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View Full Version : Anyone else reading WOT for the first time?


instantdeath999
09-18-2012, 10:06 AM
Hi. I would assume that this site is made up of mostly long time Wheel of Time readers. I began Eye of the World a few months ago. I must admit, I wasn't immediately stricken with it, so it took me awhile to finish, only reading a chapter every few days or so. It was entertaining, to be sure, but felt like a simple "Heroes Journey" story, which is what I took it for originally. About 2/3 of the way through, it started to "click", and I zipped through it, particularly after discovering that Rand could channel. Where The Eye of the World took me about two months of on-and-off reading to finish, I finished The Great Hunt in a little over a week.

The fact that I started Wheel of Time so close to the release of the final book is actually a coincidence. I picked up the first book looking for a good fantasy series, and was only vaguely aware that the author had died and someone else was finishing it, though I had no idea when that would be. Now that I know, I've begun to pace myself, to make sure I read fast enough to have them all finished before January, but not to finish them so fast that I have to wait months (like the rest of you :p). Pretty difficult, because as you're all probably aware, the series can be quite addicting.

For what it's worth, I'm finding Rand is actually my favorite POV character to read about these days. This is interesting, because I remember in Eye of the World, I was begging to get away from Rand and learn about the other characters. I'm finding his slow descent into madness really fascinating. At the same time, though I find this "new" Rand much more fascinating a character, I also sort of miss the innocent Rand. Guess it's similar to youth in real life; you don't appreciate it while it's there, but miss it once it's gone.

As of now, I'm nearing the end of The Shadow Rising, easily my favorite in the series so far. However, I must say, reading the books and knowing that I will reach an end, knowing I'm not driving full speed towards the inevitable cliffhanger, makes it that much more enjoyable. As much as I love A Song of Ice and Fire, the last two books were somewhat tainted when I read them, because I knew that I would not be able to continue the series until the end for years to come.

That's actually why I started this thread. Do those of you that criticize the series for its pacing believe that it would be less annoying if you were allowed to read the whole series as one the first time through? I haven't reached it yet, obviously, but I know Crossroads of Twilight receives a lot of flak for lack of plot progression.

I suppose this is ultimately what I'm asking. For the long time fans, would you have preferred to have been able to read the entire series as one long novel the first time? Would that have made some of the slower novels in the series, such as Crossroads of Twilight, more enjoyable? Or has following the series over the years, reading and rereading it, even through Robert Jordan's death, only increased your appreciation for the series? Do you think the upcoming release of the final Wheel of Time book would carry nearly the same weight if you hadn't been waiting to read it for 20 years?

Anyway, I realize being on a Wheel of Time fanpage when I haven't even finished the series is incredibly stupid... spoilers abound. I've actually already gotten some majorish events spoiled for me (Rand apparently loses a hand, cleansing of saidin in the ninth book, Moraine both does and doesn't die- don't know what's going on there, and don't want to yet :)- and other smaller stuff). Damn you internet! My own fault though.

Cheers.

Sid
09-18-2012, 10:26 AM
First of all, welcome to Theoryland. I'm new here too but a long time reader.

The criticisms came from the waiting, IMO. Jordan was unwilling to compromise quality for speedy book releases, though even he said that Crossroads would have been paced a bit differently if he could do it over again. But when you read them straight through, they flow very well.

I think most people would prefer to always have the next book waiting for them when they see "The end of the Xth book of the Wheel of Time" on that last page, but at the same time, a single read through isn't enough to truly appreciate all the details that Jordan wove into his story. There's foreshadowing everywhere. The best part of the waiting process was to try and find the clues he placed in each book to guess what would happen, and that was rewarding, but to have the next book and know right now... It's a tough call.

GonzoTheGreat
09-18-2012, 10:29 AM
... Moraine both does and doesn't die- don't know what's going on there, and don't want to yet :) ...
Read and find out!

Damn you internet! My own fault though.
You're Al Gore? :eek:

Welcome to the board, Al. We generally try to keep spoilers out of threads such as yours, since we're all too interested in hearing what theories you can come up with without having had the benefit (and encumbrance) of too much knowledge.

instantdeath999
09-18-2012, 10:57 AM
First of all, welcome to Theoryland. I'm new here too but a long time reader.

The criticisms came from the waiting, IMO. Jordan was unwilling to compromise quality for speedy book releases, though even he said that Crossroads would have been paced a bit differently if he could do it over again. But when you read them straight through, they flow very well.

I think most people would prefer to always have the next book waiting for them when they see "The end of the Xth book of the Wheel of Time" on that last page, but at the same time, a single read through isn't enough to truly appreciate all the details that Jordan wove into his story. There's foreshadowing everywhere. The best part of the waiting process was to try and find the clues he placed in each book to guess what would happen, and that was rewarding, but to have the next book and know right now... It's a tough call.

