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ThornGhost
12-03-2010, 09:19 AM
So I finally finished up Towers of Midnight. I'd kind of been savoring it - reading it before bed and whatnot. I noticed that we didn't have a WoT thread and decided to make one.

NOTE: This thread is for those who have finished all of the current books and want to discuss the past and future of the series. SPOILERS WILL BE RAMPANT. You have been warned.

I really dug this book. Perrin, who had always been kind of a boring spot in these books for me, finally stepped up and decided to become interesting. Sort of mirroring Rand's journey in the last book, he finally decided to accept his nature and the circumstances he had been forced into. As he completed these steps, he gained more and more power over the men he leads, the wolf dream and gaining a Talent in forging Power-wrought weapons.

It is kind of interesting that the men in these books often have issues with forcing their own will upon situations. Considering that saidin must be actively wrestled and grasped, it seems like a counter-balance that male characters like Rand and Perrin must learn to embrace their fate like women embrace saidir. Even Gawyn had an arc that reflected this kind of theme. On the opposite end, does it seem women are generally more rewarded with taking active control over situations than simply allowing to be pulled along with the flow?

It was great to see a lot of Mat in this book. Sanderson writes him well, but I can't shake off the feeling that he writes Mat like a caricature of Jordan's Mat. All of his goofy hangups seem amplified. Sure, it made me chuckle sometimes, especially his letter to Elayne, but I feel Mat's become a bit more two-dimensional under Sanderson than he was with Jordan. I could be totally off on this, however.

Speaking of Elayne: UGH. She has never been interesting, and I think she never will be. Usually when I hit an Elayne chapter while reading, I would sit the book down and take a break. I don't think I'm secretly sexist, because there are loads of other female characters that I do like in this series and others, but I have to wonder if the average female reader finds her as grating and irritating as I do.

I found the hands-off view of Rand compelling. Every chapter featuring Rand was told from someone else's point of view, apart from that very quick snippit during the epilogue. I think this was meant to help readers understand that Rand has become something more than a man, something like a force of nature. It would be hard to tell compelling stories from his viewpoint, because he is harder to relate to. Since he accepted his emotions in the last book, he's apparently gained full awareness of his past life as Lews Therin and gained much more power with channeling, as evidenced when he destroyed the Trolloc army.

Additionally, it seems that Rand has gained access to some other kind of power as well, possibly a counter-point to the True Source wielded by the Forsaken, a link directly to the Creator. I make this suggestion basically out of the one line Rand said before he addressed the Borderlander army when Cadsuane(?) suggested he would not be able to channel and Rand replied with something along the lines of "Only the One Power is blocked." He might have just been suggesting his strong ta'veren nature would protect him, but I think not. Additionally, the way the blight and storms would pull away whenever Rand appeared somewhere suggests, to me at least, some greater connection to the Creator. We shall see next book, I suppose.

Also, I noticed in the old WoT encyclopedia that technically, Egwene is the 999th Amyrlin. I'm going to guess that next book begins with Rand somehow taking control of the Aes Sedai and becoming the 1000th Amyrlin.

dwolfe
12-03-2010, 09:33 AM
I thought Rand had access to the True Source, just like the forsaken; in some book, several books ago, one of the Forsaken were shaken when they realized Rand was holding the Forsaken-only power, weren't they?

But you're right, no guarantee that's what it is still.

I liked the bit late in the book in the Aiel Waste after the fact, but not while reading it. Finally, someone thinking about what happens if they manage to win the Last Battle. It just didn't feel like a part of the rest of the book, it could almost have been a stand-alone short story to promote the last book, y'know?

Single best moment in the book for me (spoilered out in white, as it was the best moment of the book):

Perrin is in the dream-version of the White tower, and one of the Forsaken tries to nuke him with balefire. Egwene is standing right next to him. Perrin puts a hand up and unravels the balefire weave. Perrin then casually tells her "Oh, it's just a weave" and goes on about his business.

shivam
12-03-2010, 10:55 AM
chapters 48-50 basically filled me with terror and sadness and despair. what's the point of any of this if it's all going to end in nightmares and seanchan domination?

ThornGhost
12-03-2010, 11:52 AM
I really don't recall that about Rand being able to touch the True Source, but that's a possibility. It has been a while since I have read some of these books.

Aviendha's trip through the crystal pillars was indeed a somber thing - but one that gives some direction for characters beyond the Last Battle. Aviendha, and indeed, the Aiel in general are at a crossroads in their history. They need a purpose once their toh has been fulfilled, or else they fall into the same trap the Shaido did - craving battle and material goods for their own sakes.

Aviendha now has an idea of what she and the Aiel are going to have to do once the Last Battle is won. It's a scary, but ultimately positive note for Aviendha. She has something to work toward again.

shivam
12-03-2010, 11:57 AM
Rand can touch the true source because of that balefire to balefire blast when he attacked uh, one of the forsaken.

Sanderson has speculated that the one power is the creator's analog to the true source.

also, i found it interesting that the word magic shows up for the first time in one of those future visions--the aiel have fallen so far that not only are they incapable of surviving in the waste, but they don't realise that there was ever a world besides the waste.

overall, this is one of my favorite books in the series, up there with Fires of Heaven. Perrin's Hammer is so fulfilling.

oh and when Rand tells Cadsuane to call him Rand Sedai. Fuck yes, son.

dwolfe
12-03-2010, 01:18 PM
Rand al'Thor channeled the True Power in his desperation to save Min from Semirhage, in The Gathering Storm (googled this).

I never thought it was from the cross-balefire blast with Moridin, just the Dark One giving Rand line to hang himself with in the future, and showing him how useful it would be to work with the DO. Interesting theory.

Shivam, I don't think the visions of the future in the crystal columns were set in stone, that's not how RJ's Pattern works, or ta'veren wouldn't exit. I think it shows the future if nothing changes from how things are now. Now Aviendha has some foreknowledge of how the Pattern is laid out and can work towards preventing that future from occurring. Hell, her and all her good friends are ta'veren it seems.

Hell, it might have been a future from one of those alternate worlds where time moved faster; I do wish we'd have heard more about those (didn't Rand try to teleport too many people and lost several months vs. conventional travel back then? Boy, bet he wishes he had them back...).

Rascally Badger
12-03-2010, 10:57 PM
I think I may be the only person that absolutely loves Elayne's chapters. She's not my favorite character, that would be a tie between Perrin and Mat, but really enjoy her. I am baffled by the amount of hate she gets. She is the typical spoiled princess, but instead of her character growth being moving away from that she instead embraces it completely and uses it to her advantage. Her adventures with Nynaeve in books 4-6, then with Mat added in book 7 are some of the best parts of the whole series. Sure after that the plot strips most of her interesting companions away, but her politicing her way into the throne is still enjoyable. Jordan wrote some of the best fantasy politics.

The only thing that worries me with the new book is that bit a prophesy that says Perrin will die. I will be sorely upset if that comes true.

shivam
12-03-2010, 11:55 PM
god, i fucking hate elayne so much. And her appearance in ch 51 right after aviendha's vision being a spoiled conniving greedy warmonger....argh. I want her to die.

Perrin's not gonna die, though. If you read the prophecy, it says that his pride will die--and a pride is a group of wolves, which as we saw DID die. the prophecy was about Hopper, who was one of my all time favorite guide characters.

Rascally Badger
12-04-2010, 12:13 AM
god, i fucking hate elayne so much. And her appearance in ch 51 right after aviendha's vision being a spoiled conniving greedy warmonger....argh. I want her to die.

Perrin's not gonna die, though. If you read the prophecy, it says that his pride will die--and a pride is a group of wolves, which as we saw DID die. the prophecy was about Hopper, who was one of my all time favorite guide characters.

