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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Quality Discussion Thread


Luckers
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I was going to wait until I finished the book to write, but I got to page 320 and then my book does not have pages until 352, so I have to wait until I get  a replacement from Amazon.

 

Back history:. I actually thought TGS was one of the better books. It was the first time I ever liked Egwene. I think she regressed horribly in ToM. I also know it was RJ's call, but I always held hope that Thom and Moiraine would not get married. I always thought that 'romance' was forced. The man thinks she is 'pretty' a few times and that is foreshadowing love? I'd have been married about 743 times if that is how it is. I've been a WoT reader since 1990. Played in the WoT MUD 'Moment in Tyme' as Asmodean. I used to keep notes on all of Min's viewings, Egewene's dreams, etc. I stopped taking notes around aCoS.  I hated that book and stopped reading after PoD. I got back in with WH and actually liked that a lot and same with PoD.

 

Now on Quality of aMoL (1st 300 pages) I think some people have very very different views on WoT from mine. I don't see much of a change yet in 'Jesus Rand'. I saw his encounter with Moridin as Moridin trying to convince himself that Rand is just using tricks and not 'super-power'. Rand went to his dreamshard and started to change everything. Moridin was scared and trying to rationalize this. 

 

I agree Moiraine's turning the peace talks around should have been done better, but it wasn't horrible. What is horrible is that Rand fell to his knees in front of Moiraine and then without moving, knelt before Moiraine. That jarred me. But for the most part, the flow isn't bothersome, it is the word choices.

 

 Channelers. channelers. channelers, 99% of people in WoT don't know what 'channeling' is. They know Aes Sedai use the one power, so do dreadlords and Asha'man. Some learn that Wise Ones, Windfinders, and Damane do too. But they don't call them channelers. Instead of Bbring in our channelers" they're going to say, "Bring in our Aes Sedai and Asha'man. If you can, get the Wise Ones and Kinswomen here too!" There are no 'enemy channelers' to fight. They fight Black Ajah and Dreadlords. No 'channelers' beyond what we fans group them all to be. BS said he was a fan and maybe that hurt a lot of this book. he used fan terms instead of WoT terms. I find that poor. Phrases and words that should not be used and easily replaced should not have been overlooked. Lanfear when talking about Turning, says they had a choice. They could have been gentled. Gentling is a new term. She would have used Severed. Its like when fans talk about men getting Stilled. They don't, they get Gentled. Women get Stilled, and AoL people call both Severed. it might seem to be picking nits, BUT RJ pounded these into our heads in his 11 books. BS could have used his own style, but should have kept terms. Rand, remembering the AoL uses  the word 'paradise' (I believe, but could be wrong it was one of the pre-release 'memories'). He should have used 'utopia' or something else. The AoL city 'Para Disen' is the AoL name, we haven't got so far in the wheel's turning as to use 'paradise'. It would be like Rand meeting Hawkwing and Egwene in Camleyn and saying "You two look regal, like Arthur and Guinevere in Camelot."

 

I probably do not see 'modern' terms as much as these WoT inconsistencies. I have a bad habit (which my Greek Professor pointed out to me) of making 'fantasy sentences'. Meaning I read the words in a sentence, but make the sentence 'better' to my ears/mind and not what they actually are. It's probably why I didn't find the Moiraine scene ot the FoM bad. I most certaininly used mental inflections to make it better/cooler. But with words; channelers, Gentling, paradise, etc. It's like RJ the professor having pounded rules into my head for 23 years and then my next professor discarding them all. So while, unlike some of you, I don't see bad prose (to me something is either prose or verse and prose can be any style that isn't verse), but I see a lot of bad word choices that a simple replace in Word would have solved.

 

I'll give more when I get my replacement book and finish

 

edit* Earlier people mentioned it was like reading fanfic. Others gave good/bad examples of what they wanted/would have done things. Maybe a project to do 'better' call it 'Portal Stones' with different TG playouts. We can surmise certain 'big' points RJ must have wanted and then we fans can pick which is our 'true' ending and which are the portal stone world's ending.

Edited by ZorValachan
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I can't help but assume there is some kind of backstory with Thom and Morrainne. If there is not, their relationship makes no sense whatsoever.

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I can't help but assume there is some kind of backstory with Thom and Morrainne. If there is not, their relationship makes no sense whatsoever.

