I just heard about this book. I read the series years ago through book 8, and had to stop. The series was good at first and fell off a cliff halfway through. Has it ever picked the pace back up? I don't even remember most of the characters, just Rand and Matt, but after aSoIaF took a similar nose dive in quality I am wondering if it would be worth it to start this series over again now that it is done.
it IS worth to try again. i just reread the whole series, and was so enormously sad that i have to wait for another year before the last book comes out. In my opinion the pace picks up after books 9 and 10. Just read it an you'll see
The long answer: I also stopped reading around book 8 perhaps a decade ago. I was really frustrated with the cliffhangers and the pacing and the waiting. When I read about Robert Jordan's death I was both shocked and saddened, especially upon also reading how close he was to finally finishing the series. Well, I saw that the series was being completed by Brandon Sanderson (although I had never heard of him), and decided I should catch up on the series. Although, being in a similar predicament (I knew I had forgotten a lot of what transpired in the books I had already read), I decided to re-read the series over the course of the first few months of 2010. Up until that time I had never re-read a single book, thinking it would be too predictable, and thus not very exciting. To my surprise, I found the books worked even better than they did the first time around, and the slower books in the middle FAR more enjoyable. Brandon Sanderson's contributions are also very good, bringing the series back to a pace similar to the first few books. Now, I am even re-reading the series yet again, at a slower pace I hope will last throughout the year, in preparation for the final book.
When I started reading this series (almost 13 years ago!!) only the first 8 books were out, and the 9th was set to be released in a few months. I read books 1 through 8 in less than twelve weeks. I agree that some sections get overly verbose, but the series is wonder up to were it is currently. There is one book (9 or 10 I think) that has almost nothing actually happen, just sets up a lot to happen in the next book, and the next book fully delivers. I think one of things that is the hardest on readers of this series is that there is a two year wait between each book. During that long of a span, its does become difficult to remember all the subplot twists from years ago. I stumbled into this late in the series, and restarted the series right before the first book by Anderson came out. It made a lot more sense, and everything fit a lot better. The other thing is to consider looking at it not as 14 books, but as one story. As one story this amasses somewhere near 13,000 pages. Lots of book suffer slower, more long-winded sections, and in a story 13,000 pages long it makes sense that these sections would be longer as well. This "stargate" guy feels that Jordan is a transvestite because he writes in detail about clothing (perhaps he is meaning "cross dresser"?), and also says he has an "inside source" in TOR that proves Jordan is just scamming his readers by forcing 11 books required by contract. If you know anything about the series you know that 12 is kinda the iconic number in all the books. As you read through books 10 and 11 you can feel that he was trying to stretch the series to 12 books to end on the "iconic" number of entries. Jordan wrote 11 books, and was writing the final volume. He even said this "would be the last volume even if it ends up being 6,000 pages long!!". When Brian Anderson took over the writing he decided it was best to split the final volume into 3 separate books. What did bog down during the final few entries that Robert Jordan wrote (perhaps he wasnt sure how he wanted to end things) have most definitely picked up under Anderson. It really has breathed new life into the series. With the final installment being released in January 2013, now might be a good time to sit back and dig in for one continuous read through. Enjoy!!
Books 8, and 10, and the first half of 9 are slow. If you feel they hold you back, just skim them. It really picks up again with Knife of Dreams (the last wholly by Jordan) and the books that Sanderson take over.
Absolutely! Books 11 - 13 are as good as the first few. And Sanderson does an excellent job putting the wonder and pace back into this series, and eliminating some of the constant angst of the main characters. Like you, I'd forgotten much so started over from Book 1 and am just loving it again.
They are definitely worth it. I have two copies of each of the hard back versions, and one of the sets is color coded to the main characters. That way I can choose to only read Rand's part, or Matt's, or Perrin's, etc.. Makes going through the books much less frustrating trying to keep up with everything going on.
I enjoy about 85% of the series with reading it 3 times so far. The first time I enjoyed all of it, but on the re-reads there are parts I didn't care for. I won't mention it to avoid spoilers.
Sanderson certainly brings back a fast pace as there are a whole heap of subplots that need resolved. Some major ones get resolved in the mater of a single sentence which is a bit too brief in my view. Again, I'll avoid spoilers.
If anything, I think Sanderson is too fast in some areas. I'm greatly awaiting this final book though, finally after a decade of reading these books (I started about 2002) I'll get to know how it ends... I hope! I really hope this dosen't do a sci-fi ending where the last battle is raging, 'something' happens, and you're left to draw your own conclusions on how you want the story to end and who lives or dies.
Thanks for most of the replies. I restarted the series, I started with the prequel and am on book 4 now.
I certainly forgot about a lot of these characters, and how much I enjoy the Aiel culture, it has been like 10 years after all. I am definitely enjoying the series again, so far. Here's hoping I can push past book 8 this time. I don't think Egwene annoyed me this much the first time around, good lord but that girl is insufferable.
If you made it through book 8, then it's worth it to go on. Half of book 9 is slow, but the ending is really good. Book 10, unfortunately, is not very good at all. But after that things start picking up.
