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(NPR)   For 'Wheel Of Time' Fans, The Last Battle Is At Hand. Tai'shar Manetheran. Dovie'andi se tovya sagain   (npr.org) divider line 247
    More: Sappy, Manetheran, time series, Wheel of Time, blood diseases, advance copy  
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3982 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Jan 2013 at 6:48 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-08 09:27:04 AM  

Son of Thunder: Quick question, if anyone's still reading the thread: I'm liking Sanderson's handling of these last WoT books. Seems he's been a busy boy, churning out novel after novel. So, any recommendations where to start with his non-WoT books?


Hard to go wrong, really. I'd recommend Mistborn first.

And if you like the Wheel of Time, you'll probably really like The Way of Kings, too. farking solid.
 
2013-01-08 09:35:08 AM  
Gave up on this series years ago.
If you do buy the last book, just read the last 4 chapters, that is the only part of those books where anything happens.
One does not simply walk around and around the Wheel of Time world.
 
2013-01-08 09:40:49 AM  

grokca: Gave up on this series years ago.
If you do buy the last book, just read the last 4 chapters, that is the only part of those books where anything happens.
One does not simply walk around and around the Wheel of Time world.


This is not true in the Sanderson books. Seriously.

/it was definitely true in Crossroads of Twilight, though
//Seriously can't remember anything that happened in that book
 
2013-01-08 09:44:18 AM  

Egoy3k: I shouldn't be having rants like this at the age of 28 but there it is. fark I hate the state of 'bookstores' these days.


They still sell books in stores?
 
2013-01-08 10:23:59 AM  

Carth: If you read through book 10 you made it to the low point. Book 11 was a little better and book 12 (when sanderson took over) was actually good.

That doesn't excuse the series for how terrible books 8-11 but it is something.


I will second this. I have a pretty high tolerance for bad writing (I made it through 8 or 9 of Terry Goodkinds books before I could not go any further) but the last few by Sanderson/Jordan were actually good. I think his wife made a very good choice picking sanderson, and after reading Mistborn I know exactly what she saw in it. Some of Sandersons stuff is kind of meh, but mistborn evokes the same feelings that the early WoT books did.

The books 8-10 were each more disappointing than the last. When Jordan started resurrecting bad guys who he had previously killed off, I knew that he intended to draw the series out until he died. I did not particularly appreciate some of his writing style, but the books stood out to a much younger me. When I picked up his series (around when he published book 8) it stood out from many of the other mental twinkies in the scifi/fantasy section of my library.
 
2013-01-08 10:37:53 AM  

Carth: low point


Carth: If you read through book 10 you made it to the low point. Book 11 was a little better and book 12 (when sanderson took over) was actually good.

That doesn't excuse the series for how terrible books 8-11 but it is something.


I'll give it a go. I do want to know what happens.
 
2013-01-08 10:56:05 AM  
What hooked me with the first book was that Lan was awesome and I had a crush on Moiraine.

Both characters sorta fell to the wayside and we were stuck with the kids who I never really felt were characters. I stopped reading around book 6 or something. You can only read so much plot with no characters for so long before it becomes masochistic.
 
2013-01-08 11:01:25 AM  

Handsome B. Wonderful: Egoy3k: I shouldn't be having rants like this at the age of 28 but there it is. fark I hate the state of 'bookstores' these days.

They still sell books in stores?


Well if you consider the adventures of the codpiece brothers Marcus and Dom in their super manly fight against the locust in print for a book then yes they do. You just need to dig though piles of board games and twilight posters to find them.
 
2013-01-08 11:29:36 AM  
Read the first 13 on Kindle. Was hoping to finish the set. Not happy.
 
2013-01-08 11:41:17 AM  

Millennium: Read the first 13 on Kindle. Was hoping to finish the set. Not happy.


I am sorta annoyed by this decision by Tor as well.  Probably stems from Amazon winning that decision against the major publishing houses and Apple.
 
2013-01-08 11:42:56 AM  

Egoy3k: I shouldn't be having rants like this at the age of 28


Or at all.
 
2013-01-08 11:58:25 AM  

bhcompy: entropic_existence: bhcompy: 15 years too late. Meanwhile, Erikson put out a more compelling series with 10 books in about 11 years.

/take note GRRM

The Malazan books do kick serious ass.

It's between that and Amber as to which is my favorite series, though the Malazan books has the best character dialogue/interaction I've read


Haven't read Amber yet. But I did get the first book of Erikson's new series for Christmas. Haven't started reading it yet but man, this guy can write. Based on the business of my life, he can actually write, edit, and publish his stuff faster than I can read them. Still on book 9!
 
