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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Quality Discussion Thread


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2 years per book.  With so many books, it is easy for someone to get burned out.

 

Brandon, what a machine, the spits out books like the Terminator terminates!

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I am still of the opinion that Team Jordan ought to have incorporated the people that are the super readers, and look for a better writer, I read a short story by a 16 year old today, and his prose is better than Sanderson's! I read the Eulogy that moved Harriet so much, I am sure we the fans have mourned Mr. Jordan too. I did.

The quality of the last three books is lower than the previous books, . We, the fans ought to get an apology from the editors and also from Sanderson. 

Too bad that they published something that we all were desperate to read fully aware that it was a third rate job.

I just love how Mr. Jordan wrote .

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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.

 

Sorry, I don't know how anyone could read his meanderings in COS/POD/WH/COT and not think  the series got away from him.

 

I'm sorry, if you're going to call BS on the quality of his work you have to do the same with RJ, frankly the bloat started with TSR, and the fluff to meaningful content ratio kept growing until you have entire books where it was all fluff.  Frankly if RJ had stayed focused on the story we wouldn't even be talking about BS because he'd have finished the story himself.

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I'm sorry, if you're going to call BS on the quality of his work you have to do the same with RJ, frankly the bloat started with TSR, and the fluff to meaningful content ratio kept growing until you have entire books where it was all fluff. Frankly if RJ had stayed focused on the story we wouldn't even be talking about BS because he'd have finished the story himself.

Couple things here. First off although they could have been edited better even when things got away from RJ the quality of prose never suffered. He was a very descriptive author and for better or worse it's part of what gave such depth to his world. We know that this mid-late section in long series(tPoD-CoT, it is laughable to say bloat started in TSR which is widely viewed as the best book in this series) has given a number of authors trouble.

 

Having said that it's not as if Brandon used space wisely in these last three books. There was an astounding amount of bloat and filler. With RJ even what you call "fluff" was so riddled with hints and foreshadowing it would take a massive rewrite to seriously edit things. With Brandon's filler you could quite literally cut out whole sections without changing a thing. Further his "tell don't show" style and seeming inabiity to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action hurt Brandon. RJ could be very concise in conveying info and was great with pacing early on. We saw that he had things turned in the right direction after KoD as well.

Edited by Suttree
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The quality of Jordan's writing is better than Sanderson's, but it is also better than 98% of the fantasy writer's out there. 

 

I just read a small piece by a veteran, Terry Brooks, not impressed, does not reach Sanderson level, let alone Jordan. 

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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.

 

Sorry, I don't know how anyone could read his meanderings in COS/POD/WH/COT and not think  the series got away from him.

 

I'm sorry, if you're going to call BS on the quality of his work you have to do the same with RJ, frankly the bloat started with TSR, and the fluff to meaningful content ratio kept growing until you have entire books where it was all fluff.  Frankly if RJ had stayed focused on the story we wouldn't even be talking about BS because he'd have finished the story himself.

 

Explain to me how he meandered.  In detail please.  I'd love to hear your analysis on what went wrong and how the story got away from him.

 

Seems to me that this whole "the series got away from him" boat sailed based on one book that was not well received after a several year wait.  Fans wanted closure, but just because it took longer than they wanted doesn't mean that the series got away from the author.

Edited by Mark D
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I'm sorry, if you're going to call BS on the quality of his work you have to do the same with RJ, frankly the bloat started with TSR, and the fluff to meaningful content ratio kept growing until you have entire books where it was all fluff. Frankly if RJ had stayed focused on the story we wouldn't even be talking about BS because he'd have finished the story himself.

Couple things here. First off although they could have been edited better even when things got away from RJ the quality of prose never suffered. He was a very descriptive author and for better or worse it's part of what gave such depth to his world. We know that this mid-late section in long series(tPoD-CoT, it is laughable to say bloat started in TSR which is widely viewed as the best book in this series) has given a number of authors trouble.

 

Having said that it's not as if Brandon used space wisely in these last three books. There was an astounding amount of bloat and filler. With RJ even what you call "fluff" was so riddled with hints and foreshadowing it would take a massive rewrite to seriously edit things. With Brandon's filler you could quite literally cut out whole sections without changing a thing. Further his "tell don't show" style and seeming inabiity to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action hurt Brandon. RJ could be very concise in conveying info and was great with pacing early on. We saw that he had things turned in the right direction after KoD as well.

