Friday, February 14, 2014

I am a masochist: finishing the Wheel of Time

The wind blew, across the mountains and the blasted lands, through the canyons and orchards, over the rivers and streams.  The Wheel of Time turned, and Ages came and went, and the saga that Robert Jordan began oh so many years ago came to an end.  It was not the ending we wanted, but it was an ending.

This is what I've been doing: finishing the Wheel of Time series.  The first book, The Eye of the World, came out in 1990 and I've been slogging through ever since - twenty-plus years I've been reading these books and when I decided to finish the series, I went back to the beginning and reread every volume.  I used to love these books, back when Jordan was still alive and writing them and they hadn't devolved into way too many plot lines.  (And before I discovered George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie who quickly became my favorite fantasy authors.)  But Jordan died in 2007 and Brandon Sanderson was brought in to finish the series, writing the last three (out of fourteen) books.  When he took the job, Sanderson stated that he wasn't going to try to mimic Jordan's voice.  I think perhaps he should have as the final volumes are tonally very different from the others.  Characters didn't act the way I expected them too, nor did they speak as they had spoken in prior books.  By the time I got to A Memory of Light, I was skipping huge chunks of the interminable battles, and by the end of the book, it seemed like Sanderson had as well: the ending seems like there are whole paragraphs missing, but I didn't care enough to think much more than, "Huh?" before moving on.  It's been a little disappointing, this ending to a once-beloved series, but at least there is an ending - A Song of Ice and Fire fans are terrified that Martin will die before finishing his books - and now I can put this series to bed.

1 comment:

  1. I tried to read the first Sanderson book and I'm not sure I even managed five pages. Something about his writing immediately irritated and annoyed me. I want to finish the series after spending so much time on it, but I'm not sure I can swallow three books of that.