2013-01-08 12:07:23 PM  

gopher321: Ordered from Amazon - release date January 8th. Was hoping halfheartedly to read it online since I've bought a copy already, but haven't found one.

Been reading since 1990 man....1990.


Wow, my brother was born that year and he's graduating from College now. I read the books in high school and stopped at Crossroads of Twilight and gave up because nothing farking happened in that book.

I heard when Sanderson took over he cut out a lot of bloat, but I'm scared to get back into it. Also, it's been so long I've forgotten a fair bit and re-reading them all will take forever.

Is it worth reading the last books?
 
2013-01-08 12:15:45 PM  

shortymac: I heard when Sanderson took over he cut out a lot of bloat, but I'm scared to get back into it. Also, it's been so long I've forgotten a fair bit and re-reading them all will take forever.

Is it worth reading the last books?


Yes. RJ himself started turning things around in his last book, which helps a lot, but wrapping up convoluted uber-plotlines is something of a specialty of Sanderson's. It's awesome.
 
2013-01-08 12:15:57 PM  

shortymac: Is it worth reading the last books?


I would say so Sanderson is doing a really great job at minimum he's doing as well as Robert Jordan.

/IMO he's a better writer.
 
2013-01-08 12:28:48 PM  

Dissociater: bhcompy: entropic_existence: bhcompy: 15 years too late. Meanwhile, Erikson put out a more compelling series with 10 books in about 11 years.

/take note GRRM

The Malazan books do kick serious ass.

It's between that and Amber as to which is my favorite series, though the Malazan books has the best character dialogue/interaction I've read

Haven't read Amber yet. But I did get the first book of Erikson's new series for Christmas. Haven't started reading it yet but man, this guy can write. Based on the business of my life, he can actually write, edit, and publish his stuff faster than I can read them. Still on book 9!


Have fun with it! He does a pretty good job wrapping it up. If you haven't read the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach short stories I suggest you acquire those. Funniest shiat I've ever read. Poor Emanicpor.
 
2013-01-08 12:41:19 PM  

LockeOak: Oh, and the male characters were written as though they're half-retarded socially awkward 16 year olds and the female characters were written as though it was Mean Girls in a magical fantasy realm.


This, but when Rand gets pissed... Read so much of these women(even the non-evil ones) being total and utter biatches to eachother and unify that against the men, it's awesome for them to get scared shiatless(or worse) by Rand.

Not worth reading all the books if you have better things to do, but if the books are sitting there and you're bored...

Smeggy Smurf: Spoiler alert:

sniff, tug braid, smooth dress, sniff


This.(And "does he like me, does he hate me", etc, a LOT of redundant crap) Probably around 75% of the books, useless filler. I conditioned myself to recognize the beginnings of such crap and scan forward to where actual story picks back up.
 
2013-01-08 12:46:47 PM  
I spent two years solid reading the WoT. I thought the Sanderson book was the last one. I put up with all the braid tugging, arms crossed below her bosom and so many other repetitious phrases. Only to find out I had to wait 6 more months!
It's almost here. I can rest soon. My labour is nearly ended...

\I killed some time with the Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear
\\Now I have to wait some more...
\\\Foundation here I come...
 
2013-01-08 12:49:57 PM  

LockeOak: I stopped reading this series somewhere in book 6 or so when I realized I could open any of the previous books to any random point and I probably wouldn't know what was going on or who half the characters were.


This. I read up to the most current book at the time (six or seven) and realized that by the time the next one was published a year later, I probably wouldn't be able to follow it. Now that the series is complete, maybe I'll start over from book 1 and read them straight through...but damn, it's a hell of an undertaking.
 
2013-01-08 12:54:45 PM  

rockymountainrider: \\\Foundation here I come...


That's a fun set, not anywhere nearly so monotonous and redundant as Wheel.
 
2013-01-08 01:16:21 PM  

LockeOak: Oh, and the male characters were written as though they're half-retarded socially awkward 16 year olds and the female characters were written as though it was Mean Girls in a magical fantasy realm.


Early on, the male characters were written as half-retarded socially awkward 16-year-olds because that's exactly what they were. They got better.

The female characters, on the other hand... yeah, this is unfortunate. RJ clearly needed a dominatrix: he had this clear idea that biatchiness equals strength in female characters. Fortunately, the series is now in the hands of someone who knows better, and this is another of those things that Sanderson is working very hard to fix. He doesn't deny what came before -the characters do not wake up one morning, magically cured of their attitude problems- but they're actually growing. It's really quite interesting to watch.
 
