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review 2018-09-10 19:01
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan,Teresa Patterson

Fans have labeled this 'The Big Book of Bad Art', and for good reason. This book is large format, almost coffee-table sized, and I'm sorry to say there is no reason even a die-hard fan should pick this up.

 

'World' was released after 'A Crown of Swords' so there are many unanswered questions and plot lines hanging in the air. Reading this, years after the entire series is complete, I read this with the eye of spotting information that wasn't otherwise duplicated elsewhere in the official series.

 

There's nothing. Well, almost nothing. There are fragments of information about the Seanchan and other lands beyond "Randland" (the main setting of the series, the continent and the world were never given a name, so it was dubbed "Randland", woof.) Even that information gets repeated in the novels themselves.

 

The text itself couldn't decide if this were a mock-history of Randland from a fictitious scholar, an arch commentary on the book series, or...what? It worked on no level. The text was riddled with awkward sentences and typos as well, which was unfortunate.

 

With the text out, that leaves the art.

 

It's bad. If you, as a reader, have ever done a quick internet search about a character or a plot point to refresh yourself (which is acceptable in a 14-volume series with hundreds of characters) pictures will pop up. For years I'd dismissed them as fan art, which has its place, but it turns out they were from this book. Muddy portraits with doubtful anatomy and melting features. Even the landscapes and buildings, such as the White Tower, were terrible. This was an official product of a best-selling fantasy franchise from the premier fantasy publisher. Presumably Jordan signed off on this? I was so appalled, I could only laugh.

 

The only redeemable art in the whole book was the double page spreads of Darryl K. Sweet's cover art for the first seven books. I've never been a fan of his figure drawing, but the landscapes were beautiful.

 

That, however, does not make up for the cover price. You're better off picking up only 'The Wheel of Time Companion' and letting this one fade into legend, myth, etc.

 

The Wheel of Time

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review 2018-08-17 02:29
Crossroads of Twilight, The Wheel of Time #10 by Robert Jordan
Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan

This is a toughie. There are many reasons why this book is so notorious, but I'll stick with two reasons. The first is that the bulk of this book is people reacting to the admittedly awesome cleanse of saidin at the end of 'Winter's Heart'. It was awesome, but did we really have to read through all of those reactions, we easily could have just jumped right to people's responses to the phenomenon.

 

The second reason is Elayne and Aviendha taking a bath together. There's nothing salacious there, and we had plenty of Egwene and the Wise Ones sweating together in the lodges back in 'The Shadow Rising', but it was such a long bath. So very, very long.

 

'Crossroads' spends a lot of time reeling out some of the back storylines, without a whole lot happening. The bath is just too good of an example to pass by. Elayne and Aviendha are successioning in Andor, and we learn that claiming the throne of Andor, and carrying babies, can be deadly serious business.

 

Perrin is still chasing after Faile, who is still a prisoner of the Shaido along with Morgase, Alliandre, two others and two Aiel. Masema is...around.

 

Mat is playing getting to know you with his suspected bride along with Egeanin, Domon, and once-prominent characters Julien, Thom, etc.

 

Egwene's politicking with the Aes Sedai is more showing us the steps characters must take to grow, but it sure isn't exciting. I chaired the main administrative body of my municipality (sounds exciting right?) for two years, and sat through many meetings that mimicked the meetings of the Hall of the Tower. Jordan nailed it. It was like I was there! As dull as those scenes could be, I had to grant points for accuracy.

 

Rand... shows up! He does orchestrate important things, and we get to see Loial again (yay!), but there's not a whole lot of movement.

 

After 'Crossroads' came out there was a longer wait than usual for the sequel, as Jordan chose to flesh out a prequel story called 'New Spring'. I was too disgusted to read it at the time, but I'll get to it this reread, eventually.

 

The Wheel of Time:

 

Next: 'The Knife of Dreams'

 

Previous: 'Winter's Heart'

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text 2018-08-15 17:42
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 304 pages.
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan,Teresa Patterson

Oh my God, the art is this book is so TERRIBLE. I'm gonna love it.

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review 2018-08-06 04:18
Winter's Heart, The Wheel of Time #9
Winter's Heart - Robert Jordan

As part of the series as a whole, the book is a definite upswing. 'The Path of Daggers' had left most of the main cast at a standstill and triggered my least favorite plot-line of all time - or Plotline of Doom as fandom has it - wherein Faile, Morgase, Two Aiel and some others are taken captive by the Shaido, necessitating a distraught Perrin to hunt them down. This slows down the 'meh' plot-line of getting Masema to Rand.

 

But the good! 'Winter's Heart' brings Mat back into the narrative, at some distance behind the rest of the characters so there's a good deal of time spent with him in an Ebou Dar occupied by the Seanchan. Thom and Juilin appear.

 

Perrin, as can be guessed, is trudging forward on a never-ending quest to save his wife and dealing with some sigh-worthy conduct of Berlaine and other characters in the camp who believe Berlaine.

 

Elayne is doing Succession things with Aviendha and Birgitte, which is on the dull side, and again, takes forever, but it is refreshing as it is tedious that complicated problems in 'The Wheel of Time' require complicated solutions. Nynaeve has less marital bliss reported and more frustrations with the Seafolk and the Kin, who are all still cooped up in the Royal Palace in Caemlyn.

 

Egwene continues to ratchet up her influence as Amyrlin. Siuan and Bryne hang out in the background.

 

Rand, I would say of course but his story-line has been sputtering since 'Lord of Chaos', elevates 'Winter's Heart' more than any other plot. It is one of the most epic parts of the series and I remember it blowing me away when I first read it. Now, it is still pretty awesome.

 

'Winter's Heart' had a lot more forward momentum to it - unfortunately, its about to come to a screeching halt.

 

The Wheel of Time:

 

Next: 'The Crossroads of Twilight'

 

Previous: 'The Path of Daggers'

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text 2018-08-03 21:12
Reading progress update: I've read 368 out of 624 pages.
Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan

At some point I want to make a complaint post about these trade editions. They are rife with errors, carrying over many from the old editions and adding more.

 

'Crossroads of Twilight' so far is the book that embodies the absolute worst of this series, so it goes.

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