Malazan Empire: Continuous read-through of Robert Jordans Wheel of Time - Malazan Empire

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Continuous read-through of Robert Jordans Wheel of Time Spoilers for all books, Spoilers unblocked and blatant

#1 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 02:14 PM

So, I am attempting a continuous read through of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, starting from the Prequel New Spring, and hopefully ending with Sandersons finale Memory of Light. I will be trying to post my thoughts and reactions here. Welcome comments and lots of discussion. This series sharply polarised the forum every time I brought it up before, so hoping for some lively stuff!


SPOILERS BEGIN FROM HERE



New Spring: Somebody on this forum mentioned that this book started off originally as a short story, and having read through it shows. The story is a bit uneven and there are some rather jarring character turnarounds. But one of my major problems is the way Jordan names his characters. We have Tamra and Tamara,
Merean, Meilyn, Seiryn. It can get pretty confusing.

Secondly the ending of this book happened way way too fast for me. There was basically one tempo for half the book, another for the next half, and everything goes to hell in the last chapter suddenly, out of the blue. It also felt contrived. Moraine and Lan had a rather antagonistic relationship throughout the book, then suddenly because they fought together in the end, she bonds him as Warder?

Thirdly, there's the fact that Lan feels a lot like a cooler, more conflicted Aragorn. The LotR pastiche often grates right through the story.

Fourthly there's the whole idea that the Black Ajah's entire method of finding the Dragon reborn seems to consist of tracking down and killing anybody who is lucky. This is so silly I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. This also contradicts something mentioned earlier in the book. An Aes Sedai is upposed to be able to feel the channellng of the True Source, but the Black Ajah go around on a wild goose chase without even stopping to check.


Eye of the World:

So much LotR. Practically half of the book consists of LotR tropes. Also Jordans penchant of similar names only increases. So you have Tam, Rand, Lan, Bran, Mat. Jordan seemed to have forgotten other vowels existed.

But having said this, this book is loads better than New Spring. The world takes on better shape. A still nebulous structure of politics and parties starts to emerge. Several interesting themes are introduced: Perrin and the wolves, The Tinkers, the Ogiers, etc. Jordan really came into his own in the second half of the book.

Really wanted more battles, military action, but since the big ending was Rand blowing stuff up, didn't get that. Really need to know more about the magic system. The idea of threads, patterns, etc is quite interesting.


But I do have a problem with the naming of the book. The actual Eye of the World gets less screentime than Bela (who is a horse) and its nature isn't really explained. Frankly I wish there had been a clearer explanation as to how the Dark Lord would have used the Eye to doom the world.
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#2 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 03:16 PM

You think the names are bad, or that Bela the horse gets too much screentime? Just wait till you're in book 8 or 9 and Jordan has described the leatherleaf trees and other nature and a scarf or dress for the 4 billionth time over 5 or 6 pages of needless description.

There will be many times you will wish to hurl the books against the wall, and wish his editor/wife had been more cutthroat with her edits.
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#3 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 03:17 PM

I wish you luck, sir. I tried to do the same about two years back and made the mistake of taking a "short" break after the fifth book. I've never been able to get back into them since.

For what it's worth, I did enjoy what I read, but many of the criticisms leveled at Jordan's writing are valid.
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#4 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 01:26 AM

Quick concluding thought on Eye of the World:

The last battle involved two Forsaken, whoa re supposed to be the chief assistants of the Dark Lord. They are so terrible that they have to be sealed off with the dark Lord. But here the Green Man killed one off with fungus, and Rand just flailed around with his power, having little too no clue what he was doing and exploded the other chap. So there were 13 Forsaken, now there are 11? That was easy!


What I am saying is this bunch faced Lews Therin the actual Dragon, who had total control of his power, and survived? And Rand just blows one up?
Inconsistent a bit?




The Great Hunt: 5 chapters into The Great Hunt. Really liked the way the book began. Gave some substance to the whole Darkfriend question.


