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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Quality Discussion Thread


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I got bored one day and took the 3 (ed: Sanderson books) books and made them into one ebook following this timeline: https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0ApFWTyzG9G_UdHZCUjQzVGNLeUJyMkUycXkzQlExSFE&output=html

 

It's way, WAY better than I expected re-reading it now. I hope Team Jordan does a timeline following book and if not I can't wait for the AMOL timeline to start up so I can edit it even more.

Edited by JustCharlie
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Well, BS said "I might have done more with Fain if I'd had the time and the pages."

Funny that WoK is actually about 100 pages longer than AMoL.

 

Well, I shall say this once more, and let the critics continue to use insults against me because I really don't care what the critics think about me. However, I say and I know that I had absolutely no problems at all following the timelines in The Gathering Storm, The Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light.

Which is not to say that there were no problems in them. Did you have no problems because the problems were not so glaring that you noticed them, or because there were no problems to be noticed? If there are no problems, then would you care to offer an explanation for why Stephen Cooper felt unable to construct a coherent timeline? The guy managed it for the first eleven books, and then found too many contradictions in the Sanderson books. By saying that you didn't have a problem doesn't actually address the criticism, it sidesteps it.

I know that what I say is not going to change the minds of anyone who has insulted me, and frankly, I don't care if I change your mind or not. But, I shall continue to be steadfast in my appreciation for Brandon Sanderson, Harriet, Team Jordan, and Tor Publishing for TGS, TOM, and AMOL because those final 3 books brought an epic ending to the greatest series of fantasy novels ever written.  Oh, and just in case anyone has a problem determining whether or not I'm being subjective or objective, then let me put that potential confusing thought to rest, if you don't mind.

 

I am being subjective, instead of objective, with my enjoyment of the Wheel of Time series, including the final 3 books. Also, I shall continue to keep on doing re-reads of the entire series at least once every other year for many, many more years to come.

Saying you enjoyed it is all well and good, but this is the Quality Discussion thread - enjoyment has no bearing on quality. As for the objective/subjective discussion, let us not fall into the trap of thinking that all opinions are equal. "I liked/didn't like it" is a beginning, not an end. What did you like/dislike, and why? Some people are very good at explaining why they felt a certain way, at breaking down the problems and triumphs of the writing - for WoT or anything else. If someone offers an opinion on what worked or didn't work about Fain, Demandred, chapter 37, or anything else but is able to back it up, that is worth more than those opinions which are not backed up. Take Fain as an example: if someone said they didn't like his ending because there was a cliffhanger for him set up in the last book, since then he has undergone a profound change, he then has a very abrupt death after 2 pages of screen time over the novel, and it feels rushed, poorly set up, and not like a natural development of where he was in the narrative from where we saw him last, and while he has tended to be a fairly minor presence he has been a catalyst for some important things, and this was just a throwaway death. Trying to counter that with "Fain was never that important" or "there wasn't time or space" don't really address the criticisms put forward.

 

To give another example, Demandred has changed - that much is noted in the text. But how he went from the person he was to the person he is isn't expanded upon. We don't even have a decent implication, only the vaguest suggestions, nothing solid to base our guesses on. Some of these changes to his character make for important plot points. To suggest that this was done to preserve surprise doesn't address the criticism, firstly because the information could be revealed after the surprise, and secondly because sacrificing coherent narrative for a surprise is bad writing. It brings to mind something I once read from Neil Gaiman, where he talked about his writing. He explained that to make the paragraph work to best effect, he had to remove the best sentence from the paragraph - the whole without was stronger than the sum of its parts. The surprise was a good moment, but that one moment is not more important than the novel as a whole - if the book as a whole is weaker for that big moment, then giving Demandred a weaker entrance but a stronger overall storyline is the way to go. I appreciate that that is a difficult choice for a writer to face, but it's part of the job.

 

Now, these criticisms might still be subjective, but your defences of the book to not truly get to grips with the criticisms people are levelling at it.

 

 

What I believe is that the criticisms are making mountains out of molehills. The small problems within the last 3 books of the Wheel of Time series are hugely outweighed when put into comparison with everything that is very good in TGS, TOM, and AMOL. These are all subjective opinions, and I believe that my opinions are shared by the vast majority of readers who have read these books and also written reviews online in such places like Amazon.com

 

So, the critics can keep on harping on what they did not like. But, on the other hand, I won't do that because I'm simply not that kind of man.