I'll assume your right about that Perrin prophesy. I may be a little unclear on things from Towers of Midnight because I read it as fast as I possibly could, without stopping, all-day and all-night right as it came out. I'll remember details like that prophesy thing better after a re-read.

I love Elayne, though. She is one of the few characters that is sure of herself and does what she thinks she should, even if she is often wrong. She's not trying to start a war, she's trying to make people think she's trying to start a war. Not that if her plans fail she won't go to war, but that is not the intent. Cairhien is still a mess, and Elayne's attempts to take control is what she can do to help ready the world for the last battle. The fact that she is operating under the assumption that they will win and is trying to position things favorably for her and Andor afterwards is just a happy coincidence. That being said, at this point Elyne's story seems to be mostly finished and chapters starring her are taking away from people who are still relevant.

shivam
12-04-2010, 12:19 AM
yeah i read through it in one sitting too, and checked that proph closely.

also, i wish we had been given a better idea of where that field is that everyone is meeting, and what is gonna happen there.

Adam
12-04-2010, 12:56 AM
I figured it meant Faile was going to die. eh.

As for Elayne, she's an amazing politician. Stupid, STUPID thoughtless character though. There are so many people are dead as a direct result of her lack of care.

Rascally Badger
12-04-2010, 02:38 AM
As for Elayne, she's an amazing politician. Stupid, STUPID thoughtless character though. There are so many people are dead as a direct result of her lack of care.

More than any of the other main characters are responsible for? I'm racking my brain to come up with more than a handful, and those are all Aes Sedai who made their own decisions.

dwolfe
12-05-2010, 01:21 PM
I figured it meant Faile was going to die. eh.

As for Elayne, she's an amazing politician. Stupid, STUPID thoughtless character though. There are so many people are dead as a direct result of her lack of care.

She's more worried about staying in power than whether her being in power is the best for her country. Because, obviously, she's the best person to rule. Just ask her.

Rascally Badger
12-05-2010, 09:39 PM
She's more worried about staying in power than whether her being in power is the best for her country. Because, obviously, she's the best person to rule. Just ask her.

Isn't she?

And she's no worse about that than Egwene. Or Rand for that matter.

shivam
12-05-2010, 11:25 PM
egwene's at least mature about it. elayne's like a kid with a new toy.

Rascally Badger
12-06-2010, 12:28 AM
How is Egwene more mature? I'll grant the Elayne is like a kid with a toy because she absolutely is, but Egwene does the same stuff. Like lording her power over Nynaeve just because she can. I can understand it's necessary for her to show that she is in charge, but she's also getting petty revenge for Nynaeve being in charge of her for so long.

ThornGhost
12-06-2010, 08:03 AM
I didn't really see Egwene lording over Nynaeve as an act of petty revenge. Egwene's position as Amyrlin is still very shakey, and Nynaeve has been out of the loop of the White Tower for a while now. Egwene couldn't have Nynaeve coming back into the Tower and treating her like she did when they last saw each other, it would hurt her reputation. She needed to establish the new order fast and make sure Nynaeve didn't embarrass her when she came back to take the test.

Also! I realized that we had never seen the full Aes Sedai test before this book. It kind of seemed to me that this would have been more monumental had we gotten the details maybe halfway through the series instead of near the very end. With all of the other craziness and powerful characters running around, the importance of Third Age, female-only Aes Sedai seems highly diminished.

shivam
12-06-2010, 10:01 AM
it read a LOT like nynaeve's accepted test.

Rascally Badger
12-06-2010, 11:42 AM
Also! I realized that we had never seen the full Aes Sedai test before this book. It kind of seemed to me that this would have been more monumental had we gotten the details maybe halfway through the series instead of near the very end. With all of the other craziness and powerful characters running around, the importance of Third Age, female-only Aes Sedai seems highly diminished.

There was Moiraine's in New Spring, which came out after(?) Crossroads of Twilight. More than halfway, but not that close to the end.

And I thought the diminished power, both political and magical, of the Aes Sedai was kind of the point. They are not as great as they believe or want everyone else to believe.

dwolfe
12-06-2010, 05:12 PM
How is Egwene more mature? I'll grant the Elayne is like a kid with a toy because she absolutely is, but Egwene does the same stuff. Like lording her power over Nynaeve just because she can. I can understand it's necessary for her to show that she is in charge, but she's also getting petty revenge for Nynaeve being in charge of her for so long.

Um...no. Just no.

Egwene has been chosen to be the Amrylin Seat, and she is a pretty damn good one. She has an actual resume: Reunifying the Tower, rooting out a ton of Black Ajah, nearly single-handedly stopping the Seanchan attack on the newly reunited Tower, taking out a Forsaken 1 on 1 by sheer force of will. She didn't lord her power over Nynaeve, she established that she needs support and respect to keep her new position and not be a figurehead; especially from her closest friends. Egwene tells Nynaeve as much once she's made her point, because she wasn't doing it out of petty reasons, and wanted her to know that.

Elayne assumes she should be queen because her mother was, it's her birthright, and that's enough for her to deserve it, darn it! *watches Elayne stomp her foot and tug a braid for emphasis*. Her resume: Getting knocked up by the Dragon Reborn, allowing foreign armies into her country, and....I got nothing.

Rascally Badger
12-06-2010, 09:38 PM
Um...no. Just no.

Egwene has been chosen to be the Amrylin Seat, and she is a pretty damn good one. She has an actual resume: Reunifying the Tower, rooting out a ton of Black Ajah, nearly single-handedly stopping the Seanchan attack on the newly reunited Tower, taking out a Forsaken 1 on 1 by sheer force of will. She didn't lord her power over Nynaeve, she established that she needs support and respect to keep her new position and not be a figurehead; especially from her closest friends. Egwene tells Nynaeve as much once she's made her point, because she wasn't doing it out of petty reasons, and wanted her to know that.

Elayne assumes she should be queen because her mother was, it's her birthright, and that's enough for her to deserve it, darn it! *watches Elayne stomp her foot and tug a braid for emphasis*. Her resume: Getting knocked up by the Dragon Reborn, allowing foreign armies into her country, and....I got nothing.

I'm not sure which book it was in, but Egwene and Nynaeve were in the dream world and Egwene uses her newfound power over Nynaeve to rub it in Nynaeve's face that she had the upper hand and thinks to herself shortly thereafter that it was petty and vindictive, though she doesn't apologize. I remeber as "the point I stopped liking Egwene." All of that stuff you have on Egwene's resume happened after she was made Amrylin Seat.


And I seem to remember some sort of Civil War in there for Elayne. Caused by massive misrule by one of the forsaken. One won with little bloodshed despite massive opposition because Elayne manged to maneuver her enemies into corners. By letting a massive foreign army into the country that she could not have stopped anyway. The only person in the series who has been shown to be better at "the game of houses" than Elayne in the series is Thom. She's what, 17 years old with, no practical experience and managed to politic her much more experienced rivals off their feet. While she doesn't have the fighting forsaken notch on her resume, she did rediscover how to make ter'angreal and cuendillar. Discoveries that financed Egwene's little conflict at the tower.

dwolfe
12-07-2010, 05:43 PM
Damn it, don't make me start liking Elayne as a character again!

Rascally Badger
12-08-2010, 01:33 PM
she did rediscover how to make ter'angreal and cuendillar. Discoveries that financed Egwene's little conflict at the tower.

I just realized I was wrong about this. Egwene discovered how to make cuendillar on her own. I think I need to actually, fully read these books for this first time 5? years. I skim read them before The Gathering Storm, but the last time I read the series was just before Knife of Dreams.

