Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time

Hi there,

It recently came to my attention that Brandon Sanderson will write the final novel in the WOT series. The reason for this; the death of Robert Jordan, is of course tragic, but will the ending suffer because of this?
At first I thought; why yes of course!
After due consideration I am not longer certain.
I find JR artistic style of writing modest at best. His strength was centered on plot lines and all the details that make WOT funny and surprising.
So if Sanderson holds true to whatever notes JR left behind, could all not end well, and hopefully with a little less lace?

Well, there’s no doubt that with each book, RJ seemed increasingly incapable of editing himself. In the first few books the action moved at a wonderful pace - by Winter’s Heart, he seemed to get really bogged down. Teensy little spoiler alert! How long can they keep chasing Faile through the snow?

It sucks that this wonderful series fell just a single book short of completion during his lifetime; but if there’s any silver lining to a lingering illness, at least it gave him more than enough time to explain to his wife how it was all supposed to end. I think the final book is gonna be a fantastic tribute to a wonderful writer.

I absolutely adored this series in the start, and to be honest only the fact that I had become so invested in the world kept me going through the last couple of books.

If you believe the tales, RJ apparently gave a very detailed synopsis on how the series was to finish. So I’m hoping that RJ’s overall vision for the series will be kept and tarted up with a writer who will hopefully keep the action rolling along.

Not to jump all over RJ, who with the first 3-4 books got me so caught up in his world, but his recent efforts left something to be deisred in the pacing department.

Not to disparage Mrs. Rigney in any way (because I’m sure she’s quite talented when working with other authors) but this is what happens when your editor is a close relative. There’s not enough separation to allow objectivity in editing.

Brandon is a friend of my brother’s so we’ve been following this closely (though I’m not really a WOT fan). He strikes me as just the person to be able to do the work involved.

I got burned out on the series by the 4th novel, never read the rest. AFAIAC, if the series died with Jordan, no one would have noticed.

That last sentence makes no sense. I assume that AFAIAC means “As Far As I Am Concerned”, in which case your personal concern has no bearing on whether or not anyone would have noticed if the 12th book never got written. It is, in fact, a demonstrably false conclusion, since there actually are people here and elsewhere on the internet discussing their anticipation of the 12th book.

Slight hijack - but I guess this is the right place to put it - Is it worth starting this series? I understand from threads on here that there are some real troughs in the WoT, though maybe the peaks rise higher? How does it rate relative to, say, GRRM’s song of ice and fire?

My wife is breastfeeding at the moment and murdering books, turning them over every few days. I might pick up the first few and get her to run the rule over them.

The first couple of books are really great! But then it goes quickly downhill… especially the pacing (like so many people are saying in previous posts). I´m still gonna read the last one when it comes out though, just to finish the thing.

This from a guy who absolutely loves Song of Ice and Fire :slight_smile:

The plot of ASOIAF and the WoT series are about equally ambitious, but Martin got the writing skills in the mix and the better editor, to boot. You’ll find repetition and overstatement aplenty, as well as mediocre if not straight out bad characterization. It starts off a lot better than it progresses. The characters make some entirely ludicruous choices and never really gives you that level of sympathy required to stick with people making harebrained decisions. I found myself yearning for one character or another to punch yet another character in the teeth. I also support the movement to have Nynaeve forcibly shaved.

If you’re open to a recommendation for a fresh series - and she’s already done with Feist’s early work, as well as Martin - I’d give The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie a spin. I’ll put $10 on the table, between the two of us, on the bet that if you tell her the first book is his debut, she’ll laugh you in the face. A very, very good read, but sometimes more dark than darkly humorous.

Nobody gets what they deserve . . .

Just my opinion, but: don’t start, and don’t inflict it on your poor wife, either (the horror is probably transmissible through breast milk). The first few books are undeniably great fun, but in a way this makes the sheer spellbinding awfulness of the later ones all the worse. They’re all but unreadable in my opinion, and having invested so much time in reading the series, let me assure you it was not lightly that I dumped it (literally; I binned the lot of 'em last time I moved house). I got half way through the last book and realised that I not only didn’t care any more, I actively hated every single character and wanted them to die. So I stopped.

As to the OP, for me there’s no rescuing the series, no matter how competent a job is done of transcribing Jordan’s wishes. I’ll wait until the plot synopsis is put up on Wikipedia, read it, think, “oh, so that’s what happened,” and forget all about it. I’ll be interested to find out whether the author apes Jordan’s style (complete with stock phrases), though. I agree that Jordan’s prose was always worse than his plots, but by the end even the latter had deserted him, or possibly overrun him, depending how you look at it. He appeared to have completely lost all sense of how to move things forward. I suppose that’s a problem the last book intrinsically can’t suffer from, but as I said before, I’d have to care about the characters to want to spend any time finding out What Happens.

IMHO, Jordan redeemed himself with Knife of Dreams. He got most of his old groove back, things happened and some outstanding issues got resolved in the book, and the whole long series was finally poised to wrap things up.

I’m looking forward to Sanderson’s touch to help bring things to a close. I have enjoyed the two books of his I’ve read, Elantris and the first book in the Mistborn series. They were entertaining, if not extremely thought-provoking.