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About HighWiredSith

  • Birthday 06/04/1971

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Mentor (12/16)

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  1. I started Wheel of Time in the 90's, when epic fantasy was scarce. Before WoT I read LOTR, of course, Shannara, Michael Moorcock's Elric Saga, and the Recluse books. I really enjoyed Wheel of Time for the most part despite feeling like many of the later books drug on incessantly. When I read that Amazon would be making a series, I started a re-read and have really struggled enjoying the books. Maybe they're just outdated, with all the male-female bickering, the constant descriptions of every single piece of clothing that every character wears in every scene, the idea that so much of conflict revolves around characters simply choosing to not share important information for reasons that don't often make sense, and then passages that seem to go on forever, dumping tons of information on history and customs but cover very little plot ground. I think maybe having read so much fantasy since that maybe I see fantasy in general differently now. I suppose the one series I most often compare it to is Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight archive which also very long and very detailed and full of info dumps and long passages but seems to move along briskly despite the lengthy page count. I got to Lord of Chaos and have stopped, knowing that I'm getting to the part of the series I really struggled enjoying the first time. I'm curious to see how the series addresses this, if they will quicken the pace of the books, consolidate the many, many plot threads, generally change the way the female and male characters interact. I don't hate on the books like some people do because I did really enjoy them the first time around.
  2. They should just use this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZOCCEuROPk
  3. Lord of Chaos is my favorite. The conclusion is epic and I feel like the series started to dip in quality after that as the story was exponentially expanded by the addition of dozens of new plot threads until it quite literally dragged to a near-halt at my least favorite book (and most people's I think), Crossroads of Twilight. I don't mind saying I really feel like Brandon Sanderson dragged the series out the muck. Maybe RJ had plans to get things back on track and moving again but Knife of Dreams was only moderately less of a chore to read that CoT. Towers of Midnight is my second favorite book. My top three: Lord of Chaos Towers of Midnight The Great Hunt
  4. Pale in comparison to the ebook covers. But, the Darryl K. Sweet covers were, well, something, at least for those who judge books by their covers. These are a considerable improvement.
  5. Either Shadows Rising or Lord of Chaos had just been released in hardcover. I purchased a bundle of Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, and The Dragon Reborn in paperback for like ten bucks, on sale. By the time I got to Lord of Chaos, A Crown of Swords was just about to be released but hadn't yet. This was before the internet so the only way I knew was by asking someone at the bookstore. After that I would buy the hardcovers as they were released and eventually back filled my collection. There really wasn't a lot of fantasy in the 80's and 90's. I remember the SciFi/Fantasy section being decidedly more SciFi than Fantasy back then. You had Terry Brooks, Michael Moorcock, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Ursula K. Leguin, among others but nothing compared to the stuff out today. Seems like a new "epic" fantasy series hits the shelves every month. Wheel of Time felt very new and epic and different back then.
  6. Episode 1 ends with the fight in Shadar Logoth. I would completely cut out the stuff in Baerlon and have the group leave Emond's field, a few LOTR type traveling sequences, maybe a conversation around a campfire, and then start the entire Shadar Logoth sequence, end with the separation. Episode 2 could end where the book ends. Stuff is going to have be cut out, no way around it. Perrin and Egewene's visit to the Tinkers, condense that entire subplot to a single encounter with the Children of the Light, make that Perrin's introduction into wolf-hood, the wolves coming to his aid and creating that bond. As for Rand and Matt, you could excise most of that plot, take out his meeting with Elayne, leave that introduction for later, bring Loil in at Whitebridge, have the group re-group, hit the ways, and into the blight, roll credits. Cutting out Baerlon would mean cutting out Min's entrance into the story - but dare I say I think it would make sense to cut Min out all together? In a TV show she's seems like one lover too many and I think she feels most of the time like a tacked on character anyway. Give her ability to foresee people's fates to Elayne, make it part of the one power and just cut her out. Likely would piss off fans but let's be honest, they're going to have cut chracters and sequences, entire subplots, to make this into a series.