 

Highly doubtful that there is a backstory.  Their relationship is a problem with RJ's writing IMO - he did not detail it enough or give us any clues really that there was a connection between the two.  I think the first time we get a clue is their little chat in Tear, and then nothing beyond that.  Though to be fair, RJ never got to write Moiraine and Thom together and if he had then it is possible he would have shown it in a different light than what we've seen.  In other words, instead of showing them as a happy couple that have seemingly known one another for years, he may have shown that they were just kindred spirits that got together recently.

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There IS a backstory, all through their journey in EotW, some things when he meets up with Rand and then later Mat, and also the chat in Tear is the most common one. 

 

However, I agree that it is not particularly sufficient. You have the clues there, but it is not obvious - if RJ was going for subtle, he took it way to far. 

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The book was really amazing. Sanderson has a different style from Jordan, but that's to be expected. He had to use his own voice. The book would have been awful if he just aped RJ. Anyway, I think he did great. Demandred and Mordin seemed to have more emotional depth than any of the other forsaken. The Aes Sedi stopped being completely juvenile. And best of all, the Sanderson books dropped the awful "mitoclorian count" ethos of the earlier books. Androl ended up being more important than Logain despite their relative strengths in the power. Androl was clever, cooperative, and patient in the face of adversity. I thought he was one of the best characters in the entire series. And the Androl-Pevera telepathy/relationship was just awesome. 

 

RJ was a master of world building, description, and psychological first person perspective. But Sanderson is a worthy apprentice to the Master. In fact, I think he's becoming a Master in his own right. We are very lucky that Mrs. Jordan and TOR selected Brandon to finish the work. He did the best job that anyone could have at finishing another person's incomplete masterpiece. 

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Re Mat/Min: There was plenty of time available for off-screen interaction during Mat/Elmindreda at the White Tower and ... I think they were in Salidar at the same time. It's not hard to see someone wearing a dumb hat a few times in a row (at Salidar) to recognize it or someone like Elayne complains about his hat in front of her. Min, or someone else, could have passed on the Mat viewings to him etc... we don't need to see information repeated. 

Edited by talligan
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I don't think they overlapped in the Tower, Mat left before the Supergirls, and the Supergirls left before Min joined them there.  Mat was chasing the Horn/dagger when Min was at the Tower with the girls, Min had already left Salidar when Mat went to 'escort' Elayne to Andor...

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I don't think they overlapped in the Tower, Mat left before the Supergirls, and the Supergirls left before Min joined them there. Mat was chasing the Horn/dagger when Min was at the Tower with the girls, Min had already left Salidar when Mat went to 'escort' Elayne to Andor...

Yup they never overlapped in either of those places.

 

Sanderson has a different style from Jordan, but that's to be expected. He had to use his own voice. The book would have been awful if he just aped RJ.

Curious as to what you think was amazing in relation to the writig quality? These last two books were very rough/uneven overall, but I am always interested to hear what parts people enjoyed. One section I thought was done really well was the first time we get to see Lioal charge into battle. Just a beautifully written scene. As for the voice has anyone actually said he should have aped RJ? Don't think I have ever seen that one.

Edited by Suttree
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I just wanted to say one thing on this, for now:

 

There was a point in time when I was ready to scream with frustration the next time I read the phrase "anger of the Amyrlin" again. Gah!

Ya, I agree Egwene seemed to go mad with ego, always referring to herself as the Amrylin and talking about how this person or that will see the wrath of the Amrylin. It got tiresome 

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In Rand's confrontation with the Dark One, he  is faced with repeated scenarios of what will/might happen if he takes certain paths.  Rand repeatedly concludes that he can't trust the Father of Lies' visions.  Except when he is viewing what will happen if he kills the Dark One.  Then, he just accepts the vision that humans will become vacuous automatons without evil to balance things out.  Why does he accept that the Father of Lies is telling the truth?  I find it absurd that humans can't produce evil on their own; or good.  Perhaps it's the atheist or agnostic in me, but that seemed a cop-out.  That's a major sticking point in reaching the end of a series of books that I have thouroughly enjoyed for two plus decades.

He accepts it because that was his vision, not Shai'tan's. He created it. Remember that he had already shown a vision of a world with Shai'tan defeated - a better world, but not a perfect one, and that wasn't enough. So he tried to show a perfect world, the opposite to Shai'tan's "Lightless world", but the world Rand wanted couldn't be without compromising free will.

