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burko

Most underrated book in the WOT series?

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Rand at least had a reason to be emo about it, although he goes really overboard after a while. Perrin gets to marry the woman he for some reason loves, special powers, becomes a hero and a lord, etc etc. and all. he. does. is. complain.

 

Yeah!  Preach it, brother!  (sister?)  What does Perrin have to complain about?  Certainly he has no reason to be 'emo"!!!!

 

I mean, I did find this little thing, that might serve to explain some of his reluctance to become involved in the schemes of the powerful, and also explain his extremely close attachment to the woman he loves.  Explain!  Not excuse!  Never excuse!  Anyway...

 

 

 

"Dead?  No, they can't be ---"  Perrin frowned as wetness suddenly slopped over his hand, stared at the crumpled cup as though wondering where it had come from.  "I am sorry.  I didn't mean to ----"  He pulled at the flattened silver, trying to force it back out with his fingers...Why was everyone looking at him so oddly?  "Are you sure?"  His voice sounded far away.  "Adora and Deselle?  Paet?  My mother?"

 

""All of them," Bran told him.  "...Everybody on the farm.  I helped bury them, my boy.  On that low hill, the one with the apple trees."

 

Perrin stuck his thumb in his mouth.  Fool thing to do, cutting himself on his own axe.  "My mother like apple blossoms.  The Whitecloaks.  Why would they ---?  Burn me, Paet was only nine.  The girls..."  His voice was very flat.  He thought he should have had some emotion in those words.  Some emotion.

 

...

 

"He's a Darkfriend,"  Perrin said absently.  Adora and Deselle always put apple blossoms in their hair in the spring.  "admitted from his own mouth.  He brought the Trollocs, on Winternight."  Paet liked to climb in the apple trees; he would throw apples at you from the branches if you did not watch him.

 

...

 

With Faile holding his head beneath her breasts, Perrin lost track of how long he cried.  Images of his family flashed in his thoughts, his father smiling as he showed him how to hold a bow, his mother singing while she spun wool, Adora and Deselle teasing him when he shaved for the first time, Paet wide-eyed at a gleeman during Sunday long ago.  Pictures of graves, cold and lonely in a row.

 

 

So Perrin gets a little too attached, maybe, to the one person he loves who still walks the earth.  And he worries about whether he really wants to involve the Two Rivers and the people living there in grand events.  Maybe he even gets a little "emo."

 

Maybe those things have something to do with the fact that his nine-year-old brother is rotting in the ground, on that low hill, the one with the apple trees.

Edited by randsc

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about the Eye; the later books do not mention it, but the Guide does.
and if I recall correctly, the scene is mentioned in at least 1 POV.
 

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@Asagrd, my main issue was as the series went along it was taking longer for books to come out until it was a 2 -3 year average.  so you wait 3 years for the next book only for things not to advance very much was rather frustrating. 

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The most under-rated book is the Eye of the World.  No one ever mentions it among the best of the series, but it got us all hooked, didn't it?

A most excellent point, randsc, and well-said

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Don't see how anyone could see any appeal in Perrin at all. His reluctant hero schtick is ok for the first few books, but when he's still whining over half way through the series about it... and when he's not whining about that, he's whining about being a Lord, or Faile, or... and then his whole plotline falls flat when his role in AMOL is pretty negligible. IMO they should have killed him off doing something cool, would have been a much better use for his character in AMOL, have Faile survive pregnant with his heir (poor child).

 

@Asagrd, my main issue was as the series went along it was taking longer for books to come out until it was a 2 -3 year average.  so you wait 3 years for the next book only for things not to advance very much was rather frustrating. 

 

 

Rand at least had a reason to be emo about it, although he goes really overboard after a while. Perrin gets to marry the woman he for some reason loves, special powers, becomes a hero and a lord, etc etc. and all. he. does. is. complain.

 

 

Don't see how anyone could see any appeal in Perrin at all. His reluctant hero schtick is ok for the first few books, but when he's still whining over half way through the series about it... and when he's not whining about that, he's whining about being a Lord, or Faile, or... and then his whole plotline falls flat when his role in AMOL is pretty negligible. IMO they should have killed him off doing something cool, would have been a much better use for his character in AMOL, have Faile survive pregnant with his heir (poor child).

