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The Rooster

JUst finished LoC... Is it worth it

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So I started reading the Wheel of Time on audiobook a few years ago and burned out.  I ripped thru from Eye of the World to Fires of Heaven in about 3 months.  I loved Shadow Rising but really kinda was getting bored by Fires of Heaven so i took a break... For two years.. I just got around to firing up Lord of Chaos which I ended up really liking.  Looking at Goodreads and stuff it looks like there's nothing but crap ahead for 4 or  books until Brandon starts to hit his stride in ToM.   Is it worth it?  I'm thinking of doing one every 6 months or so to not burn out, but I've heard advice do skip Winter's Heart entirely from some people and other weird advice like that.  Help, I'm at a Crossroads!  What is the best way to consume the "bad half" of the Wheel of Time? (note that I did enjoy LoC so if the next few ooks are really just more of the same of that I'll be good)

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I recently reread the first several books but I had to stop at Winter's Heart, it was just so dull and I've already read it and I remember that the only thing that happens of any consenquence comes all the way at the end as a sort of cliffhanger ending. I don't remember if I even read the last two Jordan books the first time thorugh or not.

 

I want to get through these so I can read the Sanderson books and finally finish the series, but I'm not really looking forward to to the last 3 Jordan books.

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So I started reading the Wheel of Time on audiobook a few years ago and burned out.  I ripped thru from Eye of the World to Fires of Heaven in about 3 months.  I loved Shadow Rising but really kinda was getting bored by Fires of Heaven so i took a break... For two years.. I just got around to firing up Lord of Chaos which I ended up really liking.  Looking at Goodreads and stuff it looks like there's nothing but crap ahead for 4 or  books until Brandon starts to hit his stride in ToM.   Is it worth it?  I'm thinking of doing one every 6 months or so to not burn out, but I've heard advice do skip Winter's Heart entirely from some people and other weird advice like that.  Help, I'm at a Crossroads!  What is the best way to consume the "bad half" of the Wheel of Time? (note that I did enjoy LoC so if the next few ooks are really just more of the same of that I'll be good)

That's a bad advice, both because WH is a good book and because you can't expect to understand the rest of the series if you skip a book. If you intend to continue series, just pick up the next book and start reading. aCoS is pretty good and tPoD has arguably the best military campaign in the series.

 

While the pace drops a bit after LoC, the only bad book in the series is Crossroads of Twilight.

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Agree with cem here... Winter's Heart is a bit slow to get going but the end is one of the best of the series and is absolutely crucial to understanding the rest of the books.

 

The main issue with Fires of Heaven is that it follows The Dragon Reborn and The Shadow Rising which are arguably the strongest two books in the series. So the interminable middle section of FoH (in the circus especially) reeeeeeeally drags.

 

Of the books you have left:

 

7: Crown of Swords - Good book

8: Path of Daggers -  Not really bad, but certainly not the best

9: Winters Heart - A bit slow with a mammoth finale

10: Crossroads of Twilight - Yup, you will have to wade through this one... it is the weakest of the whole series IMO.

11: Knife of Dreams - Not bad, I would say on a par with Path of Daggers.

12: Gathering Storm - The Epic finale begins, Awesome

13: Towers of Midnight - Nice continuation with some much needed resolutions.

14: Memory of Light - Truly excellent end to the series.

 

In all, I would recommend going as slowly as you need to get through the weaker ones but not to skip anything.

 

To answer your question... YES, it is worth it.

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Thanks to everyone.  You're pretty much confirming my expectations.  I think I'll keep it to one every few months with buffer books in between.

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the wheel of time is not like any other book. it is a long series with plenty of focus on the characers and most things don't happen in a moment but will slowly change over time. If you like that, you will like the way the character interacts, the character growth, and all the small buildups. If you don't like that, then you don't like the wheel of time. If you think about skipping books, then you're eiher missing the spirit of the series, or you're not enjoying it. If you just want fast paced plot full of action, the wheel of time is not for you. except maybe the last one.

