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theswarm
2006-08-03, 12:29 AM
Has anyone else out there read these? They are incredible, the best fantasy I have ever read. I just finished The Dragon Reborn and plan to start the nest book in a few days. Anyone who likes them or wants to discuss, please post!!!

Don Beegles
2006-08-03, 08:09 AM
Just finished the Dragon Reborn? Yes that would explain it. I agree that the first 4 or maybe 5 books are incredible and just excellent fantasy, and I hate to disappoint you, but the ones after that are generally considered to be horrible. JOrdan just sort of forgets for the most part about his heros and ocuses too much on teh tinkerings of random people who have little or nothing particularly essential to the plot.

Of course, don't let the bad review you will almost certainly receive on this site spoil it for you. Finish the series and either you will continue to think it wsa awesome, or you'll agree and thnk it's crap, but if you don't you'll always wonder if maybe you should have finished it.

Midnight Son
2006-08-03, 10:44 AM
While I agree that the books went a bit downhill for a while after The Fires of Heaven, I don't think any of them were actually bad. Also, he picks it up again with The Crossroads of Twilight and the most recent book absolutely returned to the awesome. No spoilers, but the scene just after Lan returns to the borderlands was one of the most chill moments of any of the books. Don't let any naysayers stop you from reading on. It's a great series. He supposedly only has one more in the series to write. I hope he manages to finish it. (if you didn't know yet, he's really sick and might not be able to finish.) :'(

Muffin_Mage
2006-08-03, 11:03 AM
I've heard he was writing two more. But that just goes to show how far out of the loop I am.

The Wheel of Time was great for the first four books. After that, it's a real effort of will to slog through everything. With 250 fully fleshed out characters and God knows how many subplots, it takes a computer or an English major to make any sense of it all.

But the payoff when everybody dies is going to be great. I'm looking forward to it, really.

Alchemistmerlin
2006-08-03, 11:09 AM
I think after he spent an entire chapter (Not a small chapter mind you, nice long one) describing one apparently important Aes Sedai and then promptly kills her is where I decided Jordan was an overly wordy hack and needed to be stopped.


And by "needed to be stopped" I mean "I'm not reading this crap anymore, into the donation box with you!"

El Jaspero, the Pirate King
2006-08-03, 11:51 AM
I'm with the gang; the middle books are complete drudgery, but Crossroads does pick up the pace again. I haven't read the new one since I refuse to buy the things in hardcover, but I'll pick it up once it comes out in paper.

Caillach
2006-08-03, 02:03 PM
okay... everyone must read this. It's hilarious:

http://rinkworks.com/fnovel/

Alchemistmerlin
2006-08-03, 02:19 PM
okay... everyone must read this. It's hilarious:

http://rinkworks.com/fnovel/



While moderately amusing, I typically have to laugh in order to consider something "hilarious."

Don Beegles
2006-08-03, 03:22 PM
I agree. It was funny, but the most ift got was a snort. Fairly clever, but not hilarious.

Ted_Stryker
2006-08-03, 05:26 PM
IMO, Books 2-5 are the best. Book 1 is a bit below them, and Book 6 a bit below Book 1. I think the seventh book in the series is where things just fall off a cliff. Things haven't really recovered, though maybe they are starting to with Knife of Dreams. I didn't care for Crossroads of Twilight all that much, except for the parts with Mat.

CaptainSam
2006-08-03, 05:28 PM
Now, I'm the first to admit I'm CaptainSam, not CaptainPC, but even I found those books to be appaling, mysogenistic rubbish.

Book 5 hit the corner of the room, not even read halfway through. Disappointingly, it steadfastly refused to spontaneously combust out of shame.

Hungerdog
2006-08-03, 07:24 PM
Slow, boring, overwritten, long-winded drivel.

Jordan appears to be intent on making an entire writing career out of beating on one story until it screams.

I mean really, does he actually need that many full length novels to tell one story?

Remember when authors could tell a story in say 1-3 books?

IMHO, Jordan is in love with the sound of his own voice, and everyone else pays for it.

I gave up on the whole mess years ago.

Steward
2006-08-03, 08:47 PM
I think it's a tragic case of Epic Syndrome. It's no longer possible to write any fantasy story without dragging it out for more than ten books. I think that his publishers are pressuring him to keep churning them out even though the original concept is just interesting enough to make a satisfying trilogy. The later books barely have anything to them except for purple prose, purple prose, purple prose, and then...cliffhanger! Buy the next book so you can read about Epic non-events!

