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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Quality Discussion Thread

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Suttree, I've found the Agereview online:

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/a-memory-of-light-20130301-2fbam.html

Thanks for that.

 

Not sure where you are going with the flame war thing? It's been stated a number of times in thread that quality isn't about how much someone personally likes/dislikes the book. Additionally good and bad reviews can easily be found so was just hoping to hear your thoughts as the detailed support for why the quality of AMoL was good has been pretty lacking in these conversations. This could be a really cool topic that unfortunately has been somewhat one sided.

 

Edit: Meh checked out that review and it was very topline. The majority pretty much discusses the entire series and spends like a chapter on AMoL at the end. One part intrigued me though...

 

Indeed, at times Sanderson shows more technical skill than Jordan himself.

Would have loved to see what he thought that was. The above is precisely what I would like to see more of broken down in detail from people that thought the quality was high.

 

Edit: Wow even leaving aside the random blogs and threads some of those reviews are comedy. One the first ones claims the series started going of the rails in book 3 and 4?!?! How could someone take anything they say seriously after that. Curious as to hwo you got that 90% number btw?

Edited by Suttree

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Thank you to Treesong and Batcaver for your replies. 

 

I think that both of you are hitting on a frustration that some have with the ending.  Of course, we do not entirely know if RJ would have rewritten the ending, if he had lived.  I think that one of the things that boxed BS in was that he had to write to this prescribed ending.  He has stated that this was the first thing that he had read and that he and TJ wanted the very last words of the series to be RJ's on the page.  There was no way around this fact for BS or TJ.  Thus, I can not see a way to have much more in the epilogue.    There really isn't anytime for reflection.  Literally Rand re-imprisons the DO at Noon, body switch and death by about early evening and Funeral pyre at dark.  This is all in less than a day.  Maybe, RJ would have revisited this ending and added more when he wrote a Memory of Light or this might have been it.  Considering that this is one of the pieces that he actually wrote(and by this I mean that the only evidence that we have is that BS added the Cadsuane with the Aes Sedai segment), among the two hundred pages of "finished scenes" according to BS, I do not think that would be the case but it could have been.  Also, had RJ lived and planned to do the outriggers then I think that would have even more strongly reinforced his inclination to go with this ending.  In the interviews, RJ seemed particularly insistent to tell people that not everything would be wrapped up.   I think that he was clearly trying to prepare people for this ending anticipating their objections. Just my opinion of course.

 

Batcaver-I do not entirely see how the ending contradicted the series, if by that you mean Rand putting the DO back in its cage and not killing it.  There is clear evidence from throughout the series and from RJ's interviews that this was going to be the end.  This "task" has been done before and it will be done again that is the wheel.  RJ in interviews stated that there was nothing "special" about this particular turn and this confrontation.  Since there was nothing "special" about this turn, then Rand accomplished what other Dragons had done before which was to restore balance to the wheel and put the DO back in its cage.  If some thought that Rand would kill the DO, then he did a good job of maintaing suspense for those; while, he has letting it be know throught these interviews that really this had happened before and would again.   I realized many books ago that that would not happen.  In fact, I think that it was this knowledge that drove Elan Tedronai mad even more than overuse of the TP.  He clearly saw that they were just repeating a cycle.  Remember this is the Wheel of Time, it was an ending not the end, because there are never endings or beginnings to the Wheel.  Not killing the DO was perfectly consistent with the cosmology of the series; in fact, killing the DO would have been inconsistent with the cosmology of the wheel universe. 

 

Thanks for your reply, but you've got me all wrong.  I have no objection to the way Rand's plot ended, other than finding it a little boring and the DO mildly inarticulate ( I thought Rand had already had deeper conversations with Moridin, and the dialogue with the DO was lackluster).  My issue is in the writing itself.  What I meant when I said I thought the ending contradicted the series was that the rushed and superficial panorama we got for the ending didn't fit with the style of the rest of the series.  With a few exceptions, none of which took place in the epilogue, the characters were pretty shallow in AMoL.  The emphasis for Sanderson was clearly on creating a big climactic battle, which came through but without any heart.  This is in direct contradiction to the rest of the series.  I can't think of any place where Jordan sacrificed depth for action; he always made them work together.  There were definitely places in the middle books where he got too deep into his own world and characters, but for me AMoL had the opposite problem.  As soon as the big fight ended it was as if the author was bored playing with his action figures and just threw on a few pages of closing to wrap things up.  I felt more like I'd just watched someone play World of Warcraft for several hours than read a WoT book.  I'm glad to see a few others popping up that had the same issues.  Lets me know I'm still sane.  I do respect other opinions though; so please feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

