StrikerEZ

Newcomer to the series

59 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

So, as the title says, I've just recently started reading the WoT, and I just finished book 3.

What I'm curious to know is which books people consider to be the slow middle part? At this point, I've invested enough time into the story to continue reading at least a couple more books, if not all of them. I want to know which books are supposed to be slow so that I can go into them with that in mind. That will either leave me with fulfilled expectations or expectations broken in a good way if I don't think they're slow.

Edited by StrikerEZ
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Generally books 8-10 (some people include book 7) are the so called slog. I started reading the series in 2013 after the series had already been completed so I just absolutely burnt through the books. People who were waiting a few years between books as they came out are the main people who complain about the slow middle. When you don't have to wait in between books it is a lot less noticeable. I personally didn't think it was a big deal for what it matters.

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It's a slight point of contention on what exactly the slog is, but most people agree on the books (I forget exactly which) where Robert Jordan tried to match up his wonky timelines for characters by having a book set just after the climaxtic event of the previous book as a reference. There are certainly points of contention as well, such as what's been dubbed the Plotline of Doom or Plotline That Just Won't End involving

Spoiler

Perrin and Faile

, or the now infamous bath scene. You'll know when you get to them. But your mileage may vary, since different people are invested in different storylines and plots and characters after all. ^^

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It's less a matter of specific books being lesser than others (other than maybe Crossroads for being purely a "Meanwhile" book, but it was still good for what it covered) and more that throughout the middle books the characters and storylines diverged quite a bit, to the point where there are whole books that never feature some of the main characters, who are by then all scattered and doing their own things.  Then the fringe characters from those diverging storylines started getting their own independent storylines and things diverged even more.  I personally think it was less that those middle books were a slog persay, more that until probably Knife of Dreams there wasnt much on the horizon that looked like an Ending, just a lot of characters that had not interacted in a long time (if ever) and some prophesy handing over them all, so for a while it felt like just following all the branches of a developing world more than actually seeing a cohesive story unfold.  But the thing is, most people I know really enjoyed at least one of the main threads going through the slow middle books, and in most cases they seem to have enjoyed different threads and character's stories.  I just havent found many folks that were equally engaged in all of them, so no matter what you are enjoying there will likely be whole books where no progress is made on the tale you were personally invested in following.  In terms of broad appeal that is not a bad thing, but it does make the series somewhat huge and intimidating.  Ive reread some of the early books but Im not sure Ill ever just sit down and go through it all again (total series comes to ~4.5 million words). 

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Thanks everyone for the comments! I'm in this for the long haul because I want to get to Brandon's books, so it doesn't sound like I'll have to put up with as much slogging as I thought I would. Right now, Perrin is a character I'm really interested in. How much time does he get in those books where the plot diverges?

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Depends on the books. In some of them he (and any extended plotlines related to him) gets a hefty chunk of the screentime and in others he doesn't appear much or at all. Also, I suspect you're going to like Book 4, just saying. :D

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1 hour ago, Weltall said:

Depends on the books. In some of them he (and any extended plotlines related to him) gets a hefty chunk of the screentime and in others he doesn't appear much or at all. Also, I suspect you're going to like Book 4, just saying. :D

Ooh, that's good to know. 

Also, I've noticed, at least in the first three books, that Rand has always been kinda avoiding his destiny as the Dragon Reborn (until the end of book 3, of course, which was epic). That's just so weird to me because the "chosen ones" in stories are always glorified and have epic powers, so why should anyone avoid that? It's just an interesting dynamic I've noticed, especially with the fact that saidin makes men go crazy. Kinda reminds of Kaladin's arc in WoR. 

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I actually found the first 2 books as the weakest part of WoT. It picked up around 3-6 but books 7 up just changed pace and tone so much. It was like a different series

The slog books was actually the one that was the most interesting, it was the peak of the political shinanegans/manipulation in WoT. It was only a slog because of perrin, there was too much perrin on those parts in a glacial pacing that i just hated him.