 

Channelers. channelers. channelers, 99% of people in WoT don't know what 'channeling' is. They know Aes Sedai use the one power, so do dreadlords and Asha'man. Some learn that Wise Ones, Windfinders, and Damane do too. But they don't call them channelers. Instead of Bbring in our channelers" they're going to say, "Bring in our Aes Sedai and Asha'man. If you can, get the Wise Ones and Kinswomen here too!" There are no 'enemy channelers' to fight. They fight Black Ajah and Dreadlords. No 'channelers' beyond what we fans group them all to be. BS said he was a fan and maybe that hurt a lot of this book. he used fan terms instead of WoT terms. I find that poor. Phrases and words that should not be used and easily replaced should not have been overlooked. Lanfear when talking about Turning, says they had a choice. They could have been gentled. Gentling is a new term. She would have used Severed. Its like when fans talk about men getting Stilled. They don't, they get Gentled. Women get Stilled, and AoL people call both Severed. it might seem to be picking nits, BUT RJ pounded these into our heads in his 11 books. BS could have used his own style, but should have kept terms. Rand, remembering the AoL uses  the word 'paradise' (I believe, but could be wrong it was one of the pre-release 'memories'). He should have used 'utopia' or something else. The AoL city 'Para Disen' is the AoL name, we haven't got so far in the wheel's turning as to use 'paradise'. It would be like Rand meeting Hawkwing and Egwene in Camleyn and saying "You two look regal, like Arthur and Guinevere in Camelot."

On channelers and gentling you might have a point (the term "channelers" is used a couple of times in the series, but not much), but on paradise you're just wrong. "the paradise of the Age of Legends will return", "the countryside of Cairhien was a lush paradise compared to the other side of the Dragonwall", "but Loial had found a paradise in the Royal Library". From EotW, FoH and LoC.

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I don't think they overlapped in the Tower, Mat left before the Supergirls, and the Supergirls left before Min joined them there. Mat was chasing the Horn/dagger when Min was at the Tower with the girls, Min had already left Salidar when Mat went to 'escort' Elayne to Andor...

Yup they never overlapped in either of those places.

 

>Sanderson has a different style from Jordan, but that's to be expected. He had to use his own voice. The book would have been awful if he just aped RJ.

Curious as to what you think was amazing in relation to the writig quality? These last two books were very rough/uneven overall, but I am always interested to hear what parts people enjoyed. One section I thought was done really well was the first time we get to see Lioal charge into battle. Just a beautifully written scene. As for the voice has anyone actually said he should have aped RJ? Don't think I have ever seen that one.

 

 

I really liked the Androl-Pevera sections of the book. I thought the strange bonding gave the characters an emotional depth that is pretty rare in epic fantasy. I liked it that Androl upstaged Logain despite being a weaker channeler. The WoL and many other fantasy stories often get reduced to a boring brute force mitaclorian count ethos. For example, there are obvious problems caused by the fact that the leaders of the Aes Sedai are generally chosen for their innate power rather than wisdom. Androl invented new ways to use his very limited power. He couldn't have succeeded without cooperation and without the trust and support of others. I thought that was great. I also really liked Demandred. It was awesome to see a Forsaken who wasn't totally evil to the point of being a caricature or comic book bad guy. He fell in love again and was tempted to abandon his quest for revenge and just live a new life in Shara. He cared about the Sharans and wanted to protect them after the last battle. He even cared about a random old man. None of the other forsaken had that kind of emotional depth, except maybe Mordin. They just act like psychotic teenagers, uselessly plotting against one-another and getting killed. The run of the mill aes sedia in past books have been almost as bad. I also really liked the Demandred duels. It was like a Kung Fu movie where a series of heroes try and fail to beat the bad guy, and then the greatest blademaster finally defeats him. Lan was like a human golem with the medallion. There is no shame in losing to him.  

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Honestly, I know people don't want to do this. But if you want to blame anyone for the ending, you blame RJ for letting the story gett out of hand since LOC, that's the reason he was never able to finish it, and that why you have the situation you have where someone else has to finish it and of course that rarely works out well (has it ever worked out?).

