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Everything posted by TheBeerPatriot

  1. Shaidar Haran had been intimately involved in the Shadow's dealings from LOC through TOM-the resurrection of Aginor and Balthamel up to handling Graendal's punishment. It was utterly ridiculous and wasteful to simply dispose of this character by saying he was no longer needed. WTF??!!!
  2. TGS was definitely the tightest and most focused of the three books that Brandon worked on in WOT. I loved the dueling plotlines of Rand's descent into Dark Rand, while Egwene ascended to the Amyrlin Seat. The dream sequence between Rand and Moridin evoked memories of some of the dream sequences from EOTW, great scene. TOM was wildly uneven, with a great finish in the Tower of Ghenjei and the Epilogue. AMOL..... :(
  3. Sure thing Suttree, my pleasure! Hope we can get more voters in here before the poll closes on Sunday. Looks like TSR and TDR are clear leaders in the Shayol Ghul and Tear regions so far, but tight contests in the Andor region (EOTW-TFOH) and the Tarabon region (TGH-KOD). I have to confess I'm surprised KOD is getting so much love pitted against the Great Hunt (or perhaps that is my bias speaking, as I consider TGH my favorite book in the series).
  4. Hey everyone, I accidentally deleted the poll on this topic and was not able to bring it back. I went ahead and set up a new topic for the voting rest of the way. I promise I won't delete the poll again ;) Anyway, here is the link: http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/80717-march-madnesswheel-of-time-style-round-2/
  5. I accidentally deleted the previous poll in the original topic post, sorry about that (but the votes are still tabulated in the original topic). Anyway, I've set up the poll for round 2 (and beyond) on this topic, so we are good to go from here. Voting will continue through Sunday, March 31st. Get your votes in for your favorite four books to advance (one from each region). Enjoy!
  6. Correct, top two advance from each region. My apologies on the Encyclopedia, that was supposed to be the World of RJ's WOT (aka Big White Book). But glad to see the Encylopedia got some love from 2 voters at least ;) After the first round, these are the books advancing to the next round: Andor Region: Eye of the World (13 votes) defeats New Spring (3 votes)-This was truly a 16 seed vs. a 1 seed, how could you vote for the prologue over the kick ass first book that started it all? Fires of Heaven (11 votes) defeats Towers of Midnight (3 votes)-Ironic that the book with Moiraine's disappearance handily takes down the book with Moiraine's return Shayol Ghul Region: Shadow Rising (14 votes) defeats Crossroads of Twilight (1 vote)-who voted for Crossroads in this stacked region? I blame the Dark One ;) Lord of Chaos (12 votes) defeats Crown of Swords (4 votes)-Dumai's Wells easily shut down Bowl of the Winds in the second half of their matchup Tear Region: The Dragon Reborn (12 votes) defeats The Path of Daggers (6 votes)-despite being the lowest seed in this region, TPOD had enough game to at least get half as many votes as the #1 seed in this region. But alas, it is no match for the Dragon's ascension Winters Heart (8 votes) defeats Gathering Storm (5 votes)-Winters Heart's powerful finish provides enough momentum to take down (arguably) the strongest of the three Brandon Sanderson books in WOT Tarabon Region: Knife of Dreams (11 votes) defeats Memory of Light (5 votes)-it's not a surprise that the final RJ book defeated the final book of WOT, but definitely a surprise that KOD got more votes than TGH Great Hunt (10 votes) defeats the Encylopedia/World of RJ's WOT (2 votes)-easy first round matchup for TGH, but faces a stiff test against the Knife next round! Ok, I'm going to set a new poll in this topic with the new brackets. Voting will take place through next Sunday (to match the NCAA March Madness). In this next round, only 1 book advances from each region. Thanks for voting in the first round, and be sure to vote in the next found!
  7. In the spirit of college basketball's March Madness postseason tournament, I've set up a bracket for all 16 Wheel of Time books (including New Spring and the Encyclopedia). In the poll question, I set up four regions that mimic the regions in the March Madness tournament. There are four books in each of the region. For the first round of voting, vote for two books in each of the four regions in the poll. After a few days of voting, the brackets will be reset with the 8 books that get the most votes and advance to the next round. Hope this makes sense, this pool is purely for fun. If you have any questions on it, please let me know. Thanks!
