Zmaray

Should I read WoT?

26 posts in this topic

My favourite fantasy books are

1. The Legendarium

2. The Cosmere Cycle

3. The Faithful and the Fallen

4. The Kingkiller Chronicle

5. A Song of Ice and Fire

I prefer high, epic, military fantasy books with developed, honourable characters and exhilarating action. I prefer good vs evil (where there are several shades of grey on the good side) to the dark cynical nature of grimdark fantasy. What is great about WoT and should I read it?

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Hey my friend,

In my view, Wheel of Time might be the best thing that might ever happen to you.. Think of your favourite, your second favourite, third favourite.. Combine them and you'll get a better mix with Wheel of Time.

There is the battle between good and evil. There is a variety of characters, nearly all of whom are dynamic characters. They constantly change and confuse you. The events are real like. There are some parts where the events slow and drag but the utmost experience that you will get at the end of the series. 

You can read A Song of Ice and Fire but since it is incomplete; you will end up saying "and then what?"

Cosmere Cycle will not leave you unsatisfied, either. 

You can read the others, too, but I think Wheel of Time should be a priority.. 

D.

 

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Thank you friend,

btw, I have already read the top five. Those are my favourite books. WoT is the only good fantasy series I haven't read in my local library and I am thinking of reading The First Law as well.

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Now for my serious answer. Every fantasy fan should read WoT once. I've done it 3(at least on RJ) over the years. I wouldn't personally classify it as High Fantasy. It's much more old school defeat the dark lord LOTR type imo.

if you want a true High Fantasy check out Malazan series only if your experience is high cause it is extremely complex!

a great Grimdark set is Abercrombies main 6 book series starting with The Blade Itself.

Jim Butchers Codex Alera is truly fun and High Fantasy. It's basically Pokémon in a Roman setting. Sounds nuts but it is entertaining.

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Not to quibble about semantics, @Briar King, but WoT is definitely high fantasy, in that it takes place in a secondary world distinct from ours (as opposed to low fantasy, in which magic and/or fantasy creatures come into the real world). People have argued a little about what high fantasy actually is over the years, but that was what it meant when Lloyd Alexander came up with the terminology. How are you definitely the term?

As to the OP, I love WoT. I've read it four times and am working on a fifth (on LoC, but I keep getting interrupted when other books that I've been waiting for come out). Some people can't stand it, and it's hard to predict who will fall into that that category, even when they love series with major fandom overlap, like you. 

But I think that it's 100% worth it. Even if you don't end up being a huge fan, the influence of the series cannot be understated.

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I've only read 2, 4 and 5 on your list, and I think they differ quite a lot from each other, in regards to how dark the worlds are, how they are written, how many viewpoints there are and so on.

In my opinion, WOT is lighter than ASOIAF. It is more of a traditional epic fantasy; The Chosen One, with friends, battle the great evil. There's also a bit of coming of age, a bit of various cultures crashing, some really interesting and inventive mechanics of social structures... I would recommend it, but I also know a lot of people never got through it once it started dragging.

Very minor WOT-spoiler/trivia underneath, don't read if you haven't read the series (or don't care).

Spoiler
10 hours ago, DSC01 said:

in that it takes place in a secondary world distinct from ours

Given that the series is set on Earth in the past and future, I'm pretty sure the "secondary" part of that sentence is arguable. That's just semantics though, I agree with the high fantasy label.

 

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Short answer- Yes

Long answer- Bloody hell yes!!!

Pretty much it's a product of it's time since it was revolutionary for 1990 but pretty standard today. The gender politics can get ridiculous, there were times I either shook my head or laughed at how stupid they were being. The romance can get pretty silly at times. But what makes these books worth reading are the characters. Brandon can make you like a character anywhere from a few pages to the end of the book but Jordan gives you time during the first three just to know the long term players so you feel for them by the time Brandon takes over.

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Before Stormlight Archive it was my favorite fantasy series, despite some of it's flaws I absolutely love it and it has a very big place in my heart.

It also fits your prefereces (good versus evil with shades of gray, the characters get more than just some development, and large scale battles, especially in the last book.

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I view it like Moorcock's Elric series. Sure, you should be aware of it, but it isn't required reading. 

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To offer some variation on the subject I will use my limited WoT experience (I am at the beginning of book 5) to answer this. The answer is basically yes, I think you should read it, but beware that it has flaws. Now, flaws is a subjective thing, but here are the ones I have:

-It is overly descriptive. There are long sections of descriptions of stuff, which gets kind of tedious after a while. Jordan is like Tolkien concerning this in my opinion. Loooong descriptions. And there are a lot of them too.

-Characters. Some are great, some are, well, not great. Now again, I am only four completed books into the 13-book series that is WoT but so far, there are characters that leaves no lasting impression except blandness, to me (Egwene and Elayne for example). The awesome people (Mat and Lan for example) kind of makes up for this though.  