Picked up a big inconsistency with New Spring. How the hell did Siuan become the Amyrlin Seat? Also what did she mean that 5 Blues in a line had become Amyrlin? The new Amyrlin in New Spring was Gray! and how can the other Aes Sedai not know Moraine and Siuan were friends?


It is painfully evident that Padan Fain has been infected/possessed by Mordeth. He practically says so at one one point. Yet neither Rand nor Egwene even think of mentioning this to anyone else! They were briefed about Mordeth in the first book so they know how dangerous it can be. Maybe Rank is not on speaking terms with Aes Sedai, but Egwene is! Can they really not see it?


Anyway the book is shaping up to be another long travel. Lets see how it goes.
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#5 User is offline   D'iversify 

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:13 AM

View PostAndorion, on 17 September 2014 - 01:26 AM, said:

Quick concluding thought on Eye of the World:

The last battle involved two Forsaken, whoa re supposed to be the chief assistants of the Dark Lord. They are so terrible that they have to be sealed off with the dark Lord. But here the Green Man killed one off with fungus, and Rand just flailed around with his power, having little too no clue what he was doing and exploded the other chap. So there were 13 Forsaken, now there are 11? That was easy!
Balthamel and Aginor were sealed close to the surface and consequently were not shielded entirely from the ravages of time. Their mortal bodies were consequently greatly weakened. I'll add that Aginor, whilst very powerful, was something of a specialist and not a great battle channeler even in the Age of Legends.

This post has been edited by D'iversify: 19 September 2014 - 09:40 AM

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#6 User is offline   Slow Ben 

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 12:53 PM

What D'iversify said. And don't dis the Green Man. He's Thousands of years old and a force of friggin nature man!

This post has been edited by Slow Ben: 17 September 2014 - 12:55 PM

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#7 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 04:56 AM

9 chapters into the Great Hunt. Liking the build up so far, and laughed through the entire scene of Rand running through the women's quarters with an unsheathed sword. One question does arise though.... In the beginning of Eye of the World, Moiraine said ojects have no power, power is channelled, so her staff is just a concentration aid. Then how does the Horn of Valere exist? Its a legendary magical item, with power of its own, everybody wants it, it can clearly play a major role. So it must have some intrinsic powe rof its own, right?
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#8 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 09:41 AM

View PostAndorion, on 18 September 2014 - 04:56 AM, said:

9 chapters into the Great Hunt. Liking the build up so far, and laughed through the entire scene of Rand running through the women's quarters with an unsheathed sword. One question does arise though.... In the beginning of Eye of the World, Moiraine said ojects have no power, power is channelled, so her staff is just a concentration aid. Then how does the Horn of Valere exist? Its a legendary magical item, with power of its own, everybody wants it, it can clearly play a major role. So it must have some intrinsic powe rof its own, right?


It turns out there are actually quite a lot of objects with power, and that this is fairly common knowledge (Moiraine should certainly have known), as I remember. I'd just put it down to inconsistency in EoTW, when Jordan probably hadn't planned a lot of the details yet.

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Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#9 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 07:38 PM

Your in for a Treat. The Great Hunt is a lot of fans fav of the series.
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#10 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:08 AM

I hope you didn't read that spoiler tag. I just saw that and it's still way far from where your at.
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#11 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:22 AM

26 chapters into The Great Hunt. So far, huge improvement over Eye of the World.
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#12 User is offline   D'iversify 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 09:21 AM

View PostBriar King, on 19 September 2014 - 04:08 AM, said:

I hope you didn't read that spoiler tag. I just saw that and it's still way far from where your at.
Shall I remove it? I thought it was a teaser but if you think it gives too much away I'll cut it.

EDIT: removed it in any case.

This post has been edited by D'iversify: 19 September 2014 - 09:41 AM

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#13 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 10:52 AM

View PostAndorion, on 19 September 2014 - 04:22 AM, said:

26 chapters into The Great Hunt. So far, huge improvement over Eye of the World.