  8. I was very disappointed with the finish. While I appreciated the method of the sealing, I felt a tremendous distance from the characters I had followed since Eye of the World. There was no sense of familiarity with these characters. AMOL had the feel of a battle memoir. Some of them were caricatures of themselves (Demandred), and I simply could not understand the logic of Egwene dying after all the work put in on her character to reunify the White Tower. The epilogue was cheap, and there was no sense of connection with those characters. While I certainly appreciate BS stepping in to help finish the series (and I do like his other work as well), AMOL was a rush job compared to TGS and TOM (which is crazy, considering that AMOL took the longest of the final 3 books for Brandon to write). I do agree that TGS was the best of the final 3 books. The worst part of AMOL being so mediocre? Whereas I always re-read the series prior to a new book coming out, I do not feel the desire to re-read the WOT. I've re-read plenty of other completed series, and I always felt leading up to AMOL that I would re-read the series in its entirety at some point (I've re-read TGS and TOM a couple of times). I'm hoping that any media adaptation will do a far better job of connecting with the characters at the end of the story than AMOL did.
  9. I'm always a sucker for the book ranking polls, and this one is no different. Here it goes: 1. The Great Hunt-been my favorite for some time, really expanded the series from mimicking Lord of the Rings, and packed an emotional punch between Egwene's collaring, the redemption of Ingtar and Rand accepting his destiny. 2. The Fires of Heaven-the most action packed book of the series that provided many turning points and provided fodder for two of the series' biggest mysteries (Asmodean and Moiraine). 3. Eye of the World-even though the similarities to Lord of the Rings are unmistakable in this book, Jordan clearly set out on his path, and his incredible gift at foreshadowing reveals itself in surprising ways late in the book. An amazing and compelling intro to the series. 4. The Dragon Reborn-although I was initially turned off by the lack of Rand's viewpoints, the divergent storylines of Mat, Perrin, Elayne, Nynaeve and Egwene makes for a powerful convergence of destiny in Tear. 5. The Gathering Storm-despite the mischaracterization of Mat, there are many powerful moments in this book (True Power, Verin's revelation and Rand's redemption). While there are flaws in this book, Sanderson did a fantastic job in taking over the series and really put the series back on track after meandering over the prior few books. 6. The Shadow Rising-after Rand is crowned the Dragon Reborn, the path to his destiny truly begins in the Aiel Waste. A powerful backstory of the Aiel and an emotional battle in the Two Rivers makes this a rich story. 7. Lord of Chaos-arguably the best prologue in the series showing multiple scenes of the Forsaken that really display the danger posed by the Shadow. The introduction of Taim, combined with Dumai's Wells and the surprising twist of Egewene's destiny build to a crescendo. 8. Towers of Midnight-despite the timeline errors, the battles between Perrin and Slayer juxtaposed with the battles in the White Tower make it a fun read. But that all takes a backseat to the overdue rescue of Moiraine, great scenes in the Tower of Ghenjei. 9. A Crown Of Swords-this was a very slow start, but the second half of the book really picks up in Ebou Dar. Rand's battle with Sammael was a bit underwhelming but Mat steals the show in this book. 10. Knife of Dreams-this was an uneven book that had its moments, especially the revelation of Moiraine's letter, Semirhage's identity. Egwene's scenes were quite enjoyable as well. 11. Winter's Heart-most of this book dragged, the epic finale is the only thing that saved this book 12. A Memory of Light-while the battle in Shayol Ghul was satisfactory, this book was very disappointing. 13. Path of Daggers-not much happened 14. Crossroads of Twilight-nothing happened!