Muffin_Mage
2006-08-03, 09:31 PM
Oh, I'm only continuing out of sheer stubbornness. How do you think I got through that deplorable translation of Crime and Punishment?

McBish
2006-08-04, 12:44 AM
I was happy with Knife of Dreams because it gave me hope that this seris wasn't all bad. He is bassically telling at least 5 stories at once so it takes some work. And I have to forgive him for all the drawn out books just because of Mat who is one of my favorite Fantasy heros. But if Jordan dies before he finishes the seris there will be heck to pay.

anphorus
2006-08-04, 01:47 PM
I think one of the major problems was that you'd read one book, wait a year or two and then read the next one and the story hadn't moved on very much. It could get frustrating. I only started reading Wheel of Time a while ago and so most of the books were already there to read, so I didn't experience this.

I agree that the later books aren't as good as the earlier ones (2 was one of my favourite books ever, and 3 had my favourite scene in any media) I think the series is still worth reading. I've heard lots of praise for knife of Dreams for example (although I haven't finished Crossroads yet)

Now, I'm the first to admit I'm CaptainSam, not CaptainPC, but even I found those books to be appaling, mysogenistic rubbish.

Are you referring to the fact that all the characters seem to act as though women are treated like the were in the actual medieval times, despite the fact that they are, actually, in charge of every major government and organisation in the entire world?

If so I agree with you, that's pretty annoying.

CaptainSam
2006-08-04, 03:10 PM
Are you referring to the fact that all the characters seem to act as though women are treated like the were in the actual medieval times, despite the fact that they are, actually, in charge of every major government and organisation in the entire world?

If so I agree with you, that's pretty annoying.

Jordan is often quoted as having based the female characters on his wife. I've also heard the variation that it's his ex-wife and her mother. I'm not too sure of the veracity of the latter, but it says quite a bit about his characterisations, yes?

The women in his world are in charge of everything, that is true. However, as soon as the main (male) hero turns up, they abandon everything and try to kill the poor, poor man. They are evil women! Nasty women! Either that, or they all fall hoplessly in love with him! They are weak women! Wussy women!

By the way, book five is still in the corner, stubbornly refusing to combust. Maybe I'll stare at it a bit more.

Baldknight
2006-08-04, 04:23 PM
I've read upto Crossroads and I have to admit that while the first few books are exciting and fun it ends up being so slow and boring that I had to struggle to carry on reading at some points.

Jordan gets too mixed up in detail sometimes and seems quite happy to spend 3 or 4 chapters focused on nothing which he could have skimmed over in 1 and then cramming alot of action into 1 chapter which he would have been better spreading over a few.

Also I think it starts to become rushed in the last few books as if he realised he needed to start making things happen before people lost interest or the series swelled to 20 books.

I much prefer the Sword of Truth to Wheel of Time anyday.

Midnight Son
2006-08-05, 05:35 PM
By the way, book five is still in the corner, stubbornly refusing to combust. Maybe I'll stare at it a bit more.Try reading the title. No fire you could conjure will ever match that.

Caillach
2006-08-05, 07:12 PM
I much prefer the Sword of Truth to Wheel of Time anyday.

"Wizards first rule" kicked ass. The others...not so much. I got pretty fed up with Goodkind's preachyness (I hate that), not to mention he kept using the same story design over and over: "They is sooo in lurve. Oh no, now they're seperated what shall they do? The world is in flames around them! whoops nevermind, Richard makes all those Evil folk who dissagreed with him dead/part of his posse of good (by use of ever so moving speech), and now they're back together again. We all live happily ever after untill we rinse lather repeat for the next book " :P

Steward
2006-08-05, 10:03 PM
I actually lost it with that book when I realized that Richard was God, except more powerful.

DivinelyFlawed
2006-08-06, 02:05 PM
I personally enjoyed the first few WoT books before Rand became super powered. One thing in the series that particularly irks me is how Jordan will introduce an interesting character that held some story promise, then promptly kills them off (often with that annoyng balefire).

I think the Shannara books by Terry Brooks have been my favorites of the fantasy genre. Havn't gotte nto ready Wizards First Rule yet though...

