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  1. #31
    Re: the death of Asmodean: Wow, I had never seen that before and it's fascinating. Thanks. Note, however, that nowhere in that quote does Jordan in any way, shape, or form agree: "Yes, Graendal killed Asmodean". You may well be right; it may well be Graendal. However I think the question remains officially unanswered.

    Re: Moiraine: As Werthead says, there is definitive word on this in book 11. It's another one of those things that has no reason under the sun to be in KoD rather than CoT, and cramming the whole "bring Moiraine back" plot into the last two books certainly seems rushed. However, I am glad it's getting done. Not only do I like the character, [and find her pseudo-stand-in Cadsuaine fantastically annoying], but, really, she never was declared dead. That doorway led into the realm of the aelfinn, not out of existence. That said, I shall be interested to learn how she survived the fight with Lanfear, and what exactly happened to the Daughter of the Night.

    In terms of the thread topic, I might agree to a certain degree. I'd change the assertion to "Book 5 is where stuff starts to go wrong", rather than "where it all starts to go wrong". Knit-picky I know, but I don't think "it all" was ever wrong, except maybe in Crossroads of Twilight, but CoT is ... special. I actually didn't find the circus all that offensive, and enjoyed it as a means of getting from place to place. Why it subsequently hijacked as much screen time as it did in later books is a mystery to me, but I've never hated it intensely. Perhaps this will change when I do my reread next year. I have to say that, personally, I see book 7 as more of the problem point, with some stuff cropping up in book 6. The reason I say this is not because I don't like Crown of Swords, but because this is the book when I see a lot of the subplots really settle down for the grind. It's here that Nynaeve and Elayne really get stuck into Ebou Dar to look for that stupid bowl. [I actually liked the idea of having to do something about the weather, which had been a recurring issue. And I liked the idea of introducing another bit of the past in the form of the bowl. But it should have taken a lot less time than it did.] This is also where friend Matrim gets stuck in Ebou Dar, a place he will now not escape for a ridiculous three books, longer than any WoT character has ever ever ever been stuck in one spot. Also, while this is not the book in which the search for Faile begins, it is the book where Perrin breaks off from Rand and goes to do his own thing. I still maintain, though, that the structure deteriorated slowly rather than going all at once, at least until it collapsed completely in book 10.

    And oy, ... Knife of Dreams is not boring. If anything it slams through stuff too fast given the previous glacial pace. I think the Caemlyn succession plot absolutely had to happen. Sure, Rand secured the throne, but then he left. And while the cat's away, the noble houses play. The Andorian and Cairhienan power politics are all part of the Game of Houses, and are really quite cynical and Martinesque. Did it have to take this long? No. But it had to happen. It also had to happen for Elayne's character: I think she had to win the throne for herself, rather than simply letting Rand do it for her. I think this question of Andor's semi-autonomy from the Dragon comes up directly, in fact. Many things of thunderous importance happen in KoD, so long as your willing to accept that this is not exclusively Rand Mat and Perrin's story. They are its focus, sure, but this is the story of an age ending, not just of farm-boys groing up. Did the subplots get in the way, and become parasitic in some of the later books? Absolutely. Is Crossroads of Twilight one of the most painful books I've ever read? Oh yeah. [I was never quite driven to fantasizing about paint drying, but I got pretty close.] Is the series's expansive, broad scale style not for everyone? Certainly not, just as Malazan's far more active version of the same broad canvas is not for everyone. Does that make it objectively bad? Not as far as I'm concerned, nope. You could, I think, get agreement from most people that the series got undesirably bogged down, that several books could have been better spent,and that at such and such a point, [a point which differs for different people], it started to go off the rails, but does this devalue the whole in my eyes, personally?

    Nah. Its great. One of the best, if not quite what it could have been.

    I think the first issue is one of structure. Many fans, me included, expected Jordan to ramp up the intensity on his way to a finale in the books after Crown of Swords. The man himself, by contrast, clearly saw something else going on. Perhaps he saw these books as the middle, the more politically focused calm before the storm.

    Tellingly, Brandon Sanderson mentioned on his blog the other day that A Memory of Light might be split into two volumes for publication. He did not say that it would happen, or even that it was likely, and it's clearly not something he wants. However, this is the first time he's even acknowledged that such a split might happen. Methinks the finale's getting longer. Lots of stuff to cover. [Should've gotten some of it outta the way in CoT.] Can't wait, and I hope it turns out well. Sorry, I have to put something of that sort at the end of every WoT-related post. I've been waiting some years for AMoL, and look forward to it with a certain degree of ... apprehension.
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    Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:22 AM.

