Wander89

New To The Series - Any Tips?

20 posts in this topic

I'm going to be starting my ever Wheel of Time read through, I've currently got books 1-6 and (if I manage to like these books) will purchase the rest at a later date.

My question is: Any tips about this? Would you suggest buying the companion book? Reading New Spring first? Is there even a slog or is it just an information dump for 3 books?
I've got the remaining books from Stormlight Archive to finish for my full Cosmere re-read so hopefully start my next adventure shortly

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@Wander89 I just finished my first read of WoT a couple of months ago, actually. 

I'd say that, if you aren't having fun reading the series by book 6, you should definitely stop. There is definitely a slog starting at some point after that. Most people agree the sloggiest book is book 10, but when the slog starts is up to interpretation. Personally, the slog didn't really start until book 9, though for some it starts in book 7.

I haven't gotten around to reading New Spring or the companion book, though I'd suggest reading New Spring after you finish everything. The only reasoning I have for that is I think reading it before the first book ruins some of the mystery behind certain characters in the beginning of the series, and there isn't really a good place to read it anywhere in the middle of the series. The companion definitely has spoilers for everything, but I don't think it's required reading, especially since you'll (theoretically) be reading the series straight through.

If you have any questions, tag me!

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4 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

@Wander89 I just finished my first read of WoT a couple of months ago, actually. 

I'd say that, if you aren't having fun reading the series by book 6, you should definitely stop. There is definitely a slog starting at some point after that. Most people agree the sloggiest book is book 10, but when the slog starts is up to interpretation. Personally, the slog didn't really start until book 9, though for some it starts in book 7.

I haven't gotten around to reading New Spring or the companion book, though I'd suggest reading New Spring after you finish everything. The only reasoning I have for that is I think reading it before the first book ruins some of the mystery behind certain characters in the beginning of the series, and there isn't really a good place to read it anywhere in the middle of the series. The companion definitely has spoilers for everything, but I don't think it's required reading, especially since you'll (theoretically) be reading the series straight through.

If you have any questions, tag me!

I want to be able to get through to the very end, I'm a fan of the story and my grandad gave me Eye of the World before he passed so it's really for him (though I'm a massive Fantasy fan myself. I've read up to book 3/4 but I ended up reading the Cosmere again because people kept mentioning a slog through the later books. I have New Spring so might wait until the very end to get that sorted but was hoping to Companion Book would have further insight after each book. I don't want to spoil too much before I've even started.

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4 hours ago, Wander89 said:

I want to be able to get through to the very end, I'm a fan of the story and my grandad gave me Eye of the World before he passed so it's really for him (though I'm a massive Fantasy fan myself. I've read up to book 3/4 but I ended up reading the Cosmere again because people kept mentioning a slog through the later books. I have New Spring so might wait until the very end to get that sorted but was hoping to Companion Book would have further insight after each book. I don't want to spoil too much before I've even started.

Hmmm...I’d say go ahead and start over from the beginning and just read all the way through. I think if you go in expecting to get to the end (for me, I wanted to get to Brandon’s books, so that was a huge motivation), it’ll be a lot easier to get through the slog because you’ll have a reason to keep going.

As for the companion, I’m not really sure what’s in it, but I would assume that it has spoilers for lots of things. 

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Okay, on New Spring, My advice is after Fires of Heaven or Knife of Dreams. It's a pretty quick read compared to the rest of the series.

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23 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

Hmmm...I’d say go ahead and start over from the beginning and just read all the way through. I think if you go in expecting to get to the end (for me, I wanted to get to Brandon’s books, so that was a huge motivation), it’ll be a lot easier to get through the slog because you’ll have a reason to keep going.

As for the companion, I’m not really sure what’s in it, but I would assume that it has spoilers for lots of things. 

I think i'll be giving it a shot after Oathbringer which should hopefully be wrapped up shortly. I probably won't even bother with the companion, probably the completionist in me going crazy.

15 hours ago, Wyndlerunner said:

Okay, on New Spring, My advice is after Fires of Heaven or Knife of Dreams. It's a pretty quick read compared to the rest of the series.

Yeah, I've heard reading it at the start can take away some surprises so i'll wait until later in the series!

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Posted (edited)

All I can say is: It's gonna take a while. It's something like 4.4 Million words. (At least, that's what I heard.) And all the better for it. More to enjoy.

Edited by Turin Turambar
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Sorry, this got a little wordy. But you're about to read WoT, so you should be ready for that. :lol:

Books 1-3 are very similar in style and structure, and they almost read like a trilogy. If you're not a big fan of these three, you should push on because the series really comes into its own with book 4. That's really when the story begins to branch out into something amazing. I agree with Striker that if you aren't enjoying yourself at the end of book 6 then you should put it down. If you don't like what you've read at that point, it's not going to suddenly get better for you. If you ARE enjoying yourself at that point, you have the slog ahead of you between books 7 and 10...