Thanks. Yeah, I don't doubt that being with the series for so many years, especially if you reread it every time a new book releases, would give you a much deeper knowledge and appreciation for it than it would if you just read it all at once. I'll definitely have to give it a reread sometime soon after the last book releases. Heh, to think at one point I thought that Nynaeve would turn out to be a fairly small side character...

Read and find out!


You're Al Gore? :eek:

Welcome to the board, Al. We generally try to keep spoilers out of threads such as yours, since we're all too interested in hearing what theories you can come up with without having had the benefit (and encumbrance) of too much knowledge.

Damn! Did I give myself away already? Gotta work on that...

On Moiraine, I'm really interested in just what happens with her "dying and not dying". Moiraine's definitely one of my favorite characters, so I suppose I'm glad she survives (then again, some characters do serve the plot really well by dying. Old Ben Kenobi might agree with me). I'm assuming it has something to do with balefire (something I've only glimpsed at this point, but know plays a much larger role in the plot in the future). Of course, that would raise the question as to whether it's possible to be erased from existence and be brought back to existence...

Right now, if there's a character I wanted erased from existence, it's Aviendha. Hopefully she becomes a bit less obnoxious (or, at the very least, we get a better reason for why she hates Rand than him supposedly mistreating Elayne).

Great Lord of the Dark
09-20-2012, 12:50 AM
I've tried rereading at a constant pace to test my reaction to the slow books, and I've found they are just fine. Jordan deliberately ups the pace, and drops it as the story needs. It can't be all intensity all the time. Crossroads of Twilight is the eye of the hurricane, the calm between two big storms.

Waiting for books gave time to study them, theorize, debate, and meet some awesome people at this site. I think the Theoryland experience changed many people's lives for the better. I wouldn't want to have missed it. Reading the books straight through is pretty rewarding too, but even on a reread there is no way to follow the subtleties of the third-tier characters. That takes 4 rereads, actually.

The characters you hate and love generally stay hated and loved as the series goes on. Satisfactory explanations for their foibles are given. You don't like them much better, but they are quite well developed and diverse.

Rand has always been a favorite of mine.

Enjoy the series!

Figbiscuit
09-20-2012, 08:52 AM
In the past couple of years I've been instrumental in introducing three people to WoT, and have always told them I do not envy them being able to read the series straight through. As was said earlier, having to wait two years for each book (and four in the case of Knife of Dreams) created so much chance for speculation and theorising, giving the reader chance to formulate ideas and giving immense satisfaction when you find out whether you were correct (or, to be fair, more like ten years for some of the theories!)

Although I didn't participate on TL for most of the series, and have never really theorised much on here, one of the things I loved about finding this website was that there were people out there just like me, thinking exactly the same thoughts as me about this series of books.

Boli
09-20-2012, 11:29 AM
Actually I read CoT recently during my slower re-through an I actually found the book fascinating.. as intricate as the earlier and later books.

I remember reading it the first time around and being entirely disappointed but remember from WH to KoD (when the main plot starts up again) was a wait of 5 years. and a prequel book released in the middle (which was far more interesting at the time).

If I read through them all at a steady rate (as I am doing now) it is far more interesting; although I'll admit that WH and CoT should have really been merged together.

Terez
09-20-2012, 11:33 AM
In the past couple of years I've been instrumental in introducing three people to WoT, and have always told them I do not envy them being able to read the series straight through. As was said earlier, having to wait two years for each book (and four in the case of Knife of Dreams) created so much chance for speculation and theorising, giving the reader chance to formulate ideas and giving immense satisfaction when you find out whether you were correct (or, to be fair, more like ten years for some of the theories!)

Although I didn't participate on TL for most of the series, and have never really theorised much on here, one of the things I loved about finding this website was that there were people out there just like me, thinking exactly the same thoughts as me about this series of books.
I feel the same way, but I'm actually glad I didn't start reading it way back in the day. The theorizing has been fun, but 20 years of it? Eh, screw it, I have nothing to show for those years anyway...

instantdeath999
10-05-2012, 11:44 AM
So... I hear it's normal to really hate Elayne around the end of Lord of Chaos? :p I hear (and really hope) she gets better as the series goes on... well, I haven't exactly disliked her before this, but she's become insufferable in LOC. And I say that as someone who considers Nynaeve a favorite.

I'll just throw a random thought out there: I don't know if I like the idea of it being possible to break a thirteen Aes Sedai link or not. I literally just got past the part (LOC spoilers) where Rand is kidnapped, though won't be able to pick it back up until a bit later tonight (argh). Part of me likes the idea that, no matter how powerful Rand or any channeler gets, there's something that can always trump him, so that no one becomes overpowered... on the other, Rand breaking the shield would be quite a Crowning Moment of Awesome. We shall see...

