Author Topic: WOT Help  (Read 144851 times)

JoeC

  • Level 4
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2008, 12:49:36 AM »
Well, you guys sold me. I checked your comments on a computer at my work ( the Apple store in Boston) and I figured when I leave I'll hit the Barnes & Noble on the way home and grab Eye of the World. Managed two chapters on the way home and yes it is right up my alley so far. The style of writing isn't bad at all I think. A lot of people don't like over-descriptive books but I happen to be a massive Stephen King fan so I'm used to endless paragraphs of description. I truly appreciate your answers guys and I definitely look forward to being part of the WOT world and joining your discussions. Thanks again.
-Joe
BTW Since I mentioned it I was wondering.....anybody know Brandon's opinion on Stephen King and which books of his he likes?? I'd be interested to know.

Reaves

  • Level 23
  • *
  • Posts: 1226
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2008, 02:45:03 AM »
[ I guess I'd better add **SPOILERS** to this; I haven't given out any plot twists or even plot points in this, just a very brief, vague summary of the first half of the book, but since you are reading it I thought I should. ]

As far as the originality thing, I don't really care that Rand is the typical shepherd boy who supposedly (hopefully? maybe? unlikely) saves the world. What really gets me is that every time I read Eye of the World, I can't help but notice the first half is almost exactly like the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring. Ok, the town has a big party. With fireworks. Plus black riders. Then we go on from escaping from the black riders. Then the wizard/witch and the next in command (Gandalf, Aragorn) have an argument over what to do next. One wants to take a shortcut through an unnamed "place" (Moria/Shadar Logoth) while the wizard/witch thinks its too dangerous.
From there we branch out. Its just the first half of the book that drives me crazy.
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

AvalonDreamer

  • Level 8
  • *
  • Posts: 276
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Boy Genius - Grown Up... Kinda.
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2008, 04:45:27 AM »
Lol. I see your point, but I think you're drawing too many similarities where the explanation is simply: institution. Naive main characters and happy starts being tainted by dark figures are good was to start a book.

An interesting re-write for the start of book one: pick up from the river crossing, and give everything else as backstory.

*giggles hysterically*

That'd be fun to read.
My friends held an intervention, to stop my ridiculous plans to take over the world (Jake ended up in the hospital). I convinced them to let me take over other worlds though.

*Evil grin*

RIP: James Oliver Rigney, Jr.

GoryCat

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 17
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2008, 04:53:04 AM »
[ I guess I'd better add **SPOILERS** to this; I haven't given out any plot twists or even plot points in this, just a very brief, vague summary of the first half of the book, but since you are reading it I thought I should. ]

As far as the originality thing, I don't really care that Rand is the typical shepherd boy who supposedly (hopefully? maybe? unlikely) saves the world. What really gets me is that every time I read Eye of the World, I can't help but notice the first half is almost exactly like the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring. Ok, the town has a big party. With fireworks. Plus black riders. Then we go on from escaping from the black riders. Then the wizard/witch and the next in command (Gandalf, Aragorn) have an argument over what to do next. One wants to take a shortcut through an unnamed "place" (Moria/Shadar Logoth) while the wizard/witch thinks its too dangerous.
From there we branch out. Its just the first half of the book that drives me crazy.

Chess games often look pretty much the same for the first few moves, depending only on what general opening the players choose (which in turn is determined by their first moves).  If you want to go the peasant vs. dark lord route, you'd better include the terrifying evil agents to put him on his way, and if he escapes those, he'll either be in a position of temporary security or have to take a terrible risk to throw them off.  Granted, Jordan's choice of realization of these ideas was deliberately Tolkienish (he admits to giving "homage" to LotR at the beginning of EotW), but actually, the plot he builds around them is not especially derivative.  Among the major points you didn't (and can't) compare to Tolkien are: the town being raided by Trollocs; the early development of channeling powers (or foreshadowing thereof) in multiple characters; and the inclusion of women.  Also the absence of a council of Elrond between leaving Emond's Field and arriving at Shadar Logoth, and with it the attendant doubling of the party; Jordan's core group remained small throughout the book.

Based on my experience with this question (and other questions about the inviolacy of Tolkien's work, such as whether Arwen replacing Glorfindel in the movie was acceptable), it seems to me to be a question of whether you think of Tolkien as being a good read or the foundation of all epic fantasy (roughly).  Not so much in the presuppositions you bring to the discussion, but in how you tend to argue it: for some, the tropes featured in Tolkien's work were actually introduced by him to literature along with the concept of high fantasy (and this is true for some things, for sure); for others, his world is "merely" an astonishingly detailed original flesh hung on the frame of what is (when you get down to it) a relatively common idea.  You boil down EotW pretty far, but I can boil it down farther: boy meets fate, is pulled both ways by competing moral interests.