  10. I finished AMOL last week, but wanted a few days for it to soak in before I wrote a review. But after waiting a few days, I hate to say that I still feel letdown by AMOL. While the re-sealing scene was well done, the narrative read almost like a history book at times. Specific issues I had with the book: -Too much focus on Androl and Pevara. Logain should have been much more of a focal point through the Black Tower and Last Battle sequences. Androl and Pevara were tertiary characters that had way too much screen time being the last book of the series -While the last confrontation didn't need to be between them, there should have been some more scenes between Tain and Logain -What happened to Elaida?? What about her Foretelling about walking the Black Tower grounds? Yes, she is damane but she should have been given at least a scene or two, given how many scenes she was in from early in the series. -Building confrontation between Rand and the Dark One was a letdown. Instead of just imposing their visions on each other, I would have liked to see the Dark One try to taint saidar this time in an effort to keep Rand the Light off-balance. It was disappointing to see Moridin not have more of an active role. Also on a related note-Moiraine and Nynaeve were completely sidelined throughout the book. -I didn't see the rationale in killing Egwene's character. Why all that struggle in re-uniting the White Tower from Salidar to Tar Valon, only to kill her off in the end? -The body switch between Rand and Moridin seemed forced. Rand's closing scene seemed uninspired-I could see where the Wheel was setting him free to live the life he wanted, but there should have been more connecting threads, especially to Tam and his 3 women -The fate of the Forsaken: Aside from Demandred's arc, Moridin was merely a vessel, Moghedien's arc was wasted, Graendal's fate was forced, and Lanfear's ending was weak. -Shaidar Haran: LAME! That was disgraceful that he had zero action in the final book, after all the action he has undertaken since his introduction in LoC. -Padan Fain: Also a wasted opportunity to be used as a wild card in the showdown between Rand and the Dark One. To have him in only a few pages after so much buildup was a waste. -The Song: not even a mention of trying to rediscover it? This seemed like a plot line that should have been explored at least, if not necessarily resolved -lack of focus on the central charcters, ones that had POV's since the early books in the series -I would have loved to see a reunion between Moiraine and Siuan to circle it all back to New Spring What I liked: -we got an ending. The sealing itself was very well done, and surprised me -Brandon's characterization of Mat has improved over the last 3 books, and I did not find his dialogue and characterization as jarring as I had found it in TGS and TOM. -Perrin's arc was very well done, I would say he was the best charcter in AMOL. -Lan's arc was gripping as well, a definite improvement from TOM -Elayne had a good arc as well, the best one she's had since at least KOD, if not ACOS. -Birgitte's death was poignant and fitting, loved how she is bound to the Horn once again -The Last Battle chapter was great. It showed the entire breadth and scope of the Battle through the various viewpoints, from the commanders down to the common soldier. Overall: 3 out of 5. While the ending (sealing) was well done, I never felt truly connected with the characters (excepting Perrin). It appeared that the goal was to hit as many of the outstanding plot points as possible, and unfortunately that made characterization a casualty in this book. As a result, this did not truly feel like a WOT book due to the lack of connection with the core characters. Having now read AMOL, I now understand all of the criticism pointed at Sanderson prior to AMOL being released. With that said, I truly appreciate Sanderson taking the time to complete these books on RJ's behalf. While AMOL was disappointing, I feel that there was no way the book could live to all of the expectations mounted up over the 23 years of the series. I still think WOT is an amazing series, and ultimately has a fitting end to the series. Thanks to Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan to ensure we got an ending to the series. I started reading EOTW in late 1992, and have been hooked on the series since that time. Thanks also to everyone here on Dragonmount, it's a passionate site and I look forward to continuing discussions of the WOT and other topics going forward.
  11. Getting ready for AMOL-less than 48 hours to the release, woohoo!

  12. Yep, I am currently halfway through TDR so I have some serious cranking to do if I'm going to finish the reread before 1/8. I truly do love the first trilogy of this series, the sense of adventure in the first 3 books is never quite recaptured in subsequent books. I'm not saying the subsequent books are bad of course, just that these three books are teeming with adventure throughout.
  13. I agree, TGS might prove to be the best of the last three WOT books based on what we've seen of AMOL thus far. This last chapter felt contrived through both Pevara's and Avidendha's POV. Regarding Pevara, is it just me, or is her character overrated? Yeah, the atypical Red Ajah character angle was interesting for a bit, but I'm far more interested in the characters that have been with us since early in the series. I too hope that they are somehow releasing the more passive material and that the rest of the book is kick ass. But I'm concerned about the quality of AMOL based on what we've seen so far.
  14. Thanks for posting Jason. That was a fantastic tribute to RJ, very thoughtful and inspiring. I imagine many of us will be penning similar letters to RJ once we have finished reading AMOL ;) As you said, the scope of the Wheel of Time crosses over so much of our lives. It has been a part of my life for 20 years so far, and look forward to the Wheel living on in other formats. Thanks again!
  15. Has there been any word yet on the number of pages, chapters, or wordcount of AMOL? We got some of this info from Brandon prior to the Towers of Midnight release, just curious if anyone on Team Jordan has relayed this info yet.
