Thread: Wheel of Time through ACoS
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So why didn't they come out with two or three paperback volumes instead of making each of these last books so damndable thick? If you can keep the covers on them; the pages fall out.
I'm going to read something else next, so I can get some sleep at night instead of reading past the wee small hours of the morning. I do have Lord of Chaos at hand for when I'm ready to read it.
With regard to future publications, I believe Jordan is on record saying we get virtually nothing of a Fourth Age epilogue, that part of what he's trying to accomplish is to leave a blank canvass on which future heroes and legends can design that era. Or maybe an empty loom would be more apt. ;-p Anyway, IIRC he's said he's got some prequels planned and maybe a couple of sidestories (which gives me some hope; I'd like to see the futures of the ta'verens families resolved and given some closure.) Beyond that I recommend hitting Jordans Blog which can be found via Dragonmount or wotmania! though as the recent troubles at the former demonstrated it's supported by Dragonmount (IIRC, during my stay wotmania has NEVER gone down. *smug*) I expect to get A Memory of Light no matter what (well, assuming we're all here to read it) but I don't know how much side stories and prequel he'll get to or when; he does have his new Infinity of Heaven series on the back burner, too, after all. We can probably expect as much of the Fourth Age of the Wheel as we have of the Fourth Age of Arda though. ;-p
As to your question Grondy, well, that's one of the big ones, right up there with "Who Killed Asmodean?" (a question that's a good way to get punched in the nose at wotmania, and presumably Dragonmount, too.) The bottom line is only his hairdresser knows for sure. Jordan, and maybe Harriet (but don't bet on it.) Many people, myself included, like to note the parallels between Moiraine and Gandalf, and he returned from the dead, while TFoH doesn't SAY Moiraine or Lanfear either one is even dead. On the other hand, the ter'angreal is GONE, so unless there's another one they have a problem even if they survived entry with the Power blazin'.
Most people think Graendel killed Asmo. Well, anyway, she has more votes than anyone else; most people think it's her, but only about half what would be needed to call it a majority. Jordan reportedly said in an interview (I believe this can be found among the archived interviews in the wotmania! FAQ, but I'm not gonna dig it up now) that by the end of TFoH we know everything we need to deduce the killer, and that it's "intuitively obvious. Naetheless, the controversy rages. It's right up there with...:
What's the best book? I'm of two minds as to how long you should wait for LoC; on the one hand, it's one of the books I rate a 9, but on the other hand so is TSR, and TFoH is my personal 10. These three are, IMHO, the best of the series (I mean, TFoH gave us not one, but TWO of the Great Debates.) Most people I"ve spoken to pick one of these two, but there's some weird choices (one fella I know well at wotmania! even say THE PATH OF DAGGERS IS THE BEST, which flatly blows mind.) So maybe you do have the right idea: savor it, and spend some time with the granddaddy of epic fantasy in between.
I think you can see what I meant about the advantage of battles written by a Vietnam Vet and graduate of the Citadel; like I said, I DID know what a porcupine/hedgehog was before TFoH, but it's nice to see a book by someone else who knows. No eighteen foot pikes and their wielders doing abrupt 180s on the march here. Of course, I haven't seen the movie version yet. ;-) (!#$@##$@!) Jordan knows how to write a battle, and a war, as we might expect, and I'd be lying if I said that's not one of the things I enjoy. One of the things I found myself thinking about when I read A Game of Thrones last week: "wait... you're splitting your cavalry off from your infantry???! Well, that should ensure the cavalry reach their destination, I admit, but I can't help wondering how many archers the Lannisters have to unleash unmolested on your ponderous pike formations. Good luck; if the author has no more idea of tactics than his characters you just might get away with it." ;-p
As to the fates of Moiraine and Lanfear, well, what do you expect me to say? RAFO. ;-p And enjoy the reprise of Trilogy as well as LoC. Glad to hear the most pressing demands of your foot doctor is getting you WoT books. ;-)
Edit: oh, yeah, that's one of the reasons I buy WoT books in hardback, not paper (the other being it's one of the few series for which I can justify the expense.) I actually have TFoH in both forms (in fact, as of last week, TFoH AND LoC) because I got the paperback as my father lay in a coma dying when I first discovered WoT. That's one of the things that p--ses me off about Jordans current condition; my nearest family was 90 miles away at the time and he was one of my few friends (and more importantly, distractions,) at the time. I've got a paperback LoC you can have if you'll pay postage though, and in fact I've got duplicates of 4-6. ;-p Now I just need the first two and a fullsize version of TDR.