2013-01-08 01:25:00 PM  

HotWingAgenda: I was up way too late the other night reading through endless blogs and literary reviews trying to figure out what the big deal is with this series. I have a couple of friends that are obsessed with it, and this book in particular, but they've never been able to explain what they like about it, or even what it's about. Other than "fantasy" or "it's like Lord of the Rings but not".

And that troubles me, because I grew up reading fantasy, and these friends otherwise have the same taste in books as I do.


I liked the series because it was a fantasy story that wasn't all about magic, it also brought politics, trade, and other "real life" stuff into it. I also loved the world that was built around it.

Think of it as a "Game of Thrones" type series but PG-13 instead of NC-17.

The series was great until book 5 or 6, it started slowing down for 7 to 9 but was still pretty good, book 10 and the prequel novel he wrote are when I gave up, the book where nothing happened. Again, similar to GOT with 1 to 3 being amazing and books 4 and 5 still good but needing an editor with balls.
 
2013-01-08 01:29:09 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: I got my tracking number this morning. It should be on my porch when I get home from work tomorrow.

I just want to be done with the series at this point.


Really? I think the last 2 books have been the best of the series. I can't wait to start reading this last one.
 
2013-01-08 01:35:05 PM  

Millennium: LockeOak: Oh, and the male characters were written as though they're half-retarded socially awkward 16 year olds and the female characters were written as though it was Mean Girls in a magical fantasy realm.

Early on, the male characters were written as half-retarded socially awkward 16-year-olds because that's exactly what they were. They got better.

The female characters, on the other hand... yeah, this is unfortunate. RJ clearly needed a dominatrix: he had this clear idea that biatchiness equals strength in female characters. Fortunately, the series is now in the hands of someone who knows better, and this is another of those things that Sanderson is working very hard to fix. He doesn't deny what came before -the characters do not wake up one morning, magically cured of their attitude problems- but they're actually growing. It's really quite interesting to watch.


As a chick it pissed me off a bit as well, especially later on in the series when most of the main characters had "grown up". I can argue that the taco party of the Tower can cause women to get super biatchy, for a real life example work in an HR department.

I think Jordan suffered from a problem that a lot of men in his generation had, they believe that women are equals but weren't raised with such idea. They struggle to reconcile the attitudes they were raised with and their new ideals. Heinlein had this problem in "Stranger in a Strange Land" IMHO.
 
2013-01-08 01:35:24 PM  

rockymountainrider: \I killed some time with the Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear
\\Now I have to wait some more...
\\\Foundation here I come...


Take a mental break with The Lies of Locke Lamora
 
2013-01-08 01:38:31 PM  

shortymac: The series was great until book 5 or 6, it started slowing down for 7 to 9 but was still pretty good, book 10 and the prequel novel he wrote are when I gave up, the book where nothing happened. Again, similar to GOT with 1 to 3 being amazing and books 4 and 5 still good but needing an editor with balls.


10 is where a lot of people give up, and not without reason: it very much deserves its reputation as a book where nothing happens. What follows is perhaps spoilery, but only for structure, not specifics.

Something very important happens during the last chapter of Book 9. You will know this event when you see it; the importance is obvious and telegraphed. This is not the problem. The problem is that the first half of Book 10 -some 420 pages, and I'm not entirely sure that's a coincidence- is nothing but what other people were doing during this world-shaking event. The second half, equally long, is nothing but these same people's immediate reactions to that same event.

840 freaking pages, to cover maybe six hours of time within the context of the series (seriously; I'm not sure anyone even sleeps over the course of the book). It's a travesty. Fortunately, that's as bad as it ever gets, and worse by a long shot than anything that came before and comes afterward. But it's there, and it's tough to blame people for giving up over it.
 
2013-01-08 01:48:21 PM  

Millennium: 10 is where a lot of people give up, and not without reason: it very much deserves its reputation as a book where nothing happens. What follows is perhaps spoilery, but only for structure, not specifics.


The topic has come up before as an aside(WoT in general), but never the focus of the article that I've seen.

It brings a certain assuring/justifying feeling when so many agree on a subject that you've never really have discussed with this many people before.(Ymmv, but I find the thought not ordinary as I've never been part of a book club or had a lot of friends/family with the same interests)

We all liked the books up to a point(or we wouldn't have read that many of them), and all agree on the same major faults. That's something almost unheard of, on fark at any rate, where people can't agree on what made the Batman movies suck(or not suck), down to quibbling over every little detail.
 
