The Wheel of Time - worth reading the series?

Brandon Sanderson finished the Wheel of Time about two years ago and I kind of find myself looking at it. I have not read even one book of it and am hesitant to begin it. I heard it kind of stalls out after a couple books.

Is it worth reading? What do you think?

I have not offered a third option as I want to press everyone into committing to yes or no. :slight_smile:

It starts very good and ends very good, plenty of suck in the middle though. I’d say overall it is worth reading. It got better with Jordan’s last book actually, not Sanderson’s first.

Yes, barely, because Sanderson nails the landing. But it’s rough going for a while there - while it starts off good, the series begins to lose steam around book 4, and becomes unreadable by book 7. I recommend doing what I did - just skip books 8 through 11, catch up on what happened in them on the series’ extensive wiki (hint - absolutely nothing happened in them) and then come back in book 12 when Sanderson comes on board. It’ll be worth it.

I agree with the above. And for all those thousands of pages, it’s pretty quick reading.

This series will always have a place in my heart, no matter how bad the bad books were (and I don’t think they were quite as bad as people make them out to be). I started reading them in junior high school and finished them in my late 30s. They were a part of my life for a long, long time. I’ve found that when I’ve gone back to reread them (or, better, listen to the audio books), I’ve enjoyed them more and more. I liked Sanderson’s ending, but I’ll always be curious as to how Jordan would have done it.

Supposedly Jordan wrote most of the key parts of the last book, but I also wonder how things would have ended up otherwise.

He wrote a few key scenes, most notably the very end of the last book, but he left incredibly detailed notes on everything that was to happen. His words might have been different (likely worse) but the events would have been the exact same.

I’m not sure. I’m a fan of Sanderson’s (which is actually why I decided to go back to the Wheel of Time over a decade after I decided to drop the series for good), and I’ve read most of his books. The last three books of the series - and especially the very last one - feel very much like Sanderson’s work, particularly in terms of pacing.

Tried to read them once. Got about 6 pages into the first book and threw it against the wall, where it made a not-insubstantial hole in the plaster. And that was the paperback.

So, no.

Well, thanks for that well-informed opinion.

I voted no with the caveat that I was going to post what Alessan has already essentially said. The series suffers from some major bloat issues, it’s easy to forget some who some of the characters are, and all I remember from one of the books is that one of the main characters took a bath. I don’t know how many chapters of that goddamned book was about her preparing for, taking, and finishing the bath but it was entirely too many.

By all means, read a few of the books at the beginning, read summaries of books 5-11, and then finish the series.

I would say yes, it’s worth reading, but not all of it. I can’t remember exactly where I stopped (7, 8 or 9), but I distinctly remember book 5 being the last one I got any real enjoyment from.

My wife stayed true for a couple of extra books, but even she hasn’t bothered to go find the conclusion. Book 12 would fit the timeline for her last one, so even after reading one by Sanderson, she didn’t bother to seek out any more.

Actually, now that I’ve spent more time thinking about it, I may have just changed my mind. There are literally whole books where 1000 pages of verbal diarrhea can be summed up in three paragraphs without missing anything. Not just anything important - no, nothing at all would be missed. That kind of failure makes me question whether I was just being generous at the beginning.

1 is good, 2 and 3 are decent, 4 is very good, then there’s a long decline to book 9, when they pick up. Sanderson’s pacing is excellent.

The only problem is, it really couldn’t have ended any other way, so it’s a bit predictable at the end.

Oh, and about the ending: there are a few characters who probably deserved better fates than they got, and probably weren’t portrayed as favourably as they could have been. That’s a nitpick, though, really.

I’ve often been curious. I read them when I was in middle school, up to, I dunno, five or six? Reread the first few several times when new ones came out. Then there was a book that I picked up, read a few pages of, and had no fucking idea who any of the people were. That was that.

But there was some good stuff in the first few that stuck with me, you know?

OTOH, several other characters who spent about 10 volumes being annoying suddenly took five levels in badass. I mean, before Sanderson, who though Egwene could be cool? Fucking Egwene.

Reading it as a ~20 year old when it started, I loved it. Looking at it from 40+ now, I don’t think it is. There’s a lot to like about it, to be sure, and in the hands of a better writer it may have been great. But, looking at it as a whole there are just too many flaws, too many things that don’t hold up to scrutiny.

I say, no, it’s not worth starting.
ETA: I guess I’m the minority but I don’t like the way the series ended. Sanderson is a better writer than Jordan though, so I’ll give him props for making the last few readable.

I thought her ascendancy started with the last book Jordan wrote, but memory may be wrong. Her performance in the final books was stunning, though.

The first was good solid fantasy (full disclosure: I was about the same age when I started reading them, and, other than leaning toward “yes” where you lean toward “no”, agree with you), and the story around page 100 of the first one, with the telling of Coming Home from Tarwin’s Gap, is good. The evolution of Mat is good (the worst thing about the later books is Jordan forgetting how to write Matrim). There are solid parts. It just feels it should have been better.

I’m reading it for the first time now. I like it enough that I’m sticking through it till the end (am on the 9th one), but I am liking each book a little less than the one before. Actually, I am liking 9th so far better than the last 2 or 3. This has given me the strength to decide to finish it the whole thing. I like the first few enough that if I didn’t finish the others that I would have at least gone to the wikis to find out what happened.

I read it mostly at night before bed. It really helps me get to sleep. That plan does fail for the occasional bursts of genius…