Oh, and by the way, I'd like it noted for the record that HoME is ALSO twelve books, the difference being that if I had to guess 2/3 of it is stuff you've read. That's what kept me from getting TLoB; I've already the Narn in 1) the Silmarillion, 2) in LT2 and 3) in UT. Poetry or no, I don't need a fourth version to try and keep straight. ;-p
You're choice to make, of course, but I really can't put Eddings in the same category as Jordan (haven't read Feist; for some reason everytime someone says "Feist" I hear "Lieber," which is weird.)
Feist < Eddings < Jordan < Goodkind < Brooks < Tolkien, imo.
Well, maybe I'll read them anyway as soon as I find the remaining books here. I also still have to finish Elizabeth Haydon's Symphony of Ages series because the remaining books aren't here yet.
Yes, I want to know whether Rand will get creamed by the DO or not (and to a lesser extent, want to see a confrontation between Demandred & Rand, not to mention seeing Rand cream Semirhage, Sevanna & Elaida). He probably won't perish, but I hope he will. I have nothing against the lad, and the "his blood on the rocks of Pointe du Hoc" doesn't necessarily mean certain death, but I like it when authors kill off some of their heroes (Kay is a master in that too).
So Morraine and Lanfear pulled a serious Sirius Black and probably won't be back; though Mat escaped from there with help.
That scene was ridiculous for the Dragon Reborn. "Boohoohoo, I cannot hurt a woman, even if she's a complete and total *^¨Á$, and even if she's creaming both me and two damsels I care about a whole lot. Boohoohoo." Pa-the-tic.
His attitude changes, though, after a certain event in LoC. About time (although at that point Perrin's "But they're women, Rand!" is even more pa-the-tic).
like I said, I DID know what a porcupine/hedgehog was before TFoH, but it's nice to see a book by someone else who knows.
Feist, prolly. If i'm not mistaken he's a historian (or something like that) himself. Anyway in his books there's usually a whole lot of battling going on - there are a lot of intricately described sieges in the first few books and a couple of field battles later on.
I'll have a look at the other two authors some time then, since you two recommend them on those terms, but I have to demure from your heirarchy, Vir. For one thing, I think Anthonys Incarnations series was better than anything I've seen in Shannara; the Apprentice Adept was. And while I haven't read Goodkind, too many people have accused him of plagiarizing Jordan for me to rank him above the latter. I might be tempted to read his books and decide for myself, but when you add in all the Ayn Rand stuff I think I'll take a pass. The Professor and Jordan, to their credit, don't beat you over the head with their personal beliefs and philosophies. I suspect Jordan is at least slightly religious based on things I can't recall specifically in his interviews, but it's hard to be certain based on his writing. Tolkien gave me very high standards in fantasy though, and I'm sorry for all three of us, but must say Terry Brooks doesn't meet them even when he's using his own material. ;-p
while I haven't read Goodkind, too many people have accused him of plagiarizing Jordan for me to rank him above the latter.
I have read his Sword of Truth series, and I can assure you it is completely different. I can't even think of any similarities.
I actually find Jordan quite alike to Eddings (the Belgariad, in particular); the same theme "mortal vs evil god", the same focus on puberal infatuations, the same situation humor. Thom Merrilin is quite alike to Belgarath too, safe that he ain't a sorceror. Mat reminds me of Silk, and Perrin of Durnik.
(hey, name three teenagers who don't "fall in Love" a half dozen times before they're out of HS. ;-p)
Yes, just read through the "Wedding story" thread, for instance.
P.S. : forgot to add that Nynaeve reminds me a lot of Polgara.
And I'm inclined to agree on Polgara, now you mention it.
