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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

batcaver

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  1. Totally agree, though I won't rehash since I've said it all multiple times. I was relistening to the second half of the book today, since my wife has finally made it there and is listening for the first time. Once again, I'm constantly struck by the bitter irony that some of the most pivotal scences in the culmination of the series are also the most lacking in emotional gravity. In a series that pushed the boundaries for character development in fantasy, this final volume came out no deeper than most Saturday morning cartoons I watched as a kid. Some of your favorite characters are dead. Cut up one last trolloc. Smoke a pipe. The End. I keep wondering what all Sanderson's baby sitters were thinking when he handed this thing in. Did everyone just fold to the pressure of getting a book out ASAP? Criminal.
  2. 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.
  3. What confused me about this was why it happened at all. Why would the shadow want Tuon dead at that point in the story? The Seanchan were gearing up for a major attack on the Aes Sedai, which could only work to the Shadow's favor. Why would it make sense to do anything to disrupt that happening efficiently and effectively? Why alert them to any other threat when they were focused on harming the forces of the Light? I could never see how this made any sense at all. I suspect it may have just been thrown in thoughtlessly to give Mat a flashy entrance. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Whoops. The above was me. *also should have said to reread books 6-11. I get them mixed up in numerical order sometimes, but I can't edit my post since I wasn't logged in.
  7. Thanks Sut. BTW, The Warrior-Prophet arrived today! @Aleator77 I thought the same thing initially, myself. However, as time has gone on and I've reflected on the book, it's seemed more and more vexing. Especially watching my wife get excited about scenes for the first time, and reliving my own excitement through her, I'm seeing the book more in the context of the entire series. Her experience will be so different from mine, since she'll never have to wait years between books. She'll never have to endure agonizing cliffhangers or face the teeth grinding irritation of waiting for COT, only to be maddeningly disappointed. On the other hand, she'll miss out on all of the theories and guessing and studying minor occurrences for clues that was such a huge and awesome part of my WoT experience. More to the point, I think AMoL is a tolerable book in itself, but when read in conjunction with the rest of the series, as the culmination of the entire series, it is very disappointing. It's only a book, really, but many people have quite a bit of personal history invested in this. I know a lot of us were very excited to see the series finished after years and years, but for me, that same intense excitement has now been inverted by the lack of satisfaction I found in AMoL. A lot of dead horses have been beaten since it came out, but this is really the extent of the expression of that disappointment that we're going to be allowed, unfortunately. While Sanderson goes on tour and has a blast, makes loads of cash, and then moves on with his enormously enhanced career, we're pretty much forced to try to just sweep all of our excitement and anticipation under the rug or just have the same conversation over and over on the fan board. Not a very appealing choice, to be sure, but I suppose I'll take what little catharsis I can scrounge.
  8. Anyone who has ever read the phrase 'storm you' :p Man, way to hit the nail on the head. TGS left some hope, but trying to read TWOK was when I knew something was seriously wrong. Never made it past the first third. Yeah, that's a good point. Some flaws were definitely to be expected, but after TGS it seemed safe to hope that with continuing improvement the series would be able to limp to the finish line, not as Jordan would've written it perhaps, but acceptably enough. Back then I'd totally have been against the encyclopedia approach and all for finishing, but now....I think the former would've been the better option, probably. At least then the material that was out would all cohere. What might've even been best would be to have done the encyclopedia after TGS, which was Sanderson's best and also had the most of Jordan. Of course, that's completely implausible, but I'm just daydreaming here. Every author has their own way of doing things, but I'm rather suspicious of Sanderson's immense output during his WoT period. I just don't see how one can turn out quality work at that pace. On TGS - I'd previously been under the impression that Jordan wrote the Seanchan attack on the WT scene. Is this incorrect? Dark Rand was definitely the Sanderson high point for me, but if he wrote that too I have to give him more credit. It was a fantastic WoT scene.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 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.
  11. 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 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.
  12. 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?
  13. I really like that idea. It would have been very fitting, I think. Of course, why not just go ahead and pretend that happened between the books so it won't get in the way of the 800 pages of trolloc slashing we need for the final book...
  14. Yeah, I also thought Lanfear came through well. I was pretty hyped to see here actually being Lanfear again. Aside from the cleansing scene, she really hadn't been her old self since her demise in TFoH. The scene at the end with Perrin was one of the small amount of really in-character, well done moments in the book.
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