On 6/2/2019 at 0:24 AM, Wander89 said:

Is there even a slog or is it just an information dump for 3 books?

It's NOT that bad if you're enjoying the books. It's not an info dump. Basically what happens is that the story expands too much and the the story becomes a bit of a tangled mess. Lots of minor PoV characters introduced, that you maybe don't care about. Lots of plot arcs being juggled, which means none of them seem to advance particularly far from one book to the next. Books begin to feel less distinct because there's a lack of focus and finality with each one.

My advice to everyone on this is to check your expectations. If you REALLY want your favorite main character to go do some big thing that you've been anticipating and move the story forward.... You're probably going to be disappointed. You're probably going to feel impatient. You're going to have a hard time being interested in the minor characters. You're going to have a hard time savoring the journey because your eyes are on the destination. Don't do that to yourself. Take a deep breath and tell yourself to be patient. You'll find a lot more to love in the sloggy books if you have this attitude. (In my experience with rereads, where impatience to see what happens with the main plot is no longer an issue, these books are a pleasure to read because there are so many little intricate things going on.)

On 6/2/2019 at 0:24 AM, Wander89 said:

Would you suggest buying the companion book? Reading New Spring first?

The Companion is more for reareads or general perusal after you've finished the series. It has MAJOR SPOILERS. You don't need it. That said, if you have questions when you're reading I would discourage Googling them as well. Google autocomplete will spoil big things for you from the final book. If you have a question while reading, I'd recommend finding an online community where people are cautious with spoilers and asking there.

I definitely recommend reading New Spring. You shouldn't read it first though. It's a "prequel novel" in that it takes place before the first book, chronologically. But it will spoil things from the middle books and I'd say it will give you a different experience than Jordan intended if you read it first. Most people recommend reading it in publication order, which is between books 10 and 11. Another common recommendation is after book 5. It's a relatively short book with VERY few PoV characters and a very simple plot... So I often recommend that people use it to take a short break from the slog books if you need it. If you make it through book 10 and never felt like you needed a break, then great... Now you're at publication order and you can pause to read it then. Some people say to read it after the end. Personally, I think it's rather anticlimactic for that purpose. But that's certainly an option if you never feel like putting the main books down.

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Finally started my own wheel of time journey today!  In one sitting I read the prologue through chapter eight!  Not too shabby since I'll be reading even more through the night!  I really like what I've read so far, and even then, it's barely scratching the surface.  I'm really looking forward to the rest of the journey!

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Posted (edited)

It is not a slog to read for me. I would go so far as to say this series requires advanced reading and comprehension. I can handle these in two weeks max. That is a book a day. The reason is, because the writing allows me to picture it in my imagination, and can access and remember where I am at any moment. It is like a moving mental picture in my head and it comes from an extensive ability to read and process what I am reading. It is a talent that is sorely lacking in today's society, since book shops are rarer these days. NZ has plenty of shops where books are sold, and we are considered an odd country because of it.

 

In short, if you enjoy reading massive books, you will be fine. If not, I recommend reading fantasy books that are smaller in size and then build up to Lord Of The Rings and then The Wheel Of Time, since the first books of both are similar in beginning. It takes the stress of the mind in processing the words and themes being presented if they start out similar. If you jump into the story from a easier read, you could over stress your mind to the point that you can easily create headaches from forcing it too much. If that happens, you will never read that series, your mind will not allow you too, and that is the best case scenario. At worst, you will never touch another book again. Even reading signs could be painful for a few days or weeks. I have done that myself. So be careful. 

Edited by Cosfan4472
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I first started reading WoT when Book 10 (Crossroads of Twilight) was already published.  So because I could burn through one book and immediately go to the next, I never experienced the 'slog' like some others did.  On subsequent rereads I began to notice what people meant by the slog, and agree to some extent.  It's not as bad as some people make it out to be, but it is certainly there.

4 and 5 have been and still are my two favorites of the series, so as long as you are somewhat enjoying 1-3, fight through to get to 4 and 5.  On rereads I felt the slog really started on book 6, but 6 also has some killer moments.  Books 7-11...I feel really could be combined into 1.5 or 2 books and nothing of value would be lost.

The first Sanderson book, Book 12, is also one of my favorites (easily top 3,) if you need some additional incentive.

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Thanks to everyone for the responses, certainly been enough to get my to try myself. I do live but the philosophy that if I'm mildly interested then I should at least start so I have the first 4 books there and will take it from there. I have Stormlight to finish on a re-read then I will start Eye of the World and report back :D

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Just my personal thoughts on the “slog.”  It’s not so much a slog as it is a change in focus.  The first 6-7 books are more action packed, and then the action takes a bit of a breather and it’s more political.  When I was younger I found those books hard to read, going so far as to skip certain PoV, as I only cared about the action sequences, but on my last WoT reread I really enjoyed those books and didn’t think there was much of a slog at all.  But really, the Wheel of Time series is incredible and is what really gave me a love of reading, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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The "slog" is my favorite part of the series. It doesn't really slog, it's just the story stops being about the Last Battle for a while. I actually really like Book 10 because it not only feels like the deep breath before the storm but because it's FUNNY. That's something these books don't get enough credit for. Not only does every [major] character get an arc that is the equivalent of their own book or series but the books are also fun and humorous at times.