2013-01-08 01:48:41 PM  

Millennium: shortymac: The series was great until book 5 or 6, it started slowing down for 7 to 9 but was still pretty good, book 10 and the prequel novel he wrote are when I gave up, the book where nothing happened. Again, similar to GOT with 1 to 3 being amazing and books 4 and 5 still good but needing an editor with balls.

10 is where a lot of people give up, and not without reason: it very much deserves its reputation as a book where nothing happens. What follows is perhaps spoilery, but only for structure, not specifics.

Something very important happens during the last chapter of Book 9. You will know this event when you see it; the importance is obvious and telegraphed. This is not the problem. The problem is that the first half of Book 10 -some 420 pages, and I'm not entirely sure that's a coincidence- is nothing but what other people were doing during this world-shaking event. The second half, equally long, is nothing but these same people's immediate reactions to that same event.

840 freaking pages, to cover maybe six hours of time within the context of the series (seriously; I'm not sure anyone even sleeps over the course of the book). It's a travesty. Fortunately, that's as bad as it ever gets, and worse by a long shot than anything that came before and comes afterward. But it's there, and it's tough to blame people for giving up over it.


That's where I gave up too, for the exact reasons why you listed here.

I started reading the series right before book 10 came out and then ending of book 9 made me really really excited for it. I got the hardcopy book and was so so disappointed. :(

If that's the worst the series gets well I might just re-read the series now that it's done. Kindle here I come.
 
2013-01-08 02:00:49 PM  

GoldSpider: When your story needs its own encyclopedia, perhaps it's a tad unnecessarily complex.

Oh, and...


I love Rob Sheridan. He's an interesting dude, and that pic is one of my faves.
 
2013-01-08 02:01:12 PM  
I tried. I really tried to like the Jordan series. But man, you have the statement of the problem. You have a brazillion words describing buttons and outfits and fabrics and smells and scenes. And you have the conflict/resolution wrapped up in what I seem to recall in very few paragraphs. Seriously, like this is TO THE MINUTE DETAIL what everything looked like and, oh yeah, the bad guy? He fell down and bumped his head and everyone said YAY! I found it painful to read.

If that's world-building or whatnot, maybe I'm just more a fan of good storytelling and plot progress. But I couldn't finish or make it past the 6th book. I'm not a Jordan fan, but I love the genre. No joy whatsoever derived from this series for me.

Thanks for the Malazan Book of the Fallen recommendation upthread. It's time I find something new (to me) to work on.
 
2013-01-08 02:09:27 PM  

shortymac: Millennium: LockeOak: Oh, and the male characters were written as though they're half-retarded socially awkward 16 year olds and the female characters were written as though it was Mean Girls in a magical fantasy realm.

Early on, the male characters were written as half-retarded socially awkward 16-year-olds because that's exactly what they were. They got better.

The female characters, on the other hand... yeah, this is unfortunate. RJ clearly needed a dominatrix: he had this clear idea that biatchiness equals strength in female characters. Fortunately, the series is now in the hands of someone who knows better, and this is another of those things that Sanderson is working very hard to fix. He doesn't deny what came before -the characters do not wake up one morning, magically cured of their attitude problems- but they're actually growing. It's really quite interesting to watch.

As a chick it pissed me off a bit as well, especially later on in the series when most of the main characters had "grown up". I can argue that the taco party of the Tower can cause women to get super biatchy, for a real life example work in an HR department.

I think Jordan suffered from a problem that a lot of men in his generation had, they believe that women are equals but weren't raised with such idea. They struggle to reconcile the attitudes they were raised with and their new ideals. Heinlein had this problem in "Stranger in a Strange Land" IMHO.


Intelligent discourse? On my Fark?

Taco party made me giggle.

Yes, to Jordan thinking biatchy=strong.

I want to be green ajah and bond Lan &Thom. Fun. Also, gimme a sword to go with my magicks!
 
2013-01-08 02:31:37 PM  

TheMysticS: shortymac: Millennium: LockeOak: Oh, and the male characters were written as though they're half-retarded socially awkward 16 year olds and the female characters were written as though it was Mean Girls in a magical fantasy realm.

Early on, the male characters were written as half-retarded socially awkward 16-year-olds because that's exactly what they were. They got better.