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15 hours ago, goody153 said:

I actually found the first 2 books as the weakest part of WoT. It picked up around 3-6 but books 7 up just changed pace and tone so much. It was like a different series

The slog books was actually the one that was the most interesting, it was the peak of the political shinanegans/manipulation in WoT. It was only a slog because of perrin, there was too much perrin on those parts in a glacial pacing that i just hated him.

Yeah, book three was definitely a lot better than books 1-2. They were good, and I felt they had potential, but The Dragon Reborn was just so good. 

I don't know how you could hate having so much Perrin, but I'm still several books off, so....

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4 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

Yeah, book three was definitely a lot better than books 1-2. They were good, and I felt they had potential, but The Dragon Reborn was just so good. 

I don't know how you could hate having so much Perrin, but I'm still several books off, so....

Exactly. 

You'll find out why he's usually the least favorite of the trio but in the midseries you'll love him tho. In the later parts you'll just wish he daed

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1 hour ago, goody153 said:

Exactly. 

You'll find out why he's usually the least favorite of the trio but in the midseries you'll love him tho. In the later parts you'll just wish he daed

I've heard Mat is usually a fan favorite. So far, he seems a little interesting, but there's not much to him yet.

Also, I'm really hoping I don't end up hating Perrin. He's probably my favorite right now, so I'd hate to see that ruined.

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17 minutes ago, StrikerEZ said:

I've heard Mat is usually a fan favorite. So far, he seems a little interesting, but there's not much to him yet.

Also, I'm really hoping I don't end up hating Perrin. He's probably my favorite right now, so I'd hate to see that ruined.

Sanderson's favorite is Perrin i believe so you're not alone. Rand is personally my favorite because his entire struggle(i never get to read something like his struggle in fantasy despite that it should be common)

Mat doesn't have Rand's and Perrin's problems which is why he's the hot stuff.

Sorry if can only talk in really vague words since i do not wanna spoil you lol

Yeah there's not much Perrin so far. You should be getting to his focus around book 4 or  5. And it's pretty great too

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3 minutes ago, goody153 said:

Sanderson's favorite is Perrin i believe so you're not alone. Rand is personally my favorite because his entire struggle(i never get to read something like his struggle in fantasy despite that it should be common)

Mat doesn't have Rand's and Perrin's problems which is why he's the hot stuff.

Sorry if can only talk in really vague words since i do not wanna spoil you lol

Yeah there's not much Perrin so far. You should be getting to his focus around book 4 or  5. And it's pretty great too

Oh, I did not know that. That's cool. And yeah, his struggle with wanting to be the Dragon while also not is really cool. It's really weird because usually in fantasy, the heroes always just go with it. It's  nice to see someone not want to be the great prophecied hero of legends.

Maybe I'll like Mat more as the stories go on. He definitely got more interesting in book 3, and he's getting more interesting in this book.

You're good, don't worry.

Ooh, I'm excited then.

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, StrikerEZ said:

Oh, I did not know that. That's cool. And yeah, his struggle with wanting to be the Dragon while also not is really cool. It's really weird because usually in fantasy, the heroes always just go with it. It's  nice to see someone not want to be the great prophecied hero of legends.

That's not actually uncommon. And that's the usual "struggle".

You haven't actually read his "real struggles" yet. You're gonna find out around book 6 and it escalates until the last final books.

 

Well have fun reading ! Remember that WoT is one of the most frustrating fantasy series to read. There are times where i just wanted to pull my own braid if ever i had one (which i don't) lol

Edited by goody153
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Just now, goody153 said:

That's not actually uncommon. And that's the usual "struggle".

You haven't actually read his "real struggles" yet. You're gonna find out around book 6 and it escalates until the last final books.

Oh...I've been reading the wrong books then. Or just haven't read enough fantasy books. Actually, now that i think about it, I've only read maybe three fantasy books where there's an actual "chosen one." I need to read more.

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, StrikerEZ said:

Oh...I've been reading the wrong books then. Or just haven't read enough fantasy books. Actually, now that i think about it, I've only read maybe three fantasy books where there's an actual "chosen one." I need to read more.

