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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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Whew! Just finished Book 4. I didn't know going in that it was the longest in the series, some 400,000 words! This one felt like work a few times. Just so much narrative to get through. Having said that: it's my favorite so far. RJ keeps you guessing till almost the last page and some things set up as far back as Book 2 finally pay off. 

 

I've started Book 5. The prologue is . . . let's just say I had to refer to the internet to get up to speed on some of what's going on there! 

 

I started with New Spring summer 2012, re-read Eye of the World for the first time since 1990 and have carried on from there. It's weird but it feels like I've been reading WOT for more than 2.5 years!

 

I'm hoping to get through 3-4 volumes before the big companion book comes out end of next year. I've cleared a lot of other reading off the boards so I'm going to really focus on WOT.

 

My favorite characters remain Thom, Moiraine, Lan, Min, Rand and Matt. 

 

So . . . onwards! 

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You're definitely getting to the part of the series where it can start to be difficult to follow. Book 4 was the first book that the main characters don't all end the book in the same place, and this is where you really start having plot threads diverging significantly from each other. Don't feel bad if you're not getting everything. People can reread the series five or six times and still pick up things they missed, it's just that complex. Reading chapter summaries online after you read through a chunk of the book is definitely a good idea to make sure there aren't any major details you missed, because if you're lost now, you're going to be super lost later.

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I am on my 3rd time through the series; Winter's Heart.  furthest I read has been Towers of Midnight; though I have skimmed through various parts of Memory of Light.

 

I recall somewhere telling that the Companion would be released January 2015; do not remember where.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I'm about 200 pages into Book 5.

 

I decided to read WOT because I was intrigued by descriptions - positive and negative - that I had read over the years. It really sounded like something I would enjoy. I had fond memories of reading RJ's Conan novels and I had greatly enjoyed EotW in 1990.  Whenever a new volume came out I would look at the covers and think how much they looked like books I would love but by then so many had come out I decided to wait until the series was finished before beginning. Sadly the author ended before the books and in 2012 I decided to stop waiting and start reading. I was especially curious about the "long, slow" later volumes. They just sounded beautiful and unique to me. 

 

Books NS & 1-4 are great but they're not what I was expecting. I had been hearing about the extraordinary amount of detail, long swathes of story where "nothing happened" (I'd even seen WOT compared to Proust!) and I was imagining a deep, languid read. Like something written in the 19th Century. Well 1-4 are anything but languid! I'm still catching my breath even though I read them slowly. 

 

Book 5 is finally starting the resemble the books I imagined. Yes, there's plenty happening but at 200 pages in we're still focused on a limited group of characters in one location. I can get a closer look at things and listen longer to the characters. And the detail is finally seeping in. Jordan is taking as long as he wants or needs to paint his world in words; and I love it so far. I know that a lot of readers start dropping out as this element becomes more prevalent; but I am looking forward to seeing how far Jordan takes this! I am reminded of Persian and Arabic literature and I believe those were influences on him (that's too much to go into here, maybe another post). 

 

So, we'll see what prevails; but at this moment I feel like I am finally reading the books I'd heard about, the books that had so intrigued me. 

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page references are vague since each format has different amount of pages.  It is better to tell chapter references than page references; or if page references, also tell the format.

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I think you will find many of the reviews/complains will seem exaggerated. While it is true the story slows down quite significantly in books 7-10, it is much more palatable with the series complete. 

 

A lot of the problem was readers who had waited 2-3 years for a new book to find the plot did not advance as much as expected. The only book I'd say went really overboard is CoT, but even so, it is still a good book - as long as you didn't spend 3 years waiting for it, then another 2 for the next instalment. 

 

But, you will definitely get the slowed pace and description in abundance in the books to come. It seems like you will definitely enjoy it. 

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I'm also on the 4th book now and the only part I'm struggling with is the massive information dump on Aiel customs and traditions. If Rand was at least interested in getting to know his heritage maybe I'd find it more interesting, but given that for most of the book he doesn't really care at all and is just interested in getting to the finish line and getting his army (if that's what he's doing), then whenever "dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow" type stuff starts happening I just roll my eyes and sigh bored.