What do you folks mean by being 'emo'? Emotional? I agree wth you Sabio, btw. I agree 200%! Waiting years for Books that sucked really sucked, and they all sucked a bit, because the Taver'en Trinity did not advance, all three of them, in every Book, and Rand didn't really advance at all in Book Ten. I did like Book Eight, btw, if my previous left the impression of otherwise. Sorry to Multiquote you twice, Azrayne. But they were all reluctant heroes, especially Rand. He just got his reluctance out of the way at end of Three. "Stop!...I am the Dragon Reborn!" Yeah, Perrin seems whiny, but Mat had an absolute reversal, like someone threw a switch. "This has nothing to do with me!" He said to Rand in Book Five. "Thom we're gonna get rid of this letter as soon as we can!" (misquote from Book Three) He holds that attitude (mostly) through Book Ten, and only starts to wake up a little bit after his lover proves to be a Darkfriend. Even then staying as far from Rand as possible seems to be his main goal. Then in Book Eleven, he has an army, and realizes his love is being attacked, and the only way he'll get 'em out is battle. And he actually is honest with himself at that point (Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen) when he is introspecting. That seems in complete contrast with all his previous introspection, to me. With Perrin at least we get to see the moments of self-discovery, albeit the most important ones take a long time to happen.

And Rand's journey was also aggravating. His madness took him to the very edge and did not end until Book Twelve when he achieved 're-integration' to quote Semirhage, naturally and by himself which all the people from AoL (Forsaken +Rand) would say was remarkable at the least and impossible at the most. I understand why his madness went on so long. As soon as he threw it off, he would also throw off all efforts to turn him to the Shadow. "It is war, and not subterfuge, that will carry the day." Misquote(?) from Book Thirteen. Once Rand threw off his madness and achieved re-integration, the Last Battle began. I think it began the instant Rand started laughing upon Dragonmount. But until that madness was re-integrated, reading Rand's povs was very painful.

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For me I took Mats change of heart to be once he realized he wasn't going to get the Band to stop following him he basically accepted his fate.  No matter what he did these guys would follow him so there was no escaping.  Things also kept him off guard, one moment to take charge of the massive army in Tear, suddenly being told to find Elayne, to then being sent as a bodyguard to help Elayne find something..  Mat seemed the most resentful because out of  all of them it almost seemed like the pattern was determined to get him to do what he must the most.

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Thing about Mat is that that he took it in stride. He didn't mope and whine like Perrin, or turn in on himself like Rand, he retained his basic personality, just adapted it to the circumstances. Yeah he got pissed off when things went south (although he frequently plays up his reluctance), but he still dealt with events as they came, did what he had to do and for the most didn't let it change his usual humorous, fun-loving personality (although of course he could get serious when the circumstances warranted it).

 

Yeah!  Preach it, brother!  (sister?)  What does Perrin have to complain about?  Certainly he has no reason to be 'emo"!!!!

 

I mean, I did find this little thing, that might serve to explain some of his reluctance to become involved in the schemes of the powerful, and also explain his extremely close attachment to the woman he loves.  Explain!  Not excuse!  Never excuse!  Anyway...

 

 

 

"Dead?  No, they can't be ---"  Perrin frowned as wetness suddenly slopped over his hand, stared at the crumpled cup as though wondering where it had come from.  "I am sorry.  I didn't mean to ----"  He pulled at the flattened silver, trying to force it back out with his fingers...Why was everyone looking at him so oddly?  "Are you sure?"  His voice sounded far away.  "Adora and Deselle?  Paet?  My mother?"

 

""All of them," Bran told him.  "...Everybody on the farm.  I helped bury them, my boy.  On that low hill, the one with the apple trees."

 

Perrin stuck his thumb in his mouth.  Fool thing to do, cutting himself on his own axe.  "My mother like apple blossoms.  The Whitecloaks.  Why would they ---?  Burn me, Paet was only nine.  The girls..."  His voice was very flat.  He thought he should have had some emotion in those words.  Some emotion.

 

...