ThornGhost
12-09-2010, 08:21 AM
Oh, here's a question that bugged me during the book that didn't seem to get resolved:
Multiple times this book, it was mentioned that Rand was wearing an odd cloak with sleeves. If it was just once, I wouldn't have paid much attention, but since it came up at least twice, I began to think something was up. Do we know where he got it or what it is? Is it possibly Lews Therin's or a (ter)angreal?

Rascally Badger
12-29-2011, 01:28 PM
I have started a thorough, close reread of the Wheel of Time to get prepared for the last book's arrival later this year. It has been at least 5 years since I really read these books, not enough time for me to forget the bulk of them, but enough time for the details to become fuzzy.

I'm only 150 or so pages into The Eye of the World, but already I'm remember why I love this series so much. There is so much story, foreshadowing and world building going on its almost hard to keep up. All the times I've previously read this I somehow missed how utterly bleak the forces of good's situation is right from the very start. Jordan sets it up right in the first few chapters. Humanity is in retreat and has been for a long, long time.

Wolf
01-02-2012, 08:24 PM
god, i fucking hate elayne so much. And her appearance in ch 51 right after aviendha's vision being a spoiled conniving greedy warmonger....argh. I want her to die.

Perrin's not gonna die, though. If you read the prophecy, it says that his pride will die--and a pride is a group of wolves, which as we saw DID die. the prophecy was about Hopper, who was one of my all time favorite guide characters.

A pride is a group of lions. Wolves come in packs. Your theory may need some rethinking if that's what you're basing it on.

Rascally Badger
12-30-2012, 07:24 PM
I am reviving this thread since we are about 10 days away from A Memory of Light coming out.

The reread I started at the beginning of the year stalled at the usual place, with Path of Daggers and Crossroads of Twilight. Recently, though, I have pushed through that barrier.

Now I've just finished Knife of Dreams and I have to say that that is one of my two or three favorite books in the series. I don't dislike the plotlines that run through the previous three books, but the all dragged on too long. Knife of Dreams ties all of those stories up in a completely satisfying manner, all while hammering home the refrain that Tarmon Gai'don is near. Unlike most of the previous 4 books, this one actually feels like a complete volume. This is the first book that I really felt the end of the series coming. It also further cements how close Rand is to completely breaking down.

While I am a fan of Elayne's, sometime just out or sheer iconoclasm, I get why people are so annoyed by her, especially in books 8-11. It isn't anything that she does; it is that so much time and so many pages are devoted to her when what she is doing seems to have little importance. Her fight to secure the throne is mostly an unnecessary complication and definitely one that we did not need to read that much about. When it was her and so many other main characters: Nynaeve, Lan, Mat, Thom, Aviendha, having half of a book devoted to them makes sense, but when it is just her and maybe one or two others it feels like a waste.

I'm not sure I've read The Gathering Storm or Towers of Midnight since they came out, so I am eager to see how much I like them after a second look.

shivam
12-30-2012, 08:06 PM
everything elayne does ends up fucking everything up for everyone. (Towers spoiler)After Aviendha's vision in ToM, i basically hate elayne and her family forever.

Cyrael
01-02-2013, 09:00 AM
My excitement for the last book is still pretty high, even considering that I dropped my re-read of the series in August with Path of Daggers.

I am hoping to start it back up tonight and push through to Knife of Dreams in the next couple of weeks.

I have not yet read any of the Sanderson ones, so I have a lot of surprises in store still.

ThornGhost
01-04-2013, 01:53 PM
With the impending release of the final book in the series, I've been thinking some about the strange and sad story behind it all.

I was at a panel at DragonCon with Sanderson and he said something along the lines of "This series is finishing because of you, the fans." and even though you always hear creators say these kinds of things during interviews, it was the first time I really felt that it was true. When you think of all of the half-finished books and works of art that gather dust after their creators' die, you realize what a movement it must have taken to make sure WoT was completed.

Jordan had to plan for it. His widow had to manage it. A largely unknown writer had to step up to actually fill the pages. It all happened because they were certain the fans wanted these books. It made me realize the impact that a loyal fan can have on something like this. If you're still out there in 2013 buying and supporting Wheel of Time, this book is literally for you.

It is astounding.

shivam
01-04-2013, 03:16 PM
what really blows my mind is that jordan was in pain, in the hospital, effectively ON HIS DEATH BED, and he narrated the entire final chapter word for word as it appears in the book into a tape recorder, while his wife and cousin were there taking notes.

And sanderson had the monumental task of putting all those notes together, and sometimes they consisted of one or two lines- "Rand goes from A to B", and he'd have to create the whole chapter out of that.

Rascally Badger
01-04-2013, 09:11 PM
Reading The Gathering Storm for the first time since it came out, I am struck by how different it feels. I don't fault Sanderson for failing to perfectly meld his writing to Jordan's, but I do have to say that I prefer Jordan. Of course, since these are Jordan's books that only makes sense. The only part that is really bad is Mat. Sanderson can't write Mat and since Mat is one of my favorite characters it really hurts.

I had forgotten how dark The Gathering Storm is. When Rand goes off the deep end it is really scary. I remember having to put the book down for a while after reading the part where Rand nearly kills Min the first time. I really thought he had already bottomed out in terms of going crazy around Path of Daggers, but that was nothing compared to tGS.

It really is amazing how much has went in to getting this series finished since Jordan's passing, or even his falling ill. I think WoT is the best example of someone finishing someone else's work I've encountered and I am sure it helps that it was, at least originally, only one partly finished book that had to completed. Though I have no idea how Jordan thought he could fit everything that has happened in tGs and ToM, plus aMoL all in one book. I am glad that The Wheel of Time is getting finished, but the world is a lesser place for not having Jordan in it.


everything elayne does ends up fucking everything up for everyone. (Towers spoiler)After Aviendha's vision in ToM, i basically hate elayne and her family forever.

I've only just started rereading ToM, but I don't remember anything to cause your reaction in the spoilered part.

shivam
01-04-2013, 09:40 PM
tGS was pretty jarring, i agree. aviendha was written pretty poorly. He gets a lot better in ToM, though.

as far as the other,
Well, first there's how eager elayne herself is to get the cannons and stuff, and then how stupid her family is with how they treat the aiel.

frankly, i've always hated elayne.

Rascally Badger
01-06-2013, 03:24 PM
as far as the other,
Well, first there's how eager elayne herself is to get the cannons and stuff, and then how stupid her family is with how they treat the aiel.

frankly, i've always hated elayne.

I don't really want to change people's minds about Elayne. I understand that a lot of people don't like her, but I do very much. The spoiled Princess is one of my favorite archetypes and I think she is one of the best realized characters that fit into that role. Plus, she is one of the only main characters that chose to be a part of everything and wasn't forced into it. But I do understand why many people do not like her. That being said, I think your spoilered criticisms here are somewhat off base.

First the bit about the cannons. I don't understand why this is a problem at all. She is no more eager than Mat to get a hold of them once he realized what Aludra was talking about. Plus, Mat is asking for her help to fund construction. What does she get out of having her country fund the construction of weapons that could have been used against her? I think it shows how a good a ruler she will be that even without a military background she realized the power of these weapons and takes steps to secure them. The only problem I see is that they need to be made for the last battle and haggling with Mat might impede that, but as always Elayne is operating with the assumption that the good guys will win and thinking about what comes next, which is the only sensible approach. If the world ends so what, if it doesn't she's put herself in a better position.

And having just read the other part, I have no idea what you are referring to. They treat the Aiel like they are not quite trustworthy, which the Aiel prove that they aren't. They lie to Andor to get them into their war with the Seanchan that leads to the Seanchan conquering everything. Maybe you could say that they already should have been fighting them because the Seanchan are scum. They are, but the Aiel still provoked a war with false information.

shivam
01-06-2013, 07:20 PM
so i reread towers of midnight entirely last night and you're right, i misremembered. but the whole spoiled princess motif? that is exactly why i hate her. she's such a terrible, selfish, ignorant character. doing all that ridiculous shit while pregnant? i wanted to scream at her all the time.