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I'm only on Book 5 but already I'm seeing that certain criticisms might have been blown out of proportion. For instance, Nynaeve hasn't tugged her braid in I don't know how many hundreds of pages. There's also the corporal punishment thing: so far it appears to be a part of certain cultures, I'm not getting a "pervy" vibe from it, also there are historical, cultural and literary precedents for the practice; I'm not saying it's my favorite aspect of the series or that I would have included it myself but it's hardly on every page as some critics seem to indicate. Also the male/female divide; I do think some readers of a certain age might have grown up in a culture that glosses over these differences or finds pointing them out to be offensive and are also used to writers catering to that sensitivity, for fear of criticism but I don't see any trace of subliminal misogyny in WOT; not a week goes by that I don't hear a male or female friend echoing these same sentiments.

 

But as I say, we'll see where I'm at further down the line. So far, I kind of feel it's like the SW prequels, with people comparing them to Ed Wood etc. histrionic, reactionary criticism that is really more an expression of personal taste and preferences than objective literary criticism. 

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I think you'll like books 7-10 the best. 

 

And the braid-tugging, skirt-smoothing, arm-crossing thing is more of a joke anyway. 

Edited by dawnflower8
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Book 5 is the best one, and one of the best fantasy books ever written.

 

The critics on the saga are exagerated. Book 9 and 10 are weak IMO, but all other books are from decent to great.

I agree. Actually, 5 and 13 are tied for best for me, followed by 11 and 2.

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Awesome! Another person reading the series! Since I haven't said it before I'll say it now: Welcome to DM! 

 

Yes, the criticisms are mostly exaggerated. Wot isn't perfect *ahemlikesherlcokholmesahem* but it's great. Keep reading! Keep reading! And keep us posted! 

Edited by Jak 0' the Shadows
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Scored : Winter's Heart & Knife of Dreams in very good paperback editions for $1.00 at local library today + one of the free Eye of the World samplers from the early 90's! I now have 12 of the books, half of them in HC :)

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Book 5 is the best one, and one of the best fantasy books ever written.

 

The critics on the saga are exagerated. Book 9 and 10 are weak IMO, but all other books are from decent to great.

I agree. Actually, 5 and 13 are tied for best for me, followed by 11 and 2.

 

Book 13 in my opinion was the weakest Sanderson book. It started brilliantly (chapter 3) and had an amazing ending, but on between I found it boring (compared to the other two books). My favorite from Sanderson was The Gathering Storm and chapter 39-43 for me was the best part of the entire story. My rating of books would be something like:

 

1) Book 5: The Fires of Heaven 10/10

2) Book 12: The Gathering Storm 10/10

3) Book 1: The Eye of The World 9/10

4) Book 14: A Memory of Light 9/10

5) Book 4: The Shadow Rising 8/10

6) Book 3: Dragon Reborn 8/10

7) Book 2: The Great Hunt 8/10

8) Book 6: Lord of Chaos 7/10

9) Book 7: A Crown of Swords 6/10

10) Book 0: New Spring 6/10

11) Book 13: Towers of Midnight 6/10

12) Book 11: Knife of Dreams 6/10

13) Book 8: The Path of Daggers 6/10

14) Book 10: Crossroads of Twilight 4/10

15) Book 9: Winter's Heart 3/10

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  • 3 weeks later...

I personally find the Aiel culture very interesting.

Book 5 is one of the best. It has a great ending. Balefire is involved. I won't tell you anything more, though...

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Always fun when people get in to book rankings. I wouldn't say any critique of the series is exaggerated, both authors have their issues. It really comes down to preference and what one is looking for in their fantasy. Imo the quality of prose fell off quite markedly under Sanderson. One can point to numerous errors, mistakes and structural issues. ToM for instance was an absolute mess. All that is balanced with the plot gratification one gets from learning how the series ends and a continued uptick in pace that started in KoD. Even with all the problems it should be mentioned that Sanderson did a fairly remarkable job with what he had to work with and given the insanely fast publishing timeline Tor put in place.

 

Anyway to the rankings!

 

1. TSR

2. TFoH

3. TDR

4. LoC

5. ACoS

6. KoD

7. TGH

8. EotW

9. TPoD

10. TGS

11. WH

12. AMoL

13. CoT

14. ToM

Edited by Suttree
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