Sunday, January 6, 2019

Rumors of the Wheel

Naturally I have been aware of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time for a most of my life, and had long sworn not to read it for reasons of excessive length (even by my standards) and a glacial pace. That being the case, though, I would often browse through random volumes while in bookstores and in doing so noted Jordan's skill (for creating a world that rivals Middle-earth in scale and gaining such fame is no small feat). I viewed the series as a tragedy of Fantasy: an author who let his world swallow the story he was trying to tell at the story's expense given the glacial reputation.

However, as my interest in The Wheel of Time grew I began to research it, looking at once for an excuse to read it as well as validation for my vow not to touch it. Paradoxical, I know, but such is the nature of the human mind at times. The six key rumors I found are as follows:
  • That the first book, The Eye of the World, was a near-copy of Tolkien (as that was required to get published way back when).
  • That Jordan really diverges and becomes his own writer story-wise in book #2, The Great Hunt.
  • That the glacial pace does not start until book seven, A Crown of Swords, making the first half the series exemplary to the highest definition of the word.
  • The the glacial pace was made far worse by the fact that each book took years for Jordan to write, making readers tear their hair out over getting slow book after slow book afters eons waiting.
  • That, now that all the books of out, the rumored glacial pace is not half so bad because, rather than waiting years, readers can move straight from book to book.
  • That the final three books written posthumously by Jordan's chosen successor, Brandon Sanderson, are masterful with the last book, A Memory of Light, being one long heart-stopping climax.
Naturally I cannot as yet speak to rumors 3-6 but, being in the middle of The Great Hunt, I can report as to how accurate the first two rumors are. To start, The Eye of the World is not a Tolkien-imitation once one gets past the first quarter of the book. As was said, back in the day everyone wanted a second LOTR so some
Tolkien-imitation was required if one wanted to get published, but Jordan story became a unique one swiftly into the first book. And as to the second rumor regarding The Great Hunt, I confirm it. Book #1 was excellent and unique, but now the story is taking off in truly startling directions. Needless to say the final two rumors were pivotal in my decision to finally pick up The Wheel of Time
Meanwhile, and as the Aes Sedai say, the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

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