Dragonmuncher
2006-08-06, 06:58 PM
I much prefer the Sword of Truth to Wheel of Time anyday.

*head explodes*

Barring the first book (which I actually enjoyed), Sword of Truth is hackneyed and derivative. You might say Jordan goes on a bit, but Goodkind actually seems like he's making it up as he goes along. Except, instead of making it up, he borrows heavily from other series, especially WoT.

(minor spoilers for Sword of Truth)

I mean, a sect of austere woman magic users, who live off in their own little world, who believe that male magic users are dangerous and must be controlled? Male confessors who go insane with their power? The Mud People (see- Aiel) The whole concept of "The Nameless One?" The peasant bumpkin who sort of stumbles his way into ultimate power? A lot of that stuff was done in WoT, and other fantasy novels, and done better.

Sorry for the rant. SoT sets me on edge, though. I think I'd be happier if Goodkind started a new series, one that wasn't as obviously made up as he continued the series. He's a pretty good writer, but the setting makes me grind my teeth.


Ahem.

Anyway, Wheel of Time. I agree, books 6-8 aren't particularly good (although pretty much every book in the series has at least one or two awesome scenes). 1 has a different feel than the rest of the series, but I enjoyed it. 2-5 are excellent, as is 9 (Winter's Heart) and 11 (Knife of Dreams brought the series back to its old quality, I think.

10 was a placeholder, and we shall not speak of it.

I agree that the pace of the books, combined with the 1-2 year wait between each book, can be frustrating at times. I started reading right when book 8 came out-I bet people who started over a decade ago are just sick of it. A new reader doesn't really have to deal with that though.

So, to sum up- Wheel of Time is pretty damn good, and Sword of Truth makes me want to attack cardboard boxes with a machete.

blackfox
2006-08-06, 08:14 PM
I'm with the gang; the middle books are complete drudgery, but Crossroads does pick up the pace again. I haven't read the new one since I refuse to buy the things in hardcover, but I'll pick it up once it comes out in paper.Don't you guys have public libraries out in Indiana?

Anyways, what everyone else said. ;) After Fires of Heaven, the books aren't as good. Winter's Heart is only okay, and Crossroads of Twilight is almost boring. Knife of Dreams is really good, however, enough so that it's worth it to read the other books to get to KoD without spoiling the entire series.

Steward
2006-08-06, 10:43 PM
Robert Jordan did the old 'bait n' switch' on me. He hooked me with a competent fantasy novel, then turned over all writing, characterization, and plot to the Tediomatic Fantasy Novel manufacturer and set it on 'repetitive boringness'.


Don't you guys have public libraries out in Indiana?

I am within helicopter distance of a public library, which is lucky since I wasn't planning on spending money on any new Robert Jordans ever again. You'd get more use out of bottled hot air.

Equlan
2006-08-07, 03:04 AM
I have to agree that the story gets a lot less good after the first few books, I've read the first seven or eight ones. Far too longwinded, blech.

I used to enjoy Sword of Truth, but I, too, got sick of his endless preaching and repetitive plots... and now I realize just how much he has ripped off Jordan - that series is dead to me :-/

http://rinkworks.com/fnovel/

Somewhat amusing... but despite them mentioning Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books, that entire list of questions left me more thinking about Dragonlance Chronicles than anything else.
There are barroom brawls in LotR, no frying pans used as weapons (in the book), I'd hardly call Gandalf forgetful (nor is he quite a god, though he's up there), and so on and so on... so how can people rip off that book by using those things? ???
(though they would do well to avoid most of it, a few are alright per book though :P )

Serpentine
2006-08-07, 07:53 AM
I gave up on WoT some time after the main character (Rand, was it?) demanded a bath from people in the middle of a desert who needed every drop of water they could scrounge. All the men are spoilt, arrogant pooheads, and all the women are crazy, man-hating or -pitying power-bitches. That's how I remember it, anyway, this was some years ago. I just didn't like any of the characters. Except for maybe one or two, but they weren't worth hanging around for.

Sorry Swarm, I think you've hit a sore spot.

Fhaolan
2006-08-07, 12:50 PM
I liked the first book in the Wheel of Time series, and the first book in the Sword of Truth series.

After that, I got tired of it. Goodkind showed some wit with the 'wizard's first rule' concept. Jordon had a very full-feeling fantasy world that his book was based in.