Grignr
01-06-2013, 08:17 PM
I just hate that her whole plot-line is whining about tea and milk and bathwater. And the whole "my prophecy says I'll live to have babies!" doesn't mean she can't be beaten into a coma, stilled, or taken to the Black Tower and turned. Speaking of which, if someone Arthurian doesn't rescue her from a Tower in the next book, I'm going to be disappointed.

The women accept Min's foreshadowing powers a little too easily (and too literally) in general. "Nope, childhood friend, you don't marry Rand. His harem is Exotic Foreigner, Rich Girl, and Tomboy. Sorry!" and then Egwene leaves and the other girls are like, guess we have to be his harem now. Which conveniently includes Min. And it would never have happened without Min's viewing in the first place.

Rascally Badger
01-06-2013, 10:45 PM
so i reread towers of midnight entirely last night and you're right, i misremembered. but the whole spoiled princess motif? that is exactly why i hate her. she's such a terrible, selfish, ignorant character. doing all that ridiculous shit while pregnant? i wanted to scream at her all the time.

Fair enough. That is really incredibly dumb on her part. I wouldn't have been upset had Birgitte or Dylin smacked her. But I still generally enjoy her.

As far as the prophesy goes, I didn't think Min told anyone until after they all decided they were in love with Rand. Min is the only one who seemed to let the prophesy affect her. But once they know, they are all pretty cool with it. Though I did like Nynaeve's reaction to it in Winter's Heart.

reibeatall
01-06-2013, 11:41 PM
It wasn't until yesterday that I realized Memory of Light comes out on Tuesday. I ordered it from Amazon so won't be getting it for a week but guys I'm pretty excited.

Grignr
01-07-2013, 07:38 AM
As far as the prophesy goes, I didn't think Min told anyone until after they all decided they were in love with Rand. Min is the only one who seemed to let the prophesy affect her. But once they know, they are all pretty cool with it.

Doesn't Min tell Rand or Egwene right away that they won't be together? Or maybe she just thinks it to herself, I'm too lazy to go look it up. Anyway, why doesn't she interpret the vision as "these are the women that Rand will love only to lose tragically, one after the other" ? She immediately leaps to "three women == group marriage". Maybe she sees lots of adulterers?

It wasn't until yesterday that I realized Memory of Light comes out on Tuesday. I ordered it from Amazon so won't be getting it for a week but guys I'm pretty excited.

Mine's arriving from Amazon tomorrow!

shivam
01-07-2013, 09:33 AM
I think that while avi and elayne both have expectations of marriage with rand, and children from their one sexual experience, it's telling that min never expresses that desire, despite spending more time with rand than anyone else in the series. She knows this is doomed, so she's pragmatic and resigned. Plus she has none of the ego of the other two, which makes her a better character.

I do wonder why Jordan wanted there to be a harem, though. Ultimately they're all important to the story structure but min basically serves to humanize rand while the other two are political. He hasn't even seen avi in many books now.

Love that min is a philosopher though.

Also, sucks that the black tower has basically been ignored the whole time, along with loial. And what about the narishma prophecy, who draws it out shall follow after? Super lame to just never answer that.

reibeatall
01-07-2013, 10:03 AM
Also, sucks that the black tower has basically been ignored the whole time, along with loial. And what about the narishma prophecy, who draws it out shall follow after? Super lame to just never answer that.

If only there were one more book that might flesh some of these out.

shivam
01-07-2013, 11:43 AM
i was hoping that there would have been more time for mat, perrin and rand to enjoy coming into their powers and ending their dumb psychoses.

Adam
01-07-2013, 02:05 PM
Aw dammit. I guess I should have started some sort of reread last year. I'll just hit ToM again and buy the last book in a few weeks.

Grignr
01-07-2013, 04:32 PM
Mine's arriving from Amazon tomorrow!

Or today, it turns out.

shivam
01-07-2013, 04:39 PM
mine should be coming tomorrow or weds.

botticus
01-07-2013, 05:46 PM
Or today, it turns out.

I guess I should have kept my Amazon order. But I had a BN gift card, so I'll just make the trip out there tomorrow after work. I knew I should have waited until after to request the third Ice and Fire book from the library, ah well.

Rascally Badger
01-08-2013, 05:08 PM
Mine came just before I had to go to work today. It's torture having to wait all day to get started.

Rascally Badger
01-09-2013, 09:38 AM
At about 300 pages in, all I can say is Egwene is the worst. Also, I wish Sanderson would pick a POV and stick with it for a while. 3 or 4 in each chapter is a bit much.

Grignr
01-09-2013, 08:04 PM
I'm just a little farther in. Mat has only had about two pages so far, total. The last one was pretty good, though!

They mention Padan Fain at one point (though it's a reference to Book 4!), so I guess he'll turn up eventually, probably at the last second to bite off Rand's finger and fall into the Cracks of Doom.

Rascally Badger
01-10-2013, 12:44 AM
I've finished, though I may have missed several details due to how fast I was reading. This book is exhausting. I've known these characters so long that when bad things happen to them, it is hard to take. I can think of very few other books, or stories in any other medium, that effect me so much.

There is still detail at odd places, with some events compressed into very few pages and long sections of things that seem of lesser import. Overall, though, it lived up to all of my expectations. It isn't my favorite book in the series, but it is a near perfect ending. Not the ending, but an ending.

shivam
01-10-2013, 12:52 AM
Guys, please use the spoiler tags.

Evil Dead Junkie
01-11-2013, 11:10 AM
Wrote a little tribute to/roast of The Wheel Of Time for inReads. (http://www.inreads.com/2013/01/11/the-wheel-of-time-keeps-turning-a-primer/)

Rascally Badger
01-11-2013, 08:18 PM
Wrote a little tribute to/roast of The Wheel Of Time for inReads. (http://www.inreads.com/2013/01/11/the-wheel-of-time-keeps-turning-a-primer/)

Good stuff except for one thing that irks me

Robert Jordan: Making fans wait an ungodly amount of time between books before it was cool!

This is just factually not true. The Wheel of Time, counting New Spring, is 15 books in 23 years. Only once, when Jordan died, did readers have to wait much more than 2 years between. It was a long wait from book 1 to 14, but the books came out pretty regularly in between.

shivam
01-11-2013, 11:24 PM
i love this fucking book so much.

Leliel
01-12-2013, 05:15 AM
I have to say I was let down a bit, but I can't really put my finger on any single reason why. I haven't reread any of the second half of the series at all although my current re-read is about halfway through LoC so I'm getting there. Dunno, I just felt like the warfare:wrapup ratio of AMoL was way out of whack.

Rand's showdown with the Dark One goes more or less as I expected. While I wouldn't have come up with the body swap theory myself, at least on my first read through, I remember reading something similar a few months back and thinking it was plausible so it didn't take me by surprise. Wish there were more resolution afterwards, but my understanding is that the Epilogue is more or less as RJ wrote it.

Things I liked:

+ The Black Tower, getting to see Turning in action and gah, it's creepy

+ The first Last Battle (Caemlyn/Kandor/Malkier), watching everything go from "yeah we got this :D", to the aww crap of the Great Captains subtly losing, to Demandred's arrival -- great payoff for the long mystery of his whereabouts and actions

+ Perrin, who is not my favorite character but whom Sanderson does really well with; I wish more time (more books?) had been spent on Lanfear's Compulsion to make it more gradual

Things I disliked:

- Occasional choice of words in description and dialogue that's so contemporary that it jars me out of my immersion; I don't recall TGS or ToM having this issue (although Sanderson's own work sometimes has). Rand and Mat's epeen contest is particularly WTFy :l At least I only spotted one typo! My printing of ToM must have had ten D:

- The second Last Battle (Merillor) is not without good bits but turned into a real slog to read through. Maybe too much jumping around?