First three are clearly written as a trilogy, and not a bad one for when it was written. After that its some acceptable slowness as he expands the scope/world, then he does a bit of cool fight scenes, then he gets dragged down in descriptions and minutia and god I couldn't finish this series and I can't even bring myself to reread the 'good' parts of it after reading better authors who aren't succumbing to the farmboy-cum-savior trope along with the weird naked/sexualized women situations he put in the books.
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Posted 19 September 2014 - 10:57 AM

Oh, and Andorion...I forget which book it first shows up in, but the actual map of Tar Valon...is...errr...a bit dinstinctively something else.
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#15 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:13 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 19 September 2014 - 10:57 AM, said:

Oh, and Andorion...I forget which book it first shows up in, but the actual map of Tar Valon...is...errr...a bit dinstinctively something else.


Ummm, I don't think I have seen it yet. Do you know which book? Maybe I should google
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#16 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:51 PM

The oblong island of Tar Valon, with the White Tower, home to the Aes Sedai, standing in the midIT'S A VAGINA ISLAND WITH A GIANT STONE DICK STICKING OUT OF IT THAT ALL THE LADIES LIVE INdle is a bit... suggestive.
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#17 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:09 PM

View PostIlluyankas, on 19 September 2014 - 12:51 PM, said:

The oblong island of Tar Valon, with the White Tower, home to the Aes Sedai, standing in the midIT'S A VAGINA ISLAND WITH A GIANT STONE DICK STICKING OUT OF IT THAT ALL THE LADIES LIVE INdle is a bit... suggestive.



^This.

I still recall showing it to my sister-in-law and she didn't even have to look at the map for more than 5 seconds before she went "Oh, ewwww! Really?"

It's one of the middle books Andorion, I can't recall which, and it's in the middle of the book when teh action actually swings to Tar Valon that you see it. How it made it out of the publishing house like that...is beyond me.
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#18 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:27 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 19 September 2014 - 02:09 PM, said:

View PostIlluyankas, on 19 September 2014 - 12:51 PM, said:

The oblong island of Tar Valon, with the White Tower, home to the Aes Sedai, standing in the midIT'S A VAGINA ISLAND WITH A GIANT STONE DICK STICKING OUT OF IT THAT ALL THE LADIES LIVE INdle is a bit... suggestive.



^This.

I still recall showing it to my sister-in-law and she didn't even have to look at the map for more than 5 seconds before she went "Oh, ewwww! Really?"

It's one of the middle books Andorion, I can't recall which, and it's in the middle of the book when teh action actually swings to Tar Valon that you see it. How it made it out of the publishing house like that...is beyond me.


Got it on google, and I see what you mean. Bloody hell.

Anyway, finished the Great Hunt, and things went pretty crazy there at the nd. Once again I am rather confused about a number of things.

1. The heroes summonned by the Horn ar ebound to the one who blew it. But they took orders from Rand and addressed Mat, who actually blew the Horn as 'Trumpeteer'! How???

2. What happened to the heroes after the battle? Did they vanish back into the fog? Will they come again if the Horn is blown again?

3. This is the second book in a row where Rand apparently kills the Dark One. The Dark One was genuinely alarmed when Rand started taking swings at him, and the sword was melted, so it was a physical enounter. Its also obvious that the Dark One is not dead. So what was the point of that charade?

There are other questions, but these are the biggies.

Also QT is there a map showing the entire world of Wheel of Time? I would like to see these other lands from where the Seanchan come.
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#19 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:38 PM

I'm not sure there is a map of Seanchan lands. I'm pretty sure the world map stays as it is, and you only get zoomed in areas as maps throughout the rest of the series.

For Seanchan, just picture mainland China if it were populated by the Japanese. That's pretty much what he was going for in that race.
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#20 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 05:06 PM

You ll just have to keep reading lol. Your questions will be answered.

Also there is a world map from that shitty guide book that came out after bk 7. I ll try to find it.
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