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I hated Gardens of the Moon by the way. But I loved Tolkien and it seems that WoT is similar. I will definitely give it a go. The only thing that put me off is that my library only has the first three books.

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The series had great potential, but has some series flaws I couldn't look past and I gave up around book 10. I recommend reading it until its not fun and forming your own opinion. Then again it appears we have very different tastes in books, bc I loved Gardens of the Moon and found The Faithful and the Fallen series to be very pedestrian.

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Nothing much happens in book 10, so I'm not surprised that you gave up there, but it picks up again in Knife of Dreams, and then Brandon took over for 13-14, so...

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2 hours ago, Zmaray said:

I hated Gardens of the Moon by the way. 

This is very common. I take it that just name dropping bk 1 it was a far as you got into it?

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Yeah, maybe I would read further if the books were borrowed, but I'm not spending money continuing a series I didn't like the start of.

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4 hours ago, DSC01 said:

Nothing much happens in book 10, so I'm not surprised that you gave up there, but it picks up again in Knife of Dreams, and then Brandon took over for 13-14, so...

I keep hearing that, but I was just done at that point. I did read summaries of the rest to see how it ended.

In my opinion this series could of been a all time great if he stuck with, what I believe was the original plan, six books only. So many descriptions and storylines could of been left out to give the series better pacing.

I hope I don't come across as too negative; like I said everyone should give it a try and form their own opinion.

Edited by Ammanas
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53 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

I keep hearing that, but I was just done at that point. I did read summaries of the rest to see how it ended.

In my opinion this series could of been a all time great if he stuck with, what I believe was the original plan, six books only. So many descriptions and storylines could of been left out to give the series better pacing.

I hope I don't come across as too negative; like I said everyone should give it a try and form their own opinion.

I think it was originally 3.

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4 hours ago, Zmaray said:

Yeah, maybe I would read further if the books were borrowed, but I'm not spending money continuing a series I didn't like the start of.

Ah I thought so but yeah it isn't uncommon for people to hate Gardens. I think a large part of this is because it was a screenplay originally and expanded on to publish as a book. It can be very hard to follow. Bk 2 is an epic increase in quality. It is a very complex series and imo requires a higher reading experience before one should jump into. It is a very rewarding series though so I hope one day you ll try again.

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21 minutes ago, Briar King said:

I think it was originally 3.

This is correct. Jordan pitched the idea  as a trilogy. His agent knew he tended to overwrite, so changed it to a more realistic seven or six book series. 

A Song of Ice and Fire was also originally envisioned as a trilogy ;)

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It's kind of true that it was originally going to be a trilogy but only for the initial pitch. By the time Jordan wrote The Eye of the World, it was definitely not a trilogy anymore because the original outline called for book 1 of the trilogy to cover all events through The Dragon Reborn. So, yeah, the idea was for a trilogy, but by the time any work was actually done, it was always going to be longer than 3 books.

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17 hours ago, TheOrlionThatComesBefore said:

 

A Song of Ice and Fire was also originally envisioned as a trilogy ;)

I still think that he should of stuck with his plan of book 4 taking place 15 years later than the end of book 3. Sadly one of my favorite authors (Daniel Abraham) convinced him to split books 4 and 5 by characters thus creating a bunch of timeline issues that took him a long time to figure out. I think most of the lengthy delays between books comes from that ill fated decision. 

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You should definitely read WoT, but I'd say only really do it if you have the time to spare.

I read the entire series over this last summer (whew) and I concluded that I was glad I had read it just for the Fantasy-genre literacy it provides and to say that I have. I enjoyed my time reading it, and I love the characters and the story. But there are definite flaws that you need to be aware of. Jordan wastes a ton of time, all the time. For example I accidentally skipped a book as I was reading (Long story) but I didn't even realize it until 1/4th into the next book down the line. There was enough 'nothing' in the book that I skipped to have not even realized that anything was different. The entire series could've probably been written in 6 books.

Additionally, the characters are really imaginative and awesome, and I really like the way they grow and change over the series. But I never felt a truly emotional connection to any of them until Brandon took over. Only then was I able to really feel something about their arcs. 

Tl;dr Read it if you want, but understand it might not be the best thing you've ever read. 

Edited by The Honey Badger
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I don't recommend WoT to everyone, but it sounds like what you're looking for.

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I really liked WoT. In fact it is one of the few book series I find myself randomly thinking about long after I finished it. For sure it has flaws and some books really drag on but the overall story is just so big. If you have the time to read it I think it is well worth it. 

Interestingly I just had something dawn on me while re-reading Mistborn. It was how years just seem to go by in the books off scene. It made me start to think about WoT and how only about 2 and half years pass over the course of 14 very long books. Not saying this is good or bad but it's just a glimpse at the level of detail and grandness of WoT. Of course a lot of this is also because of the multitudes of plot lines and POV. Not sure if the is a positive or negative but I did think it was interesting.

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