Shared by the vast majority? Even if true, that merely speaks to a quantity of opinions, not a quality. If twenty people love it for every one that was rather disappointed, but not one of those twenty can offer a decent defence of their view, or a good rebuttal to the criticisms of that one guy, then that one guy's viewpoint is worth more. As Harlan Ellison said: "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No-one is entitled to be ignorant." Or how about this article: https://theconversation.edu.au/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978. "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for." It might be subjective, it might just be opinion, but how much you liked it, how popular it is, these things do not speak to quality in the slightest, and this thread is interested in quality.

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Sorry, I've been unavailable for the past few days. 

 

IN any case, Master Ablar is correct.

 

The discussion has moved into personal territory, and it shall not be tolerated. I can't take back what's been posted while I was absent, however, any further posts that attack a poster rather than their posts will be removed, and dealt with appropriately depending on the severity. The previous posts are out and there is no use taking them back - but you have been warned that it will no longer be tolerated. 

 

This is a thread people can comment with their opinions on the quality of aMoL specifically, and to an extent, the series as a whole. This is not a thread to try and discredit or dismiss posters by attempting to explain their personal flaws. 

 

If you have to attack someone's integrity by labelling them as a fanboy, hardcore fanatic or any other such name - you have no argument here on DM. I will not accept any further attempts to attack the posters personality. 

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I think that I suck and my opinions are worthless, because I am obviously missing a crucial detail/ not thinking logically/ a bloody flaming son of a goat. The books were so much better/worse than I previously stated, because I failed to take into account something.

 

In all seriousness, though, I felt that AMOL, like every other novel in the series, had it's ups and downs. Also, I greatly enjoyed the comment that someone posted earlier about the differences between RJ and BS when it came to conversation. I thought that something seemed slightly off, but I never actually looked enough to realize that the characters' "thought commentary" was missing. Looking back, however, that does definitely detract somewhat, although I still found the battles pleasing to the senses, and I loved the scene where the people of Hinderstap are shown to be repeatedly fighting. Nice touch.

Edited by Orange7
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Sorry, I've been unavailable for the past few days. 

 

IN any case, Master Ablar is correct.

 

The discussion has moved into personal territory, and it shall not be tolerated. I can't take back what's been posted while I was absent, however, any further posts that attack a poster rather than their posts will be removed, and dealt with appropriately depending on the severity. The previous posts are out and there is no use taking them back - but you have been warned that it will no longer be tolerated. 

 

This is a thread people can comment with their opinions on the quality of aMoL specifically, and to an extent, the series as a whole. This is not a thread to try and discredit or dismiss posters by attempting to explain their personal flaws. 

 

If you have to attack someone's integrity by labelling them as a fanboy, hardcore fanatic or any other such name - you have no argument here on DM. I will not accept any further attempts to attack the posters personality. 

Ah, c'mon Barid!  Look where this thread has gone since we banned ad hominem attacks!  It's in a coma!

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Little change of pace, if I may...

 

I wanted to start a new topic on this but since we still can't do that, I guess I'll ask here.  So I've got my wife reading the series for the first time, and I'm feeling a little torn.  Should I tell her not to get her expectations too high for the last 2-3 books.  IMO, TGS and even parts to TOM are worthwhile, but I'm seriously considering telling her not to go on to AMOL.  Given her predilections, I can confidently say that hundreds of pages of trolloc smashing will bore the hell out of her.  On the other hand, the book did have SOME satisfactory moments of character resolution.  I just can't decide...

 

After reading the book a second time, and ruminating on how it resolved the series as a whole, I'm finding myself less and less satisfied.  Part of it is going back through the previous books and encountering again the lush and vivid characters that disappeared under Sanderson.  The large amounts of unresolved plot and unattended character development have just...well, I don't want to say it ruined the series for me, but it definitely left it with a major, major flaw.  Kind of like a very attractive person who'd had one of their eyes gouged out.

 

What should I do?  Should I advise here to stop after KOD or TGS, or even TOM?  Or should she read the whole thing so that we can commiserate?

