The wheels of my car turn and the books in this series come and pass, leaving a bad taste in my mouth that become legend-ary-ily bad. I turned to Wheel of Time series to eat up time during my commute to and from work. It was going fine for awhile, I was even interested in (most of) the intricate side plots weaving together… but then… finally… I got tired of it. Very tired of it. Especially when I found out that most of those side plots never go anywhere. I almost stopped at Book 5 The Fires of Heaven when it is described AT LENGTH how Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom, and Juilin travel as part of a circus performing in different acts of the circus. Seriously? By the way (spoilers) It ends up having NOTHING to do with the main plot. I should have stopped then, really, but I kept on going because I’ve heard such good things about this series and really I myself am a fantasy author and aspire to writing many books in a series just like Robert Jordan…
So then there is all of Queen Morgase’s side plot that SO MUCH TIME is devoted to and ultimately (spoilers) ends up not amounting to much at all, with little affect on the main plot (and at times I think, “what even IS the main plot anymore?”). It’s like reading a slightly narrative version of a history book at times and I find myself tuning out frequently only to tune in again and realize I haven’t missed much at all, but at the same time I’m completely lost because every other chapter he introduces ten completely new characters who only have one or two chapters of time before they disappear in the background again, never to be heard from again. And can’t really go back and read it because I’m in the card driving, neither can I jump online and research who the characters are, and even if I could I think I shouldn’t have to to enjoy a book series. Sure it makes for an interesting and “deep” world, but no fantasy novel should be so thick in the world building department.
Robert Jordan is by no means a bad author. He has so many good qualities in his descriptions and characters and things that I can’t even compare myself to him in those areas, but in other areas I have weighed and measured and ultimately I have found those areas wanting. Seriously, if I have to read even one more sentence describing yet one more woman’s skirts and how they are divided skirts for riding I’m going to yell. I’m on book ten now and the only thing that keeps me going on is to see how Brandon Sanderson’s style is going to blend into the series. I hope there are no newly introduced characters. In my opinion, there isn’t enough action to keep things interesting either. It’s like playing Star Craft but you never get to leave the base to direct your troops, it’s all Macro and no Micro. You have to sit through all the traveling across land and trudging through chapters and chapters of talking and meetings and politics, which would be all fine and good if there was some pay off. I’m not saying I like those books that are all action and no character development and world building, I like books that mix both and the Wheel of Time series is not both, it has way too much politics and not enough fighting. Sure there are plenty of war stuff but you never really get to see the fighting, it’s mostly just Rand or some other higher up directing troops.
Other things that bother me: (spoilers) Rand and his personal harem, what’s that all about? He’s in love with
three girls and all three are cool with it? Not only that but they all share a special bond meaning when two characters have intimacies all characters within that bond share the same feelings of those intimacies, so basically it is like everyone in the bond is participating, weird. I’m all for love triangles but a love quadrangle thingy? I’m not buying it. Especially with Robert Jordan’s whole taking the idea of a patriarchy (our world) and spinning it the other way (women wield the one true power) with Rand’s personal harem it completely goes against that idea and doesn’t make sense in the world he himself has constructed. It’s like a spanish telenovella on the scale of bad writing silliness.
(more spoilers) The whole plotline with Padan Fain? A perfect villain to square off against Rand but after 9 novels practically NOTHING has happened in that avenue. Instead we have weird villains that we have no connection to fighting Rand. It’s like the publisher told Robert Jordan (Uhm, you can’t have Rand kill Ba’alzamon so soon, come up with some other bad guys for Rand to fight through 10 or so books, that will work) And suddenly we have the 12 Forsaken/Chosen for Rand to fight. But we don’t care about them. Padan Fain, on the other hand, has been with Rand since the beginning of Eye of the World and has a personal vendetta against Rand, but it’s tossed to the side for no apparent reason (like many of the plots in the series).
I have come to realize that Wheel of Time is not for everyone and I may be among those in the “not-for-me” camp. New Spring and Eye of the World? Fantastic books both. The Great Hunt got a little weird, and not in a good way, the whole hunt for the horn feels dragged out to the max, Dragon Reborn felt exciting again, especially in the last battle,
I don’t know, do I really want to continue this torture? A year of time might turn into 2 years at this rate (my commute’s to and from work aren’t as long as they used to be). We’ll see. I’m so far I might as well finish at this point.