- Siuan's ignoble throwaway death and to some extent Rhuarc's, although his at least serves the purpose of showing Aviendha's vision is not immutable. They were never first-tier characters but they deserved better than the offhanded disposal they get :/

- Padan Fain getting like two pages at the end, almost as an afterthought; the guy's been onscreen since the first TEotW chapters and built up to be a badass, all for that?

Evil Dead Junkie
01-12-2013, 01:36 PM
This is just factually not true. The Wheel of Time, counting New Spring, is 15 books in 23 years. Only once, when Jordan died, did readers have to wait much more than 2 years between. It was a long wait from book 1 to 14, but the books came out pretty regularly in between.

Duly noted.

shivam
01-12-2013, 02:32 PM
This book was everything I hoped and more. I'm completely satisfied with it, and just filled with a happy feeling after I finished, like the ending to a great meal.

Grignr
01-12-2013, 03:02 PM
Now that some people have finished, it's Series-Destroying Spoiler Time!

Or as spoilery as discussing dashed expectations/what didn't happen inherently would be.

I thought it was funny that the Dark One's favorite Bad End is Objectivist World and Rand's failed Good Ending is Disneyland/Teletubby World. I expected Rand to kill the Dark One and realize his mistake and imprison Fain/Mordeth as the new Big Bad. Or realize that the prison was a bad idea and merge darkness/chaos into the Pattern so that Order/Chaos were more evenly distributed.

When Rand lights his pipe, how exactly did he do that? And really terrible poker-faces there, haremettes, everyone knew you were up to something. That's not the way to be deceptive!

I always envisioned the series ending with dying Rand being spirited away by his three ladies, Arthur-to-Avalon style, but that didn't happen at all.

Perrin's Slayer plot thread wasn't as interesting as his previous fight in the last book and it felt like a big waste of time that could have been spent fighting Fain. Slayer "I'm just this guy who fights wolves in Dreams" didn't feel like the same scale of fight as the rest of the book. Sure the story justified that the dream teleporting/attacking was a cheap exploit/vulnerability but the rules just felt made up and I didn't know how Perrin would know that his use of the Dream Spike wasn't a terrible idea. And I kept waiting for some explanation for why entering the Dream physically was evil ("you lose something of yourself" but then we see no sign of that.

Mightyblue
01-12-2013, 03:20 PM
The only thing that pisses me off is Harriet Jordan's irrational fears of ebooks, thus preventing me from reading it until April (sorry, don't have $40 plus tax to blow on a book at the moment or in the foreseeable future, even if it is this one). It was originally supposed to be a one year delay till Sanderson talked her down a bit. Jesus.

Like there's any doubt the last book of the biggest fantasy book series aside from ASOIAF will be #1 for months on end.

Sarcasmorator
01-12-2013, 04:29 PM
Where would you be shopping that it's $40 plus tax? The books is $34.99 list and you can find it discounted without effort.

shivam
01-12-2013, 05:39 PM
i got it for 16 bucks off amazon.

Mightyblue
01-12-2013, 05:40 PM
Probably meant to say $40 with tax, but eh. I'll pick it up eventually when it hits ebook release, but the attitude that ebooks will somehow magically damage the "potential" bestseller rating of one of the most anticipated fantasy books of all time is infuriatingly preposterous.

botticus
01-13-2013, 07:07 PM
Things I liked:

+ Perrin, who is not my favorite character but whom Sanderson does really well with; I wish more time (more books?) had been spent on Lanfear's Compulsion to make it more gradual

Things I disliked:

- Siuan's ignoble throwaway death and to some extent Rhuarc's, although his at least serves the purpose of showing Aviendha's vision is not immutable. They were never first-tier characters but they deserved better than the offhanded disposal they get :/

Yes!

I really enjoyed the book (900 pages in 6 days means something), and I liked the resolution, though I didn't like the ending. I never enjoy the "people think the great hero is dead, but he's really alive and no one's supposed to know about it" play.

Rascally Badger
01-13-2013, 10:21 PM
I have to say I was let down a bit, but I can't really put my finger on any single reason why. I haven't reread any of the second half of the series at all although my current re-read is about halfway through LoC so I'm getting there. Dunno, I just felt like the warfare:wrapup ratio of AMoL was way out of whack.

I wasn't let down at all, but there definitely wasn't enough wrap up. Since people are posting spoilery thoughts, I have some. Please note big spoilers following.

There are several scenes I really wanted to see that didn't happpen. Such as a meeting between Moiraine and Siuan. Also, a scene with Mat, Rand and Perrin together, which I don't think has happened since The Great Hunt. And for the love of God, why was there no scene with Nynaeve and Lan.

And some thoughts on things that did happen. Though I recently called her the worst, killing Egwene hurts like a knife in the gut. She was probably my least favorite main character, but when she was awesome she was really awesome. It took me a day or so to get over it. Also, I do not think I'll ever forgive them for killing Siuan and Bryne. All the others, okay, but not Siuan.

Maybe I just missed some details in my hurry to see what happens, but can anyone tell me if Vanin lived? I'm blanking on everyone from Faile's group and my brother has the book now. Also, was Morgase even mentioned?

I think what was there in the ending was perfect, but I really wanted more, especially about the lesser characters. We are barely even know who lived in some situations.

botticus
01-14-2013, 06:28 AM
I wasn't let down at all, but there definitely wasn't enough wrap up. Since people are posting spoilery thoughts, I have some. Please note big spoilers following.

There are several scenes I really wanted to see that didn't happpen. Such as a meeting between Moiraine and Siuan. Also, a scene with Mat, Rand and Perrin together, which I don't think has happened since The Great Hunt. And for the love of God, why was there no scene with Nynaeve and Lan.

And some thoughts on things that did happen. Though I recently called her the worst, killing Egwene hurts like a knife in the gut. She was probably my least favorite main character, but when she was awesome she was really awesome. It took me a day or so to get over it. Also, I do not think I'll ever forgive them for killing Siuan and Bryne. All the others, okay, but not Siuan.

Maybe I just missed some details in my hurry to see what happens, but can anyone tell me if Vanin lived? I'm blanking on everyone from Faile's group and my brother has the book now. Also, was Morgase even mentioned?

I think what was there in the ending was perfect, but I really wanted more, especially about the lesser characters. We are barely even know who lived in some situations.

Well, Nynaeve and Lan did get together, but there wasn't any dialogue between them. Not that it was really needed in that instance.

There wasn't really any follow-up on the people from Faile's group. Vanin and Harnan split off to give her room. I will assume they managed. Morgase was mentioned once as managing the search for survivors with the villagers and Tinkers. She probably deserved at least a scene with her daughter or something.

I think I generally agree that what was there was good, but I yearned for more. I know some people are okay with that. My wife always likes plots where some things are left for the imagination while my response is "but I didn't imagine the rest of the story, so I'd rather know what actually happened!"


Some awards I had pondered:

Best Unexpected Hero: Androl (and Pevara) - I don't recall if he had equally large parts in the last few stories that focused on the Black Tower, but all I remembered of him going in was his gateway abilities. He was really well done in this book. Leads to...

Best Unintentional Redemption: Logain! This guy had a rollercoaster ride through the series, and I was worried it was going to end at the wrong time, but his ending was splendid. Thinking he had just given up his chance at meaning in the new world, ended up with something even better.

Is there any affordable way to get the older books in hardcover anymore? The paperbacks are, totally surprisingly, ravaged beyond repair and I've wanted to replace them with hardcover, but some of them seem exceptionally pricey on the secondhand market.