To take the second perspective, it helps to have an embarrassingly incomplete education in all kinds of classics; not being told about the gods gives you free rein to find your own.  I couldn't finish LotR until college (specifically, I couldn't get past the break in book two), by which time I was sophisticated enough to appreciate him at a less visceral level.

P.S. What AvalonCreamCorn said.

douglas

  • Level 8
  • *
  • Posts: 295
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2008, 08:04:00 AM »
The beginning of EotW is deliberately very similar to the beginning of LotR, but it gets away from that reasonably quickly.

I think most of the criticism for the later books is due to large branching plot lines and slow pacing.  It gets to the point where a dozen or more things may be going on at once with very little tying any one plot line to any other for long periods of time.  At the same time, each individual plot line takes a long time to resolve.  The combination means you need either a good memory or good notes to keep track of everything and avoid getting lost and confused about the plot, along with patience to wait for major things to happen without getting frustrated.  Both problems have been exacerbated so far by the necessity of waiting years for each book to be written and published, but that problem, at least, won't last much longer.

If you can handle those two problems, however, the entire series is superb.

Oh, and attention to/memory for detail helps a lot.  Robert Jordan likes his foreshadowing, and there are quite a number of ways for it to come up explicitly in character - The Prophecies of the Dragon (aka the Karaethon Cycle), certain Aes Sedai who have the Foretelling ability, a few characters whose dreams can indicate the future, and one particular character who constantly sees visions around most important people she sees.  Most of them require significant interpretation, of course.

Wielder

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 155
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Rest in Pieces
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2008, 06:23:16 PM »
and one particular character who constantly sees visions around most important people she sees.  Most of them require significant interpretation, of course.

She is one of my favorite characters in fantasy ever.  Such a cool character...oof.
Quote
One can only match, move by move, the machinations of fate...and thus defy the tyrannous stars.
-Legacy of Kain

dtbmnec

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2008, 08:40:33 PM »
I've read the first bunch of them (I think up to 9 or so) but then real life events caught up to me (I moved away to college) and stopped reading. I tried to get back into the swing by getting book 10 (Winter's Heart?) only to realize that I couldn't figure out which character was doing what and why (I'm talking the smaller characters, I remembered what went on with the major ones). Then I got back from college and tried to read them in one big sitting. That didn't go well. I started dreading reading "yet another" 1000 pages of plot.

Having said that I actually rather enjoyed them all and I'm definitely going to re-read them. I just need to pace myself and not try to read them all one after the other after the other without taking a short break in between. :)

The one thing RJ did do was to make me shy away from the really big series - but only when the author isn't nearing the completion of the story. If a major plot arc spans 10 books again, sure I'll read it. If it spans 10 books and the author's only on book 2 and it'll take 3 years between books to read, I won't start it - I'll pick it up closer to completion.

The only thing I wish I had of the WoT series is them all in hardback. My mom and I bought them all in paperback and with the few read throughs that we have done, some are already falling apart.

mtlhddoc2

  • Level 9
  • *
  • Posts: 340
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2008, 02:54:32 AM »
I have read many long series (Chalker, Hubbard etc) and the WoT is the only one that I absolutely enjoyed every single book. With Hubbard, for example, I quit after book 5. It wasnt fun to read, it was draining. With Chalker, I only read the last book because I needed to find out what happened. The first 3 books were really good, and thne, just ok after that. But WoT had me salivating for more at the end of each book. And I was also one of the ones waiting until the next book was published from about book 5 or so.

Mellington the loony Gold Misting

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 109
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hoid's deranged yet cute stalker
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2008, 03:01:10 AM »
Agreed - like LotR at first...and then later he kind of goes Dune on us (but that only lasts a little while too...and no Duncan Idaho).

Part of the increasingly slow pace IS the divergent plots, agreed (we start out with one group...it splits into two...then into three...then...well, eventually SOME of the big secondary characters disappear for books at a time and we have no idea what they're doing.  One notable example is still offstage and we've been given 99% certainty that "RAFO" means "yes, that character will be in book 12...and alive...and VERY IMPORTANT"

Another part of it has to do with RJ's compulsive need to describe where the tea came from, what exactly the collar pin looks like and the intimate details of the relevant family and the contents of EVERY ROOM at a detail level that makes you think we're on Antiques Roadshow "The Westlands" edition.

Shadowkiller

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2008, 03:35:30 PM »
The only thing I wish I had of the WoT series is them all in hardback. My mom and I bought them all in paperback and with the few read throughs that we have done, some are already falling apart.
My father says that I'm the only person he knows who insists on buying hard cover books only.   My reasoning is because my first paperback WoT books fell apart.   Ever since then I don't buy a book longer than 300 pages in paperback.   All my WoT books since then have been fine(though my book 1 is starting to fall apart but for totally different reasons).