 

"He's a Darkfriend,"  Perrin said absently.  Adora and Deselle always put apple blossoms in their hair in the spring.  "admitted from his own mouth.  He brought the Trollocs, on Winternight."  Paet liked to climb in the apple trees; he would throw apples at you from the branches if you did not watch him.

 

...

 

With Faile holding his head beneath her breasts, Perrin lost track of how long he cried.  Images of his family flashed in his thoughts, his father smiling as he showed him how to hold a bow, his mother singing while she spun wool, Adora and Deselle teasing him when he shaved for the first time, Paet wide-eyed at a gleeman during Sunday long ago.  Pictures of graves, cold and lonely in a row.

 

 

So Perrin gets a little too attached, maybe, to the one person he loves who still walks the earth.  And he worries about whether he really wants to involve the Two Rivers and the people living there in grand events.  Maybe he even gets a little "emo."

 

Maybe those things have something to do with the fact that his nine-year-old brother is rotting in the ground, on that low hill, the one with the apple trees.

 

 

Faile came in before he returned to the Two Rivers. If he married her simply so he'd have some connection to someone after his family died, that makes his marriage even more messed up, not less. That is not the basis for a healthy marriage. Although it actually makes sense - they go from some weird passive aggressive back and forward bickering to their even more weird marriage, it fits that he clung to her because he felt he had nothing else, no matter how horrible a fit they are as a couple.

 

More to the point, you would be 100% right if what he was moping about was his dead family. That's a completely acceptable thing to mope about. But he cries once, mentions them once or twice over the next few chapters and then... never mentions it again, because he goes back to fighting with Faile, or telling people to stop calling him a Lord, or telling the wolves to leave him alone (except for when he needs them to die for him, then he's less reluctant), on and on and on... My re-read is currently on POD and I don't think he's mentioned his family once since the book they died in.

 

Man, RJ was really bad at relationships. Rand/Min is the only one which felt remotely realistic, and only after it actually started.

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I don't think RJ is bad at relationships, exactly -- no more so than is typical of the genre, anyway -- it's just they're always very *RJ* style relationships. I don't think the bickering natures and passive aggressive tendencies are unrealistic to the way a lot of relationships work, it's just that RJ dials stuff that would normally be a bit more subtle and under-the-surface up to 11, and really puts it out there in a way that borders on cartoonish at times. It'd be a bigger problem for me if it wasn't consistent, but it is definitely consistent, almost to a fault. Because while I'd say a lot of relationships do work on a certain level in the way RJ depicts, they don't all, and the henpecked husband/bickering wife trope is RJ's default mode to a somewhat exhausting degree. Maybe I've contradicted myself a bit there. What I do appreciate is that RJ's relationship depictions aren't simply stand-in wish fulfillment the way they often are in fantasy. However flawed, everyone of both genders feels kind of equal and real and limited in their own ways. And while Jordan certainly makes many of his characters physically attractive (according to descriptions and the reactions of those around them), I never feel like I'm watching comic-book wish-fulfillment supermodels in fantasy garb, either. If anything, it is almost disappointing at times how sort of oddly regular everyone is. Maybe that doesn't make a lot of sense, just thinking out loud, here, but I'm not sure how else to put it. Not realistic, necessarily, but sort of regular and human, and irritating in the ways that regular humans often are.

 

As for accepting fate I agree that (as of early into book 11 at least) as with many things, Mat started the worst off in that department, but in the space of a couple books became maybe the best off. Reason being is that Mat is the only one with that kind of "ah, what the hell" style of charm as a facet of his personality. To be a successful gambler you have to be able to coolly accept the cards you're dealt, so to speak. Rand accepts, but more in a mad, desperate, overzealous way. Perrin accepts maybe earliest, but is perpetually sort of melancholy about it, perhaps making it less fun for the reader. Though I still say people are overly hard on Perrin, and maybe overly easy on Rand. Rand's foul smelly man-taint may be the reason for his relative lack of stability, but he's too often simply reckless/incompetent/stupid for no easily discernible reason. And it jars against the portrait of him we start to get in The Shadow Rising and maybe Fires of Heaven, as a surprisingly sharp, calculating schemer. My biggest disappointment in the series thus far has been watching that characterization sort of fall away, as Rand becomes more and more of a knob.