Reluctant protagonists becomes really annoying after a few more series seeing them. Then it becomes funny afterwards lol

Don't worry reading books is not a race, it's about enjoyment. And you can always read more :)

Edited by goody153
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3 minutes ago, goody153 said:

Reluctant protagonists becomes really annoying after a few more series seeing them. Then it becomes funny afterwards lol

Don't worry reading books is not a race, it's about enjoyment. And you can always read more :)

Yeah, reading anything too much is probably annoying very fast. It's surprising I like Brandon so much, considering how much of his stuff I read :P.

Yeah, I know. I just have so many books on my to-read list, but no time to actually read them.

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On 10/07/2018 at 2:08 AM, StrikerEZ said:

Ooh, that's good to know. 

Also, I've noticed, at least in the first three books, that Rand has always been kinda avoiding his destiny as the Dragon Reborn (until the end of book 3, of course, which was epic). That's just so weird to me because the "chosen ones" in stories are always glorified and have epic powers, so why should anyone avoid that? It's just an interesting dynamic I've noticed, especially with the fact that saidin makes men go crazy. Kinda reminds of Kaladin's arc in WoR. 

Part of the inspiration for Robert Jordan writing it was to tell the story of the chosen one, but with the reality of destiny, (and in this case Aes Sedai) knocking on your door and telling you "Congratulations, you're the saviour of the world! You get to die for everyone else to live, have you and everyone you care about be hunted and in danger, and all the stress of ruling a kingdom, multiplied by every country on the planet. And no, we don't care if you want to or not, you don't get to just be a farmer or shephard."

It was also about the spreading and twisting of information with distance, since an event can happen, and be told slightly differently from someone's perspective a mile down the road, and then differently again another mile, until you get to a completely different city and there's only the barest hint of truth to what's being told. Which is something you'll see in characters misperceptions and misunderstandings and misinformation throughout the series (even when it gets irritating as hell), but moments of honesty and discussion are always immideately rewarded, just reinforcing how much the characters should trust each other.

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On 7/10/2018 at 7:43 PM, StrikerEZ said:

I've heard Mat is usually a fan favorite. So far, he seems a little interesting, but there's not much to him yet.

Also, I'm really hoping I don't end up hating Perrin. He's probably my favorite right now, so I'd hate to see that ruined.

Mat has juuuuuust started coming into his own as a character by The Dragon Reborn but he's a book or two away from really takng off.

And with Perrin... well, he's not bad so much as his plot thread is one of the more bogged-down ones in the middle of the series. It started to pick up before Robert Jordan's passing and Brandon kept it going, so if you like him now you should still like him by the time you hit the home stretch. Related to that, Brandon made me completely do an about-face on certain characters that I really didn't like up to that point, or that I started out liking but got annoyed by along the way. Not saying who (other than 'Perrin wasn't one of them'), just saying that you may find yourself changing opinions multiple times as the series goes on, and hopefully more in positive ways than negative by the end.

On 7/10/2018 at 8:03 PM, goody153 said:

Mat doesn't have Rand's and Perrin's problems which is why he's the hot stuff.

No, he has his own exclusive set of problems that make his life interesting once his independent storyline gets kicked into high gear. xD Full disclosure: Mat is my favorite of the trio because I love his character archetype.

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2 minutes ago, Weltall said:

Mat has juuuuuust started coming into his own as a character by The Dragon Reborn but he's a book or two away from really takng off.

And with Perrin... well, he's not bad so much as his plot thread is one of the more bogged-down ones in the middle of the series. It started to pick up before Robert Jordan's passing and Brandon kept it going, so if you like him now you should still like him by the time you hit the home stretch. Related to that, Brandon made me completely do an about-face on certain characters that I really didn't like up to that point, or that I started out liking but got annoyed by along the way. Not saying who (other than 'Perrin wasn't one of them'), just saying that you may find yourself changing opinions multiple times as the series goes on, and hopefully more in positive ways than negative by the end.

No, he has his own exclusive set of problems that make his life interesting once his independent storyline gets kicked into high gear. xD Full disclosure: Mat is my favorite of the trio because I love his character archetype.

Yeah, I'm about a third-ish through Shadow Rising and Mat is starting to get interesting. I'm excited to see where he goes from here.