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I honestly can't imagine reading the series and not reading the last 3 books. But then I still enjoy tGS (despite the structural issues it causes), and ToM has some of my favourite scenes (Avi through Rhuidean and Nyn's testing, also Perrin). I would say read it through so you know the end, on rereads knowing the end, maybe you could stop at KoD (although I doubt I will), but I'd read through to the end first. Presumably based on your reaction she already knows that you were disappointed? If so, I'd leave it. But you know your wife better than me, *shrugs*

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I am relatively certain that I will not be re-reading the series.  The last 2 books were such a let-down that I will be cutting ties with the WOT and moving on (though I will still post on this and other DM threads).  Further, I always tell people who ask about the series that I loved it up until the last few books--that is the caveat that I think should be known before starting such a long series.

 

***SUBJECTIVE OPINION AHEAD*** Structural, editing, and other literary issues aside, I found the ending so lacking in any type of feeling of legend.  Nothing distinguished the telling of this turn of the wheel from any other.  I had really thought that Fain would play a role, but nope, he just gets stabbed.  The sublety of Robert's writing was butchered under Brandon.  And even with that, I thought the ending that Jordan had called for was flat.  It would have been an interesting and (possibly) legendary ending had the books wrapped after TSR or abouts, but the longer the series went, the more I felt that all the threads of the various storylines, prophecies, and foretelling would come together in some grand, epic conclusion.  And that is not what we got.

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I honestly can't imagine reading the series and not reading the last 3 books. But then I still enjoy tGS (despite the structural issues it causes), and ToM has some of my favourite scenes (Avi through Rhuidean and Nyn's testing, also Perrin). I would say read it through so you know the end, on rereads knowing the end, maybe you could stop at KoD (although I doubt I will), but I'd read through to the end first. Presumably based on your reaction she already knows that you were disappointed? If so, I'd leave it. But you know your wife better than me, *shrugs*

 

Yeah, she's said she plans on reading it regardless of what I say, so I'm now trying to manage my irritation with it so as not to color her opinion preemptively.  I guess I wanted more to see where the community was sitting in regards to the series as a whole, now that AMOL has been out for nearly 2 months.  I've found that the book worked much better for me straight off the shelf, when I'd not read Jordan's volumes in over a year.  Reading them back to back, I find issues emerging that are impossible to ignore, culminating in a final volume that fails by the standards previously set by the series.  I was wondering what others recommending the WoT to new people would say.  If the final book just sucked, but the author was the same, then I'd say it's an unavoidable pitfall, but since it's a completely different author I think a legitimate case could be made for considering at least the final volume (which contained the least of Jordan's writing) or perhaps the final two as non-canon.

 

Aside from Mat and a few minor things, I also liked TGS well enough. Egwene's defense of the WT and Rand atop DM are two solid series highlights for me.  I don't really care one way or the other about the reasons why Sanderson dropped the ball on the other two books, simply because I don't know where that tiresome conversation can go at this point; it's done, and WoT is what it is, for better or (IMO) worse.  But I am curious on people's thoughts on the series as a whole, now that they've had some time to reflect.

 

 

I am relatively certain that I will not be re-reading the series.  The last 2 books were such a let-down that I will be cutting ties with the WOT and moving on (though I will still post on this and other DM threads).  Further, I always tell people who ask about the series that I loved it up until the last few books--that is the caveat that I think should be known before starting such a long series.

 

***SUBJECTIVE OPINION AHEAD*** Structural, editing, and other literary issues aside, I found the ending so lacking in any type of feeling of legend.  Nothing distinguished the telling of this turn of the wheel from any other.  I had really thought that Fain would play a role, but nope, he just gets stabbed.  The sublety of Robert's writing was butchered under Brandon.  And even with that, I thought the ending that Jordan had called for was flat.  It would have been an interesting and (possibly) legendary ending had the books wrapped after TSR or abouts, but the longer the series went, the more I felt that all the threads of the various storylines, prophecies, and foretelling would come together in some grand, epic conclusion.  And that is not what we got.

 

I kind of had to eat my words.  I was convinced that one book was just too small to contain the last battle that we'd been promised, but upon reading it I actually found myself bored and exhausted by the endless and rather monotonous fighting.  I've got no doubt that Jordan would've written more interesting action scenes, but as you say, he'd written some pretty difficult checks for the ending to have to cash long before Sanderson arrived on the scene.  We'd been given the vague warning that not all plot related issues would be resolved, but that could have meant anything.  The way that ended up manifesting itself was, however, pretty unacceptable IMHO.  I think I've listed my big beefs with the book in other posts, and it would probably be boring to reiterate that again here, but I agree with your point.  What we got was a nominal ending, a Pyrrhic victory that left many of the characters we loved and the moments with them we'd waited for criminally unattended by the final book.