If books 9 and 10 are too tough to get through, you could always try the audiobooks. I'm a big fan of them, and I find that it's much easier to get through some of the slower books listening to them rather than reading. I've only read the series once, but I'm in the process of listening to the whole series for the second time right now in preparation for AMoL.
But yes, the series is definitely worth your time.
My opinion, if you disliked 8, read nine (or listen to an audiobook), skip ten, and read from then on. The series becomes amazing once you get to book 11 and Brandon Sanderson does an excellent job at finishing up the series. Definately worth a read.
I had never heard of Sanderson before he took over for Jordan. He did a masterful job, especially considering the brutal critiques he knew would be forthcoming from the Jordan purists. I re-read the series a couple of times over the years, having to wait the years between the books' releases. (Part of this is because I'm too cheap to buy the overpriced hardcovers.) But I'm glad I stuck with it. I'm looking forward to MOL.
Now if someone wants to make a million dollars, work out a deal with Tor and abridge books 7 through 10 into a single volume. Then the series could be considered a classic.
You skipped from book 3 to book 12 and feel like you havent missed more than a little? You must really have no comprehension of what youre reading. Scores of people have died, people have double a triple crossed each other, tons of back info has been explained. To say youve missed little is absurd.
Kinda makes sense actually. Maybe not from 3 to 12, but there are just so many pointless parties/characters being introduced, probably for some significant role, and then cut out without making an impact in order to cull the plot for the final. So many going in circles, inability to add two and two, and all that. I definitely enjoyed books 1-5, was ok with 6-7, slogged through 8-10 on sheer determination, and was greatly relieved to find a quickening in 11-13. All in all, I envy the reader who picks up the series for the first time in January 2013 or afterwards. Someone reading the series in one go is likely to skip the slop parts on sheer momentum from the earlier books. For those of us who were at it for a while... Waiting for 2 years and getting Winter's Heart, then for another two years only to get the Crossroads... that was cruel.
After book 4, I think Jordan had such a massively epic story in motion that he was forced to spend every other book doing set-up work for a major plot advance. At least, it felt that way--one rockin' book, one book of 'filler.' Repeat.
Sanderson has been working with Jordan's notes, and spent a lot of time with Jordan before his passing per my understanding. I very much enjoyed Sanderson's first book, but his second was a bit too fast paced. He was closing off plotlines carefully built over an entire series in a few paragraphs. It's a bit of a brutal about-face. Notwithstanding the pace, however, I think he's done an amazing job putting the series together.
I read the series over and over again, always finding new twists and links to events in other books. It is slow a a couple of books but getting to know each character is essential for keeping up with the plot twists; then they can still surprise you!
Coming from someone who started reading this series in the early 90's while still in middle school, to see an end finally in sight is both heartening and saddening. Mr. Rigney (most recognizably known by his pen name "Robert Jordan") was an amazing writer. I too found the first half dozen novels so engrossing a read that I would spend hours at a time, late into the night, reading them. As the books started taking longer and longer to be published..going from one a year to one every other year, my interest waned between books, but was always immediately rekindled when news of the next one's release date was published. But like many others, later books published closer to his passing held less and less interest, occasionally seeming much too wordy and drawn out. I believe Knife of Dreams was the last one I bought for years, having halted halfway through it, my interest totally lost. Nearly 20 years since the first one though, with Sanderson taking up the reins, I was intrigued at how he would be bringing new life back to the series. I ordered every book after Knife of Dreams and proceeded to dust off the series. Having re-read KoD and continuing on with the rest, I finished The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight by the end of the week after having recieved them in the mail. Now as it stands, I can most definitely say the writings of Sanderson have lit an amazingly large fire making me so very eager to see A Memory of Light next year.
So as some would say, to make a long story short, The Wheel of Time is an excellent series that has it's ups and downs, it's excitements and it's painfully slow points, but by the time you finish book 13 you will most assuredly be begging for the grand finale.
Well I did it, I have caught back up with the Wheel of Time. I am glad I did, but I must admit to having skimmed a lot, especially Crossroads of Twilight, that was just all together a bad book. The glacial pacing of books 8,9,10 and some parts of 11 were enough to make me cry uncle, but having heard he picked the pace back up with book 11 and that Brandon Sanderson had returned the series to a very fast pace, kept me at it and helped me persevere though the dull parts. I had planned to write a review of each book, but honestly trying to distill my thoughts on all of these books into 13 reviews may not be possible. I will say that I immensely enjoyed the books penned by Sanderson and look forward to his conclusion to the series in January.
It is most definately worth picking back up. I started reading this series almost 20 years ago. There were only 3 books at the time. A friend lent them to me, and I loved them. Little did I realize I would be reading and loving this story for half my life. I have reread individual books when the next in the series was about to come out, and I have reread the entire series probably 4 times. I just started on the whole thing again about 2 months ago waiting for the final book. Yes, there are parts that drag, and to me, about every 4th book is mostly what I call a "filler", no big battle scenes or great adventure, but necessary to the story as a whole. Give it another try!!