  2. #32
    ChrisW Wrote:
    Pretty sure he didn't use the word mistake. From memory he said that that as he got towards finishing the book he realised that he could have written it
    a better way but that it was to late to go back and start again. Either way I have no problem with the book, nor do I think you can just skip it.

    Now, at risk of trying to compare the styles of two very different writers, you see Martin would've done a rewrite. Hang how long it kept the release back, so long as he ended up with a better book. Perhaps Tor demanded "now!", and RJ didn't want to say them nay. Building a truly massive series is a precarious and easily botched task, and I think that Crossroads certainly unbalanced the whole by diving further into subplotdom just as dramatic structure suggested that starting to rev up for the big finish might have been a better idea. As it is, much of that rev-up got shoved onto the shoulders of Knife of Dreams, which makes that generally excellent novel feel a little rushed at times, like it's just lining plot points up and squaring them away as fast as it can.
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    Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:22 AM.

  3. #33
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    For some reason, the sluglike pace of the back half of this series never really annoyed me. To me all the subplots were somewhat interesting, if not all that necessary (except for Perrin searching for Faile, I like both these characters but that was kind of boring.) To me, the plots kept moving, if not all that fast. I like getting details of the stories, and hearing what happens between the main events. I kind of liked Elayne gaining support to become queen of Andor. I enjoyed the Mat- Tuon plotline as Mat tries to escape the situation. They weren't moving very fast, but they were moving piece by piece.

    On the other hand, with Bakker's novels, the pace really annoyed me. I think the reason is I'd rather have three or four plotlines moving very slowly then have one plotline not move at all. With Bakker, it felt like we'd get past a major plot point, and then we'd have a thirty page chapter with nothing but interior monologues on how everybody felt about the situation. That really annoyed me.

    My point is that there is different preferences to how a book can be paced. Some people need books to move quickly all the time, which is why they can't even get through the second half of the wheel of time series. The majority here like books to move faster than the end of this series, and that's understandable. Just don't get annoyed when people say RJ is their favorite author, even through the slowly paced books 7-10. (I'm not saying that, by the way). These books are not good for just the fire. They do appeal to certain types of readers.
    *Though crossroads of twilight really should move a bit faster

    Sidenote: I just finished The Well of Ascension by Sanderson (second book of Mistborn) and it seems like he's been getting better with every book. That's a good sign, as there's still two books to be published by him before we get to a Memory of Light.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    I'm guessing you haven't read Book 11, then?

    I have, 3 years ago. What did I miss/forget?

  5. #35
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    I have, 3 years ago. What did I miss/forget?
    The bit where Thom revealed the contents of Moiraine's letter to Mat, revealing she was a prisoner of the Aelfinn/Eelfinn and Mat would have to form a rumble squad and go rescue her in the final book? I'm visualising this like a war movie, with Mat assembling a hand-picked special forces unit from characters elsewhere in the series and then going to storm the Tower of Ghenjei, preferably after a training montage where Elyas teaches them to all overcome their inner demons to the sounds of inspirational music. Elyas obviously dies during the mission, machine-gunned down by the Viet Cong after being betrayed by Tom Berenger. Wait, that's not right...
    Last edited by Werthead; July 10th, 2008 at 08:51 PM.

  6. #36
    The Writer of Fantasy Fred Gallney's Avatar
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    And oy, ... Knife of Dreams is not boring. If anything it slams through stuff too fast given the previous glacial pace. I think the Caemlyn succession plot absolutely had to happen. Sure, Rand secured the throne, but then he left. And while the cat's away, the noble houses play. The Andorian and Cairhienan power politics are all part of the Game of Houses, and are really quite cynical and Martinesque. Did it have to take this long? No. But it had to happen. It also had to happen for Elayne's character: I think she had to win the throne for herself, rather than simply letting Rand do it for her. I think this question of Andor's semi-autonomy from the Dragon comes up directly, in fact. Many things of thunderous importance happen in KoD, so long as your willing to accept that this is not exclusively Rand Mat and Perrin's story. They are its focus, sure, but this is the story of an age ending, not just of farm-boys groing up. Did the subplots get in the way, and become parasitic in some of the later books? Absolutely. Is Crossroads of Twilight one of the most painful books I've ever read? Oh yeah. [I was never quite driven to fantasizing about paint drying, but I got pretty close.] Is the series's expansive, broad scale style not for everyone? Certainly not, just as Malazan's far more active version of the same broad canvas is not for everyone. Does that make it objectively bad? Not as far as I'm concerned, nope. You could, I think, get agreement from most people that the series got undesirably bogged down, that several books could have been better spent,and that at such and such a point, [a point which differs for different people], it started to go off the rails, but does this devalue the whole in my eyes, personally?
    I was secretly hoping that before KoD Elayne would die horrible death.