Goodkind, unfortunately, fell into the standard long-series problem of power creep. Everything had to be bigger and badder than the previous book, and the only way to defeat the every-increasing 'evil' was for the main character to increase in power, leading to the next villain being even more bigger and badder... etc. This may work in an RPG where the characters are leveling between each 'adventure', but this is supposed to be literature. In literature this becomes boring right quick.

Jordon... seems to have gotten lost in his own world, and he seriously doesn't seem to like women much. In later books I was skipping chapters because he's trying to follow far too many characters on far too many subplots that I just can't force myself to care about. In one of the last ones I tried to read, I realized that I only read one or two chapters out of the entire book because it was the only ones that involved Mat or Perrin, the last two characters I'm actually interested in.

All his female characters appear to be angry and immature, throwing temper tantrums on the rare occasion that they don't get their own way. They act randomly, refuse to listen to anyone who attempts to reason with them, and only respect people who can physically or magically beat them and even then it's really a resentful obedience rather than respect. Add in the fact that they are all obsessed with being attractive, and that a good chunk of them are competing over who gets to be in the main character's harem... This is far more wish-fullfilment on the part of the male author than what I'm willing to deal with as a reader.

Democratus
2006-08-08, 07:52 AM
*head explodes*

Barring the first book (which I actually enjoyed), Sword of Truth is hackneyed and derivative.

Right. Whereas the Wheel of Time is incredibly original. ::)

Let's see. Young man in rural setting finds out that he has a great destiny. Older, mentor character takes him away from his mundane life into a world of adventure. Mayhem ensues.

Yep. Entirely original. No dirivatives here. :-/

Caillach
2006-08-08, 02:11 PM
Both books are guilty of that. If asked the authors would probably say it was playing to the archtypes. I call it an extreme lack of creativity and effort.
The archtypes can be great, so long as you use them in a neat way. But these guys (as I think someone else pointed out) are confusing archtype with stereotype, and it just makes me sick that their makeing loads of money off it. :P

Dragonmuncher
2006-08-09, 12:24 AM
Right. *Whereas the Wheel of Time is incredibly original. *::)

Let's see. *Young man in rural setting finds out that he has a great destiny. *Older, mentor character takes him away from his mundane life into a world of adventure. *Mayhem ensues.

Yep. *Entirely original. *No dirivatives here. *:-/


Yeah... I won't deny, Eye of the World had some cliches in it. My point was that the setting itself of Wheel of Time is fairly original, or at least an original way of looking at some common themes (good vs. evil, man vs. woman) It's also impossible to deny that there are far too many concepts from the Sword of Truth nearly identical to WoT to be coincidence.

From my post before:


I mean, a sect of austere woman magic users, who live off in their own little world, who believe that male magic users are dangerous and must be controlled? Male confessors who go insane with their power? The Mud People (see- Aiel) The whole concept of "The Nameless One?" The peasant bumpkin who sort of stumbles his way into ultimate power? A lot of that stuff was done in WoT, and other fantasy novels, and done better.


Aes Sedai/Sisters of the Light- meddlesome sorceress society, with a dark cult hidden inside, matriarchy that gets pulled down and replaced with an inexperienced leader.

Forgot to mention the Blood of the Fold/Children of the Light- both groups of anti-magic, militaristic zealots.

Oh... and "Han?" Males and females access their "Han" differently? Richard's emotionless "Han" exercise? The fact that males are stronger than females? "Embracing your Han?" Identical to WoT's magic system, although not nearly as well developed.

See what I mean? One or two can be coincidences, or "archetypes," but there's so many blatent similarities my eyes bleed.

The Prince of Cats
2006-08-09, 04:43 AM
One thing in the series that particularly irks me is how Jordan will introduce an interesting character that held some story promise, then promptly kills them off
Well keep well-clear of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series then... :P

Closet_Skeleton
2006-08-09, 12:13 PM
I was happy with Knife of Dreams because it gave me hope that this seris wasn't all bad. He is bassically telling at least 5 stories at once so it takes some work. And I have to forgive him for all the drawn out books just because of Mat who is one of my favorite Fantasy heros. But if Jordan dies before he finishes the seris there will be heck to pay.


If Jordon dies before he finishes it will be his own fault.

