Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My thoughts as I finish the Wheel of Time

So, after so many years of reading, I am finally finishing the Wheel of Time started by Robert Jordan and finished by Brandon Sanderson. As I sit here right now, I have just started reading A Memory of Light. The 14th and final book in the series. Other series have ended like this…series that I love.

Harry Potter and the Dark Tower…to name a couple

Now, not everyone loves this series as much as I do. I get that. I even get why. Hell, there are more than a few things I don’t love about the series as well. But overall?

I started reading this series about twenty years ago when I stumbled across the Eye of the World in Barnes and Noble. As someone that lives for epic fantasy, I immediately was drawn into the world and the characters. Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Morraine, Lan, and even Nynaeve (sometimes). From the beginning I loved their journey.

The good points
The world itself is handled very well. The different countries and cultures that are displayed were always done very well. From Tar Valon, the waste, to the small village of the Two Rivers.

I also loved the Aes Sedai. Morraine started it with how great she was. But once the Black Ajah became more apparent. Once the fight with them started, it was always one of the more interesting aspects of the books. Sprinkle in some forsaken and it was usually golden. Egwene become much more interesting and Nynaeve eventually got to the point where I stopped hating her as a character.

The threads in the pattern. Mat, Perrin, and Rand. They were Ta’veren. Able to have influence the weave of the pattern. I always loved these three and they got better later in the books. Love how different they were. Mat had his luck and his mouth. Perrin had the wolves and his determination. Rand was the Dragon Reborn and had the fate of the world on his shoulders. Especially loved the moment where things changed for him. They are tied together and since I have not finished the book, I am wondering which of them will live?

Brandon Sanderson. Yes, I appreciate what Jordan started with this, but Sanderson has done an amazing job in the two books that I have read that he wrote. Yes, he had all of Jordan’s notes and such, but I like how he condensed the chapters and got more people involved. Jordan did not do this often and some of his chapters for each character were HUGE. But it felt like the world that Jordan started and that is all you can ask for someone to come finish someone else’s epic story.

The Forsaken. Thirteen of the most powerful in the world. They bicker, they fight, the try to kill all of my favorite characters. But they were a lot of fun and each had its own way of trying to gain power.

Emotion. There were a few moments in the last few books that made me cry. I have been with these characters for years and there were just moments of pure joy. Now I am on the last book and I am both excited and sad that is ending.

The bad points
Women.  It drove me nuts how he wrote women in this series.  On one hand, women were powerful rulers and mighty masters of the one source…on the other hand they were scatterbrained and almost always ridiculously irritable. Just so damn inconsistent and it drove me insane.

If I read Nynaeve pulling her damn braid one more time due to her being stubborn, I was gonna stab someone. Yes, she was stubborn and was the wisdom, but god she argued with EVERYONE, and always thought she was right. Her character has annoyed me more than any other character in a series I have loved this much. UGH. Now, she got better toward the end, to only be replaced in annoyance by Elaine.

Elaine. How many times does one character have to blindly go into a situation a situation and get themselves in trouble? Jesus. Also, we get it; you are the daughter-heir of Andor. You don’t have to say it every 13 seconds. It was just annoying sometimes. Did love Birgette though.

Why did every woman in this world think men were useless? Was an odd bit of sexism, especially since it was written by a man.  Also, I found the Aes Sedai method of switching as penance to be really creepy.

Avienda was just boring. I hate the dragon reborn. I love the dragon reborn. Ugh.

Luckily, Sanderson did not do nearly as much with these characters this way.

Despite the way women are written for a good portion of the book, I still loved this series. Luckily, the women were strong enough and did amazing things to counter some of the confusing ways they were written. The story is what I love. A story about how you have to stand against the darkness. I feel like enough people don’t do this in real life. Is why I love fantasy so much. Yes, it can be dark, but it also is about hope and overcoming.

I cannot wait to get back to reading. Which I will do now. 

No comments:

Post a Comment