Jordan, redux

At the risk of stirring up the legions of Jordan haters :wink: I have to mention that January 7 is the street date for the tenth volume in Jordan’s interminable Wheel of Time series, Crossroads of Twilight. Yeah, I’m gonna get my copy then, though I really ought to re-read the last few books to remember what the hell is going on. Apparently folks in Europe already got the book, which released in England in December from what I can gather.

God, I guess I need to read the last book. It’s been sitting on my shelf since it came out. I’ve really started to lose interest in this series… it just seems like it hasn’t gone anywhere in the last three or four books. The story reached a peak when Rand first took his Asha’man into battle at the end of… god, book five? Or four? I forget. That was a damn cool climactic scene. I’ve been waiting for another one ever since.

I get the feeling that Jordan lost track of where this story is going, and since he doesn’t know how to end it, he just… goes on.

Is this the last one? Somewhere around book 6 or 7 I promised myself I wouldn’t even consider reading more until the damn series was finished.

I get the feeling that Jordan is becoming like the Professor in that Michael Douglas movie (damn, can’t remember the name right now).

Wonder Boys?

Well, at least he’s starting to move the plot forward again…

SPOILERS FOR “WINTER’S HEART”

In the last book, taint has been cleansed, so male channelers won’t go mad anymore.

It was also horribly annoying that Mat didn’t make a single appearance in Book 8, and then in Book 9, he’s maybe in about 20-percent of the book. It’s frustrating, especially when Books 8 and 9 focuses on crap like Perrin trying to find his annoying wife who was captured by the Shaido Aiel. It just reinforces the feeling that Books 8 and 9 could have been condensed into a single book, which would have saved us a couple of years.

I know there are a ton of folks who are hoping that Mat gets some serious play in Book 10, because he’s barely been in the last 2 books. And Mat is a far more enjoyable character than Perrin, who you just want to hit with an axe.

Oh yeah, here’s hoping that Rand gets a threesome going with those three fiances of his… he did knock up Elayne in the last book. I know that’s what everyone is really waiting for.

Its not the last book - latest speculation says he is looking at a 12-13 book arc to complete the tale. Winter’s Heart made a huge jump forward in a lot of the plotlines…

Yeah, this is at best the penultimate volume, though I’d bet on 12 as the series total. I too hope Mat gets more play now–about time to break into the Daughter of the Nine Moons stuff.

I’ve posted this before, but want to do it again for the hell of it…

The Wheel of Time was originally a 4 book story arc that was proposed and accepted by Tor publishing. After the success of books 1 and 2, Jordan was asked by Tor to extend the series past the 4th book. Instead of completing his 4 book arc and then writing prequels (the best path, in my opinion), he scrapped his original blueprint.

You can tell after finishing book 2 that the story was going to be over soon. All the pieces were in place to start the final war. Perrin has the wolves, Mat could summon the heroes of old, Rand took The Stone and had armies at his disposal. Several Forsaken were killed and the Seachan had returned from their exile across the ocean.

Unfortunatly, he didn’t just scrap the arc, he scrapped half his concepts. What about The Way? Why are there suddenly hundreds of women who are more powerful than any Aes Sedai (sp) all over the place when Egwene was told she was the strongest woman found in centuries? Why is everyone in the world suddenly able to “travel” when just a year before no one had been able to for centuries? Anyway, I’m babbling…

Between books 5 and 6, Jordan’s father died and he descended into a deep depression. He missed the publication dates for book 6 several times and Tor finally got on his ass to finish the book. He fulfilled his obligations when he published book 6, but it’s obvious that he was just “getting it done” . Through books 6 and 7, you can tell he was in a real funk and the stories didn’t go anywhere (damn Bowl of Winds substory). Book 8 seemed to pick up a bit, and 9 actually moved the plot for once.

Here’s hoping book 10 is decent. I’ll be doing what I did for books 7, 8, and 9. Me and a few friends chip in and buy the book in hardcover. We then each finish it and pass it to the next person. Gives the rest of us time to read the previous book and get ready for the next one.