From the E-book cover, I imagine Perrin is going to attack the Aes Sedai and free Rand, which is all kinds of awesome.

WinespringBrother
10-05-2012, 02:57 PM
I find that theorizing and discussing the books has definitely enhanced my appreciation for them (in less than 2 months, I will have been posting on TL for 10 years) so I don't have any envy of you not having to wait, despite the fact that the waiting has been tough at times - even now, 3 months until AMOL seems a LONG TIME! But then again, that give you enough time to finish up and join the final round of theorizing (if you hurry up, that is!) It probably took me 2 months to do my first read-through (up to Winters' Heart at the time).

I am currently about halfway through TEOTW, and always notice and/or look for different details on each re-read due to the amazing depth and attention that RJ and BS gave to the series.

instantdeath999
10-05-2012, 04:33 PM
Oh, I'm definitely kicking it into high gear. Let's put it this way... I have around 90 pages of Lord of Chaos to go, and I started it about seven days ago. That's quite a speed improvement over my pattern for the first few books, since I really didn't want to rush them (but then I realized how soon it was until the last one comes out). One reason I'm reading this one so quickly is because early on I was spoiled that Rand gets captured by Aes Sedai in this one... I don't know if you've ever been spoiled for something like that, but my reaction in that case is always to want to reach the spoiler so I can feel like I can look ahead and not know what happens again.

I'll probably need to slow down a little bit after LOC, honestly. The Shadow Rising took awhile, due to me being busy, but The Fires of Heaven took a little over a week, as Lord of Chaos is. I'm hoping to finish Towers of Midnight very shortly before the last one comes out.

I might actually play the Wheel of Time video game for good measure :)

harleyquinn321
10-15-2012, 11:37 AM
Hi!

It's my first time reading the series :)

My husband has tried getting me to read them for the past 5 years and I'm finally getting around to it. I have just finished the Crown of Swords.

He and his best friend are finishing their sixth (!) read through of the series and it's actually been a lot of fun--date nights have consisted of nothing but WoT theorizing and speculating. I am proud to say I have brought up some theories that he, in his 15+ years of reading and re-reading, hasnít thought of!

Davian93
10-15-2012, 12:37 PM
6th reread?


Amateurs.

Lupusdeusest
10-15-2012, 04:12 PM
6th reread?


Amateurs.

IKR. :p You don't get points until 30...

GonzoTheGreat
10-16-2012, 04:55 AM
Nitpick: for the last book, a tenth reread would be fairly good already.

suttree
10-16-2012, 01:12 PM
Nitpick: for the last book, a tenth reread would be fairly good already.

For ToM? Anyone who can make it through that mess more than twice has my admiration...

Terez
10-16-2012, 08:09 PM
I couldn't. Made it about halfway through the reread, but on the tail of TGS it was just too much.

Sid
10-16-2012, 09:46 PM
I did switch to audiobooks for the full 're-read' on ToM, because I had to keep setting the book down.

instantdeath999
10-20-2012, 12:35 AM
Interesting to hear, I had heard that the latest two were some of the more acclaimed of the series, at least of the second half.

Terez
10-20-2012, 12:56 AM
It depends on how you read the books.

There are a lot of layers—everything is an onion. And we're talking almost a four-dimensional onion here. Any particular point that you look at—almost any particular point—has layers to it. It's one of the interesting things to me, is how much can I layer things without making it too complicated. It's quite possible for somebody to read these books as pure adventure, and I actually have twelve-year-old fans who do that. I was surprised to find that I had twelve-year-old fans, but I do and they read it just like that. Other people spend quite a lot of time discussing the layering, and it's fun for me to do.
For the first group, the increased pace of the last couple of books is an improvement. Whether or not that can be attributed to Brandon is debatable. For the second group...

instantdeath999
10-20-2012, 01:55 AM
Guess it gives me more reason to hurry up and get there, to see what I think. From merely the impressions that I've gotten from other reactions, I think I'll be perfectly fine with a marked increase in pace for the final three volumes. I mean, they are all supposed to form the finale.

For my part, I just started A Path of Daggers, and while I've certainly noticed the slow down in pace (I'd argue that it started all the way back in The Fires of Heaven, but I will say that TFOH is my favorite book in the series so far, even if I think The Shadow Rising is the one of highest quality), but it hasn't really detracted from my enjoyment, even if I do have some rather large criticisms of ACOS (though Mat makes up for what I consider to be a shaky ending).

77jester
10-20-2012, 02:04 AM
It depends on how you read the books.