    KoD should have been filled with epic battles leading up to the Last Battle, with Dark Hounds pursuing Perrin and him gallaping away on a stallion with the Dark Hounds in deadly pursuit. It should have been filled with the gholam and Mat having a dramatic showdown, and Rand having visions of the Last Battle and the Dark One. Mountains should have been exploding - all events should have been leading up to the Last Battle at a fast pace; armies assembling for an epic battle. Starte of the Art romances should have been underway, and Rand should have dealt with more of the Forsaken, taken over the White Tower.

    The Black Ajah should have waged war with the rest of the White Tower, Elaida should have bowed to Rand...so many improvements could have been made to the novel its not funny.

  7. #37
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    ChrisW, I have to say, I would give your opinion more credibility if I had ever seen you mention one thing that you didn't like. But I believe you could search your entire post history, and only ever see you support Jordan.


    If you did search my post history, you would most likely find that have mentioned that I prefer the shorter New Spring over the extended version. The whole WT section I found boring. Just didn't interest me. That's not a criticism of RJ though just personal preference. Plenty of people did like it.

    Personally I can't understand while some of you people have a hard time understanding that some people can enjoy a book or books and not find any faults that are worth mentioning.

    I enjoyed the way RJ told his story. I've read better books for sure but no other author has captured my imagination and drawn me into the story like RJ did.

    Oh and just so you know, I really don't care if you find my opinions credibable or not. Just pointing out your error.
    Last edited by ChrisW; July 12th, 2008 at 01:41 AM.

  8. #38
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    If you did search my post history, you would most likely find that have mentioned that I prefer the shorter New Spring over the extended version. The whole WT section I found boring. Just didn't interest me. That's not a criticism of RJ though just personal preference. Plenty of people did like it.
    Fair enough.

  9. #39
    I totatlly agree that it was all going downfall after book 5. I liked Nyneve and Elayne in the other books, but after hundreds of pages about them having cat fights and gigling and stuff that shouldn't have been there I HATE THEM, I love Perryn's character and Mat, I like them because they are more ordinary, when I say ordinary I mean they can't use the one power, but they have different talents.
    For me the 4th book was the best and that because Perryn took the spotlight with the fight in the Two Rivers

  10. #40
    i agree with your statements earlier. i've tried book 7 several times and have never been able to get past page 80 or so. when an official date is announced for 12 i'll read the rest. until then, though, i'll wait.

    do you think 5 & 6 could have been cut to a single volume? just a thought.

  11. #41
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    No, I think Book 5 needed it's own volume, but maybe he could have combined 6/7, 8/9. and 10/11.

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Agent View Post
    No, I think Book 5 needed it's own volume, but maybe he could have combined 6/7, 8/9. and 10/11.
    yeah, but then the end of book six (which i think anybody would struggle to put down) would be in the middle of the book. either way, no point fussing about it now.

  13. #43
    see I always find talk about the series being c%@*py after book 5 funny, seeing as my favourite book is lord of chaos and didnt mind CoS. After that though... I really think that WH and CoT are two of the worst most annoying books I've ever read (DAMMIT PERRIN!!! how long do you have to be camped outside Malden???). Those two could definitely been one book and while I guess you could have done the same for CoS and PoD.

  14. #44
    It's been a couple years since I read the series, so I honestly can't really recall enough to say when it went exactly wrong...but I lasted up until a 'Crossroads of Twilight' where I lasted 100 pages before giving up and wondering how this could be the same author.

  15. #45
    I understand the sentiments of everyone who thinks the books are too long, boring, and have unnecessary sub plots. The truth is, they probably are all those things. Personally, however, I am like Chris W. who thinks this is acceptable because I enjoy the WoT world so much. Books are how I escape the daily grind of life and to have a series that is so detailed and takes a long time to get through is a plus in my book. Yes, there are parts I found boring, but still worth the read time for what they added to the overall story.

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