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  1. . I can understand that. For me, I think this time through I mostly felt as though he came to full acceptance of being Dragon at the end of The Great Hunt. TDR was certainly the book where he processes what that acceptance really *means*, and it is a curious authorial choice that we get to see so little of it. But I think it works at least in the sense of pacing: we at least feel Rand has had a very reasonable chunk of time offscreen during TDR to change from the out-of-his-depth Farmboy who is still very much evident even late in TGH, into the much colder, more calculating, "let's do this thing" Dragon we have in TSR. And I think the tone of paranoia you mention, for me, helps me imagine that the encroaching madness of Saidin and the push of previous lives (Lews Therin) has as much to do with the changes to his character as Rand's own thought processes and rationalizations do. I'm finishing up TFOH today, just a few chapters remaining, and continue enjoying my reread immensely. The reread definitely makes it feel more like one big story and makes it harder to choose favorites among individual volumes. I forgot how much I got to like Nynaeve by the end of TSR, and her initial battle with Moghedian remains one of my favorite One Power battles. I also had completely forgotten that Rand scoops up Asmodean as personal bard and teacher, and for some reason, that particular relationship amuses me to no end, especially the way Asmodean continually irritates Rand with his slightly-too-clever choices of background music. It's a funny and weird and vaguely tense dynamic that I wish we got to see a little more of. TFOH has been great, the only parts that dragged for me a touch were the Siuan POV chapters (and the related Gareth Bryne chapters). As a character and in terms of what happened to her she is very interesting, but I don't actually enjoy her POV much. I'm not really sure why. And Rand's journey from Waste to Cairhein was a tad meh, but overall it seems just about as good TSR, which was probably the best of the bunch so far. .
  2. . Great responses, thanks. I had wondered, for example, if Jordan's writing improves in any way in the latter books -- you'd think he would get better/more mature in at least some respects, even if the late books are on the slow side. He gets a lot of flack for overwrought/tedious level of detail, but I usually don't mind much as long as it's effectively immersing me in the scene. Sometimes in the early books his descriptions are slightly incoherent. In my reread so far, Eye of the World is about as I remember -- decent intro/prologue to the series, but kind of a rushed, muddled ending. Like Jordan felt like he had to bring everything together in a pseudo-conclusive way, but it was out of step with the pacing of the overall story, and we didn't get to know the villains at all. It was all a bit goofy. Great Hunt holds up pretty good -- it was one of my favorites as a kid. It has the most satisfying climax of the first three, the Seanchan and the damane are great. The Dragon Reborn disappointed me as a kid, but I liked it better on the reread -- in many ways I think the bulk of DR is better than the first two books, and it's definitely the book where Mat starts to shine as a character. He was pretty intolerable until we start getting his POV in this book. I didn't see the lack of Rand as a problem this time, that was fine with me, and I actually loved the subplot in the White Tower with the Black Ajah. What did compromise DR for me quite a bit though, was the ending -- again, much like Eye of the World, the climax felt forced, rushed, kind of incoherent ... and I started to ask myself, how many times is Rand going to "defeat" the Dark One at the end, but not-really-defeat him? Was getting silly. From what I recall books 4 onward focus more on the Forsaken which I think is probably for the best. And Perrin's sudden passion for Faile felt a bit ... unearned and out-of-character. And while I forget them now I feel like DR had a *lot* of loose ends and plot holes. Shadow Rising is pretty solid so far, still working through it. It's great because it's been long enough that I don't remember much detail of what happens in each book. I do remember the epic battle at the end of SR which I know is quite good, and I remembered Rand spending a good chunk of time in the Aiel Waste -- but beyond that, most the details almost feel like I'm reading it for the first time. .
  3. . 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. .
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