The female characters, on the other hand... yeah, this is unfortunate. RJ clearly needed a dominatrix: he had this clear idea that biatchiness equals strength in female characters. Fortunately, the series is now in the hands of someone who knows better, and this is another of those things that Sanderson is working very hard to fix. He doesn't deny what came before -the characters do not wake up one morning, magically cured of their attitude problems- but they're actually growing. It's really quite interesting to watch.

As a chick it pissed me off a bit as well, especially later on in the series when most of the main characters had "grown up". I can argue that the taco party of the Tower can cause women to get super biatchy, for a real life example work in an HR department.

I think Jordan suffered from a problem that a lot of men in his generation had, they believe that women are equals but weren't raised with such idea. They struggle to reconcile the attitudes they were raised with and their new ideals. Heinlein had this problem in "Stranger in a Strange Land" IMHO.

Intelligent discourse? On my Fark?

Taco party made me giggle.

Yes, to Jordan thinking biatchy=strong.

I want to be green ajah and bond Lan &Thom. Fun. Also, gimme a sword to go with my magicks!


Thank you! :) I would probably be a Green Ajah as well, they seem to be the tomboy types. Though I really like learning so I might have gone Brown Ajah but actually be out in the world.
 
2013-01-08 02:48:14 PM  

LL316: Fish in a Barrel: I got my tracking number this morning. It should be on my porch when I get home from work tomorrow.

I just want to be done with the series at this point.

Really? I think the last 2 books have been the best of the series. I can't wait to start reading this last one.


Book 10 was such a kick in the nuts, I think it soured me on the whole experience. The Sanderson books have been much better, and I'll enjoy reading it, but right now I'd rate the whole experience as "not worth it."

Sheseala: I was a Mat fan, there was not enough Mat later on.


I agree with this. Early Mat was an annoying little shiat. After he made his bargain, he transformed into an awesome character.

Perrin had the opposite arc, as far as I'm concerned. He went searching for Faile and found it.
 
2013-01-08 02:51:31 PM  

Ochiba: I tried. I really tried to like the Jordan series. But man, you have the statement of the problem. You have a brazillion words describing buttons and outfits and fabrics and smells and scenes. And you have the conflict/resolution wrapped up in what I seem to recall in very few paragraphs. Seriously, like this is TO THE MINUTE DETAIL what everything looked like and, oh yeah, the bad guy? He fell down and bumped his head and everyone said YAY! I found it painful to read.

If that's world-building or whatnot, maybe I'm just more a fan of good storytelling and plot progress. But I couldn't finish or make it past the 6th book. I'm not a Jordan fan, but I love the genre. No joy whatsoever derived from this series for me.

Thanks for the Malazan Book of the Fallen recommendation upthread. It's time I find something new (to me) to work on.


A few things to note about the Malazan Book of the Fallen (my two cents, ymmv, etc):

In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy. There is sorcery everywhere, the gods are active and play a big hand in the events of the books (I personally love this as there are far too many books that try to treat magic as some rare mysterious force, which is imo an overused plot tool).

It's also an incredibly original setting with its own rules on magic and gods. The rules are internally consistent, but confusing and a lot of it is never fully explained, but rather you're expected to pick up on it as the story goes on. There are also hundreds of characters, and very few who can be considered main characters. It's an ensemble cast of characters numbering in the dozens who can be listed as 'protagonists' but there is no Rand, or Jon Snow for readers to attach to per se.

Some of the books take place at the same time as other books but in different parts of the world with different casts. So you might finish the story of one group of characters and not see that story line picked up for 2 more books.

It'll be easier now than it was when I started reading the series (I started right when the first book was published), but a lot of the time there will be seemingly minor plot points mentioned in one book that are referenced two books later as being of huge importance. If you don't read the books right after the other this can get confusing!

If none of these things turn you off here's what you have to look forward to:
-A sweeping epic fantasy story that breaks significant conventions in the genre
-Incredibly well written and creative and exciting stories
-Memorable characters and some of the best dialogue I've ever read with characters who have their own mannerisms, speech patterns, etc. Many books I've read have every character talk the exact same way, sometimes with an accent thrown in. When you get to characters like Tehol, or Kruppe, you'll see what I mean.
-Very few (although not without one or two) deux ex machina cop outs. Very very rarely will a character be saved by the unexpected. Erikson's very detailed when it comes to explaining why a character is where he is and acts the way he does.
-Main characters, good guys, and those who seem to survive the unsurvivable will suddenly die. No one is safe, but it doesn't reach the cynical 'everyone dies' levels that happens in A song of fire and ice.
-He also hates cliffhanger endings to his books. He wants each installment to be part of the greater story but leave very few loose ends. This means the last 1/3 of each book is rather exciting as everything leads up to a big climax.
 
