Fantasy is one of the biggest genres for polarising opinions and as most of you know your own minds, I won’t waste my time on the usual small talk but get straight down to a good/bad points review of the series, with no spoilers whatsoever.
The series has all the classic hallmarks, a dark one, light vs evil, young people from a remote village who don’t know anything about the outside world. There are myths, legends, prophecies etc, you know the drill. I don’t read much fantasy myself but this is one heck of a journey.
Most interesting from a me point of view is the use of many spiritual and literary references to be spotted….
- As you see from the number of books it’s an epic series, add to the above picture, prequel New Spring and the 14th and final book A Memory of Light and that nets you a grand total of 4,056,130 words to read. Not to mention another volume, The World of The wheel of Time although don’t read that until you’ve read at least book 7.
- There are a huge number of characters throughout the book but I found it easy to keep track of who was who, even when I hadn’t picked up a book for over a year.
- There are many convoluted quests to be had and lots of varying factions with different points of view on the big matters at hand.
- The characters are not so clearly defined in terms of good or bad as say Lord of the Rings, which is always more preferable, especially for the conspiracy theorists amongst you.
- It’s a very colourful and defined world with its own rules and beliefs and languages but never bogs you down in the minutiae of it all.
- Books 1-6 and 11-14 flow well and have good pacing on the whole.
- The final book is epic.
- There are maps, I’m a sucker for a map in a book. My atlas has seen some wear and tear.
- Some characters can seem a bit samey, because of the scope of the series though, this is perhaps understandable but can sometimes make them interchangeable
- A trip into the world of corporal punishment, yes one character has the polt revolve around spanking for a while. This is pre Fifty Shades stuff as well!
- Some of the descriptions of characters idiosyncracies are repetitive and the colours of people’s clothes may help set a scene but can get a bit much when there is a story to be told.
- books 7-9 gets slower with each progressive book, nothing happens to advance the plot in book ten whatsoever. Having said that though, I did enjoy the trip back into the world and it did delay the inevitable ending of the saga.
- After Jordan’s death, Brandon Sanderson took over and to begin with I wasn’t the biggest fan of the way he wrote the odd character but it is a minor irritation and is the sometimes questionable grammar.
- Some of the bad guys seem disappointingly inept when they have been bigged up as evil on legs.