Edited by batcaver
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Hey, HEY

 

It was CRUCIAL that we absolutely positively after all this TIME knew for certain that Aviendha, can be SNEAKY and can SLINK into Elayne's TENT...using STEALTH.

 

*gasps from crowd

 

I know, I know I took lessons...You see what I did there? Added things in all caps, and incorporated the most basic alliteration learned in grade school. Geez I just wish I could have worked in some italics too. You know, for emphasis.

 

*stares up into the sky

 

For me, the single biggest cringe chapter of the book. Need an extra 10 pages for Fain? There you go. Such a Mary Sue.

Edited by mbuehner
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Well hey,

Don't forget about how we need to see Mat, on his way to see Tuon in Ebou Dar, should make sure to stop at an inn and practically spill the beans with randoms while having a drink & eating...Because at that point it's not like there's any important matters to attend to, concerning the Empire and some kind of...battle, some fight thing that was going on, you know, a pivotal one...something something fate of the world & existence...Nope, schlubbing with rando's it is!

*forehead to table


 

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I honestly can't imagine reading the series and not reading the last 3 books. But then I still enjoy tGS (despite the structural issues it causes), and ToM has some of my favourite scenes (Avi through Rhuidean and Nyn's testing, also Perrin). I would say read it through so you know the end, on rereads knowing the end, maybe you could stop at KoD (although I doubt I will), but I'd read through to the end first. Presumably based on your reaction she already knows that you were disappointed? If so, I'd leave it. But you know your wife better than me, *shrugs*

 

Yeah, she's said she plans on reading it regardless of what I say, so I'm now trying to manage my irritation with it so as not to color her opinion preemptively.  I guess I wanted more to see where the community was sitting in regards to the series as a whole, now that AMOL has been out for nearly 2 months.  I've found that the book worked much better for me straight off the shelf, when I'd not read Jordan's volumes in over a year.  Reading them back to back, I find issues emerging that are impossible to ignore, culminating in a final volume that fails by the standards previously set by the series.  I was wondering what others recommending the WoT to new people would say.  If the final book just sucked, but the author was the same, then I'd say it's an unavoidable pitfall, but since it's a completely different author I think a legitimate case could be made for considering at least the final volume (which contained the least of Jordan's writing) or perhaps the final two as non-canon.

 

Aside from Mat and a few minor things, I also liked TGS well enough. Egwene's defense of the WT and Rand atop DM are two solid series highlights for me.  I don't really care one way or the other about the reasons why Sanderson dropped the ball on the other two books, simply because I don't know where that tiresome conversation can go at this point; it's done, and WoT is what it is, for better or (IMO) worse.  But I am curious on people's thoughts on the series as a whole, now that they've had some time to reflect.

 

 

I am relatively certain that I will not be re-reading the series.  The last 2 books were such a let-down that I will be cutting ties with the WOT and moving on (though I will still post on this and other DM threads).  Further, I always tell people who ask about the series that I loved it up until the last few books--that is the caveat that I think should be known before starting such a long series.

 

***SUBJECTIVE OPINION AHEAD*** Structural, editing, and other literary issues aside, I found the ending so lacking in any type of feeling of legend.  Nothing distinguished the telling of this turn of the wheel from any other.  I had really thought that Fain would play a role, but nope, he just gets stabbed.  The sublety of Robert's writing was butchered under Brandon.  And even with that, I thought the ending that Jordan had called for was flat.  It would have been an interesting and (possibly) legendary ending had the books wrapped after TSR or abouts, but the longer the series went, the more I felt that all the threads of the various storylines, prophecies, and foretelling would come together in some grand, epic conclusion.  And that is not what we got.

 

I kind of had to eat my words.  I was convinced that one book was just too small to contain the last battle that we'd been promised, but upon reading it I actually found myself bored and exhausted by the endless and rather monotonous fighting.  I've got no doubt that Jordan would've written more interesting action scenes, but as you say, he'd written some pretty difficult checks for the ending to have to cash long before Sanderson arrived on the scene.  We'd been given the vague warning that not all plot related issues would be resolved, but that could have meant anything.  The way that ended up manifesting itself was, however, pretty unacceptable IMHO.  I think I've listed my big beefs with the book in other posts, and it would probably be boring to reiterate that again here, but I agree with your point.  What we got was a nominal ending, a Pyrrhic victory that left many of the characters we loved and the moments with them we'd waited for criminally unattended by the final book.