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Reading this topic, I'm pretty sure that Crossroads of Twilight is probably what got me to stop the first time through. So maybe I'll just have to finish Winter's Heart for my reread and then try to get through CoT before moving on.

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I really didn't get as turned off from the second half as most people seem to. The story doesn't get slow, IMO, it just grows. Those are different things, I think. There's so much going on in the world, and Jordan creates such a huge cast, yeah it does become difficult after a minute to keep everything always super-actiony and going bonkers all the time. There's a lot more world-building, character development and interaction, and most importantly - politicking.

 

Some people find that super boring, I personally enjoyed it. And skipping a book doesn't seem like good advice to me at all. They might not like it, but there's 900 pages of stuff going on that you should read, otherwise it wouldn't be there.

To me the tough parts were just the characters I didn't like (mostly the female cast because most of his women were basically the same - something Jordan has been criticized widely for- and all just insufferably annoying. But when you think about it, that's how society was in that world, ruled by strong, arrogant women. So even then, considering, it's not really that bad.

I personally think you should finish. Especially if you're already 6 books in. At least then you know you'll have a good sized reading list for a while. The ending is totally worth it.

Oh, and book 6 is just when Mat gets his full swing of awesomeness going on.
Keep reading, his chapters alone are worth it.

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I really didn't get as turned off from the second half as most people seem to. The story doesn't get slow, IMO, it just grows.

 

Can't help but quote you, you expressed perfectly what I think. If you read everything in one go I don't think you can really find it boring. Though I guess that at the time, with a year or more between one book and the other, getting transition books like Path of Daggers and Crossroads of Twilight could have been heavy to bear.

 

P.S. How can anyone not love Winter's heart? There is the best harem romance ever(one of the funniest scene in the books imho) and the whole MAt gets eway from Ebou Dar!

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Maybe I'm confusing Winters Heart with CoT or something.

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I honestly have no idea why people have a problem with 7-9. They're pretty solid and not exactly light on the action.

 

Now, Crossroads of Twilight was kind of bad, since it is where the whole massive cast of characters finally comes to be a problem because the book basically goes around getting their responses to the events of Winter's Heart and setting up their next plot points, with the result that very little is actually accomplished. The pace picks back up afterwards, though. I can't really recommend you skip it, because the stuff that gets exposited on and set up matters quite a bit.

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I didn't like Winter's Heart mostly because...

Perrin just got too mopey and basically useless. His character progression took way too long. But he is obviously way too OP by the end of AMoL, so very understandable in retrospect.

But we get it. Wah, Faile's gone. You get too angry sometimes. You're just a blacksmith, not a leader. Well suck it up and get over it and start actually talking to wolves instead of just using them whenever you're in a pinch. Geez.

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Only part I really disliked there in the middle was the perrin parts. When rereading I always skip alot there:p I thought the rest was good.

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Am I the only person who enjoyed CoT? I LOVE Mat Cauthon, and watching his true genius go to town was wonderful.

OP:Lots of our co-readers talk about how the series slows down in the second half. If you have read the first six books then keep the following in mind.

The first 2 books were almost exclusively Rand.

The next book included the Wonder Girls. This did not diminish the series. It ENHANCED it.

The next books included ALOT more of the Wonder Boys. This did not diminish, but ENHANCED the series.

As time goes on, the WoT becomes less about Rand and more about the world. More and more characters are added to the WoT with every installment. The Wheel of Time is not Rand's story. It becomes the story of an end of an Age, the end of a world, and this is EVERYONE's tale.

There will be parts you have to slog through, I'm sorry.

But if you're going to take the leap and read it all; I recommend NOT breaking between books.

There are MANY characters by the end of A Memory of Light, and MANY MANY sub-plots that you will completely over look and miss out on if you do take time between.

This is a world rich in detail, I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I did over the last 20 years.

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