2013-01-08 02:55:01 PM  

Dissociater: In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy.


I read book 1, and there were some things I thought were very cool about it, but the "very high fantasy" thing was too much for me. It's fantasy turned up to 11.
 
2013-01-08 02:56:12 PM  

bhcompy: Dissociater: bhcompy: entropic_existence: bhcompy: 15 years too late. Meanwhile, Erikson put out a more compelling series with 10 books in about 11 years.

/take note GRRM

The Malazan books do kick serious ass.

It's between that and Amber as to which is my favorite series, though the Malazan books has the best character dialogue/interaction I've read

Haven't read Amber yet. But I did get the first book of Erikson's new series for Christmas. Haven't started reading it yet but man, this guy can write. Based on the business of my life, he can actually write, edit, and publish his stuff faster than I can read them. Still on book 9!

Have fun with it! He does a pretty good job wrapping it up. If you haven't read the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach short stories I suggest you acquire those. Funniest shiat I've ever read. Poor Emanicpor.


I suspect I'll eventually read everything he writes. I'm about 1/2 through Dust of Dreams and it's pretty great. Erikson's one of the very few writers I've read whose quality of writing stays at the same high level as when he began. Sure I have favourite moments among the books, but I can't think of any installments as being weaker than the others.
 
2013-01-08 02:57:50 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: Dissociater: In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy.

I read book 1, and there were some things I thought were very cool about it, but the "very high fantasy" thing was too much for me. It's fantasy turned up to 11.


A friend of mine said the exact same thing. I can't begrudge that. While I think you're missing out, if you're not a big fan of that kind of thing then it doesn't get much different over the rest of the series.
 
2013-01-08 03:02:07 PM  
As for Wheel of Time, I liked the series when I first started reading it years ago, but I think I share similar experiences that a number of other posters have already mentioned: things started getting silly. There was finally a tipping point in one of the books (I can't remember which one, maybe 7 or 8) where nothing happened the whole book until the final 2 or 3 chapters. And that happening could be summed up in one or two lines.

Since then my tastes have personally changed I suppose, since I tried rereading the first book about 9 months ago and could only get about 1/3 of the way through. It was just not very well written. I do appreciate the scope of the story though.
 
2013-01-08 03:20:41 PM  

Dissociater: Ochiba: I tried. I really tried to like the Jordan series. But man, you have the statement of the problem. You have a brazillion words describing buttons and outfits and fabrics and smells and scenes. And you have the conflict/resolution wrapped up in what I seem to recall in very few paragraphs. Seriously, like this is TO THE MINUTE DETAIL what everything looked like and, oh yeah, the bad guy? He fell down and bumped his head and everyone said YAY! I found it painful to read.

If that's world-building or whatnot, maybe I'm just more a fan of good storytelling and plot progress. But I couldn't finish or make it past the 6th book. I'm not a Jordan fan, but I love the genre. No joy whatsoever derived from this series for me.

Thanks for the Malazan Book of the Fallen recommendation upthread. It's time I find something new (to me) to work on.

A few things to note about the Malazan Book of the Fallen (my two cents, ymmv, etc):

In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy. There is sorcery everywhere, the gods are active and play a big hand in the events of the books (I personally love this as there are far too many books that try to treat magic as some rare mysterious force, which is imo an overused plot tool).

It's also an incredibly original setting with its own rules on magic and gods. The rules are internally consistent, but confusing and a lot of it is never fully explained, but rather you're expected to pick up on it as the story goes on. There are also hundreds of characters, and very few who can be considered main characters. It's an ensemble cast of characters numbering in the dozens who can be listed as 'protagonists' but there is no Rand, or Jon Snow for readers to attach to per se.

Some of the books take place at the same time as other books but in different parts of the worl ...


Sounds perfect to me, and thanks for the insight. I'm going to order the first two books tomorrow.
 
2013-01-08 03:23:54 PM  
Finished A Memory of Lght. It's good.
 
2013-01-08 03:34:12 PM  

Dissociater: Fish in a Barrel: Dissociater: In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy.

I read book 1, and there were some things I thought were very cool about it, but the "very high fantasy" thing was too much for me. It's fantasy turned up to 11.

A friend of mine said the exact same thing. I can't begrudge that. While I think you're missing out, if you're not a big fan of that kind of thing then it doesn't get much different over the rest of the series.


