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The Wheel of Time


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I stopped reading WOT around book 7-9. I say that because each time I tried to figure out whether or not I had read the previous book, it felt like I had, even when I had not!

I have the same problem with David Eddings' stuff. I would read half a book, worry about how similar to the previous one it was, then put it down for while. After while, I would accidentally pick up the next book in the series, try to find where I left off, and become convinced that I had already read most of the thing.

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I love Feist, and had strangely forgotten about him. However, having said that, if you do read his books I recommend reading The Riftwar, The Serpentwar, and the two (three?) books that come between them, also the Conclave of Shadows then pretending that he stopped there. He's one of the few authors I've read (Martin being the other) who took a character I hated with a passion, and made me love him by the end. After Conclave he started getting a bit too repetitious for me.


George R. R. Martin is fantastic, but I think Bruunwald summed it up best. Also, as I mentioned before, as much as I hate to think about it, I doubt we'll ever see the end of the series. However, the first 4 books are fantastic, the fifth not as good, but still a great read.


I also recommend Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard series. The first two books are out, the third supposed to be released sometime in the near future. Unfortunately, I think with Lynch we are probably in the boat of not seeing the end of the series anytime in the near future, if ever. I love his storytelling and his characters, but I get the feeling that after book three is released we won't see the rest of the series, or if we do it will be many, many years down the road. Still, his books do a good enough job at each standing alone that you can probably read them and be good.


Fritz Leiber's Fahfrd and Grey Mouser stories are some of my favorite. Having said that, a lot of people I know have trouble getting interested in the series. Plus they might be a little hard to find. I know I looked for them for years, but they may have re-released them since.


David Eddings books to me are good, but mostly for nostalgic reasons. They are totally forgettable (characters and story), but if you want a quick read that entertains without making you think overly much they will do the trick.


A series I should have mentioned before is Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The first book is The Dragonbone Chair. I love the whole series, and have owned them all for years. But, people either seem to love the series or hate it. I've also heard a lot of good things about his Shadowmarch series, but they are a ways down my "to read" list at the moment.


If you are looking for some more stories that aren't terribly deep you might try the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Urban fantasy, but entertaining.


These are all my opinions, and it's been noted more than once by people who know me that I'm not totally right in the head.

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One of the major complaints that people have about the series is the slow pace in the middle books, but this mostly stems from people who were reading those books as they came out and had to wait the 2-3 years between each book to find out what happened next.


I never read far enough into the WoT for the pace to bother me at all. I only read the first two, which I had been told were the best of the bunch. I couldn't stand the characters, and didn't like the story or the author's style. That said, I have several friends who really enjoyed them, so you might, too.


I actually went to a Brandon Sanderson book signing when his novel The Way of Kings came out. He got a lot of questions about Wheel of Time (like I said before, he's the author who took over the series when Jordan died). When it came time to have my book signed I told him I didn't like Wheel of Time, but that I loved all of his own novels, and it's true. I've read a lot of fantasy over the years, and a lot of sci-fi. Brandon Sanderson's books are some of the very best I've ever read. He's new, so not very well known yet, but I'd recommend him to ANYONE who likes fantasy.



Brandon Sanderson - anything, but start with Mistborn: The Final Empire

Martin, George R.R. - A Game of Thrones

Mckillip, Patricia A. - Riddlemaster of Hed

Modessit, Jr., L.E. - Recluse series of 13 books, earlier ones the best, later ones get very repetitive

Pratchett, Terry - Men at Arms, Eric, Equal Rites - very funny, fantasy satire

Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Lord of the Rings


Science Fiction:

Adams, Douglas - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Asimov, Isaac - Foundation - original trilogy is excellent, later books aren't very good

Auel, Jean - Clan of the Cavebear - skip the sequels (they're romance novel trash)

Bear, Greg - Darwin's Radio

Bradbury, Ray - Something Wicked This Way Comes

Bujold, Lois McMaster - Falling Free, also the other books in the Miles Vorkosigan series

Card, Orson Scott - Speaker for the Dead - sequel to Ender's Game

Crichton, Michael - Prey

Heinlein, Robert - Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, also The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (don't care for a lot of his other books, though)

Mckillip, Patricia A. - Riddlemaster of Hed

Pratchett, Terry - Men at Arms, Eric, Equal Rites - humorous, but very cynical

Stephenson, Neal - Quicksilver - first in Baroque Cycle trilogy

Willis, Connie - Doomsday Book

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Loim - George R. R. Martin is fantastic, but I think Bruunwald summed it up best. Also, as I mentioned before, as much as I hate to think about it, I doubt we'll ever see the end of the series. However, the first 4 books are fantastic, the fifth not as good, but still a great read.