Yes, fine, even if I grant you that his quality of prose didn't suffer, as books they weren't very good, because stories require a good plot. Yes BS's stuff has fluff, but to me that is not a reversal of the pattern for the series, if anything his fluff is consistent with the rest of the series so I don't know why people are singling him out for fluff.

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Because as I said it isn't written well at times and we are at a vastly different place in the story arc. It is one thing for an author to get a sidetracked/ enamored of trying to add more depth as his story is expanding in the middle of a series and quite another to have the filler we have seen in these last three books over what is supposed to be the climax. To be clear however, RJ could have used a more heavy handed editor. The series would have been better for it.

Edited by Suttree
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I feel as though the discussion of the quality of books 6-9 may be a digression, but I'm extremely curious if I'm the only one here who has the following experience:

 

Like I would imagine most here, I have many friends who also read this genre. However, out of all of them, only one person besides myself and my wife did NOT give up on the series. Typically all of them dropped between books 6-10, citing variation on the themes mentioned here. I had assumed that even the staunchest fans were in a similar situation and it is hard to argue that there were serious problems in this range if the readership dropped off as much as my anecdotal evidence suggests. Often what I've heard is:

  • The bowl of the winds being somewhat pointless and taking forever
  • Perrin/Faile going on forever
  • All of crossroads of twilight (for those few who made it that far)
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Full disclose, I personally dropped the series mid-way through WH, it wasn't even a deliberate thing, I found myself reading at most 1-2 chapter a day because it wasn't that interesting, and then one day I didn't pick it up and never found a reason to re-open the book.   My plan originally was to pick up WH again and read it through to ToM and then MoL when it was released.  But I found WH so unbearable I ended up reading the chapter summaries of from WH to ToM just so I can finish the story with MoL.

 

I didn't find MoL to be a great book, or even good, I think I'd give it a C-minus.  But at least it kept my attention enough to want to finish it.  RJ couldn't even do that for me with WH.  Which is why I don't support the bashing BS, sure he wasn't great, but he was just picking up the pieces of a series that had fallen apart. Whatever pieces of the statue he managed to glue back together will be misshapen figure regardless of his best efforts.   The only person who could have put it back together was RJ, but he'd have been better off never wrecking it in the first place.

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Full disclose, I personally dropped the series mid-way through WH ...I found WH so unbearable I ended up reading the chapter summaries of from WH to ToM just so I can finish the story with MoL.

 

Really??  Are you kidding me??

 

First off, WH was fantastic.  One of my favorite books of the whole series.

 

Second, how do you think you have any right to come here and critique the series (and the last 3 books in particular) when you haven't even read it all??  I don't even feel it's worth it to counter your argument because you aren't qualified to comment.

 

Third, REALLY???????????

Edited by mrhumble1
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Yeah really, this thread is about the quality of MoL, which I read.

 

And no WH was not fantastic, not when it took a hundred pages for him to get the Kin from one town to the next.

Edited by LastHearth
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Yeah really, this thread is about the quality of MoL, which I read.

 

And no WH was not fantastic, not when it took a hundred pages for him to get the Kin from one town to the next.

 

Do I really have to say it??

 

In an epic series that spans over 10,000 pages, you can't judge the final books as stand-alone products.  As we have mentioned many times, the failings of AMoL are only partially self-contained.  Many issues we have noted REQUIRE READING THE REST OF THE SERIES  to understand.  How else would we be able to spot inconsistencies without prior context??

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Yes, this is a thread about the quality of aMoL. However, the thread is getting side-tracked and going off-topic.

 

This is about the quality of aMoL, not the quality of the other books. If you wish to discuss the quality or lack-thereof of the other books - feel free to create a thread in the General Discussion.

 

Also, quick note @LastHearth - If you do decide to take the conversation to another thread - the plot you mentioned with the kin was in PoD, not WH. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Yeah really, this thread is about the quality of MoL, which I read.

 

And no WH was not fantastic, not when it took a hundred pages for him to get the Kin from one town to the next.