Jim - not an expert on the topic but there is foreshadowing in the first few books that definitely points to events that happened in the books / stories you claim were unintended. I don’t doubt for a moment that TOR and Jordan decided to “milk” the series out and stopped aggressively editing the books he was turning in, greatly adding useless length to the tale but I am not sure that it was done in precisely the manner you lay out here.

Enlightening post, Jim. I didn’t know most of that, but the books (or Jordan’s approach to the story, at least) make a little more sense in light of this information.

True story: I seriously thought that the books were meant to be a trilogy when I started reading them (right after book 1 was published in paperback). When I finished book 3, my surprised reaction was “It’s not over?” At least I know know that I wasn’t acting crazy… the first few books really did not read like a setup for a 10+ book epic.

Oh, I’m not saying that every side story wasn’t meant to be there. There are some obvious storylines that were supposed to be there. The Daughter of the Nine Moons was hinted at, the Aiel, the Asha’men, Perrin returning home and raising the ancient banners, and even the splitting of the White Tower are hinted at in the first 2 books. (a bit disappointed that Mat’s little army hasn’t been more built upon though)

There are just many sidelines that just seem to have been tacked on. The Bowl of the Winds and Perrin’s hunt for Faile are 2 of the long running side stories that just don’t seem to fit into the main story line in the least. The Bowl of the Winds is a really bad one, in my opinion. Suddenly there is an every lasting Summer that can only be broken by a lost bowl? That thing ate up a good 600 pages over 3 books getting resolved, and it didn’t have anything to do with anything.

The 4 book arc thing is a fact though. It used to be in Tor.com’s FAQ page that it was orginally meant to be 4 books long but it was decided to extend the length. Now whether that was Tor’s decision or Jordan’s is a matter up for debate depending on who ya believe when reading those Wheel of Time fan sites.

I agree with you on the Bowl of Winds - I found it really annoying that in the first book they have to traipse to the Eye of the World to restore the normal seasons as we are threatened by a never ending winter and then 4 books later Summer does not want to end either…unless of course this is just another example of the Wheel of Time :wink:

Well, I bought my copy today at B&N. Kid behind the counter told me the price with tax without even having to look at his register. He’s been selling a bunch of 'em today.

I’ll report in as I go along, and I’ll make sure to use spoiler tags. That goes for the rest of ya.

I read books 1 through 4 or 5 or 6…I don’t quite remember. But at some point, I just got so angry at the lameness of one of the plot developments that I literally threw the book across the room where it slammed into a wall.

In my opinion “Robert Jordan” made a bad choice when he decided to turn the series into a meandering money tree. It’s really unfortunate too, because some of the ideas he had in the first three books were incredibly cool and captivating.

For my money, the only > 5 book fantasy series that is really entertaining is the Death Gate Cycle by Weiss and Hickman. They really knew how to craft an epic story and stick to it without getting bogged down or sidetracked.

Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia
Zelazny’s Amber series
Moorcock’s Elric books
LeGuin’s Earthsea books

I’m sure I could think of more. Though I agree that there are a lot of really crappy fantasy series out there.

the belgariad

first four of feists

for that matter the second series of four was pretty good to

Thomas Covenant
Brin Uplift Series

I liked the David Eddings books when I was younger, but come on. There is no writing in those books. It’s complete and utter tripe.

Also, although I thought that the Magician series from Feist was amazing, I felt that the later books were of a much lower quality. Also, I wouldn’t call either of those sets of books > 5 book series.

The reason? Well, Eddings wrote 5 books, then decided to write the SAME FIVE BOOKS AGAIN! The “Malloreon” was the EXACT same plot as the “Belgariad!”

Eddings even feels so guilty about it that he has to write it into the plot by having the characters remark that it seems like they keep doing the same things over and over again!

As for Feist, the latter books fell into the “cash in on popularity” category as well, and since they did not form a continuous series, they don’t count.

Of course, I’m being totally arbitrary about this since I don’t disqualify the Empire/Foundation series for the same reason.

SO Mr. SmartyPants, that is the only long series you recommend, huh? DO you see any on the horizon that are heading towards five books that may be worth starting? George R.R. for one? I plan on sticking with it as Feast of Crows should be out in March.