Where did you get the fifth book? It hasn't been published yet. If you have it, you are one lucky person, most of us have been waiting years to read it.

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I read the first WoT book, and thought, "Durn, this guy has mined all the other sources and wrote his own pastiche."


I read the second book, and thought, "Durn, this guy has written two books and still not managed to tell much of a story."


I read partway through the third book, and finally thought, "Why am I spending my free time reading this stuff, when it is not entertaining?"


I suppose it's okay, but there's way better out there. I really liked "A Game Of Thrones," but I grow tired of authors who can't tell a dratted story in one overlarge volume. Since then, I have avoided buying or reading any book in a series that I can't obtain the entire series yet. When he finishes the thing, perhaps I will look into it then. George R.R. Martin's a great writer, but I liked his single books and short stories better.

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I highly recommend the Malazan Book of the Fallen and its spin-offs. There are a lot of characters, but they're engaging; there are a lot of plots but they're beautifully entertwined; and while it's a series, every book works on its own- unlike the Wheel of Time where most of the books are pointless filler, IMO.


The MBOTF is a huge series, many volumes and all of them big, but there's a number of things that set it apart from a lot of epic fantasy:


- It's epic sword-and-sorcery more than Tolkienesque.

- There's a lot of wit in the books.

- There are excellent action scenes, something WOT doesn't have, at all.

- There's a lot of engaging military fiction and a lot of character-driven fiction, all worthwhile in its own right, to break up the world-building.

- There's no book that I have read that left me thinking "Not great, but I guess it sets up some of the storyline for future books". I have always thought "That was awesome! I loved the ending! But now that I think of it, there's a lot of sub-plots that didn't get neatly tied off... I wonder what happens there?"

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I throw in my 2 cents worth and say I did not enjoy WoT very much. I very strongly felt that Jordan was a bit of a hack, and that the books/stories are not terribly original. A friend of mine gushed about how great the series is, and how detailed and differentiated he made his cultures, but I found them to be not very differentiated, and the ways that they were, were terribly ham-fisted fantasy tropes. Meh. Note this was AFTER I bought everything in print -- in HARDBACK -- which was up to Vol 11 by then...


I haven't been reading much good fantasy lately either. I started reading Tad Williamson's Shadowmarch, and it isn't bad, but I set it aside for other things for a bit. I enjoyed Kate Elliot's Spirit Gate, which was a little bit of a historical-fantasy pastiche, but not overwhelmingly so. I have the other 2 books in the series I'll get around to eventually...



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Leader of the Rats, that's my bad, I meant 4th book. For some reason I keep appending an extra book to that series, which should be some indication about how long it has been since I read the last one.


I read the first book of Malazan and loved it. I immediately went out and bought books two and three. After 4 or 5 attempts to get through book two I finally gave up on the series. He does a fantastic job on characters and world building. The problem I had was that I cared nothing for any of the characters in book two, and none of the characters I liked from book one were present. This probably will not be a problem for most other people, and I continually hear high praise for this series.


I've been interested in Kate Elliot's work, but have not gotten around to reading any yet.

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I will vouch for Wheel of Time. I'd kept up with the series up to 11, then read it a second time waiting for book 12. Yes, it is long, and yes there are points that feel dragged out. However in the whole I enjoyed it and have found the last three books really started to tie everything up and give sense to things that seemed drawn out in the few prior books (7-10.)

I can see it as a daunting task to start reading the series now, with 13 books ahead of you. A friend of mine started a few months ago, and he is hooked.


Sanderson really impressed me when he took over for Jordan, so much that I picked up his Mistborn series recently. I have to say, it is quite good.


Someone suggested Brent Weeks, and I strongly agree. I have his newest book, The Black Prism, on sdeck to read next.


Feist's books (earlier works mostly,) were great. My favorite fantasy series has always been The Serpentwar, but you'll have to read Riftwar for everything to make sense.


I say give Jordan a try, but understand that you can't give up after one or two books like most people. To gain a full appreciation of the series and the world, you really need to stick it out.

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Jordan just failed to engage me with his style and as a writer in general. I didn't see any sense in continuing to read the Wheel of Time series if I wasn't enjoying it and at the time when I was reading it was fresh there were only two books then and when the 3rd was released I just didn't bother.

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I say give Jordan a try, but understand that you can't give up after one or two books like most people. To gain a full appreciation of the series and the world, you really need to stick it out.


I agree with Heisler. If you don't like it by the end of book two, I don't think you should force yourself to spend time reading more when you could use that time to paint minis, instead!

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