Sometimes, though, there isn't any action, and I know a lot of readers don't like that.

Not only that but books 11-14 are basically one giant climax. That's not something any other series has done.

Read New Spring after book 5. I think it works best after book 9 just because 1) that's where it was released and 2) it's a quick and fast paced read and while I love book 10, it isn't exactly action packed.

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10 minutes ago, hawkedup said:

The "slog" is my favorite part of the series. It doesn't really slog, it's just the story stops being about the Last Battle for a while. I actually really like Book 10 because it not only feels like the deep breath before the storm but because it's FUNNY. That's something these books don't get enough credit for. Not only does every [major] character get an arc that is the equivalent of their own book or series but the books are also fun and humorous at times.

Sometimes, though, there isn't any action, and I know a lot of readers don't like that.

Not only that but books 11-14 are basically one giant climax. That's not something any other series has done.

Read New Spring after book 5. I think it works best after book 9 just because 1) that's where it was released and 2) it's a quick and fast paced read and while I love book 10, it isn't exactly action packed.

You are the 2nd person I've met who doesn't hate book 10. I do love the slog though, excepting book 10, primarily the way it used Winter's Heart's climax in the beginning. It annoyed me to no end.

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11 hours ago, Wyndlerunner said:

You are the 2nd person I've met who doesn't hate book 10. I do love the slog though, excepting book 10, primarily the way it used Winter's Heart's climax in the beginning. It annoyed me to no end.

That’s one of my favorite parts about it. Seeing the biggest event since the breaking from different parts of the world. Also it’s the culmination of 3 character arcs (Mat, Perrin, and Egwene). Plus everything with Mat is just pure gold. 

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:23 AM, Jofwu said:

 

Books 1-3 are very similar in style and structure, and they almost read like a trilogy. If you're not a big fan of these three, you should push on because the series really comes into its own with book 4. That's really when the story begins to branch out into something amazing. I agree with Striker that if you aren't enjoying yourself at the end of book 6 then you should put it down. If you don't like what you've read at that point, it's not going to suddenly get better for you. If you ARE enjoying yourself at that point, you have the slog ahead of you between books 7 and 10...

It's NOT that bad if you're enjoying the books. It's not an info dump. Basically what happens is that the story expands too much and the the story becomes a bit of a tangled mess. Lots of minor PoV characters introduced, that you maybe don't care about. Lots of plot arcs being juggled, which means none of them seem to advance particularly far from one book to the next. Books begin to feel less distinct because there's a lack of focus and finality with each one.

 

This is how I viewed 7 thru 9.  Although, the dump of new plot lines start up in Book 6, but Book 6 is highly redeemed by the ending.  My 2 major complaints on Jordan's style of writing took hold in the "slog" books, primarily because it became death by POV for me in repetition, while not really progressing the characters in mental awareness in respect for each other.  The just keep sounding like they're 17 still.  This leads to a lot of women sounding like bickering old hags, and men just being all dummies.  Jordan had the tendency to make me literally angry and frustrated.  (Not nearly as bad as JK Rowling in book 7 of Harry Potter, nearly threw my phone out the car (audio) while wasting hours of my life listening to Ron and Hermine argue to no end.)

By book 10, this starts to decline as all the plot lines start to come to fruition.  I think Book 11 shows how well Jordan would have brought everything together himself, but Sanderson writing books 12-14 was like a breath of fresh air.  He of course benefits from it being the conclusions, finality, etc of the series, but gone was much of the over repetition and over use of the same tropes.  

As someone else noted they enjoyed 7-10, more power to you, as this certainly can be subjective to the reader.  

My recommendation would be definitely read all through book 6.  You won't put them down.  On books 7 thru 9 at least, if you feel like it's getting sloggy, just skim till you find characters and plot lines you're enjoying.  You're not going to miss any major developments.  And then you'll probably finish off the rest of the 5 books without putting them down.  

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The main plot gets put on hold sometime after book 5.

Considering book 12 was to be the last before Jordan passed and then Brandon looked at the notes and was like “this is way too much plot for one book” and they made 3. Books 6-10 less happens and yet there was SO much left that “needed” to happen. 

There are a lot of lengthy descriptions of tertiary characters’ clothing and things like that. 

That said 6 and 10 are the only ones I really didn’t like. 

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I am ever so slowly finishing Oathbringer then moving onto this as my next "project". Might throw a few standalone in between since I've re-read the whole Cosmere.

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