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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 'taint' healed..., November 19, 2010
This review is from: Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, Book Thirteen) (Hardcover)
So, I've been following this series religiously for the entirety of its' run, from Book 1 and on. During the course of it I've seen the female characters go from being strong and willful to becoming downright hardass bitches. You -want- to like them, but they've typically been so prickly, so stubborn, so downright mean and controlling that you just can't. And you find yourself dreading encounters with them.

Conversely, the men became confused dunderheads that had no idea what these women were thinking half the time and were constantly in trouble and/or paranoid about it. The only guy that seemed to semi-hold himself together was Lan, and that's 'cause he's practically Clint Eastwood and doesn't give a hoot. But all the rest, Rand, the frickin' Dragon Reborn himself, couldn't escape the wrath of these vengeful, spiteful harpies and staggered around reeling under their perpetual anger. I found myself losing respect for almost every single character, except for the Forsaken and the Dark One's minions, who were at least honest about their intentions.

It made me wonder just how RJ was treated by the women in his life! That may be stepping over the line, and I do not mean to disrespect his memory at all but I'm just talking about the writing and the characters.

And then, Sanderson comes along and first thing he does is kill off the Prophet. YES. SOMETHING HAPPENED BEFORE THE END OF THE BOOK. I was already hooked.

And then, to the point of this whole missive, in ToM, amazingly, he put a softer edge on the girls. They remained true to who they were but weren't horribly unlikeable characters. He healed the rifts between many of the men and women. Yes, at times it devolved into fairly immature notions of romance (talking about Morgase here) but that was a forgivable sin compared to the greater good he accomplished. I began to like the characters again that had long been borderline despicable to me. I think his character development actually has an arc to it compared to what RJ had done, where the players were just archetypes of concepts (Rand: cold, hard, Elayne: queenly, prim, Mat: gambler, womanizer, Perrin: gruff, socially awkward, etc. etc.). In ToM we get a better sense of them learning from their mistakes and process, and becoming better for it.

And, for myself, it was painfully apparent where RJ wrote and where Sanderson stepped in. Particularly some of the Mat inner-dialogue, where he just spun in circles thinking inane crap that didn't have any point to it whatsoever except to reiterate what he'd thought before.

True, some of the Sanderson dialogue should have had a 'period' pass, since it was a bit modern. That said, he rolled the story along, had a LOT more action and excitement, and is drawing us closer to the Last Battle, instead of endlessly revolving around it. No more lengthy paragraphs-long description of clothing, only when it matters and has a point. Kudos to you Sanderson, for doing your research and having the talent to fix really horrible aspects of the books.

Again, I do not mean to disrespect RJ, he started something amazing, but it was clear that he just couldn't bring himself to finish it. Now, maybe we need Sanderson to step in for George RR Martin and start kicking some ass there too :)
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2010 2:06:23 PM PST
Yes, I agree about RJ's female characters. I got the distinct impression he was instructed by nuns at some point!

Posted on Feb 27, 2011 12:39:40 AM PST
Maybe Sanderson will get to finish the Song of Ice and Fire after all.. considering Martin's age and the agonizingly slow pace at which he releases books, he'll die of old age before he finishes it. Personally though, I refuse to pick up another Ice and Fire book until the series is complete. If it ever is.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 3:38:59 PM PDT
A. Reagan says:
RJ's fixation on womens clothing, hair etc. was sucking on my will to live by book 5 so Sanderson is my hero for putting an end to that drivel (along with spankings RME) Loving the finale books!
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