Jordan, Robert: (01-03) The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn

Because of Leigh Butler’s re-read of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series over at Tor.com, I’ve re-read the first three books, The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, and The Dragon Reborn. Leigh is actually a substantial way into the fourth, The Shadow Rising, but I haven’t caught up with her yet.

I have mixed feelings about the Wheel of Time books. I enjoyed the first several, but the series lost a lot of my good will with the later books, when the odious gender-war aspects got uglier and more prominent and the pace slowed to a crawl. I didn’t read the last two volumes at all.

On this re-read, yes, the books I’ve read so far do have the ability to suck me in and make me read large chunks at a time. But my tolerance for Jordan’s characteristic ways of writing gender relations and politics is even lower than ever—there’s really only so much mental screaming “JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER, ALREADY!” that I can do. So I have to be in just the right mood, as suggested by the fact that The Shadow Rising is generally thought to be, along with The Dragon Reborn, the high point of the series, and I haven’t been able to make myself start it yet.

I imagine I will, eventually, read The Shadow Rising and maybe the next one or two (The Fires of Heaven and Lord of Chaos). After that is when, in my memory, the books really started going downhill, so I may just rely on Leigh’s summaries and only read the cool bits from then on. We’ll see.

And despite all that, yes, I’ll almost certainly read Brandon Sanderson’s conclusion of the series from Jordan’s notes and writings. Sanderson strikes me as a really good choice for the job from a writing perspective and also a class act, and most importantly—it’s how it all comes out, and how can I resist?

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  1. I imagine I will, eventually, read The Shadow Rising and maybe the next one or two (The Fires of Heaven and Lord of Chaos). After that is when, in my memory, the books really started going downhill, so I may just rely on Leigh’s summaries and only read the cool bits from then on. We’ll see.
    Oh, my, yes do they ever go downhill at that point. I’m well ahead of you on re-reading, and Path of Daggers was a hard slog. I may put Winter’s Heart aside again until Leigh catches up.

  2. I don’t even remember what happens at the end of _Path of Daggers_ (don’t tell me! I’ll look it up, rather than have new-to-series people get spoiled here). So, yeah, the thought does not fill me with joy.

  3. I was just commenting over at Tor that everything after LoC is a complete blur to me. I’m mostly dreading it, but a pretty significant part of me wants to remember what happens. Of course, the answer is probably nothing except more examples of Jordan’s belief that all matriarchal organizations must involve nakedness and spanking.
    Ugh.
    But, modulo the little bit of awfulness that Leigh just discovered, TSR is pretty awesome and definitely worth the reread. After that is another story, especially having now encountered Faile’s mother. I have this awful feeling there’s more of her in the coming books….

  4. Even prior to Leigh’s post today, I just haven’t been able to face Faile. I’ve never liked her, all the way from the beginning, and even if she gets to be awesome here, I still don’t like her, and the fact that she’s around in the Perrin thread of this book, well.

  5. For whatever reason, Faile doesn’t bother me so much in this book — it’s Perrin who’s being the infantilizing twit here. Later books, of course, are another story.

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