But yeah, I'm forced to admit Mat's always gonna be my favorite character. Though Elayne comes close on occasion. Rand and Perrin get a little broody for me; Mat's the one who's still just trying to have fun while he's dragged kicking and screaming into Tarmon Gaidon. A good example of which awaits at the end of the newest mission bestowed on him. I seem to recall some dancing, and an offhand reference to the Amrylin by Mat made in haste and soon regretted.
Have also met Samuel
He's a nasty one isn't he? Stealing the Sword of Truth from Richard, and all that.
Wait 'til you meet Semirhage....
He already has. It's Nynaeve.
Many point to Verin telling Perrin or Rand (I forget which) that "Moiraine sent me" in TGH, and Moiraine specifically telling Rand she didn't at the end of that same book. This seems like an open and shut case to me, but it's still hotly debated, and without knowing all of Moiraines conversations with Verin there's no way of saying something Moiraine said couldn't have been taken by Verin as either a suggested course of action or a thought prompting such a course. If Moiraine let something slip to give Verin the suspicion one of the boys was the Dragon Reborn (and as you know from New Spring, only she and Siuan among the living were certain the Dragon was alive at that point) then she could, theoretically, be said to have "sent" Verin after him, albeit unwittingly. Aes Sedai are fun, eh?
Anyway, ask not which Aes Sedai is black, ask which Aes Sedai is not black. Alanna, for one, gets the benefit of the doubt. Myrelle, too (she's too stupid to be one, or maybe that's just part of the job too). Sherim and Verin are either Black Ajah, or just pains in the arse like all other Aes Sedai (obviously in Jordan's microcosm, one could generalize this to 'women', but i'll refrain for once).
Personally, I've never seen the whole "why does Jordan hate women?" thing. He was just blogging about his experiences with women from a very young age and the benefit they've had on his ability to write "realistic women" (in the words of the female fans to whom he was responding, not me or Jordan.) But then, I've never really seen the virtue of that same criticism when leveled against Tolkien; Eowyn killed the Witch-King and Galadriel (NOT Celeborn) was not only Queen of Lothlorien, but the only pure Noldor to survive into the Third Age (Glorfindel doesn't count because, well, he died, and Elrond is only part Noldor, Celeborn Teleri.) The blog entries on the WMB as an Announcement if anyone's interested, and there's also an open call in another thread for messages to be sent to Harriet on Thursday.
Luckily Berelain, Min, Siuan, Leane, Aviendha & Nynaeve are generally quite amusing. Oh, and Semirhage too.
Personally, I think people are too hard on Egwene, but then I'm a little weary of all the Egwene bashing at wotmania! though I admit the following exchange from a parody reposted there was quite amusing:
"You must listen to me! I'm an honorary Aiel!"
"I thought you were an honorary Aes Sedai?"
"I'm Aiel Sedai. It's when your arrogant enough for two cultures."
That said, Egwene has a hard row to hoe, and it only gets harder from LoC. She's got three different factions (at least) all trying to control her, and she has to dominate them better while maintaining the illusion she's just a wide eyed innocent. Oh, yeah, and ultimately she has to deal with Elaida in possession of the Tower. She'll need every bit of her Aiel training to survive, let alone succeed. And various later events, some accomplished by Rand and others merely Rand related, only complicate things. But then, we have different perspectives, Vir; I probably like Egwene best of the girls--after Elayne. *drools*
And the lad is also much too kind to take Berelain as a consort. Bottomline : he should get a grip.
PM me if you don't want to give spoilers.
Jordan also understood pike-men were worse than useless in door to door combat.
It's funny, the first couple times I didn't like ACoS, but when I reread it again prior to KoD I realized it's actually a pretty darn good book; it takes a while to set up, but once it does, BOOM! Too bad the next three are so... ugh. Winters Heart and Crossroads of Twilight have some redeeming features, but I LOATHE The Path of Daggers. And not just because of a certain pile of rubble, though that didn't help. There was something that actually surprised me in WH though, but the Epilogue of CoT left me wanting to slap somebody for being so stupid. 'Course it's one of those things: the first half of the book takes place over about two years; the next half takes place over a period of a few months. It just seems like years.
