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The Wheel of Time Series

23 Jan

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….

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Good Points

  • 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.

Bad Points

  • 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.

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15 Comments

Posted by on 23/01/2013 in Fantasy

 

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15 responses to “The Wheel of Time Series

  1. Cory

    23/01/2013 at 15:47

    Very happy you got round to this. I’d loved to read them, when I have the time to invest in such a mammoth series!

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    • StetotheJ

      24/01/2013 at 19:50

      It is an epic read, some great set pieces as well. There is more to recommend it than not. When I find my copies I shall lend you the first one, when your time permits it of course.

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  2. letizia

    23/01/2013 at 22:05

    I love your pros/cons list, highly entertaining!

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    • StetotheJ

      24/01/2013 at 19:45

      I like to mix it up, that and I ws pressed for time, but if anyone asks i was just mixing it up to keep you guys interested.

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  3. gargoylebruce

    24/01/2013 at 05:00

    I’m always a bit wary of epic series…sometimes I think it’s best to stumble upon them without knowing you’ve got 14 book’s worth of story to get through. But then again, you’ve got to love it when you enjoy one book and you know you’ve got 14 more lots of goodness to go! Did I mention I was wearing fuschia stockings coupled with a lime and salmon spotted hat with fluffy pink ear flaps?

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    • StetotheJ

      24/01/2013 at 20:04

      That sirrah is the height of fashion where I come from, we are a strange breed around here. I was the opposite, I gravitated to it purely because it was huge and I needed my epic fix after lord of the Rings. A surprise of another 14 books would be a treat though….

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  4. renxkyoko

    24/01/2013 at 05:11

    Have you read the Eragon series? f you haven’t I hope you can find time to read another fantasy novel. It consists of 4 books. There was a movie adaptation of the first book,, but it was so horrible that the author himself, Paolini, got depressed.

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    • StetotheJ

      24/01/2013 at 19:43

      I shall endeavour to avoid the film then, although my policy is book first, film to be moaned at later. I had this mentioned to me years ago, I shall have a look for a cheap copy as that seems to be my middle name at the moment.

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      • renxkyoko

        24/01/2013 at 20:02

        I guess Amazon has second-hand books to sell, but not the last one coz that’s fairly recent. You know what I do? I go to the local library nearby. Our library sells hard-bound books ( overstock ) and they are so cheap, like $2 to $ 4 each, unused, unread. I usually spend around $30 and buy all the books I want, pronto, or someone will beat me to it. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

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        • StetotheJ

          24/01/2013 at 20:07

          The library here had something similar but they only tried to sell crap, although i did get some Choose Your own Adventure books from it. I applaud your thriftiness and also envy you your luck.

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          • renxkyoko

            24/01/2013 at 20:23

            Lucky is the word. I was able to complete my collection of hard-bound books of Robert Ludlum, and Tom Clancy , patricia corwell, Grisham, Patterson , Sheldon, etc. And a few coffee table books on Archaelogy ( that I love ! )……. and Theory of Everything by Steve hawkings, oh and The Universe with awesome photos ! !

            Pocketbooks are like, 10c to 25c each….

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            • StetotheJ

              24/01/2013 at 20:28

              I share your love of archaeology, even if I did start off with those terrible pseudo history books before I learned of proper history. You are just rubbing in your good fortune now, how about some book reviews???

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  5. pennycoho

    31/01/2013 at 05:18

    I agree entirely with you!

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