For the first group, the increased pace of the last couple of books is an improvement. Whether or not that can be attributed to Brandon is debatable. For the second group...

I would say both points are true and debatable. I introduced my brother to the books a couple of years ago and even though he really enjoyed it, he stopped reading in the middle of Winters Heart cause he felt RJ was beating a dead horse with his series and needed to wrap it up already. I didn't feel that way about WH and CoT til after my 6th or 7th reread. When I first read the series I couldn't put the books down. When I got to WH I was at a job 3 hrs from home, so I read parts of it while driving on the freeway behind a trucker in the slow lane.
But if I'm being honest with myself part of me understands and agrees with my brother. The last 3 books have been a treat to finally get closure on a lot of the plot lines and debunk a whole bunch of stupid theories. Whereas WH and CoT just seemed to linger on and on and on, once I got over my initial fan obsession.
Even with the stylistic differences of RJ and BS the last two books are still great IMHO because it's still RJ's story. The 12 year old in me enjoys the story, and the onion peeler in me realizes that RJ already created the masterpiece of layers. BS's job is to peel the final layers not add more. Because of that view I have read tGS 5 or 6 times and ToM 3 times and enjoyed it.

One thing I will say as a warning to you Instantdeath999 the wheel of time series has ruined all other books for me. No other author compares to Robert Jordan. I haven't found another series that inspired me to reread it over and over again like these books.

What's truly going to test your patience is trying to catch up with the discussions here on theoryland, talk about an onion with many layers :D:D:D:D

instantdeath999
10-20-2012, 02:21 AM
Haha, that won't be a problem for me, I assure you :). I've gotten plenty of recommendations that supposedly are so good they will ruin everything else for me. I find I can usually appreciate different styles authors bring. For example, my favorite fantasy author is probably Matthew Stover (though I could debate with myself for hours on that), and he doesn't come close to ruining fantasy for me, since his style is so different than most authors.

That said, I think WOT will ruin more traditional fantasy for me. Though I've heard mixed things about it, I started Sword of Truth because my brother really enjoys it and recommends it. Just felt like standard fantasy, something Jordan seems to have absolutely mastered. Needless to say, he blew Goodkind out of the water in terms of crafting a complex world that also manages to be a huge page turner. Of course, that may be because it feels Goodkind almost ripped Jordan off in places... but of course he didn't. According to Goodkind, if I notice any similarities between SOT and WOT, I'm not old enough to be reading his books :confused:

For what it's worth, I feel the coolest innovation WOT has over most fantasy series I've read is to have the main character steadily go crazy over the course of the series. It's been fun to watch him spiral into insanity. Reminds me of the concept of Breaking Bad, about turning a good guy into a bad guy. Rand isn't turning into a bad guy, per se, but he is turning into something of a tyrant. Can't wait to see where it goes. I'll freely admit I don't understand the people who criticize the books because Rand turns into a jerk: that's one of the most fun parts! :)

Terez
10-20-2012, 02:49 PM
I would say both points are true and debatable. I introduced my brother to the books a couple of years ago and even though he really enjoyed it, he stopped reading in the middle of Winters Heart cause he felt RJ was beating a dead horse with his series and needed to wrap it up already.
That has basically nothing to do with what I said. All I said is that there are two different ways to read the books, and that the pace of the recent books is not necessarily attributable to Brandon.

77jester
10-20-2012, 09:37 PM
That has basically nothing to do with what I said. All I said is that there are two different ways to read the books, and that the pace of the recent books is not necessarily attributable to Brandon.

I'm sorry I misunderstood. :o:o I thought where you said For the second group... you were implying that the second group, or those that like pealing the layers, didn't enjoy the last two books. Which Obviously there are plenty, I'm just not one of them.

Terez
10-20-2012, 11:28 PM
I'm sorry I misunderstood. :o:o I thought where you said you were implying that the second group, or those that like pealing the layers, didn't enjoy the last two books. Which Obviously there are plenty, I'm just not one of them.
That is absolutely what I was implying, but that still has nothing to do with what you wrote about RJ's slow books. And out of curiosity, how many times have you read WoT?

77jester
10-22-2012, 11:37 PM
I lost track after 12ish, then it went into bits and pieces I found more interesting for a while. I guess I really should do an introduction post but I don't wanna do that on Instantdeath999's thread, so I'll continue that thought in the newbie section.

As for the earlier thought I was trying to convey that I enjoyed the last two books more than WH and CoT so that puts them on the "more acclaimed" list to me, to follow id999's earlier statement. I meant the both points to refer to 12 yr olds and onion peelers as true and debatable. As for giving BS credit, or not, for the increased pace, that slipped my mind in my comments. I must have read your post too fast.