The prologue was very interesting, though... that Moridin fella is puzzling me... if he's indeed Nae'blis, then is he Ishamael reborn? It's clear that the gholam doesn't work for him (hence, for Demandred) too.
That said, where the hell is Mat? Who cares what happens to Perrin & Faile..
I think I found some circumstantial evidence that Cadsuane is certainly not Black Ajah : when she thinks and observes by herself, she uses the expression "By the Light"... one of the Black Ajah would not do that, right?
Did you notice the parallel between Egwene and 'The Shrub' and how they used one vote authorizing the use of force, to empower them to do whatever they felt needed doing in their war; and if the Hall disagreed with any future decisions, they could just lump it because the great leader glombed-on-to that law, which they said gave them carte blanc via that one vote?
As for Perrin and Faile... yet another reason I don't like TPoD; it marks the beginning of the most loathsome sub-plot in the series. I've yet to meet anyone with anything good to say about it. Best thing I can say about it is it's over and done. I can't really recall anything noteworthy happening in TPoD; sure, there's the Bowl, but nothing really happened with it, and we were pretty much already set with that. The biggest thing was Rands abortive little confrontation on the Plains of Maredo. On to Winters Heart; stuff happens in Winters Heart. And we find out what happened to the best character! Enjoy.
Do you think Moridin is Ishamael reborn? Ishamael did fail badly as Ba'alzamon, so it could be that Shai'tan put Ishamael in the body of Cyndane and Lanfear in the body of Moridin (though that seems unlikely).
I recommend stopping by the WMB over at wotmania if you REALLY want to know NOW, but bear in mind there may be other shockers from books 9-11 you encounter as well. I'm trying--hard!--to stick with the "through ACoS" format so I not only don't ruin anything in the most recent books for ya'll or ruin anything from after ACoS for anyone finding this thread in the middle. I am inclined to believe internal exclamations like "by the Light!" are indicative of not being a Darkfriend/Black Ajah, though, to be fair, stuff like that tend to be pretty ingrained before such a path is often set. As only a rough analogy, it's not like no atheist has ever said, "OMFG!" The only time I'm certain is when I hear them plotting against the DO in their heads. And you COULD argue (though I wouldn't) even THAT isn't 100% conclusive; look at Lanfears whole "let's get the Choedan Kal and beat up the DO AND the Creator!" speech to Rand.
The consensus does seem to be that, inexplicably, the most fearsome and powerful tyrants of the AoL can't think themselves out of a wet paper bag now, with the possible exceptions of Demandred and Ishamael. Pretty sad when your deepest thinker is a raving nihilstic lunatic. Some folks even dread the appearance of big nasty Forsaken for fear of anticlimax. Personally, I chalk their ineptitude up to backstabbing and doubledealing, combined with the naivete to think the DO actually plans to DELIVER on his promises of immortality. I think Ishamael's the only one who ever figured out the DO's gonna waste EVERYTHING if he gets out of jail, which begs the question of Ishys motivations. Of course, he WAS insane. And, too, well, the Forsaken are all thousands of years old, even if they were all in stasis; maybe it's senility.
I kinda liked the parts with Rand wiping out the Seanchans, messing around with Min, Cadsuane and the Far Dareis Mai and the return of Logain (who apparently bonds Red Ajah sisters as a hobby)... you might even say this saved the whole book.
About the Seanchans though : considering Liandrin returned in this book, I again wonder about the agreement she had with Suroth in TGH... remember that Liandrin kidnapped Egwene & Co and handed them over to Suroth... I really, really wonder about the how and why here - how and why did the Black Ajah go mess around with the Seanchans?
Did Liandrin get orders from Mesaana who wanted Egwene & Co out of the way? And even if this is the case, why send them to the Seanchans? How the heck did they even get in touch, considering the Seanchans were in Falme, which is quite faraway from Tar Valon... I hope the details of this get revealed in the later books...
Personally, I chalk their ineptitude up to backstabbing and doubledealing, combined with the naivete to think the DO actually plans to DELIVER on his promises of immortality.
Well, Semirhage hasn't quite disappointed so far, has she? Demandred and Mesaana are just lurking in the shadows, but still.