  7. I think season one should cover the first three books, end with Rand taking Calindor and declaring himself the Dragon Reborn. I would almost even daresay The Eye of the World could be condensed into one two part pilot episode with the majority of the first season focusing on the build up to the battle on Toman Head, mid season, and conclude in Tear with Rand taking Calindor. Even though I love the first three books, it still feels like it takes too long for Rand to finally come to terms with who he is and to start doing something about it. Don't feel like a television audience is going to be as patient with the characters as they continuously attempt to deny who they are, deny their role in the pattern, whining about how they're just a shepherd or a blacksmith, etc. The reluctant hero trope can only go so far in film/television before audiences are gonna give up and move on to something else I think.
  8. Also feel that the Aes Sedai were heavily influenced by the Bene Jesseret in Dune, which also heavily influenced the Jedi in Star Wars. Moiraine always felt like a conglomeration of Gandalf from LOTR and Jessica from Dune. The whole Min/Elayne/Aviendha felt like it was influenced by Paul's relationship with Princess Irulan and Chani - Elayne = Irulan, Chani = Aviendha/maybe Min. Tom Merrylin = Gurney Halleck, Matt = Pippin, Perrin = Merry, Lan = Aragorn, Padan Fain = Gollum, Two Rivers = Shire, Blight = Mordor, Shinear = Gondor, Loial = Treebeard, wow, once you get started you can kind of just keep going!
  9. https://winteriscoming.net/2018/08/25/wheel-of-time-tv-series-would-have-massive-production-issues-to-hurdle/
  10. Funny, going back and reading some of my old posts - UPDATE, I did stick with COT, trudged through Knife of Dreams which was not nearly as bad but not nearly as good as earlier books, mourned greatly when Robert Jordan succumbed to his illness, cheered when Brandon Sanderson took up the helm (HUGE fan of Mistborn), and felt that Towers of Midnight was the finest book since Lord of Chaos, and was deeply satisfied by A Memory of Light despite feeling it didn't quite live up to 13 hefty volumes worth of setup. Now, I'm going through the series again, this time in audiobook form, and taking my time, trying to really focus on the world building and depth of history, which is impressive thus far. It does strike me as odd that nearly every character is somehow an expert of prophecy, so schooled that many can quote prophetic passages from memory. Would welcome a deep discussion on the role of prophecy as either a force that drives the circumstances of the characters that is fully beyond their control (like leaves on the wind...poor Wash) or, as Moiraine sees it, some kind of roadmap for guiding one's actions in order to achieve the desired outcome. Suppose I should start another thread unless one is already out there.
  11. If you read enough books you begin to see commonalities between various writers and their works, charcters, sitautions, environments, plot points, borrowed from other writers, from films, TV, pop culture, etc. I've often wondered if those commonalities are real, meaning the author was truly inspired by another work, or simply the product of my ever growing mental cache of stuff making those connections. The first time I read about an Aiel sharing water I immediatly knew that Frank Herbert inspired these characters. Had a similar moment when I first read Dune and thought, incorrectly at the time, that all this talk of spice mining was lifted from Star Wars. One glance at the publication date corrected my misconception. I also think that Paul Atredies was at least partially an inspiration for Rand, a sort of conglomeration of Arthur, Frodo/Aragorn, Jesus Christ, and the Muad Dib, among others. Personally, I kind of enjoy writing inspired by other great writing. Obvious that LOTR inspired much of WoT, everything from names like Matt-Perrin/Merry-Pippin to the color changing cloaks that warder's wear. Nothing wrong there, so long as the story is not a straight point for point retelling (see Sword of Shannara) and at least tries to expand or divert into something new, with WoT does.