I would disagree slightly. Well, not really disagree per se. Here's the thing, while it stays cranked up, gods getting involved in shiat, big magic, etc, your perception of it as a reader changes. You start to see how the gods are just the same as people, hell most are just Ascendants risen to their current lofty powers. Things are often capricious, arbitrary, and the "regular folks" often just get caught in the crossfire. I like that about the series.
 
2013-01-08 03:38:44 PM  

entropic_existence: Dissociater: Fish in a Barrel: Dissociater: In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy.

I read book 1, and there were some things I thought were very cool about it, but the "very high fantasy" thing was too much for me. It's fantasy turned up to 11.

A friend of mine said the exact same thing. I can't begrudge that. While I think you're missing out, if you're not a big fan of that kind of thing then it doesn't get much different over the rest of the series.

I would disagree slightly. Well, not really disagree per se. Here's the thing, while it stays cranked up, gods getting involved in shiat, big magic, etc, your perception of it as a reader changes. You start to see how the gods are just the same as people, hell most are just Ascendants risen to their current lofty powers. Things are often capricious, arbitrary, and the "regular folks" often just get caught in the crossfire. I like that about the series.


I started Malazan, will try to pick it up again, but it seemed to be trying to do Deathstalker in a fantasy setting, everything and everybody that comes along is a bigger badass than the previous, etc. That's fun, but not what I was expecting and it put me off a bit. I'll try it again now that I'm done with WoT, at least until I get two days off back to back to reread the series.
 
2013-01-08 03:45:13 PM  

entropic_existence: Dissociater: Fish in a Barrel: Dissociater: In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy.

I read book 1, and there were some things I thought were very cool about it, but the "very high fantasy" thing was too much for me. It's fantasy turned up to 11.

A friend of mine said the exact same thing. I can't begrudge that. While I think you're missing out, if you're not a big fan of that kind of thing then it doesn't get much different over the rest of the series.

I would disagree slightly. Well, not really disagree per se. Here's the thing, while it stays cranked up, gods getting involved in shiat, big magic, etc, your perception of it as a reader changes. You start to see how the gods are just the same as people, hell most are just Ascendants risen to their current lofty powers. Things are often capricious, arbitrary, and the "regular folks" often just get caught in the crossfire. I like that about the series.


I'd say that's accurate. This same friend of mine didn't get very far into the first book. One of the first big battles involving Moon's Spawn where waves of magic and summoned demons tore apart legions of soldiers turned him off. Like you said, as you read on your perception changes, but for him it was an immediate turn off and he never continued reading. Which I can understand, if you read fantasy but aren't really a fan of magic, then it might not be the series for you.

That might sound odd but apparently there are a lot of people who like their magic in fantasy to be hidden to the point of non-existent such as in George RR Martin's books. If that's what a person likes, who am I to judge?
 
2013-01-08 03:54:27 PM  

Boojum2k: I started Malazan, will try to pick it up again, but it seemed to be trying to do Deathstalker in a fantasy setting, everything and everybody that comes along is a bigger badass than the previous, etc. That's fun, but not what I was expecting and it put me off a bit. I'll try it again now that I'm done with WoT, at least until I get two days off back to back to reread the series.


The best badasses in the books are the badasses who don't want to be, and try and hold themselves back from acting unless they can't help it. It isn't for everyone but I think there are some really interesting themes in the books that emerge from the world. I've damn near cried at lots of scenes in the books when it comes to moments between soldiers especially.
 
2013-01-08 03:54:49 PM  

shortymac: TheMysticS: shortymac: Millennium: LockeOak: Oh, and the male characters were written as though they're half-retarded socially awkward 16 year olds and the female characters were written as though it was Mean Girls in a magical fantasy realm.

Early on, the male characters were written as half-retarded socially awkward 16-year-olds because that's exactly what they were. They got better.

The female characters, on the other hand... yeah, this is unfortunate. RJ clearly needed a dominatrix: he had this clear idea that biatchiness equals strength in female characters. Fortunately, the series is now in the hands of someone who knows better, and this is another of those things that Sanderson is working very hard to fix. He doesn't deny what came before -the characters do not wake up one morning, magically cured of their attitude problems- but they're actually growing. It's really quite interesting to watch.

As a chick it pissed me off a bit as well, especially later on in the series when most of the main characters had "grown up". I can argue that the taco party of the Tower can cause women to get super biatchy, for a real life example work in an HR department.