Rascally Badger
01-14-2013, 11:09 AM
Some awards I had pondered:

Best Unexpected Hero: Androl (and Pevara) - I don't recall if he had equally large parts in the last few stories that focused on the Black Tower, but all I remembered of him going in was his gateway abilities. He was really well done in this book. Leads to...

It almost feels like we were supposed to be getting Black Tower updates from his POV for 5 books or so. He's cool, but if they had actually bothered to set him up a little more his sudden heroism would have been a little less surprising. I don't mean it as an insult at all, but he felt very much like a Sanderson character to me as opposed to a Jordan character.



Is there any affordable way to get the older books in hardcover anymore? The paperbacks are, totally surprisingly, ravaged beyond repair and I've wanted to replace them with hardcover, but some of them seem exceptionally pricey on the secondhand market.

I have been trying to do the same thing. Good deals are easily had for books 8-13, but earlier ones are much harder. I still haven't found reasonable copies of 2-4.

botticus
01-14-2013, 11:48 AM
Ah ha. All of the hardcovers are found on Amazon for ~$20. They just don't appear through normal browsing for some reason.

Here's Book 1, and you can see the rest by navigating through the "frequently bought together" links.

http://www.amazon.com/The-World-Wheel-Time-Book/dp/0312850093/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

shivam
01-14-2013, 12:44 PM
Yeah, jordan ignoring the black tower for so long is one of my peeves of this series.

botticus
01-14-2013, 01:56 PM
Yeah, jordan ignoring the black tower for so long is one of my peeves of this series.

To be fair, so did Rand!

shivam
01-14-2013, 02:16 PM
I think one of my favorite things that Sanderson added to the past three books was emphasizing how short the in world time span of the story really was, from start to finish. I loved the Rand and Mat moment of comparing how their summer vacations went, just like how i loved mat giving perrin a badger in ToM.

Also, Rand learning that he was having kids, which we've known for a decade now, was
incredibly impactful, because it showed how much had happened in such a short span.

Rascally Badger
01-14-2013, 04:38 PM
I think one of my favorite things that Sanderson added to the past three books was emphasizing how short the in world time span of the story really was, from start to finish. I loved the Rand and Mat moment of comparing how their summer vacations went, just like how i loved mat giving perrin a badger in ToM.


I hated that last part. It is what I honestly didn't like about what I expect are Sanderson's contributions. The fact that there are so many clumsy nods to fans and call backs to inconsequential details from the beginning. Like Rand carrying the coin for Moiraine or making a show of thinking Roedran was Demandred. The Mat v Rand dick measuring contest fell flat for me too. Its just so damn clumsy.

shivam
01-14-2013, 04:41 PM
then we will have to disagree.

shivam
01-17-2013, 01:00 PM
so the release of this book has led to a spate of WoT threads across the internet, almost all of which are basically "WoT? fuck that series, it sucks and i hated it and i stopped reading a thousand years ago."

Really fucking depressing stuff. If you don't like the series, then fucking ignore the threads, and let it go to its death in peace.

Falselogic
01-17-2013, 01:07 PM
so the release of this book has led to a spate of WoT threads across the internet, almost all of which are basically "WoT? fuck that series, it sucks and i hated it and i stopped reading a thousand years ago."

Really fucking depressing stuff. If you don't like the series, then fucking ignore the threads, and let it go to its death in peace.

This is the internet Shivam!

reibeatall
02-07-2013, 10:09 PM
Fuck guys. Just fuck. That was a good goddamn book.

Now a question: Did they ever explain why three ta'veren came from Two Rivers? Was it simply that the Blood of Manetheren was so strong there?

ThornGhost
02-08-2013, 12:32 PM
I finally finished it myself yesterday as well. I was trying to savor it but when I got to the "Last Battle" chapter I basically could not put it down.

I want to put up front I enjoyed it quite a lot. When I first started it, I was a little sad because it felt so much like a Sanderson book rather than a Jordan one, but that only lasted a while. There were a few too many Sandersony jokes to start, but he seemed to get more engrossed in the actual storytelling as the book went on. I could not tell you exactly where in the final scene that the writing changed from Sanderson to Jordan, so that is very good.

I know there's some vagueries about the ending that don't really get answered, but I like that. (But just how did Rand light that pipe?)

It feels so strange to have this series over.

Rascally Badger
02-08-2013, 10:49 PM
The further I get away from it, the more A Memory of Light feels like a Sanderson book than a Jordan one. I can't help but think that if Jordan had written it, the actual battle portion would have been much shorter. His battle scenes were usually abrupt and brutal, showing more of the horror of war than any sort of tactical account of a battle. I am thinking specifically of Dumai's Wells, which is a bloody mess. (In a good way from a writing standpoint.) I don't really mean this as a complaint, I like Sanderson's books a lot, but there seemed to be less of Jordan in this one to me.

Also, while the ending that was there was nearly perfect, there are too many characters that we don't even know if they survived. Most notable to me, Chel Vanin.

shivam
02-08-2013, 11:24 PM
Hanging out with Sanderson and Harriet tomorrow!

ThornGhost
02-09-2013, 08:35 PM
That's fantastic, shivam! Have fun!

Grignr
02-09-2013, 08:46 PM
The "let's play with the magic system for weaves and dream-land powers" in the last two books felt very Sanderson (see also the playing with portals). The book was packed with long battle descriptions that mostly went "we're losing, oh look, a last minute save!" but I don't remember too much of that in the other Sanderson books I've read except the end of the last Mistborn, which mostly had cool superhero wuxia fighting. Maybe Way of Kings is packed with battles but I haven't read it yet.

I liked the battle parts, I just wished they'd started them about five books earlier. Could have paced them a bit better. When the Trollocs finally came back a few books ago, I was like "I remember when they used to fight Trollocs in these books!"

shivam
02-10-2013, 12:05 AM
That's fantastic, shivam! Have fun!

so this was basically the best thing.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCtzabDCMAEf0_F.jpg

I got great swag, gave out great swag, and ended up scheduling dinner and an MTG draft with sanderson tomorrow. life is pretty great.

reibeatall
02-14-2013, 11:58 AM
The only thing that pisses me off is Harriet Jordan's irrational fears of ebooks, thus preventing me from reading it until April (sorry, don't have $40 plus tax to blow on a book at the moment or in the foreseeable future, even if it is this one). It was originally supposed to be a one year delay till Sanderson talked her down a bit. Jesus.

Like there's any doubt the last book of the biggest fantasy book series aside from ASOIAF will be #1 for months on end.

So, on this note: At the signing/Q&A I went to yesterday, Harriet was asked what's up with ebooks?!?! and her answer made me smile.

She said "I did it for the book stores. Everybody's releasing their stuff on ebooks and nobody's remembering how they got to this point. Book stores were incredibly important to us for a very long time, and I feel like we should give them something that will keep them around even a bit longer. It's sad what's happening to them."

Then Sanderson brought up the point that book stores (specifically smaller indie bookstores) are where a lot of first time writers get their shot (with tours, ect), interacting with fans and getting a name for themselves. But he understands that technology is moving on, so he's going to try to release his books where you buy the physical copy and you get the ebook free.

Nucular
02-14-2013, 03:23 PM
My favorite part of a Memory of Light was when Mat sent that division to flank those bad guys or he retreated a banner because of bad guys or he committed a legion against those badguys or when that person who could channel was like fireball and killed a whole group of trollocs just like a video game.

John
02-21-2013, 04:59 PM
So, now that the series is done with I figured now would be a good time to actually read these books. I read the first one a decade ago, but the only thing I remembered from it was something about an inn and horses.

Here are my thoughts from reading a quarter of book one:

1. K, there's some fantasy names thrown around without descriptions, I wonder how long it'll take to explain what they are.