  12. Here's an observation on pacing in The Great Hunt. I first read The Great Hunt in or around 1997 or 1998. Path of Daggers, if I recall correctly, had just come out in hard cover and Crown of Swords in paperback. I picked up the first three WoT books and blew through them in a just a couple of months. I eventually caught up to the released novels around Winter's Heart and then read each subsequent novel as it was released. I recently decided, likely prompted by news of a possible television series, to re-read the entire series. To be more specific, I chose to listen to the series in audiobook form, occasionally pulling out my old copies of the novels, but primarily listening. Despite having not read The Eye of the World in over 20 years, the novel offered few surprises. It was as I remembered it, with only what I would consider minor details un-remembered. The action sequences - the flight from the Two Rivers and Baerlon, the separation at Shadar Logoth, and the eventual journey through the Ways and into the Blight were all very much as I remember them. The Great Hunt however, seemed almost a different novel. In my mind, at least half of the story took place in Toman Head. The sequences that really stood out in my memory from my first read were those of Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Min, particularly Egwene's being leashed by the Seanchean. I was surprised to find that I was almost 90% of the way through the book before any of the characters arrive in Falme. Upon finishing the novel, it struck me that much of it was spent following the main characters as they traveled from place to place without much happening in-between. And then, suddenly, they're finding ways to fast travel to where they need to be in order to progress the story to its conclusion. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the pacing of the book. But of course, the epic conclusion in Toman Head more than makes up for the shortcomings. I used to claim The Great Hunt one of my top three entries in WoT. Now, not so sure it ranks that high.
  13. Not new. Was a regular here many years ago while reading through WOT. Started the series in college just after The Dragon Reborn came out in hard cover and was a hardcore fan for many years. Read each book as it came out and to be honest, by the time I finished A Memory of Light I was soooooo over Wheel of Time. I was very critical of the later books (some of them I absolutely hated - Winter's Heart, Crossroads of Twilight) and honestly thought the epic finale just wasn't one of the better books in the series, hardly as "magnificent" as Brandon Sanderson described it. But, here I am. Yes, there are better fantasy series' out there but by gosh there aren't many. Most of the stuff labeled epic fantasy these days is anything but. And so, I decided to embark on a second read-through of WOT, or to be more accurate, a listen-through as I am this time opting for the audiobooks. Just finished The Dragon Reborn today. Wow, the first half dozen books in this series are spectacular. Just a couple of observations: I think the books lost something when the characters began to quick-travel all over the map. There's a great deal of exposition, world building, and character development that occurs as each of the characters make their respective journeys to the Blight, to Tar Valon, Tomon Head, and to Tear. As I recall, the books get to a point where characters are creating portals and jumping all over the map, one of the many ways they quick-travel when the story requires it. I'm starting to be acutely aware of just how often Rand and Perrin refuse to accept their role in the events that play out. I've started keeping count in my head of how often Perrin laments "I'm just a blacksmith" or Rand "I'm a shepherd from the Two Rivers." Their naivety is almost comical to the point of being irritating. Matt doesn't quite have the same problem. Yes, he want's to get away but at least he seems to accept the situation and know there's no going back home.
  14. Nynaeve - while WOT in general is a study in characters mercilessly and perpetually hanging on to their misconceptions about themselves and the world around them (recently re-started the series on audiobook and am now far too painfully aware of just how often Perrin says "I'm just a blacksmith" or Rand "I'm a shepherd from the Two Rivers"), Nynaeve is just over the top. She seems a smart character yet her refusal to appreciate the events of which she is actively a part, to synthesize the things she's witnessed, and to finally conclude that maybe Moraine was on to something is just flat out annoying and ridiculous. Yeah, I get that she is in love with Lan and and hates Moirane for that too, but it's just asinine how long she continues to believe she's got any real chance of bringing Rand, Perrin, and Matt back to the two rivers and putting everything back to the way it was before Moirane ruined everything.
