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?