(apologies in advance for formatting)

 

When you say you don't want to consider them as canon, is this because of the ending (last couple of chapters), the last 3 books? Is it the actual plot (endpoints, journey), or the way it's been written?

 

I like the ending (last few chapters), I like where the characters end up. Oddly enough, considering my opinions of the last few chapters, I actually really like Mat & Tuon in the end, Perrin finding Faile moved me more than I thought possible from those 2, the implication that Cads will end up as Amrylin was perfect for me, but Rand and Nyn left me cold. Some of the things in the book that I really don't like, make sense when I step back and think about the plot, the various build-up and what has to happen.

 

The obvious example of this is the FoM. When I step back, Moiraine bringing peace between Rand and Eg makes sense, it fits the foretelling (in a twist that I liked). But Egs development as of tGS, Rands by ToM means they should be on the same side without needing Moiraine. I don't doubt that RJ could have written it in a way that felt organic, but BS (having listened to some of his podcasts) seems to write them in a way that fulfills their position in a plot, but they're not his characters and they're not 'organic' in the story.

 

I guess, I'm going to view it as canon, even though I'm disappointed with some of the execution.

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Let me preface this post by saying that I'm under the impression that Robert Jordan wrote the entirety of the epilogue.  If that has been shown to be incorrect, then I'll have to reevaluate, but I'm dealing with the most current information I have.  I only say this since things I've been led to understand about who wrote what in the past have turned out to be hearsay or mistaken info.

 


When you say you don't want to consider them as canon, is this because of the ending (last couple of chapters), the last 3 books? Is it the actual plot (endpoints, journey), or the way it's been written?

I like the ending (last few chapters), I like where the characters end up. Oddly enough, considering my opinions of the last few chapters, I actually really like Mat & Tuon in the end, Perrin finding Faile moved me more than I thought possible from those 2, the implication that Cads will end up as Amrylin was  perfect for me, but Rand and Nyn left me cold. Some of the things in the book that I really don't like, make sense when I step back and think about the plot, the various build-up and what has to happen.

The obvious example of this is the FoM.  When I step back, Moiraine bringing peace between Rand and Eg makes sense, it fits the foretelling (in a twist that I liked). But Egs development as of tGS, Rands by ToM means they should be on the same side without needing Moiraine. I don't doubt that RJ could have written it in a way that felt organic, but BS (having listened to some of his podcasts) seems to write them in a way that fulfills their position in a plot, but they're not his characters and they're not 'organic' in the story.

I guess, I'm going to view it as canon, even though I'm disappointed with some of the execution.

 

I'm not saying I would view them that way, just that I think it would be a legit stance for someone to take on the series.  I really haven't made up my mind about that.  I think there will probably be a very common bracketing of the last three books whenever the series is reflected on in the future, and whether that's referred to as canon/not canon or just footnoted as "Sanderson WoT" is probably just splitting hairs.

 

People are probably going to gag when I say this, but I actually thing that, holistically, the book would've been better if they'd just left Jordan's work out.  The epilogue felt very odd for me next to the rest of the book, and just generally very skeletal besides.  I didn't like the way Sanderson was handling the pacing, what was being attended vs. what wasn't, the overwrought action glut that lacked the personal touch from the characters that gave Jordan's violence it's punch, and lots of other things, but putting all that next to the super-abbreviated way the book ended was what tipped the whole thing over from unsatisfactory to schizophrenic. 

 