  15. So after reading TOM and finally enjoying this tedious series again I picked up all of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn novels, having never read any of his work before (other than his two WOT entries). I know most here will disagree but nonetheless - here are ten reasons why I think Sanderson is a better writer than the late Robert Jordan in no particular order. Mistborn spoilers abound, tread lightly. 10. World building – although Jordan’s world is considerably more fleshed out, it took him well over 6 of the novels he wrote to fully develop the world while Sanderson managed to accomplish a very detailed world in only three novels. Sandeson's world is equally detailed and intricate and in truth, is explained in greater depth than Jordan's world in WOT. 9. Pacing – the pacing in WOT is particularly frustrating and one of the reasons many readers gave up on the series. Sanderson’s trilogy is brisk and well-paced, particularly the action and fight scenes which build toward satisfying climaxes without constantly dragging the narrative down to see what other characters are doing, particularly when those characters aren’t doing anything of interest. Fight scenes, while interspersed with other plot lines, are still well paced and his chapters are often quite short, especially when the action starts to pick up. 8. Systems of magic – despite the scope and magnitude of WOT the system of magic remains a central mystery for the most part, characters having been imbued with a vague sort of mystical power of varying degree by two sides of some "power". Mistborn’s systems of magic are some of the most detailed I’ve ever read. They seem both logical, and despite being fantastic, they seem realistic. 7. Artificial tension – so much of WOT, particularly in the later entries, feel artificially endowed with obstacles and discoveries that have no other purpose than to build tension in the narrative. This is particularly obvious in Jordan’s use of various means of fast travel – the Ways, skimming, and finally portals, to allow characters to quickly jump across the world while, when the narrative demands it, fast travel is restricted so that plot lines and tension can be created in the story line. Sanderson does some of this but it’s always through use of specific powers and even then, the travel is not instantaneous and the rules surrounding it remain a constant throughout the series unlike Jordan's constantly fluctuating means of transportation. 6. Characters – can anyone keep up with all of the characters in WOT? This can be considerably frustrating when having to wait a year or more between novels, enough time to forget half of Jordan’s plethora of secondary and supporting characters, the darkfriends and foresaken. Sanderson’s narrative revolves around a handful of characters, all well developed, all serving a very real purpose in the overall storyline. Trollocs remain a vague sort of force of evil with no real history or culture to explain their presence other then the fact that they were simply created by the dark one and yet trollocs are insanely ineffective, rarely accomplishing anything other than simply dying in droves. 5. Deaths – so far, 13 novels in, and not one of the main characters has died permanently. After so many plots, so many pages, so many events, it’s hard to approach the final novel, the final battle, with any real sense of tension or anticipation because it’s obvious that none of the main characters is any real danger. Sanderson killed off his main character in the first novel and he shockingly remained dead. Other main characters die throughout the story. He certainly doesn’t kill off characters with the casualness of George RR Martin, for sheer shock value either. 4. Writer idiosyncrasies – while Sanderson, like all writers, does overuse certain phrases (raised an eyebrow?), Jordan’s series is so full of sniffs, snorts, arms folded beneath breasts – it becomes tedious and I found myself rolling my eyes as I would encounter them in the text. His descriptions of female characters is almost insulting. 3. Character development – each of Sanderson’s main characters go through major personality changes as they evolve through the narrative. These changes are both believable and make sense within the context of the story – Vin growing to accept her role as the enforcer and the Hero of Ages, Saysed’s evolution toward Announcer of the Kandra, and Eland’s growth as Emperor for example – all of it works in logical sequence and feels very real. Most of Jordan’s characters devolve into caricature at some point, hanging on to illogical ideas and beliefs well past the point of believability – Rand/Matt/Perrin’s continual refusal to accept their roles through endless pages of exposition that scream out the obvious is ridiculous. 2. Scope – Three novels and one secondary story (Alloy of Law) vs. 14 massive volumes and a prequel – this one speaks for itself. Sanderson accomplishes just as much world building, character development, and plot resolution in a fraction of the pages.
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