 

TSR and FOH should have been book 4, LOC/COS/POD/WH should have been book 5, COT/KOD should have been book 6 and the entire story should have been finished in 7 books.

 

But it is what it is. 

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Honestly, I know people don't want to do this. But if you want to blame anyone for the ending, you blame RJ for letting the story gett out of hand since LOC, that's the reason he was never able to finish it, and that why you have the situation you have where someone else has to finish it and of course that rarely works out well (has it ever worked out?).

TSR and FOH should have been book 4, LOC/COS/POD/WH should have been book 5, COT/KOD should have been book 6 and the entire story should have been finished in 7 books.

But it is what it is.

Is there anyone out there who argued that the books didn't get away from RJ during that PoD-CoT stretch?

 

Regardless to attempt to wave off the issues in these last three books with well this kind of thing "rarely works out well" is absurd.

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How is it absurd? It's more or less a fact. No matter who they picked, the person finishing someone's else works is going to have problems writing in the original's author's voice. When RJ couldn't finish the series, the fate of the ending ofTWOT being underwhelming was sealed. Blaming BS for not being like RJ is like blaming Wozniak for not being like Jobs.

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My biggest issue with aMoL isn't with it, it is with ToM. aMoL was so cramped, wrapping up plotlines in single lines and everything felt so rushed, when pretty much everything in ToM was filler just added to fill 2/3rds of a book. Why the Black Tower arc couldn't of been fleshed out and finished in ToM is beyond me. Move the Fields of Merrilor to 2/3rds of the way through ToM, remove alot of the Perrin vs Slayer crap to make room and end it with the Light losing, maybe a cliffhanger with the Great Captains being compelled. It then frees up space for Demandred in aMoL and to resolve plotlines with a bit of space.

 

This is an editorial problem, it seems like Harriet (and perhaps the rest of Team Jordan) needed to pull in even RJ at the end of the series and didn't do anywhere near enough with BS. Prose quality, misunderstanding characters are problems sure, but saying you need 3 books to finish something that was supposed to be finished in one and still running out of space is unforgivable IMO, especially when you waste so much space in the second.

 

^^ THIS. ^^

 

So much time was wasted in the last 3 books.  The Perrin/Slayer arc should have been resolved MUCH sooner.  Perrin could have easily gone against Moggy or Graendal during in the Wolf Dream during TG. AMoL was awash in battle scenes that made little sense followed by another battle scene that made little sense.  Trim all that and we could have had the meeting at Merrilor, Moiraine's reunion with Rand, and several other scenes (most of the BT drama) in TGS and ToM.  That would have allowed AMoL to spend more time with the people we care about and also more time wrapping up the series in a more appropriate way.

 

This all should have been decided years ago.

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Blaming BS for not being like RJ is like blaming Wozniak for not being like Jobs.

Care to point out where anyone has done that then? Brandon said right from the start he wasn't going to try and imitate RJ's voice. No one expects him to do as good a job as RJ can, we do expect him to do as good a job as Brandon can however. The issues and mistakes have been well documented so I won't rehash them here but your argument essentially falls into the ignore the issues and "just be happy we got an ending" vein. That is doing a huge disservice to both the author and Team Jordan.

Edited by Suttree
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Blaming BS for not being like RJ is like blaming Wozniak for not being like Jobs.

Care to point out where anyone has done that then? Brandon said right from the start he wasn't going to try and imitate RJ's voice. No one expects him to do as good a job as RJ can, we do expect him to do as good a job as Brandon can however. The issues and mistakes have been well documented so I won't rehash them here but your argument essentially falls into the ignore the issues and "just be happy we got an ending" vein. That is doing a huge disservice to both the author and Team Jordan.

 

How do you know this isn't as good as they can do under the circumstances. Yes there are continuity errors, but given how many pages there was before them, to keep everything completely error free would be like asking there to be no bugs in a large software, it's not a reasonable expectation, unless you gave these people unlimited time instead of a 2 year release schedule.   Yes you can always point to this specific error or that specific error, but the problem is that given the scope you have to anticipate that they will exist given they are not the original creators of this content.

 

Works finished by another author is always going to be fan-fiction-esque.  That is the nature of the beast.