I think Jordan suffered from a problem that a lot of men in his generation had, they believe that women are equals but weren't raised with such idea. They struggle to reconcile the attitudes they were raised with and their new ideals. Heinlein had this problem in "Stranger in a Strange Land" IMHO.

Intelligent discourse? On my Fark?

Taco party made me giggle.

Yes, to Jordan thinking biatchy=strong.

I want to be green ajah and bond Lan &Thom. Fun. Also, gimme a sword to go with my magicks!

Thank you! :) I would probably be a Green Ajah as well, they seem to be the tomboy types. Though I really like learning so I might have gone Brown Ajah but actually be out in the world.


I think I'm already Brown ajah....
 
2013-01-08 03:56:17 PM  
Since we are on the topic of other fantasy books...

Anybody ever read the Chronicles of the Shadow War series by Chris Claremont? I found that trilogy pretty enjoyable despite being based on the movie Willow and with George Lucas in the mix.
 
2013-01-08 04:26:14 PM  

Dissociater: entropic_existence: Dissociater: Fish in a Barrel: Dissociater: In my opinion it's the best fantasy series ever written, but it's absolutely not for everyone. There are a number of things that I loved that I could see turning off other readers. It's incredibly high fantasy.

I read book 1, and there were some things I thought were very cool about it, but the "very high fantasy" thing was too much for me. It's fantasy turned up to 11.

A friend of mine said the exact same thing. I can't begrudge that. While I think you're missing out, if you're not a big fan of that kind of thing then it doesn't get much different over the rest of the series.

I would disagree slightly. Well, not really disagree per se. Here's the thing, while it stays cranked up, gods getting involved in shiat, big magic, etc, your perception of it as a reader changes. You start to see how the gods are just the same as people, hell most are just Ascendants risen to their current lofty powers. Things are often capricious, arbitrary, and the "regular folks" often just get caught in the crossfire. I like that about the series.

I'd say that's accurate. This same friend of mine didn't get very far into the first book. One of the first big battles involving Moon's Spawn where waves of magic and summoned demons tore apart legions of soldiers turned him off. Like you said, as you read on your perception changes, but for him it was an immediate turn off and he never continued reading. Which I can understand, if you read fantasy but aren't really a fan of magic, then it might not be the series for you.

That might sound odd but apparently there are a lot of people who like their magic in fantasy to be hidden to the point of non-existent such as in George RR Martin's books. If that's what a person likes, who am I to judge?


The first book is the worst of the series, which is the problem for entry for a lot of people. That said, it's the best goddamn series I've ever read and the humor is top notch while still remaining effectively a dramatic fantasy setting. Kruppe effectively carries the first book for me.

Anyways, the best way to describe the series is The Black Company meets Guy G Kay
 
2013-01-08 04:57:30 PM  
I actually find the female WoT characters to pretty fairly represent women, and that's why it pisses off women so badly. Most strong women ARE perceived to be biatchy, or a less inflammatory descriptor might be "assertive". Combine assertiveness with the confidence of being a power wielding woman in a society that's for the most part completely matriarchial from the top to the bottom, with power wielding women at the top... Yeah, to the reader they are all cranky coonts.

Regarding the claim that the male characters don't develop very much.. Really? Most people don't really change that much no matter what events they get caught up in. The farmboys are in their early 20s. Only a few years of time pass n the series. We always imagine ourselves at the apex of our own personal development, as referenced by a couple Fark articles recently.

I think people worship the idea of character development far out of proportion with reality. I feel like the characters grow and change in response to challenges, but fundamentally remain the boys they started out as on the inside. You know, the way most people go through life.
 
2013-01-08 05:27:36 PM  

neongoats: I actually find the female WoT characters to pretty fairly represent women, and that's why it pisses off women so badly. Most strong women ARE perceived to be biatchy, or a less inflammatory descriptor might be "assertive".


And tonite on Poe's Law....

/meh, can't even be bothered
 
2013-01-08 06:23:06 PM  

ModernLuddite: This is why my wife and I have instituted the "don't start reading a series until it's over" rule.

//I want to read "A Game of Thrones" so bad.
///BUT NO.


Melanie Rawn did that for me, with the end of the Exiles trilogy that I've been waiting to read for the last 16 years.  I won't touch Game of Thrones until it's finished, either.

As for WoT, I dropped it around the 9th book when I finally came to the conclusion that A) Jordan's editor needed to be slapped upside the head with a brick and B) At the rate he was going, he was going to die before he finished the damn thing.
 
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