The one thing I can't get over more than anything else is that.  The WoT is characteristically long winded, I mean it's practically a founding principle of the series.  It's the most epic of the epic.  I may just have been expecting too much, but I really think that if an author is going to establish his style and approach as giving the attention to detail and subtlety that Jordan did in the middle to later books, then that standard should be carried through to the end of the series.  It became apparent early on that Sanderson couldn't match Jordon on descriptive prose, which isn't his fault, but why just stop the series on a dime like that?  I definitely respect others' opinions on the novels, but that some people are saying they felt that the thousands upon thousands of pages of character development was well resolved makes me wonder if we were reading the same book or if I'm just a weirdo.  I'm not a generally sappy guy, but man, we couldn't get more than 18 or so pages of aftermath to the biggest events of the series?  This is what I meant by the suggestion that it might've been better if it had been %100 Sanderson.  I say that only somewhat on a lark, because it's not that I think the writing would have been better that way, but if they hadn't felt compelled to build the ending around that lackluster bit of writing in the epilogue it might've freed them up to do something more substantial.  I think in the end, Jordan would've if he'd written it, or if he had decided to publish verbatim some scrap he'd written years before, he would've made quite certain that what preceded it met up with it in the right way.   As it was, I completely understand why they didn't want to change it, but I just don't think it worked very well in the way they left it.  As a fan, I was really looking forward to the hyped up(over hyped, I'd now say)  bit of genuine Robert Jordan WoT writing promised at the end of the book and it just didn't deliver at all.  It read exactly like the cliff notes to the epilogue I expected.  The book ended pretty much when the fighting ended, which sends the message that the battle was the most important aspect of the series.  The first time I read it, having not read the earlier books in a while, I was almost convinced.  Then when I went back and immediately I remembered that, no, it wasn't always.  It was the characters.

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Let me preface this post by saying that I'm under the impression that Robert Jordan wrote the entirety of the epilogue.  If that has been shown to be incorrect, then I'll have to reevaluate, but I'm dealing with the most current information I have.  I only say this since things I've been led to understand about who wrote what in the past have turned out to be hearsay or mistaken info.

 

At the moment I believe that Cadsuane was written by BS and Rand was written by RJ.  I'm not sure about the rest.  Incidentally the FoM has been quoted in interviews as having more input from RJ then other sections.  I don't believe this means that RJ wrote it, just that the sequence of events (maybe as brief as Eg and Rand fight, Moiraine comes in and saves the day) was more RJ than BS. 

 

 

 

When you say you don't want to consider them as canon, is this because of the ending (last couple of chapters), the last 3 books? Is it the actual plot (endpoints, journey), or the way it's been written?

 

I like the ending (last few chapters), I like where the characters end up. Oddly enough, considering my opinions of the last few chapters, I actually really like Mat & Tuon in the end, Perrin finding Faile moved me more than I thought possible from those 2, the implication that Cads will end up as Amrylin was  perfect for me, but Rand and Nyn left me cold. Some of the things in the book that I really don't like, make sense when I step back and think about the plot, the various build-up and what has to happen.

 

The obvious example of this is the FoM.  When I step back, Moiraine bringing peace between Rand and Eg makes sense, it fits the foretelling (in a twist that I liked). But Egs development as of tGS, Rands by ToM means they should be on the same side without needing Moiraine. I don't doubt that RJ could have written it in a way that felt organic, but BS (having listened to some of his podcasts) seems to write them in a way that fulfills their position in a plot, but they're not his characters and they're not 'organic' in the story.

 

I guess, I'm going to view it as canon, even though I'm disappointed with some of the execution.

 

I'm not saying I would view them that way, just that I think it would be a legit stance for someone to take on the series.  I really haven't made up my mind about that.  I think there will probably be a very common bracketing of the last three books whenever the series is reflected on in the future, and whether that's referred to as canon/not canon or just footnoted as "Sanderson WoT" is probably just splitting hairs.

 

People are probably going to gag when I say this, but I actually thing that, holistically, the book would've been better if they'd just left Jordan's work out.  The epilogue felt very odd for me next to the rest of the book, and just generally very skeletal besides.  I didn't like the way Sanderson was handling the pacing, what was being attended vs. what wasn't, the overwrought action glut that lacked the personal touch from the characters that gave Jordan's violence it's punch, and lots of other things, but putting all that next to the super-abbreviated way the book ended was what tipped the whole thing over from unsatisfactory to schizophrenic. 

 