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I hate to say this but i have to give this book a solid c minus. IMO was slow reading and  boring  this is the first book of this series i had to push myself to read through  the boring parts to get to something interesting. historically i would read through  any new releases asap. I dont Blame sanderson i just think ive out grown the series having started it  when it came out in 1990 as a young man reading this last book made me feel like i was reading a book meant for young teens.

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Man Last, you sure do seem to like creating Straw Man arguments. First it was the fans blaming Brandon for not being like RJ and now it's "well you can't expect it to be completely error free". Neither of those things have been called out by the fans when discussing the quality.

 

 

In relation to the timeline issues, unpolished prose, and mistakes however one must keep in mind that we were assured by Team Jordan that they were aware of the problems with ToM and were fixing them. They even pushed back the release date in order to get "AMoL right". That made the finished product all the more dissapointing, especially for those of us who argued up and down against the naysayers that we had to trust Team Jordan and they wouldn't have assured us in that manner if they weren't on top of it.

 

Again to say that since works finished by another author rarely work out, that we shouldn't have had high expectations for the job Brandon was doing is absurd. It does him a pretty big disservice.

Edited by Suttree
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No it doesn't do him a disservice, it's a reminder to people that he was up against a herculean task.

 

Your assumption is that because they said they will try to fix things, but there were still so many errors, it meant they didn't try hard enough.  I'm saying that to keep that many pages of stuff straight, without having been the person who created it, is an almost impossible task. Maybe if they had a large staff of researchers, they could have done it, or a timeline of ten years, it could have been done, but that would have cost way too much money.  Yes, it's easy to point out errors on a message board, because a message board has hundreds if not thousands of hardcore fans.  They don't have the luxury of having an error checking staff of that size.

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Even if I give you the mistakes(of which there were far too many) that still doesn't even begin to account for the unpolished prose, blunt plotwork and timeline issues. You know, the things most people have been focusing on in this Quality thread.

 

In relation to the mistakes though keep in mind we know now that Brandon spent a grand total of 2 months studying the notes before he just started relying on Alan and Maria.

 

To quote Luckers:

James Luckman ‏@JamesLuckman Comparatively he has been working on the Wheel for 60 months. Maybe a larger stint than 1.2% of his time might have been effective.

Edited by Suttree
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I dont think the series got away from RJ at all.  In fact, I kind of abhor looking at it from that perspective entirely.  I look at it under the prism of it being his story and his world and his story is exactly the right length.  I recognize what everyone is talking about when they say that it felt like the series got away from him, but I disagree with the criticism because it really doesn't seem like you can legitimately critique it from that angle.

 

I think the biggest flaw (aside from Elayne being one of Rand's three chicks despite only knowing him for a couple weeks) is that RJ took so long to write the damn books.  If he had written at full speed....approximately a book ever year or 1.5 years...and completed the series, I dont think anyone would look back and say that he got lost or wandered.

Edited by Mark D
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If he had written at full speed....approximately a book ever year or 1.5 years...and completed the series, I dont think anyone would look back and say that he got lost or wandered.

A year to write/finish the editing process for books of this length is far too rushed. We saw quite clearly what happened to the quality when they tried to hold to that schedule for these last three. Hell plot decisions were actually made on certain things not being finished or ready as in the BT being moved from ToM to AMoL as opposed to what was best for the plot. When RJ hit that pace early in his career it was manily because he had quite a bit of the content all ready written.

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If he had written at full speed....approximately a book ever year or 1.5 years...and completed the series, I dont think anyone would look back and say that he got lost or wandered.

A year to write/finish the editing process for books of this length is far too rushed. We saw quite clearly what happened to the quality when they tried to hold to that schedule for these last three. Hell plot decisions were actually made on certain things not being finished or ready as in the BT being moved from ToM to AMoL as opposed to what was best for the plot. When RJ hit that pace early in his career it was manily because he had quite a bit of the content all ready written.

 

Ya, but either way he could have written faster.  Maybe 2 years per book is appropriate.

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I think  it's reasonable to suppose that RJ may have reached a level of understanding, with Tor et al., so to speak.

By which I mean that at the point where it was showing that he(RJ) would end up using comparatively extra time to produce a manuscript, in final form, everyone over at Tor knew what they had their collective hands on. In other words, why rush(?), when at a certain point you've got reasonable data to handily predict that you're going to make megabucks, regardless of whether the next volume comes out in a year, or if it takes three plus, along those lines.

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