Yo LH, if you want to start a thread in General about WH I would like to discuss it with you. You missed a few of the best written scenes in the entire series.

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I only bring up the other books in the context of how some in this thread are calling it the disastrous conclusion to a masterpiece and that BS is an epic failure as an author.  While I don't think it was a great book, I think it's as good as one can reasonably expect given the difficult circumstances. I was interested enough in what was happening to finish it relatively quickly, I don't expect that I'll ever re-read the book but I consider it a solid effort.

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I feel as though the discussion of the quality of books 6-9 may be a digression, but I'm extremely curious if I'm the only one here who has the following experience:

 

Like I would imagine most here, I have many friends who also read this genre. However, out of all of them, only one person besides myself and my wife did NOT give up on the series. Typically all of them dropped between books 6-10, citing variation on the themes mentioned here. I had assumed that even the staunchest fans were in a similar situation and it is hard to argue that there were serious problems in this range if the readership dropped off as much as my anecdotal evidence suggests. Often what I've heard is:

  • The bowl of the winds being somewhat pointless and taking forever
  • Perrin/Faile going on forever
  • All of crossroads of twilight (for those few who made it that far)

 

I agree that the Bowl of Winds plotline was really irrelevant to the series and felt like it took forever.  However...during that time we basically developed the character of Mat and the girls so despite the overall plot arc feeling pointless it did give us some very necessary character development time.

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No problem - as long as it doesn't go completely off topic. 

 

It's fine to reference the other books of course, however, it seemed to be going into a deeper discussion about them, rather than aMoL. 

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I feel as though the discussion of the quality of books 6-9 may be a digression, but I'm extremely curious if I'm the only one here who has the following experience:

 

Like I would imagine most here, I have many friends who also read this genre. However, out of all of them, only one person besides myself and my wife did NOT give up on the series. Typically all of them dropped between books 6-10, citing variation on the themes mentioned here. I had assumed that even the staunchest fans were in a similar situation and it is hard to argue that there were serious problems in this range if the readership dropped off as much as my anecdotal evidence suggests. Often what I've heard is:

  • The bowl of the winds being somewhat pointless and taking forever
  • Perrin/Faile going on forever
  • All of crossroads of twilight (for those few who made it that far)

 

I agree that the Bowl of Winds plotline was really irrelevant to the series and felt like it took forever.  However...during that time we basically developed the character of Mat and the girls so despite the overall plot arc feeling pointless it did give us some very necessary character development time.

Something to keep in mind however is you are talking about personnel preference in regards to plotlines and that is a totally different topic than quality. Ok, you didn't like the Bowl of Winds but again it was well written and some people loved it. It righted the weather and ended up playing a key role at TG so you can hardly call it irrelevant.

 

@LH

 

If you want to argue this book had decent pace and plenty of fan gratification in terms of what you are looking for that is all good. By your own admission the deeper undercurrents and level of immersion in those middle books weren't to your liking. Those comments again speak more so to what you like in fantasy than any quality issue which is what this thread is about.

Edited by Suttree
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No, it's not that I have a problem with deeper elements, I have a problem with stalling. Again this is veering off topic, but there are episodic TV shows where the whole point of the episode is that at the end you're right back to where you started at the beginning. In other words, the plot doesn't advance at all.

 

This is the case with the bowl of winds, it felt like a stalling tactic because the main plot was not advanced at all. 

 

I would have liked MoL if it had more deeper moments and less pages about various battles and skirmishes that we were never quite told why they were important.  That's why I gave it a C-.

Edited by LastHearth
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No, it's not that I have a problem with deeper elements, I have a problem with stalling. Again this is veering off topic, but there are episodic TV shows where the whole point of the episode is that at the end you're right back to where you started at the beginning. In other words, the plot doesn't advance at all.