The one thing I can't get over more than anything else is that.  The WoT is characteristically long winded, I mean it's practically a founding principle of the series.  It's the most epic of the epic.  I may just have been expecting too much, but I really think that if an author is going to establish his style and approach as giving the attention to detail and subtlety that Jordan did in the middle to later books, then that standard should be carried through to the end of the series.  It became apparent early on that Sanderson couldn't match Jordon on descriptive prose, which isn't his fault, but why just stop the series on a dime like that?  I definitely respect others' opinions on the novels, but that some people are saying they felt that the thousands upon thousands of pages of character development was well resolved makes me wonder if we were reading the same book or if I'm just a weirdo.  I'm not a generally sappy guy, but man, we couldn't get more than 18 or so pages of aftermath to the biggest events of the series?  This is what I meant by the suggestion that it might've been better if it had been %100 Sanderson.  I say that only somewhat on a lark, because it's not that I think the writing would have been better that way, but if they hadn't felt compelled to build the ending around that lackluster bit of writing in the epilogue it might've freed them up to do something more substantial.  I think in the end, Jordan would've if he'd written it, or if he had decided to publish verbatim some scrap he'd written years before, he would've made quite certain that what preceded it met up with it in the right way.   As it was, I completely understand why they didn't want to change it, but I just don't think it worked very well in the way they left it.  As a fan, I was really looking forward to the hyped up(over hyped, I'd now say)  bit of genuine Robert Jordan WoT writing promised at the end of the book and it just didn't deliver at all.  It read exactly like the cliff notes to the epilogue I expected.  The book ended pretty much when the fighting ended, which sends the message that the battle was the most important aspect of the series.  The first time I read it, having not read the earlier books in a while, I was almost convinced.  Then when I went back and immediately I remembered that, no, it wasn't always.  It was the characters.

 

I like the ending, or at least I like the position of characters at the end, which isn't quite the same thing.  I don't feel the need for the story to be continued beyond the point at which they were left but it would have been nice if there was more of a reaction from the characters about the end of the Battle.  

 

I also like what BS tried to do with the Last Battle, between all the trollocs we visited a lot of secondary and tertiary characters from the previous books, unfortunately the characters lost their individuality and it didn't quite work, but I appreciate (not sure if that's the word I mean) that the effort was made to incorporate them.  

 

 

To an extent I agree that something didn't work about trying ot gel the two styles together.  Additionally the majority of what was RJs was a rough draft and felt like it.  he bits that BS wrote that were the most successful were the bits I think he had the least input from, Perrin, Nynaeve, Aviendha (in Rhuidean), Rand (in,,  tGS - although I'm not sure what the split is here), etc.  Of course this also gave us Hinderstapp, which despite being used in aMoL wasn't saved by it.

 

For myself, their are enough good points in the books for me to want to reread.  On the most recent reread even Mat didn't throw me as much as normal, maybe because I'm expecting it.  But more, the ending of the characters felt right.  So many of the endings reflect the beginning, it's one of the things that I like about the last 3 books, and I include Mat and the badger in ToM in this.  Perrin finds Faile, mirroring tSR, Lan sheathing the sword, mirroring his NS duel...  It all sort of fits.  But that's seperate from the quality discussion. 

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Honestly if someone asked me for my commendation on the series I'd tell them to read books 1-5 and ready the plot summaries of the rest to find out what happens.

And if they tell me they'd rather not do that I'd recommend skipping it all together.

I cannot in good conscious recommend books 6-14, there are too many better ways to spend one's time than to ready almost ten thousand pages of that.

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"Honestly if someone asked me for my commendation on the series I'd tell them to read books 1-5 and ready the plot summaries of the rest to find out what happens. And if they tell me they'd rather not do that I'd recommend skipping it all together. I cannot in good conscious recommend books 6-14, there are too many better ways to spend one's time than to ready almost ten thousand pages of that."
 

Honestly, Several of those books were quite good. Large parts of 9,10, 13, and 14 are crap, but most of them are still salvageable, and 6,7, 8, 11, and 12 were all pretty good. If anything, you may want to tell your friend to at least go until Path of Daggers. LOC and COS were both good, and POD wasn't too bad, so they may still get some entertainment out of them. Honestly, WH wasn't all that bad either, but it was where it started to get a little painful in places, and it leaves a lot of cliffhangers that make it impossible not to read on (Which would mean COT, *shudder*).

Edited by Orange7
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Guest Centauri25

I agree with Last Hearth. With all my excitement for the final book, my wife finally picked the series up. But I told her that while the first 4 or 5 books are killer, after that it just is not as good. Some good scenes, but mostly a letdown, and the ending envisioned by RJ just does not justify the time investment.

 

I can add some good scenes were Dumai, Perrin's hammer, Moiraines rescue. Not much else.

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Come on guys... No love for Rand at the top of Dragonmount, Perrin at Malden, any of the battle scenes, Moridin's (pre-Amol) interactions, or any of the BT stuff? There were quite a few good parts. They just happened to have quite a few bad parts surrounding them. It doesn't make the books completely worthless.