I read Stormbringer by Michael Morcock some time this yeah. It is rougthly 120 pages long. In it he introduces the hero, kills multiple gods, has multiple full scale battles, rescues the same princess twice, goes on two quests for magical items and has three duels with the main villain.

I won't ever read wheel of time. Not when there are 10+ books, each of which is 800+ pages long. I just can't be bothered.

Mike_G
2006-08-09, 02:10 PM
I strongl;y advise you read some Old School fantasy.

Like Clsoet_Skeleton says, Moorcock accomplished in 100 pages what Jordan can't in a thousand.

Zelazy's Amber series, Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Some Robert E Howard just for the pulpy goodness and some more modern stuff like Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series are unique, interesting and the stories all finish in a single book, or in Zelany's case, a series of five, but each under 200 pages.

Good, solid characters, no Tolkien grave-robbing, nary a Dwarf or Elf, just good, solid original Fantasy.

IcarusSteelwings
2006-08-10, 12:06 AM
I read through the series and though they were amazing when I first started. I blazed through through those early books. Then at around book 7 or 8 for me they kinda dropped off. I didn't even finish book 10 the first time. I read the prequel, New Spring and thought that was excellent, a good return to the original books. Then when i heard the 11th book was out and was suppossedly good like the others, I decided to reread the whole series and try to finish it this time (luckily I read really fast). I finished it and I have to say the 10th book really disappoints me. I mean could there have been a bigger cliffhanger. I'm glad I didn't finish it the first time. Of course I haven't gotten the next book yet because I need paperback. Even though the series gets pretty boring in some points, there are really good scenes in every book so I would recommend reading through the whole series.

theswarm
2006-08-11, 12:58 AM
i'm back, most of the way through book 4 now. Awww, Perrin and Faile are so sweet together. Ehh, I think Mat and Perrin are the best charecters, Rand is getting weird. He was barely in The Dragon Reborn at all. I agree that the first book was incredibly cliche, but Jordan adds enough subplots and twist to keep them fresh. I like it now, I'll have to see if it gets to complicated.

McDeath
2006-08-13, 07:22 AM
Books 5/6-10 were essentially Jordan marking time while he figured out a way to end the series. Yuch. Do you have any idea how long it took me to read the series?

Well okay, a week. But still.

Book eleven was much, much better than the previous several; it actually moved the plot forward! Yay for that.

Rand as a character didn't develop much for a while, but suddenly with 10/11 he has changed a lot. Man, think of how crowded the guy's head is! Alanna, Min, Aviendha, Elayne, Moridin, Lew Therin...what a headache. Oh, I did NOT just pun.

I like Mat. Tuon gets on my nerves; she has no concept of reality. Well, that's pretty much every female character. They consider the males inferior (I'm serious, read some of the internal monologues), but every single time the womenfolk get into trouble, a) it is their fault, and b) the males rescue them. Except for about two occassions, and I consider Birgitte a pseudo-male character anyway.

Rant all clear.

Forderz
2006-08-15, 03:00 AM
In my humble opinion, the only characters worth giving a spoon about are those from books 1-3. From there on there are too many characters to keep track of, with too many plots, and to many sexist situations. My books are molding on a back shelf. I wasted around 2 weeks of my life on those... >:(

Truwar
2006-08-17, 06:23 PM
All his female characters appear to be angry and immature, throwing temper tantrums on the rare occasion that they don't get their own way. They act randomly, refuse to listen to anyone who attempts to reason with them, and only respect people who can physically or magically beat them and even then it's really a resentful obedience rather than respect. Add in the fact that they are all obsessed with being attractive, and that a good chunk of them are competing over who gets to be in the main character's harem... This is far more wish-fullfilment on the part of the male author than what I'm willing to deal with as a reader.

I think you are descrying the female channelers more than any other female character (and while they do appear less mature in some respects, they are MUCH more mature than the males in many other ways). I think that is intended to show the channeler’s unspoken belief that they are above those that cannot channel, as is evidenced by the horror they feel at the thought of being stilled. Much of the women’s wrong-headedness stems from the idea that men are not really capable of taking care of themselves and by extension others. As far as being obsessed with looks, I am sure you are right most women do not spend much time thinking about how they look… As far as “wish fulfillment” goes, I hardly think that the main character is all that excited about his situation.