Edited by bofred

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Yeah he does some stupid stuff - handing over the negotiations with the Seafolk to a random Aes Sedai then gating over to the rebel camp where he achieves nothing other than getting attacked by Fain comes to mind, and there are others. But I think the context has to be taken into account. This is an 18 year old (and think back to your own behavior and emotions at 18) who's never lived any life other than that over a farmer near a small village, taken away from everything he's ever known, discovers he's doomed to go mad and die, told that he's the Dragon Reborn of prophecy whom everyone fears almost as much as the DO he believes he has to sacrifice his life to kill (literally the godlike personification of evil), then thrust onto the center of the world stage and given the task of using military leadership and political manipulation (neither of which he has the slightest experience with) to unite the entire world in a few short years. Throw in the fact that he's rarely with more than one or two people who genuinely care about him as a person, if any (Mat and Perrin distance themselves from him, Egwene is always off with the Wise Ones and then leaves for Salidar, when they meet again they're no longer friends and have very different perspectives and goals, he's rarely with either Elayne, or Aviendha - especially once she stops acting so insane around him, Min is really the only genuine human interaction he gets on a regular basis once she finally reaches him), the constant attempts on his life, the fear and hatred and attempts at control coming from every angle. Realistically, it would break almost any man and drive him insane even without the Taint.

 

By comparison, Mat and Perrin's lives are both a cakewalk.

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Well it does stand to reason as the taint takes hold on him more and more he would no longer be as rational. I would of been rather angry as the madness started to take hold he would of stayed making rational decisions. A for the sea folk negotiations, he was suffering from feeling like he was confined.  Not to mention there was really no point in hi mstaying since they already accidently admitted he was their Cooramor (spelling?/).  That was the key part.  Why should he stay for every detail?  Rand against the Sea Folk in a negotiation might of actually turned out really bad for him.  Nyn and Elayne can attest to their negotiating skills.  Let the grey do their job.

 

For the rebel camp thing, it is possible his being tavern might of attracted the man eating cloud thing, thus destroying the rebels.  Plus in the long run it allowed him to get a hold of Darlian (spelling) and put him in charge of Tear.  Its possible without of going there they might never of met.  Yes it was a foolish risk to go there, he had good intentions (wanting a peaceful end to the rebellion and not having to send the aiel after them). but it was a needlesss risk, like I am always accusing Elayne of doing.

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I don't think RJ is bad at relationships, exactly -- no more so than is typical of the genre, anyway -- it's just they're always very *RJ* style relationships. I don't think the bickering natures and passive aggressive tendencies are unrealistic to the way a lot of relationships work, it's just that RJ dials stuff that would normally be a bit more subtle and under-the-surface up to 11, and really puts it out there in a way that borders on cartoonish at times. It'd be a bigger problem for me if it wasn't consistent, but it is definitely consistent, almost to a fault. Because while I'd say a lot of relationships do work on a certain level in the way RJ depicts, they don't all, and the henpecked husband/bickering wife trope is RJ's default mode to a somewhat exhausting degree. Maybe I've contradicted myself a bit there. What I do appreciate is that RJ's relationship depictions aren't simply stand-in wish fulfillment the way they often are in fantasy. However flawed, everyone of both genders feels kind of equal and real and limited in their own ways. And while Jordan certainly makes many of his characters physically attractive (according to descriptions and the reactions of those around them), I never feel like I'm watching comic-book wish-fulfillment supermodels in fantasy garb, either. If anything, it is almost disappointing at times how sort of oddly regular everyone is. Maybe that doesn't make a lot of sense, just thinking out loud, here, but I'm not sure how else to put it. Not realistic, necessarily, but sort of regular and human, and irritating in the ways that regular humans often are.

 

.

Yes! Agreed. I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

At first I did not dig Faile or Nynaeve(the slapping and Aes Sedai hating respectively). However, once I recognized that Jordan's style was to take his character personalities and interactions to EXTREME, and doing it....tongue and cheek, I concluded...... To quote Col. Kurtz: "And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius!"  They both became my two favorite characters. Sure, in the real world I would not touch them with a ten foot pole, but I much, much prefer them then to having some Mary-Sues or Snow Whites running around in the story; I can watch a Disney DVD for that! There is also a ton of humor hidden in quite a few of these interactions too. Nynaeve became a riot; funnier than Mat, IMO.  And though I could make a lengthy list of 'eye-rollers' from Perrin's story, it is STILL my favorite from the series, just edging out Rand's.