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The only books I consider legitimately bad are CoT and AMoL, with AMoL being the worse book.    Winter's Heart was excellent with the Cleansing of Sadin, the introduction of Tuon, and the Toveine Gazal PoV in the prologue one of the best in the series.

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At first I didn't mind AMOL so much because I was just happy to reading the Wheel of Time. But now it's starting to bother me more because that's the last one and there is no more, and I cannot at ALL help feeling that that should have been a lot better.

 

Overall, I'm still glad Sanderson finished the series, but I wish sooooo much that we could have seen what RJ would have written. It almost feels like we never got to see the ending at all.

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I've finally finished the final book.  Like many, I appreciate that Brandon completed the series.  However I wish he hadn't.  The last book seemed to lack the depth that was intrinsic to the rest of the series. It lacked the feeling of closure that book 14 of a series should have brought to us.   I just feel like we got "A Memor of Light" light.  Which, I guess, is what we did get.

 

In the spirit of never giving up until we're satisfied, I think it would be awesome if Dragonmount held a competition for its fan base.  Let everyone write their own last battle between Rand and the Dark One including an epilogue.  They give people a month for all submissions, select the top 10 or 15, then let the rest of us pick first, second and third place.

 

Then again, maybe the idea is ridiculous.

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I've finally finished the final book.  Like many, I appreciate that Brandon completed the series.  However I wish he hadn't.  The last book seemed to lack the depth that was intrinsic to the rest of the series. It lacked the feeling of closure that book 14 of a series should have brought to us.   I just feel like we got "A Memor of Light" light.  Which, I guess, is what we did get.

 

In the spirit of never giving up until we're satisfied, I think it would be awesome if Dragonmount held a competition for its fan base.  Let everyone write their own last battle between Rand and the Dark One including an epilogue.  They give people a month for all submissions, select the top 10 or 15, then let the rest of us pick first, second and third place.

 

Then again, maybe the idea is ridiculous.

 

I don't know that it's really that ridiculous, if it's not taken overly seriously.  Sanderson's work felt like exactly that to me; fan fiction.

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Hey bat, interesting question you pose here. Sanderson's work at times does read very much like fan fic. That said there wasn't nearly enough material/direction in the notes to have a ghost writer finish the series. TJ needed and actual writer to create large parts of the story. It was often jarring with modern language and unpolished prose but it would have been worse to my mind had he actually attempted to copy RJ's voice.

 

Here is where I have gone back and forth. Part of me does not think RJ would have been happy with how the story was finished, quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps we would have been better off getting the encyclopedia with the ending and notes included? The thing is for all that these books were uneven and the quality at times low Brandon did give us some moments of brilliance. Dark Rand, Egwene against the Seanchan, the Ogier charging and turning the song into pure fury. Do moments like that make it worth reading? I think so and I would have her read all the way through. So where I struggle is in thinking how this has affected the long time legacy of the WoT and Brandon's skills as an author. I often wonder if we hadn't been so unrealistically effusive in our praise after TGS if it would have helped Brandon grow as an author instead of stalling. I mean who would have possibly thought TGS would have been far and away the best of his work on the Wheel?

Edited by Suttree
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who would have possibly thought TGS would have been far and away the best of his work on the Wheel?

 

Anyone who has ever read the phrase 'storm you' :p

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....That said there wasn't nearly enough material/direction in the notes to have a ghost writer finish the series. ...

 

I always see this written as a fact. Is there some hard data to prove this claim or is it a theory?

After all there exist eleven books which profile many of the characters in great detail. With this and some raw notes about upcoming events it should have been possible to continue and finish the story. Even discounting further character development the end-result may have been satisfactory.

 

I've always disliked the fact that BS was able to write faster than RJ himself even when it wasn't his own story. Given the relatively small amount of work put into the last three books and lack of attention to detail, the result is not surprising. What saves the series for me is the knowledge that these books are so distinct from the eleven others that they may as well have been written as fan fiction.

So WOT remains still unresolved. I can live with this. After all i've done so for the past 20 years. Not everything needs to be finished and put away to collect dust forgotten on a shelf.

 

And lastly: the notes were created by someone with a technical background (nuclear physics). Who exactly looked through the notes and said they were lacking?

 

Edit: I don't really know the amount of manpower put into completion of the series and how it compares to the prior books. But the amount seems smaller. Lacking the main contributor, it should have been the other way around.

Edited by Talathar
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