2. The action in that fight scene was pretty well written! It's definitely easy to picture the scene.

3. I like he didn't take the standard trope of killing dad right away to cause angst, even though mom already got cut behind the scenes.

4. These characters may be stereotypical adventure tropes, but I can say they each have different voices. That's not always done this early in a story.

5. Egwene's kinda wasted as a character right now, just playing love interest to Rand. Hope she'll get some more development.

6. Alright, that's pretty badass that Moraine either projected herself to be 30 feet tall or actually grew that large.

7. Not sure how I feel about only the women using the power without consequence, feels very Dune-ish with the Bene Gesserit. I see a kwisatz haderach in Rand's future.

8. Most fantasy names have been explained organically, which I much prefer than someone just trotting out exposition. The gleeman does that a bit, but it sort of works because his stories are for worldbuilding. There hasn't been a lot of "skub? you've never heard of skub? boy, you are backwoods, let me tell you all about skub"

And that's it! It is keeping my interest, a little popcorny but in a good way. Jordan definitely does dialog better than Tolkien, and it does seem to fit the character's ages.

Wolf
03-02-2013, 02:54 PM
5. Egwene's kinda wasted as a character right now, just playing love interest to Rand. Hope she'll get some more development.

Heh.

Adam
06-12-2013, 12:26 PM
Just finished the last book. On one hand the battle scenes went on forever. On the other hand, I enjoyed them so much that I didn't really notice.

All in all, a fantastic conclusion to the series, and I can't thing of a single thing I find unsatisfactory. 7/10

Jeanie
09-30-2013, 09:20 PM
Aha! Found this thread. Currently on book 9 of my re-read, though due to my drunken state, I spoilered myself on Wikipedia of what happens at the end.

In my defense, it's harder to keep track of this "kitten-played-with-ball-of-yarn" that is the plot when you are imbibing, so it is nice to know that there IS a payoff to some of these things and to finally learn who the hell some of these people are!

Khal-a-bunga
10-17-2013, 06:49 PM
I recently got a Kindle Paperwhite and it has "rekindled" my reading through A Memory of Light. I am quite enjoying it so far, just past halfway through. I can tell it has been too long since I did a re-read because several names are foggy to me

shivam
10-17-2013, 06:54 PM
my wife has been going through the series for the first time, and it's totally fascinating to see how she reacts to events and resolutions that for her have no space at all vs me with the lengthy 4-5 year gaps between books. It's also reinforced my opinion that WoT really is better read as one huge novel than many smaller parts.

Jeanie
10-25-2013, 11:00 PM
It's also reinforced my opinion that WoT really is better read as one huge novel than many smaller parts.

It really is. I finished up CoT the other day, after being distracted by things like work and Pokemon, and while the book still has the problems that I remember (mostly being focused on one spot of time surrounding a big event from the last book and not noticeably moving the plot forwards) it was actually better than I remember, and I'm not nearly as pissed off at the ending with Egwene's kidnapping, since Knife of Dreams is paying that off spectacularly. Please note, Knife of Dreams is the first book in this re-read that I have not read before, so it's a little exciting.

and I'm starting to see shivam's point about how much Elayne is terrible, as in CoT and KoD, I actually moaned out loud when the books would end a particularly good Mat section in a cliffhanger and go right into an Elayne section.

Jeanie
10-29-2013, 08:38 PM
Well, I'm on to the Sanderson books, and I'm half way through the Gathering Storm. I'm not sure about Sanderson's work on this so far. While it's blessedly short (so far) on Elayne chapters, I also read a chapter where Rand yells at a cloud (which is the cover art!) and Mat's chapter with the psycho villagers.

it definitely feels off.

Evil Dead Junkie
10-29-2013, 08:56 PM
Sanderson has actually been writing up his expirence taking over Wheel Of Time and he says pretty much the same thing. (http://brandonsanderson.com/tag/the-wheel-of-time-retrospective/)

Jeanie
11-04-2013, 07:18 PM
About halfway through Towers of Midnight now and one big thing is jumping out at me. Tam Al'Thor is both with Perrin and with Rand even though the two are a crazy number of miles away from each other. Tell me one of these Tams is a Forsaken in disguise.

ETA: never mind, about 100 pages further, the Tam with Perrin is leaving to go with Aes Sedai and talk with Rand. Which happened at the end of the previous book. This timeline is painful to follow.

Rascally Badger
11-04-2013, 10:14 PM
Yeah, there are some scars where they hacked the last book into three separate ones. Much of Perrin's story got cut from Gathering Storm and moved into Towers of Midnight. It is inelegant at best. Really, Perrin's story throughout the series has wonky pacing. He get's nearly half of Shadow Rising to save the Two Rivers from Trollocs, then disappears for a book and a half. I don't even want to talk about the Prophet and the Shaido.

shivam
11-05-2013, 12:09 AM
Yeah, Sanderson apologized for the time line things.

Jeanie
01-09-2014, 09:53 PM
Hey A Memory of Light is finally in Mass Market Paperback, it's only 1148 pages, I'll probably have it finished by this weekend.

Jeanie
01-12-2014, 03:15 PM
Finished Memory up this morning at about 1am after spending the previous 6ish hours reading. I was surprised at just how much this book was the last battles. I say this as someone who used to complain about how much the series was "when are they getting to the Fireworks Factory?" but this last book was all fireworks.

There were two parts that made my room surprisingly dusty, the first was meeting between Tam and Lan right after Tam held the line with his swordwork. Not sure why that got to me, but there was something about the respect shown there that got to me. The second was Bela the horse. Fuck me if that death didn't hurt more than anyone else.

shivam
01-12-2014, 03:55 PM
Amen.

Wolf
02-02-2014, 04:23 PM
I think it was during A Crown of Swords, or maybe during The Path of Daggers, that I began to fall out of love with these books. The first three were great, the fourth was still very good, but the fifth and sixth began to slip, for me personally. Afterward, it got worse. It felt to me as if the pacing was growing more sluggish, and the climaxes of the books generally no longer felt big enough to justify all the preceding text. I guess I liked The Wheel of Time better in its early going, when it was mostly an adventure story. The world seemed stranger, more keenly mysterious. The later books, with all the maneuvering and whatnot, felt like they were leading up to things that would never happen, and the world began to feel more "known". But I still loved the characters, and the world despite its sense of mystery falling into the background, and I soldiered on.

I don't know whether it was that the story's natural turn took a direction I was less fond of (I like adventure and mystery more than political maneuvering and kingmaking), or that Jordan's writing got more bloated, or both. But I felt a great sense of reluctance to read the books as they came out beyond a certain point. I used to look forward to them eagerly. Later, it was more like "Oh, another one's out? Hmm, I guess I should read it. You know, eventually."

Now, here I am, nearing the end. I read The Gathering Storm a few months ago, feeling my increasing lethargy when it came to the series compounded by the anxiety of reading about familiar characters, places and conflicts being handled by someone other than their original creator. So you can imagine my surprise when I ended up liking The Gathering Storm quite a bit. A few things felt (and continue to feel) a bit off, but on the whole, the writing feels a little more lively, and the story feels like it has a more definite sense of direction. That is, the story always was clearly going somewhere, but for several books there, it didn't seem terribly keen on making me feel like that place was going to be nearly as exciting as I had originally thought. But the pace seems to be picking up. It feels almost as if the story's found itself again.

I'm nearing the end of Towers of Midnight, and I just ordered a copy of A Memory of Light earlier today. I had to get it in hardcover, because my entire collection (including New Spring and that World of the Wheel of Time book with the somewhat disappointing illustrations) is in hardcover. For the first time in years--years!--I feel eager.