 

In the end, I don't hate or even dislike any of the major or supporting Light side characters. Well, except Elaida of course.

 

_________________

 

 

Also regarding Perrin's source of constant emo, you can also throw in Hopper's death scene (the best in the series IMO “ . . . soar like the eagles.”) and more importantly, his fear of turning into a beast like Noam. Now THAT uncertainty would F*** anybody up. 

 

And also, the 'marry the woman he for some reason loves'.  Remember, at that point in time just about every stranger west of the Dragonwall that Perrin meets and they notice his creepy golden wolf eyes would pretty much hurry the hell away from him in fear, making him feel like a freak; he would keep his eyes downcast quite often so not to draw those reactions from people.  *Faile* I believe was first person to NOT do that, and also take a personal interest in him; one exception would be Noam's brother of course.

Edited by Cosmic Champion

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about healthy marriage, I would say the main component of one (fictional or real) would be love; Perrin & Faile do seem to love each other.

the next, probably either respect or acceptance; they do seem to respect/accept each other.

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.

 

I have only ever read the WOT series through LOC (book 6), and am currently embarking on a reread now that the whole series is done.  Currently I'm as far as mid-Shadow Rising.  

 

In googling around to get a sense of people's reactions to the completed whole, I've noticed a definite trend:  Books 1-6 (which I've read) are considered the best, Books 7-10 are considered pretty awful, and Books 11-14 are considered somewhat of a return to form, but with more mixed reviews than 1-6.  

 

Anyway, my question to this community is:  Is there anyone who feels the books 7-10 (ACOS through COT) are unfairly dumped on?; -- or a particular book in that run, that you feel is underrated?  I have seen threads ranking the best-to-worst of WOT, but I'm curious about WOT volumes that fans specifically feel aren't given enough credit.

 

Nobody seems to like COT, for example -- the best reviews of it I've found of that one pretty much just say "it's not THAT bad".  The others from 7-10 don't usually fare much better, though occasionally WH or ACOS seem to get at least a little bit of love.  I feel a little disappointed that the portion of the series I've already read is reportedly way better than the rest of it; I wonder if, my expectations not being very high now, I might end up liking ACOS onwards better than most do.  But opinion on the matter seems so universal I fear it's a hope likely to be dashed when I get to those volumes.   

 

As my current reread is only up to mid-Shadow Rising, I'm hoping there won't be many spoilers or specific plot details if people choose to respond; but, whether from the 7-10 arc or otherwise, is there a volume of WOT that you love, that doesn't seem to be generally liked that well?  

Thanks.

 

.

I believe most of the hate, comes from a 2+ year wait between novels. 

The pacing was slow, the stories weren't as engaging as earlier or later ones. And events just seemed to stretch out. If you had to wait 2+ years and you get that, it leads to disappointment and resentment of those books. I managed to start the series just late enough, that by the time I got to CoT, I only had about 2? years before KoD came out. So at most, I found 8/9/10 the pacing slow down massively, and I viewed this simply as the the storm was brewing, that the shadow was giving not just the characters, but the readers a false sense of security until the shit hit the fan. (loved Hinderstrap in gathering storm. Best scene ever.)

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Yup long wait + slow pacing + story lines being dragged out = annoyed readers.  It was sort of like awesome new book, ohh look Perrin is still looking for Faile.

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I really enjoyed book 7 and don't get the hate for it.  Back to Shadar Logoth, battle with Sammael, Rand and Moridin connecting via balefire -- lots of goodness there.  Honestly, the serial position effect combined with the agonizing wait for each book does make it hard to recall the middle books, but I remember enjoying each one, and am looking forward to a full reread now that the series is complete.  

 

Can't help but wonder if Jordan would've been able to finish the series himself though if those middle books had been trimmed down by 3...

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A crown of swords. I was rereading it the other day and I found I really enjoyed it and especially the scene when Rand is healed by flinn and its the first time the other ase sedai meet the ashaman. Samitsu's reaction was priceless

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