I like Mat. Tuon gets on my nerves; she has no concept of reality. Well, that's pretty much every female character. They consider the males inferior (I'm serious, read some of the internal monologues), but every single time the womenfolk get into trouble, a) it is their fault, and b) the males rescue them. Except for about two occassions, and I consider Birgitte a pseudo-male character anyway.

The idea that men can barely take care of themselves is hardly an invention of Robert Jordan. It is a widely held belief in our society. Women are described as maturing earlier and usually thought of as more level headed than men. This is simply magnified by women’s place as the most powerful people in the world. As far as it being a) the female’s fault or b) needing rescue by a male: several characters have been saved time and time again by females (Perrin saved by Faile at Emmonds Field, Mat saved from the dagger by the Aes Sedai, Rand saved from being killed by Rahvin by Nynaeve) and the men have gotten themselves in hot water through foolishness many times (Mat and the dagger form Shadar Logoth, Rand and getting captured in Lord of Chaos, Perrin’s marital stumbles).

Token
2006-08-17, 08:18 PM
I really wish I could get back into the Wheel of Time. When I read it first time round, I got bored partway through Winter's Heart. Then I left it for a while, came back, and realised I'd forgotten everything. I tried to start from the beginning, but didn't get as far. Every time I try and reread it, I get a little less far.

Also, it's not so much that Goodkind is preachy, but that he so often has straw men in place for all his attacks on things he doesn't like. If his representations of, say, communism or pacifism were accurate, then I would be more inclined to read his books. But they're not, so I'm not.

An annoying similarity between the two series that hasn't been pointed out is that no one (especially the women) ever believes Rand/Richard about whatever peril faces the world until it's so obvious that he's right that they have to give in. I mean, HE WAS RIGHT THE LAST FIVE BOOKS! Whatever happened to pattern recognition?

Steward
2006-08-17, 10:37 PM
The idea that men can barely take care of themselves is hardly an invention of Robert Jordan. It is a widely held belief in our society.

That doesn't make it reasonable. Especially in the case of Rand, who is quite the demigod among mortals. The man has literally no frailties and he should be getting a lot more respect than he's currently getting after all his achievements. I mean, he's a ta'veren, a master swordsman, a Channeler, an elementalist, and some kind of bizarre hypnotist as well.

That leads to my problem with Rand al'Thor. He's clearly defined solely by his superpowers, which keep growing and growing with each installment. Richard Cypher is the same way, except worse because Richard is a real prick whereas Rand is merely bland.

kriklaf
2006-08-20, 03:56 PM
That leads to my problem with Rand al'Thor. He's clearly defined solely by his superpowers, which keep growing and growing with each installment. Richard Cypher is the same way, except worse because Richard is a real prick whereas Rand is merely bland.

That's a very good point. While I thoroughly enjoy the first 5ish books each time I read them, and thought the last one was good enough that I can recommend the series to others in good faith again (despite agreeing that the middle several are total crap) I feel like most of the characters have strayed from real people into wierd exaggerations. Rand was an interesting character in the first few books. Now, he's just the Dragon. Eh.

I've said before on these boards what I think of Goodkind and his...art...I won't do so again here except to say that I can't stand it. In summary, while I too have despaired of Jordan ever finishing his series and in fact kind of wish he'd stopped at 3, I've come too far to quit now (seriously, I've been waiting on 'the next Robert Jordan book' since I was 12). If you don't mind long books, are prepared to suffer through some truly unneccesary plot turns, and don't mind risking the wrath of those who couldn't force themselves to continue, read 'em. It will at least keep you busy for a while.

Kruxx06
2006-08-20, 11:19 PM
I personally enjoyed the first few WoT books before Rand became super powered. One thing in the series that particularly irks me is how Jordan will introduce an interesting character that held some story promise, then promptly kills them off (often with that annoyng balefire).

Personally I think the mark of a good author is when they are not afraid to kill off charaters. Countless authors will write books where every single hero will live through untold dangers, where by the end of the book no matter what happens you always know in the back of your head that the person, and everyone around them will somehow live. Books where you don't know if the main charaters will live or die are alot more fun to read.

That being said I think his weakest books were 1 and 10. The first because he over describes everything, and the tenth because nothing much happened, and there was a large overuse of fishing metaphores.