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Guest mu1000

I finished the book about a month ago. Brandon did what one could expect of him, I guess, but it was not the epic end to the saga that I hoped for. My major complaint is that the "good guys" got off far too easily, and that the forsaken - except for Demandred - were a pitiful bunch.

 

As others have mentioned, the ending was far too abrupt and out of character from Rand's side.

 

Overall, I feel the series "lost its magic" when gateways became common knowledge, and the overpowered channelers and entire armies started to jump all over the world. Stupid. The fun was in the travelling, really.

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There is some charm about the ending for me, though it is rather abrubt. Should Brandon and Harriet have pushed the epilogue further? In any way at all? Not just to please the fans, but to provide more resolution and a draw down after a fourteen book series?

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Indeed. Somewhat surprised about all the outcry around the ending given how clear RJ was concerning its nature. It should be said it's pretty obvious it would have been polished and fleshed out a good deal more had he lived. We know Brandon added stuff to the end(Cads, part of the battle with/nature of the DO, etc.) so not sure how much more could be done without making it someone elses story. As is a fair amount of these last three books are not something RJ would recognize.

 

We also know something along these lines was how RJ wanted it with more to come in the Outriggers. He didn't like stories tied up in a neat little package. Last thing I would want is WoT to get a formulaic fantasy ending.

Edited by Suttree

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I blame tor and tj for many of the quality problems i noticed. They insisted on sticking to deadlines regardless of what the result looked like because it would sell because of what it was. Tor should have known better than to rush a piece of work like this. We should have had to wait 5 years or more and have the final book be written as one book and then cut after it was finished. Brandon should have been given more access to the notes. I know he "gave up" on parts of it, but I also read he could not take many of them back to Utah so he could read them where and when he wanted to. TJ and the beta readers should have caught continuity and factual errors, and there should have been enough time for them to be fixed. If prose was a big concern because of BS's modern language, they could easily hire an editor to look at the prose and suggest changes. There is more than enough blame to go around

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I blame tor and tj for many of the quality problems i noticed. They insisted on sticking to deadlines regardless of what the result looked like because it would sell because of what it was. Tor should have known better than to rush a piece of work like this. We should have had to wait 5 years or more and have the final book be written as one book and then cut after it was finished. Brandon should have been given more access to the notes. I know he "gave up" on parts of it, but I also read he could not take many of them back to Utah so he could read them where and when he wanted to. TJ and the beta readers should have caught continuity and factual errors, and there should have been enough time for them to be fixed. If prose was a big concern because of BS's modern language, they could easily hire an editor to look at the prose and suggest changes. There is more than enough blame to go around

Agree with some of this. They were insanely rushed. Tor and TJ are also responsible for certain types of quality issues.

 

Curious about the bolded however. I've never seen that, could you link the quote(the fact that he had them all and they crashed his computer would seem to contradict that)? As for access to the notes we also know that is incorrect. He gave up studying the world building after two months and instead relied on Alan and Maria for that sort of thing.

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I also think that the Epilogue was not expanded further, with more POV's and some resolution to a few things, because TJ and Brandon wished the series to end with words written by RJ himself, rather than Brandon. This would mean the first words of the Wheel are Jordans, and so are the last. This also fits thematically with the series.

 

I would have liked it to be expanded, and have a little more things tied up, some more character reunions, but I understand why they may have wished it to end where it did.

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I also think that the Epilogue was not expanded further, with more POV's and some resolution to a few things, because TJ and Brandon wished the series to end with words written by RJ himself, rather than Brandon. This would mean the first words of the Wheel are Jordans, and so are the last. This also fits thematically with the series.

 

I would have liked it to be expanded, and have a little more things tied up, some more character reunions, but I understand why they may have wished it to end where it did.

 

I understand as well.  It makes sense that they defer and pay a little homage.  I just think it's a recipe for a pyrrhic victory.  It provides some nice symbolic cohesion at the cost of immediate and overall cohesion. 