  16. When I first read EOTW, I felt the reader was being set up for a showdown with Elaida either in Caemlyn or in Tar Valon. But then again, I initially did not pay incredible heed to the Tinkers' message to Perrin about the Eye, or with Rand's dream sequences with Ba'alzamon concerning the Eye. I love how RJ used the 3rd instance of the Eye being threatened (through Loial's tale) that pivoted the forward action from Tar Valon to the Eye. For this alone, I feel that Loial is ta'veren as well. I remember the feeling of reading a good fantasy book to a an epic fantasy tale. I've always liked WOT scenes set in the Ways, and the reader's introduction to them sets a chilling tone and creates tremendous tension with the lack of light and the threat of Machin Shin hovering over the entire party. The escape from the Ways was pretty dramatic...the Black Wind literally nipping at their heels. And of course, the LOTR parallels are unmistakable here, with Fain/Gollum following the party in the Ways/Moria. I was just waiting for the Balrog to pop out of nowhere too ;) I also made another LOTR parallel in this book between Lan and Aragorn, where Lan was the king in exile. I eventually dropped this comparison, but it resonated for me with the Borderlands scenes. When Moiraine makes the connection between Fain and Mordeth, it likewise sets Fain apart a bit more from the Gollum-like similarities. It is amazing to think that the Shadow did not get their hands on any of the ta'veren before Lan and Moiraine got to them. If it were possible, it would be a nice story to have as a prequel.
  17. Narg eat newbs. And anything that Marin al'Vere cooks
  18. On Chp. 42 of EOTW, also reading Daughter of the Empire by Raymond Feist

  19. One thing I forgot to mention in my last post for the re-read is that Rand is starting to assert his leaderships skills in Chapters 34-36. He implores Mat to keep hope that their friends are still alive, even though Mat is in the throes of the Shadar Logoth dagger. I just love the scene where he grabs Mat and tells him "We can make it all the way, if we just don't quit. I won't quit and and wait for them like a sheep for slaughter. I won't!" I definitely got a charge from reading that section. When Loial bemoans the loss and memory of some of the Ogier steddings, Rand similarly tells him "You can't give up, Loial. You can't ever give up. If you give up, you might as well be dead." Although Rand will face his own darkness throughout the series, his resolve is established from the beginning and serves him well in the long run. This section really starts to put Rand in the crosshairs of a much larger destiny. While EOTW had introduced many different factions (i.e. Whitecloaks, Aes Sedai, etc.) the detailing of the Great Pattern and ta'veren really expanded the scope of this world. I've always loved the part where Elayne and Rand first meet. You can sense the mutual attraction instantly, especially as they seem to notice every aspect of each other. Well described and detailed scene, quite memorable. It's ironic that the future Dragon Reborn is going to such great lengths to catch a glimpse of the false Dragon. Rand seems awestruck at seeing Logain up close for the first time. I got the sense that Rand that was awestruck by Caemlyn in general, and seemed dwarfed by the events going around him. When Loial first described Rand as an Aielman, I took it for a case of mistaken identity. But when Gawyn mentions the same resemblance, it made me wonder what direction Rand's path would take going forward. At that point, I felt that they would not be going to Tar Valon, that they would be taken in an unexpected direction. When the Emond's Fielders are reunited, Lan informs Rand of Trollocs and Fades massing on the gates of the city. Rand thinks of how petty the current infighting is among the Caemlyners between the red/white factions, when the city could be burning by forces of the Shadow. It's just amazing to me how far in advance RJ foreshadowed these events. I had never given this additional thought upon previous re-reads. It goes to show that almost every sentence contains some impact upon the entire series. Finally, when Mat-under duress from the Shadar Logoth dagger-confronts the party, the twisted power of the dagger gives Mat insight to the past-and future-of Nynaeve, Perrin and Egwene. Again, I had not caught this on the initial read, but RJ again is brilliant in weaving in expository information among the main narrative in EOTW.
  20. I still think Graendal is a force to be reckoned with for AMOL. My bet is she kills either Min or Faile, thus causing pain to Rand or Perrin. After her failure with Perrin in TOM, she will feel like she has something to prove.
  21. Quite a foreboding tone in this section, I love how Jarid's descent into madness is opposed by the clarity of Bayrd's action to create a spearhead. One of the best singular POV's in the WOT series, IMHO.