 

By your own admission you stopped reading at WH. Not sure how can you possibly say with any certainty what is or isn't important without reading those books. Especially given the details you had wrong in your earlier posts. The bowl of winds not only fixed the worlds weather but also ended up playing a critical role at TG. It's a matter of preference, not a quality issue and the plot was certainly advanced on a number of levels. Edited by Suttree
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@ Mr Ares. I concede my specific point on paradise. I guess I never looked at "paradise" until I read about "Para Disen". I am not sure when RJ first used Para' Disen, so won't try to defend it. But with other words (especially to me channelers) characters use them, that I think should not. The common people, and really even Mat and Lan shouldn't be using 'channelers'. Mat, because he's made it a point to NOT talk about the OP, nor be around those who use the OP. Lan, because he should have respect in different measures for the various groups to not lump them all using a generic term.  It is similar to the Min/Mat thing. BS is putting knowledge we know as readers into characters' heads that should not know/do something. And I guess when I start to see it heaped, I start picking nits.

 

@Barid. I thought most of EoTW, Thom was with Rand and Mat, then got seperated at Whitebridge and then didn't return again until tGH. I didn't feel he was with Moiraine much at all. All the other 'together' with her seemed more reasonable that he was trying to find closure about his nephew Owyn. I could see Thom going through the rescue if the note had mentioned 'more about that nephew problem'. I understand the Siuan/Bryne romance better than this one.

 

I did like certain scenes. As mentioned, I started to like the Loial scene in the first seen ogier charge against the trollocs, but that was precisely where my book started missing pages and I have to wait to finish it.

 

Did anyone else dislike that Taim's Chosen name is M'hael? I don't mind he was made a Chosen, just it was always important that Lanfear was the only one to chose her darkside name. Also M'hael meaning 'leader' seems funny to me that any other Forsaken would be calling him 'leader'.

 

I had been hoping to see a double bond; was good to see it. Another scene I thought well done was Bashere with Elayne, when telling her he knew her babies were Rand's and then convincing her to let everyone know.

Edited by ZorValachan
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After finishing AMoL last night I decided to drop in here and add my share to the discussion. I have started the WoT-series in 2005 and basically read through the first 10 books in about 5 years, although I took some month-long breaks during the more endurance-testing volumes 6-9.

 

Generally, I liked AMoL as a book. I, however, think it is the worst of the 3 that BS has written (I really liked TGS and ToM). That is due to a couple of things. Firstly, the 600+ pages of battle are awesome, the deliver scale and feel like the Last Battle alright. It´s just an ending, that doesn´t fit for WoT in my opinion. To me WoT was always a very character-driven and extremely diverse series. It wasn´t primarily a series about large-scale battles. I love Mat, I love the awesome general he´s become, but to me, that´s not what this story should be about in the ending. (Although I do get it was, of course, a literary device to emphasise that not only Rand but everyone has to fight and to sacrifice) More than 600 pages of battle and only about 20 of epilogue, that´s not how this story should end in my opinion. I would at least have expected an epilogue of about 100 - 150 pages. Right now it feels like someone gathering the courage and strength to jump down a very high cliff, which takes a long time, and after finally jumping noticing that he only jumped down a couple of inches. I don´t know how to describe it better.

 

What I also didn´t really like, was how at last in a very short amount of (story-)time everything just fell right into place for the happiest of all endings. A character like Fain gets set-up starting in the very first book and always operating off-stage only to get finished in about 2 pages of book-time. That´s somewhat awkward to me.

 

One more thing to add is that this is the first book where I recognized Brandon being off with a couple of words and too repetitive with others. This leads me to assuming it was done a bit hastily in the end.

 

While all of this may sound very negatively I don´t entirely mean it that way. As I wrote in the beginning: I like the book. I enjoyed reading it and it´s good WoT has come to an end. In the end I think there are some things in the overall story that keep me from being completely blown away, the main thing of which is Jordan´s clear and very black-white depiction of good and bad. To me, having matured some as a person and having read books or stories that do not avoid the mixture of good and bad it feels like an over-simplified, very childish way to view the world.

 

I´d like to add one slightly OT-issue about Brandon: Anyone in here claiming that he is not capable of writing such a story I´d challenge to read some of his non-WoT-works. To me he is a fantastic storyteller with a real talent to create diversified worlds and stories.

 

@Mark D: Why the "lol" about Brandon´s own epic-series?

 

€: To add something more positive to my assessment: The most touching and best scene in the whole book was the last from Logain. "The Black Tower is here to protect." That was such a marvelous resolution for the whole Logain-arc and also extremely heartwarming, I loved it.

Edited by thoro
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