Okay, that's good to know. When you mean bog down, do you mean like there's just so much of him or that it just feels boring to read? The former doesn't sound so bad, and I could probably deal with the latter.

Before I started reading the Wheel of Time I heard/read Brandon say that Mat is one of his favorite characters to write for WoT because he says one thing, thinks a different thing, and does another thing.

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12 minutes ago, StrikerEZ said:

Okay, that's good to know. When you mean bog down, do you mean like there's just so much of him or that it just feels boring to read? The former doesn't sound so bad, and I could probably deal with the latter.

Ummm, kind of both in a way? He's got a well-defined plot but at a certain point it stalls for a while and feels disconnected from (most of) the other plotlines. It's like he needed to be there but his story couldn't advance yet for big picture reasons. The same can be said for a number of character arcs at that point in the series, so how you feel about it will depend a lot on how invested you are in the particular characters involved with Perrin's arc.

Quote

Before I started reading the Wheel of Time I heard/read Brandon say that Mat is one of his favorite characters to write for WoT because he says one thing, thinks a different thing, and does another thing.

That's a pretty fair description. xD And there's a lot of fun to be had when you work through those layers or one comes into conflict with another. But if we're thinking of the same quote, Brandon actually said that Mat was one of the hardest characters to write because of that very thing.

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2 hours ago, Weltall said:

Ummm, kind of both in a way? He's got a well-defined plot but at a certain point it stalls for a while and feels disconnected from (most of) the other plotlines. It's like he needed to be there but his story couldn't advance yet for big picture reasons. The same can be said for a number of character arcs at that point in the series, so how you feel about it will depend a lot on how invested you are in the particular characters involved with Perrin's arc.

That's a pretty fair description. xD And there's a lot of fun to be had when you work through those layers or one comes into conflict with another. But if we're thinking of the same quote, Brandon actually said that Mat was one of the hardest characters to write because of that very thing.

Yeah, that makes sense. If Faile is important in those later Perrin books, I'm intrigued in her.

Yeah, that's the quote I was thinking of.

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Posted (edited)

What i mean when Mat and Perrin did not have the same set of problems that Rand was experiencing. Was that Mat was basically the classic suave hero who adventure and Perrin was just the classic reluctant chivalristic protagonist who just wants to live a normal life. Both we have seen before(i still like both well maybe not the later perrin). Neither truly had Rand's job that was "heavy to the heart" .

I know they're different character who have different culmination but Rand's entire journey was really unique(can't explain more cause spoilers)

Mat's story takes off a little later but he starts to do Mat things at the same time Rand was doing Rand things. So it's already fun to read about him. You'll find around book 4 or 5 regarding Perrin really really fun that's where his part takes off afaik. 

Edited by goody153
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3 hours ago, goody153 said:

What i mean when Mat and Perrin did not have the same set of problems that Rand was experiencing. Was that Mat was basically the classic suave hero who adventure and Perrin was just the classic reluctant chivalristic protagonist who just wants to live a normal life. Both we have seen before(i still like both well maybe not the later perrin). Neither truly had Rand's job that was "heavy to the heart" .

I know they're different character who have different culmination but Rand's entire journey was really unique(can't explain more cause spoilers)

Mat's story takes off a little later but he starts to do Mat things at the same time Rand was doing Rand things. So it's already fun to read about him. You'll find around book 4 or 5 regarding Perrin really really fun that's where his part takes off afaik. 

I'm almost halfway through book 4 right now and I'm at the part where Rand is in the thing at Rhuidean (how the heck do you pronounce that?) and I'm blown away at how insane the worldbuilding is for this story.

Also, yeah, Perrin is getting really interesting so far in this book.

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Just now, StrikerEZ said:

I'm almost halfway through book 4 right now and I'm at the part where Rand is in the thing at Rhuidean (how the heck do you pronounce that?) and I'm blown away at how insane the worldbuilding is for this story.

Also, yeah, Perrin is getting really interesting so far in this book.

You're not even close to half of the world building yet lol 

So i guess you'll be pleased of the clusterstorm that is mid-late series.

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