  22. I just have to say it's taken way too long since my last post. Granted I've been busy with work and reading other stuff as well, but man I gotta speed up if I'm going to complete my re-read before the AMOL release at this rate! Anyway... While Nynaeve, Lan and Moiraine don't get much time in this section, the chapter with these three shows Nynaeve's growing animosity towards Moiraine-and foreshadows her animosity at other Aes Sedai throughout the series. When I first read WOT, I couldn't stand Nynaeve in this book, but I'm definitely more favorable to her now...especially with how much she grows in subsequent books. I liked the chapters with Perrin, Egwene and Elyas. It's hard to believe that Perrin and Egwene would not share another scene until Towers! I like the interaction between those two while staying with the Tinkers. The chapter with the raven chase is quite suspenseful. I had forgotten about Elyas' story about Artur Hawkwing in the stedding before they are set upon by the Whitecloaks. RJ did a great job laying out the five consecutive Rand/Mat chapters in this section leading up to Caemlyn. The first chapter (Play For Your Supper) seems to provide a peaceful interlude...only to be harassed by Darkfriends the rest of the way to Caemlyn. I do love how how secondary characters Else Grinwell and Almen Bunt end up reappearing later in the series. One of the most vivid dream/nightmare sequences is just before they arrive at Caemlyn. Rand envisions him carrying Thom on a cart, while Thom tells him "but the Dragon . . . the Dragon is one with the land, and the land is one with the Dragon." This Fisher King reference doesn't come into play until Towers, but it's amazing how long term Jordan foreshadows his characters. When they arrive in Caemlyn, the sense of relief is neutralized by Mat's open suspicion of everyone, quite tainted by the Shadar Logoth dagger now. This section still carries a LOTR flavor, but there is definite signs of the divergent directions the characters will take going forward.
  23. A Clash of Kings (ACOK) picks up right where it's predecessor Game of Thrones left off. The red comet seems to appear as a sky as a result of the birth of Daenerys' three dragons at the end of the previous book. This ominous sign in the sky is commented on by all of the point of view (POV) characters throughout the first third of the book, and this sign cannot help but drive the subsequent actions by the characters. The prologue is certainly longer in ACOK than Game of Thrones, but a lot of ground is covered. The reader sees Stannis (albeit through the eyes of Maester Cressen) for the first time in this series, and he is clearly a curmudgeon that is seeking his due. Stannis is pushing all his chips to the table by aligning himself with Melisandre, the red priestess. The elderly Cressen tries to prevent Stannis from recklessly attacking the mainland, but here (and throughout ACOK) the faint of heart are pushed out of the way. The long prologue is foreboding and tense throughout, and really sets the stage for what follows in the main narrative. The Stark family has been scattered throughout Westeros, and the narrative seems to be pulling the Stark POV characters even further apart from each other-Jon going deeper beyond the Wall, Arya and Catelyn like two ships passing in the night without ever spotting each other, Sansa remains trapped in King's Landing while Bran tries to rule in Winterfell. None of these five Starks are in control of their travels, while the one Stark who does have some control (Robb) is only mentioned through other characters. Honestly, I'm not sure why Martin kept Robb off-screen, especially where he is involved in some battles during ACOK. Davos' Seaworth's chapters are highly interesting, especially as it tries to explain why a former smuggler is so loyal to his lord that aspires to the throne. Theon's initial chapter is quite funny, and sets up how he wants to prove himself throughout the remainder of the book. Initially, I did not find Daenerys' chapters as interesting, although her foray into the House of the Undying was quite well done. I really enjoy how Martin peels off the onion layers of the Targaryen past through Daenerys' chapters. However, Tyrion is truly the one that dominates a lot of the action in ACOK. Martin has created a fantastic character in Tyrion that resonates well beyond the scope of this series. Tyrion makes himself a force to be reckoned with all characters (including his sister the regent) despite his small stature. About halfway through the book is building to a climactic battle, only for that opportunity to be snuffed out. However, this only serves to create more tension leading up to the climactic battle of King's Landing. The battle was quite riveting, especially as told through multiple viewpoints off the battlefield and on it. Martin truly shines when writing this battle, and it's easy to see why he wanted to use books instead of television as his writing forum. The final chapter is a shattering aftermath of battle told through Bran's eyes. I've never been a big fan of the Bran chapters, but this one resounds with the reader. This is a strong sequel to Game of Thrones that creates even more tension for Storm of Swords. My only criticism is that some of Robb's actions should have been seen through a viewpoint character, but the bulk of the action was taking place in other locales. Martin delivers another long yet tight narrative in the second book sating the reader for the moment....yet making the reader want to dive immediately into Storm of Swords.
  24. Since I'm trying to read the entire Riftwar Cycle in chronological order, I'm actually reading Daughter of the Empire (first in the Empire trilogy with Feist & Janny Wurts), followed by Servant of the Empire, then Magician: Master. I did read Silverthorn a long time ago, and remember it being pretty riveting, so I'm looking forward to re-reading it.
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