Lightblade

  • Level 1
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2008, 04:36:43 PM »
Hey guys,
I'm a huge BS fan and Mistborn was such a great and fulfilling series to read. I definitely plan on following Brandon's career and reading as much of his stuff as possible. Of course that would include the 12th Wheel of Time book. Here's the problem, I haven't read that series. I was at Barnes and Noble and saw that they had a couple hardcover editions of the book including The Eye of the World. I was tempted to buy it but I hesitated. I love fantasy, but anyone I ask about the WOT series tells me that it starts out great but goes downhill and to not waste my time. This is a real bummer, because I love fantasy and I've never read Robert Jordan before. I figured I could get some better opinions from you guys on this site. Is it worth getting into?? I usually don't like to start a series of books when I'm so far behind because I'm worried that they won't be good and yet I'll have to finish them to know the end. Your opinions will be greatly appreciated.
-Joe
P.S. I understand that some of you may say I should just read it and make my own opinion, but if I do decide to read them I will be spending the next couple of months reading all the way through so I just want a little reassurance from people with WORTHY experience that I will be satisfied. Thank you all again!

Well first off I have read through all of the WOT series to date.  And it is very true that this is a fantastic epic fantasy, but be warned around the time that Jordans illness began to get more serious the stories slow way down and character development seems to go into a loop with nothing lost or gained in a few of the books it almost seemed as if the same story was being retold over and over again. For me this began to happen after the release of the fifth or sixth book in the series, but being the devoted fantasy reader that I am I continued to read.
 All of the books are extremely well written and you do fall in love with the characters but the plot does leave things to be desired but if you want to know as much about this story as you can before brandon releases the final volume just be prepared for some rough spots and dont let your self lose interest, I know way to many people that simply gave up on WOT because of a few slow editions. And if your going to start with the series i suggest that you acutally start with "A New Spring" at least i think its called a new spring O.o its the prequil and helps to clear up a few things in the beginning, relatively short and very cheap from amazon..

Goodluck,

Lightblade

Lightblade

  • Level 1
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2008, 04:48:58 PM »
The only thing I wish I had of the WoT series is them all in hardback. My mom and I bought them all in paperback and with the few read throughs that we have done, some are already falling apart.
My father says that I'm the only person he knows who insists on buying hard cover books only.   My reasoning is because my first paperback WoT books fell apart.   Ever since then I don't buy a book longer than 300 pages in paperback.   All my WoT books since then have been fine(though my book 1 is starting to fall apart but for totally different reasons).

I noticed the same thing about my WoT paperbacks accept mine were falling apart with in the first 10 chapters. I do believe it was the printing houses fault. But im right there with you. If im gonna buy a book I want a book thats gonna last. Something that can be displayed proudly upon my shelves not some wrinkled old creased paperback that will fall apart the next time I read it, besides there is something about holding a large well bound book that just makes you feel....well... wise i suppose, LOL much better than squinting at the tiny lettering in a paperback anyways. If i do get a softback and decide its worth a re-read or has some shelf value i usually try and order a copy off of amazon or e-bay when im done.

Lightblade

Loud_G

  • Level 11
  • *
  • Posts: 438
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Drawer of Dragons
    • View Profile
    • George the Dragon
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2008, 05:08:00 PM »
As good as New Spring is (and I fully enjoyed it) I would have to disagree about reading it first. I read it in the order it came out :)
George the Dragon   <---- My webcomic. 

WARNING:
Features a very silly dragon. Hilarity MAY ensue.

Reaves

  • Level 23
  • *
  • Posts: 1226
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2008, 09:43:08 PM »
In my mind you should read them in the order they are written. For example in New Spring the author assumes the reader has already read the previous novels. Finding out certain things about a certain character's past will detract from NOT knowing about it in Eye of the World. Also the book assumes you are fairly familiar with the magic system etc.
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

AvalonDreamer

  • Level 8
  • *
  • Posts: 276
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Boy Genius - Grown Up... Kinda.
    • View Profile
Re: WOT Help
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2008, 11:53:10 PM »
Whenever I lend them out to anyone, I give them Eye of the World first, then New Spring, then the rest of them. At that point, they're just familiar enough to get some of what's going on, but by the time they reach the end of New Spring, they have some insight into the rest of the series.
My friends held an intervention, to stop my ridiculous plans to take over the world (Jake ended up in the hospital). I convinced them to let me take over other worlds though.

*Evil grin*

RIP: James Oliver Rigney, Jr.