 

If Jordan had ended things so abruptly but then fleshed more out in the outriggers later, then that would have made sense to me, provided it was well done. Without the even the outriggers it seems intolerably jarring.  It's impossible to tell how much of the fault lies with Sanderson or with Jordan on this particular issue, because I'm not sure whether Jordan, being the superior writer, could have made it work or not.  I really do think it would have been a great feat to pull this off in a successful way, given just how thoroughly and expansively Jordan had painted his world.  Personally, I would have balked at anything less than the same attention to detail once things were actually happening again.   KOD was a success, but even it's quicker pace paled in comparison to the enormous amount of material that AMoL was calling for.  Regardless of Jordan's prior statements indicating that he'd leave out some amount of resolution, I'm always suspicious when authors do this kind of thing.  Ambiguous, open endings to stories are such a convenient way to cover up the lack of ideas for a fully detailed ending, and they certainly aren't necessarily more appropriate, satisfying or clever.  

 

The WoT is a case where it would make sense to have some ambiguity, given the prominent theme of time never stopping, no beginnings or endings, yadda yadda.  So the question is, what does this do for the story?  Does it serve to make the story more compelling?  More satisfying?  Does the way the lack of resolution in some characters and plot lines was accomplished bring this theme out in a net gain for the story, or is it doing more harm than good?  These are some of my questions about Jordan's intentions and capabilities.  To some degree, their answers are subjective, based upon our individual tastes and feelings about the story. As far as Sanderson's finished product, I'm afraid the answers to those questions are painfully obvious.

Edited by batcaver

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I blame tor and tj for many of the quality problems i noticed. They insisted on sticking to deadlines regardless of what the result looked like because it would sell because of what it was. Tor should have known better than to rush a piece of work like this. We should have had to wait 5 years or more and have the final book be written as one book and then cut after it was finished. Brandon should have been given more access to the notes. I know he "gave up" on parts of it, but I also read he could not take many of them back to Utah so he could read them where and when he wanted to. TJ and the beta readers should have caught continuity and factual errors, and there should have been enough time for them to be fixed. If prose was a big concern because of BS's modern language, they could easily hire an editor to look at the prose and suggest changes. There is more than enough blame to go around

Agree with some of this. They were insanely rushed. Tor and TJ are also responsible for certain types of quality issues.

 

Curious about the bolded however. I've never seen that, could you link the quote(the fact that he had them all and they crashed his computer would seem to contradict that)? As for access to the notes we also know that is incorrect. He gave up studying the world building after two months and instead relied on Alan and Maria for that sort of thing.

ill try to remember to look for a quote later. I remember someone linking to something like that awhile ago

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I like the epilogue, and think it is a good piece of writing, and that it does work as the final chapter of the WoT.  I doubt RJ would have changed it too much - it seems quite polished, and we get a nice little final scene with all the main characters.  I don't think it would have been appropriate to alter RJ's intended ending.

 

For me the problem occurs in between the Last Battle and the Epilogue.  And the problem is that there is nothing.  We go from 100 mph to slamming on the brakes.  Its a completely jarring change of gear.  I think if RJ had finished the series as intended there would have a been some more reflective scenes from some of the main POV characters in between the two.  This is an example of what I consider the most negative effect of the author change.  BS rights action well, but he doesn't write reflective, insighful character perspectives.  Where RJ would have taken the time to show us how characters react to an event, BS just shows us the event itself. 

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When I say he would have polished it keep this in mind. RJ would write some 12 drafts before anyone would even see the work and then the editing process would start. I highly doubt that was the case given his health issues.

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I also think that the Epilogue was not expanded further, with more POV's and some resolution to a few things, because TJ and Brandon wished the series to end with words written by RJ himself, rather than Brandon. This would mean the first words of the Wheel are Jordans, and so are the last. This also fits thematically with the series.

 

I would have liked it to be expanded, and have a little more things tied up, some more character reunions, but I understand why they may have wished it to end where it did.