I have been reading this series since I was 13 or 14, back in the mid-90s. I'm 32 now. I have been reading these books for literally more than half of my life. Even at their worst, I still love these books. I remember specifically the moment when, reading The Shadow Rising, I realized that I wanted to write and tell stories for a living. And the nice thing about the series remaining unfinished was the feeling that, since it was unfinished, it was all still happening, somewhere in the back of my mind. The events were current. The characters were still alive, still doing things. Their stories--their lives--were still going.

Reading A Memory of Light is going to put an end to all of that. These people who have been running around in my head for the actual majority of my life will no longer have new things to say and to do. I will never think "I wonder how this event or that encounter will play out", because I'll know. The answers will be right there, and in its completion something vital about the story will be lost. I don't know if this makes any sense, or if I'm just raving into the void, here, but I think it's more than just my general apathy toward the latter parts of the series that's had me reluctant to read it up to the end. There is a distressingly large part of me that doesn't want this to end. A part of me that will be very sad to read the last word of the last sentence, on the last page of countless thousands of pages that have brought us to the end of this story's Age, and begin thinking of these people and their story not as a thing that is happening, but as a thing that has happened, that has gone from my present to my past.

It will be like saying farewell to good friends, for the last time.

Again, I don't know if any of this makes any sense at all. But I felt like I had to say it somewhere, and this is the only place I have where there are other fans of the series, people who might appreciate this weird melancholy that I feel when I think about cracking open A Memory of Light. Because I know once I do that, I won't be able to stop. One thing I can never do is to leave a book only partly read.

So hats off to Robert Jordan, I guess. I can't think of any other author who has introduced quite such a quandary into my life, and made me feel both happy and sad about the act of just opening a book.

Adam
02-02-2014, 04:35 PM
It's not just you. There's definitely something that happens mentally when you've experienced The End of something. I tend to reread the fuck out of book series, but it invariably always stops once I've gone through the final volume one or two times (usually back-to-back, rather than finishing up the last book and going back through the whole thing again). I haven't touched WoT since finishing A Memory of Light, and don't really have much desire to.

Serephine
02-14-2014, 01:17 AM
Wolf that is a scary post because its like basically my experience with the books except you're 5 years older than me. Everything else is pretty much identical! Crazy! Well that and wanting to be a writer but hey, the way you describe liking the adventure part more than the politicking part is dead on. And also yeah, its like the story is still kind of going on somewhere since it never got closure in my mind.

I myself stopped at...Heart of Winter? Just couldn't slog through the endless side stories with no payoff. So I ask you guys is it worth it to go through them again knowing there's a payoff for the whole thing at the end? Cause part of me really does want to see just how the fuckin hell the story ends but I'd need a refresh on basically the whole thing to really appreciate it.

shivam
02-14-2014, 08:51 AM
Yes it is. My wife just slammed through the series over the course of a year and really enjoyed the payoff.

Wolf
02-16-2014, 12:59 PM
Just finished A Memory of Light a couple of days ago. As I expected, it was a very happy, very melancholy experience. I'll write more about it later, probably in a blog post (though some of what I wanted to say bleeds through into my comments below). Overall, though, it's been a pretty incredible experience, and I feel pretty satisfied with the way the story wraps up.

Wolf that is a scary post because its like basically my experience with the books except you're 5 years older than me. Everything else is pretty much identical! Crazy! Well that and wanting to be a writer but hey, the way you describe liking the adventure part more than the politicking part is dead on. And also yeah, its like the story is still kind of going on somewhere since it never got closure in my mind.

I myself stopped at...Heart of Winter? Just couldn't slog through the endless side stories with no payoff. So I ask you guys is it worth it to go through them again knowing there's a payoff for the whole thing at the end? Cause part of me really does want to see just how the fuckin hell the story ends but I'd need a refresh on basically the whole thing to really appreciate it.

I would say go ahead and finish the series. If you've finished Winter's Heart, you may as well see it through to the end. You only have two more books before Sanderson takes over. Now, I will give you a caveat, here: I found the last few books Jordan wrote to be far less entertaining than the first books in the series, or the last three written by Sanderson. If those books were standalone novels, I'd probably never have bought and read them. But they continue a story I'd already invested myself in, and they work better when considered as parts of a whole rather than as standalone stories in themselves, though I guess that's the problem I had with them. They don't seem to have as much of an individual arc to them as the earlier books did, which is probably where a large part of my dissatisfaction comes from. The character development also seems to kind of stall out in those books as well, adding to the problem. But that's likely a larger issue of perception. The passage of time actually does slow down as the series goes on. You have more characters doing more things, and so the later books cover less in-setting time to compensate for the larger volume of things happening in a larger variety of places to a larger number of people.

However, the pace picks up a bit in The Gathering Storm and continues to pick up in Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light. The last one is actually pretty great, in that it's basically the catharsis for the whole series, and I feel like it handles that pretty well, to be honest. The Gathering Storm is notable in its own light for finally, finally bringing some of the characters' development along.

With that said, I can't imagine what it must be like to come into the series from the beginning now, staring down the barrel of a fourteen-volume series (fifteen if you count the prequel), each of which, barring New Spring, is large enough that you could probably lay the foundations of a house with it. I got into the series when it was only about four or five books in. It must be pretty daunting to get into it today.

Rascally Badger
02-16-2014, 02:58 PM
Knife of Dreams is the best book of the second half of the series. That book is Jordan returning to form after a few troubled volumes. I know people really like the Sanderson trilogy to end things, I like them too despite the fact that Sanderson never managed to make some characters sound like themselves (Mat), but Knife of Dreams is the book where Jordan wrote himself out of the tangled mess that he had written himself into. The previous three books had some amazing moments, like the cleansing, but the forces of good were scattered and disorganized which made the books scattered and disorganized*. KoD is when it really hits for many of the good guys just how little time they have left and the small squabbles that had been occupying them for too long get sorted out, or close to sorted out.

Most of the problems of with the second half of this series come when it breaks down structurally. The series really should be four trilogies; twelve books instead of fourteen. The first six books work perfectly. So might complain about the shift after the first three, but that is about a genuine shift in focus of the series, from the adventures of Rand and his friends to Rand now being in charge. But the 4-6 work as a unit. It is Rand's rise and fall and each book is a full chapter in the story. After that, things get muddled, which is not coincidentally when most people get fed up with the series. The books stop being able to stand alone at all. The big story continues, but each book kind of blends together, with no identity of their own. You can pretty much see how things were supposed to go with the books we got. The Cleansing should be the third big climax, a sign that Rand is starting to right the ship after three books of being lost and a beacon to everyone else that the end is coming. If most of the events in Crossroads of Twilight were moved to Winter's heart, that works. Other than being a book too long, the last four books work just fine.


*Ideally, Jordan would have been able to get the point across without making the books a slog to read, but I maintain that the effect is intentional.

Wolf
02-16-2014, 04:52 PM
I wish I could recall more of what happened in Knife of Dreams than I do, really. Part of it was probably due to reading it in fits and starts over a much longer time than I usually take with books (even with books of such length), and part of it was the general malaise regarding the latter half of the series clouding my personal enjoyment.

Also, I feel I should clarify a point, here: I don't necessarily dislike that the books take a more political turn past The Shadow Rising. Rather, it's that this type of story is inherently less interesting to me than an adventure tale, which is what I'd expected given the events prior. I agree with the reasons why the story went that way, and feel like it was the right way to go given how things develop, but regret that it did take a path I enjoy less.

I also agree with you about the books having less sense of themselves past a certain point. From A Crown of Swords onward, I really can't recall much of what happens in each book.

ThornGhost
02-21-2014, 12:21 PM
From A Crown of Swords onward, I really can't recall much of what happens in each book.

It was political teas, people getting dressed and undressed, minor characters and then a Forsaken fight to round out the last 50 pages.