Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time is the greatest epic fantasy series ever written.


In that silence I could hear you Sword of Truth fans gasping and exclaiming "No! It can't be! No!!!" But to that I simply respond. Do you feel I've insulted your favorite book stories or your favorite character? Is it the extremely libertarian plot line you're defending or Richard Rahl?

I've read the Sword of Truth. I enjoyed it greatly, but it was not because of the plot. I enjoyed the Sword of Truth because I was half in love with Richard Rahl and completely fascinated by his and Kahlan's love. The plot afford me nothing with its knock of Sisters of Light (totally Aes Sedai) and its world ending problems that fall on the shoulders of one incredibly perfect man.

Rand al'Thor is not the perfect hero. He is not the perfect savior of his world. He used to be a farm boy and now the power has gone to his head. Not to mention Lews Therin is in his head. I do not love Rand. In fact part of me hates him and very much wants to see him die in the final book. However, Rand has his redeeming moments. When I reread the first book, The Eye of the World, I remember the boy Rand used to be and know he cannot be all bad.

I hate Rand, but this story is not just about Rand. The Wheel of Time is about the driving plot. It's about the Aes Sedai's conniving plots and attempts to save the world. It's about Rand and Nynaeve cleansing the One Source. It's about Matt struggling with being taken control by a knife, blowing the horn, and then discovering he's not quite the womanizer he once thought. Perrin hates power but it is thrust upon him. Egwene is a leader forced into a novices position. It's about realizing that Rand is married to his stepsister, and wondering if that's weird. It's dying to know if Moiraine is really dead and who killed Asmodean. The Wheel of Time is not a story. The Wheel of Time is a way of life.

That is why Brandon Sanderson has set aside his life, all of his projects, and everything to write the last Wheel of Time book. It's why he's agreed to write what is now a 3 book epic to end the series when he's only being paid for a 200K novel. (200K is nothing by the way.) It's because he knows what we fans feel. It's because he is a fan himself, and knows we deserve the end that Robert Jordan would have written himself, but since he's not Robert Jordan he's giving us the next best thing: details and all loose ends tied.

Oh did you not know that A Memory of Light, the final Wheel of Time book, is being split into three books? Well, they are.

The first book, or rather 12th book, is coming out in November and is called The Gathering Storm, perhaps the lamest Wheel of Time book name, but Brandon Sanderson admits that. We have this list of titles that sound amazing: The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven, Lord of Chaos, A Crown of Swords, The Path of Daggers, Winter's Heart, Crossroads of Twilight, Knife of Dreams, and....The Gathering Storm. Right. But he didn't have a lot of time to think about it. It was a working part name and suddenly it became a title! Wham! So I forgive the title its mediocrity. I'm sure the book is going to be amazing enough to make up for it.

So all this is to say that I need to reread The Wheel of Time books. So once I finish Ben-Hur, the book I'm currently reading, I'm going to reread the Wheel of Time books. I may be talking about them and ruining a few plot twists if you've never read it. But better yet, you should read along. Go out and buy the Wheel of Time. Take the head start of me reading Ben-Hur, because you're going to need it. When I get into my beaten up, cross referenced copies of The Wheel of Time (the covers are falling off, and yes I said cross referenced - you should see the highlighting and tabbing), nothing can stop me. I will blast through them in more than enough time to enjoy The Gathering Storm when it comes out in November.

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