See, that doesn't actually address the issue people have - it's not that you need to keep writing after RJ's last words, but you can put something more between the Last Battle and RJ's ending. The Cadsuane scene actually proves that point - the story still ends with the scene RJ wrote, with his words, but we are given something more, a glimpse of the future. Rather than leaving us with nothing more from Cadsuane (directionless for the time being) and the WT (directionless in the absence of an Amyrlin), it sets up the next Amyrlin. The world still exists, things still move forward, the story ends but the world carries on, which is true to RJ. Had there been more scenes in the aftermath of TG but before Rand's funeral, then more could have been done to reflect on what had happened and to make a start on moving forwards. You can add more and still end things where they did.

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Just a thought. I am sure suttee will have a field day with this ha. Loial was supposed to be gathering info to write this story. Perhaps if rather than having BS try to "take over" the story for RJ, we would have seen an intentional change of voice and seen the final moments as written by "Loial" it could have alleviated some of the incongruity? I mean shoulda, coulda, woulda, but opinions?

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I also think that the Epilogue was not expanded further, with more POV's and some resolution to a few things, because TJ and Brandon wished the series to end with words written by RJ himself, rather than Brandon. This would mean the first words of the Wheel are Jordans, and so are the last. This also fits thematically with the series.

 

I would have liked it to be expanded, and have a little more things tied up, some more character reunions, but I understand why they may have wished it to end where it did.

See, that doesn't actually address the issue people have - it's not that you need to keep writing after RJ's last words, but you can put something more between the Last Battle and RJ's ending. The Cadsuane scene actually proves that point - the story still ends with the scene RJ wrote, with his words, but we are given something more, a glimpse of the future. Rather than leaving us with nothing more from Cadsuane (directionless for the time being) and the WT (directionless in the absence of an Amyrlin), it sets up the next Amyrlin. The world still exists, things still move forward, the story ends but the world carries on, which is true to RJ. Had there been more scenes in the aftermath of TG but before Rand's funeral, then more could have been done to reflect on what had happened and to make a start on moving forwards. You can add more and still end things where they did.

 

True. As I said, I would have liked it to be expanded - in a similar vein to to Cads. My point was that that reasoning is what led to me feeling happy/sad with what we got, then later content as I reflected on it. 

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Why has discussion of the quality stopped? 

Maybe we should work on compiling a topic list of errors (continuity, timeline, prose, mischaraterization, plot issues).  Thoughts?

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It's almost certainly been said already, but:

 

Rushed.  Forced.  Choppy.  No closure.

 

Too much is crammed in, so many of the events lack the proper weight that they deserve.  To be fair, it was an impossible task and Brandon Sanderson did the best he could.  But if I had to describe it in one word, it would be unsatisfying.

 

On the other hand, it's made me want to re-read books 1-11 yet again (and maybe 12-13, haven't decided on those yet), so perhaps some good did come of it.  (To be fair, I didn't dislike it, but I also didn't truly enjoy it.)

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I guess the secret of why was the cadsuane scene added into the epilogue by sanderson is finally out.

 

He killed off egwene.

 

well done sanderson well done.

 

Brandon mentioned RJ made Cadsuane amyrlin in the notes. She wouldn't be unless Egwene died.

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It doesn't appear from the quotes and interviews provided so far that Sanderson was responsible for the decision to kill Egwene. From what I've been able to gather, he left the subject intentionally unclear, and as per the post above there is good evidence that he was not responsible.  It's getting really annoying to read constant idle speculation about who wrote what being posted as if it was confirmed.  If he's going to be so ambiguous in his comments then obviously it's going to provoke such speculation, but it would help if people didn't try to pass theories and gossip off as truth before they know what the hell they're talking about.

 

There are plenty of obvious problems with the books.  If you want to rag on Sanderson, there ought to be enough there to keep you busy for years.

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It doesn't appear from the quotes and interviews provided so far that Sanderson was responsible for the decision to kill Egwene. From what I've been able to gather, he left the subject intentionally unclear, and as per the post above there is good evidence that he was not responsible.  It's getting really annoying to read constant idle speculation about who wrote what being posted as if it was confirmed.  If he's going to be so ambiguous in his comments then obviously it's going to provoke such speculation, but it would help if people didn't try to pass theories and gossip off as truth before they know what the hell they're talking about.

 

There are plenty of obvious problems with the books.  If you want to rag on Sanderson, there ought to be enough there to keep you busy for years.

 Well said.

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