires of Heaven". Not exactly sure what happened there, but I fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out!

Edited by Elder_Haman
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