Steward
2006-08-21, 12:35 AM
Personally I think the mark of a good author is when they are not afraid to kill off charaters.

However, the mark of a bad author is when their characters die and you struggle to care.

Personally, I prefer authors who don't practice the 'bolt from heaven' diabolus ex machina crap that's starting to plague fantasy. Character deaths should mean something and shouldn't be a lame plot device to further whatever half-baked scheme the author cooked up.

Remember the death of Rahvin via the 'bolt from heaven'? Remember how a bunch of his victims sprung back to life, proving essentially that their deaths meant nothing? Yeah, that's what I was mentioning.

theswarm
2006-08-21, 01:55 AM
Bool 4 was a managably size; 3 main plotlines; Mat/Rand/Egwene in the Waste, Perrin and Faile in the Two Rivers, and Nyneve/Elayne/Sander/Thom in Tanchico anything ese would have overdone it a bit. Rand is a bland charecter now, his struggle with channeling is not explained well enough for you to empathize with him.

The sexism pisses me off, too

Truwar
2006-08-21, 05:17 PM
That doesn't make it reasonable. Especially in the case of Rand, who is quite the demigod among mortals. The man has literally no frailties and he should be getting a lot more respect than he's currently getting after all his achievements. I mean, he's a ta'veren, a master swordsman, a Channeler, an elementalist, and some kind of bizarre hypnotist as well.

I think that is the POINT. *Time after time Rand proves he is more than capable of taking care of himself but people (Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, etc.) who have wielded power since the breaking of the world cannot quite bring themselves to believe that. *Although he still makes errors (i.e. believing that Alviarin will support him) he is generally a step or two ahead of those that “know better than him.” The way they act towards him is not SUPPOSED to be reasonable.


That leads to my problem with Rand al'Thor. He's clearly defined solely by his superpowers, which keep growing and growing with each installment. Richard Cypher is the same way, except worse because Richard is a real prick whereas Rand is merely bland.

What would it take for Rand to NOT be bland? I mean cripes, he spends most of the first three books absolutely disbelieving he is the Dragon Reborn and spends a good deal of the rest with a dead guy talking in his head. *He seems a lot more fleshed out than most fantasy protagonists I have read about. *


The sexism pisses me off, too

Are you talking about the sexism the women show towards the men or are you offended by the fact that women are not depicted as more enlightened than the men?

Steward
2006-08-21, 06:42 PM
What would it take for Rand to NOT be bland? I mean cripes, he spends most of the first three books absolutely disbelieving he is the Dragon Reborn and spends a good deal of the rest with a dead guy talking in his head. He seems a lot more fleshed out than most fantasy protagonists I have read about.

Personally, I'd like for him to have things in his life that aren't influenced by his superpowers. The way he is now, it seems as if every milestone in his life MUST be accompanied by a new skill or something relating to his Dragon Reborn-ness. In fact, I find that it's difficult for me to imagine Rand as anyone without his powers.

Midnight Son
2006-08-21, 07:37 PM
Personally, I'd like for him to have things in his life that aren't influenced by his superpowers. The way he is now, it seems as if every milestone in his life MUST be accompanied by a new skill or something relating to his Dragon Reborn-ness. In fact, I find that it's difficult for me to imagine Rand as anyone without his powers.
IIRC, he must learn compassion again or the world is doomed. I think Rand is an excellent character, It's just that he's not as down to earth as his two best friends. As for being defined by his powers, all Aes Sedai are defined by the world by what they can do. What you want us to think, "Superman? Now there's a guy who plays a mean game of chess." Rand has aspects of himself that are not based on his powers, but a large part of his current life is centered on learning and controlling them. Such would be the case of any person who has a catastrophic life change forced upon them.

Steward
2006-08-22, 01:50 AM
As for being defined by his powers, all Aes Sedai are defined by the world by what they can do. What you want us to think, "Superman? Now there's a guy who plays a mean game of chess."

The problem is, unlike Superman, Rand's personality is entirely defined by his powers. In fact, all of his experiences are about being a Dragon Reborn or a ta'veren. And he constantly, constantly, constantly becomes more powerful, with Robert Jordan similarly escalating the threat level until it's almost a ludicrous parody of a D&D game.

Sure, he has his conflicts. But what are the odds that Rand can't just develop or discover a new ability that will solve all of them. Robert Jordan just keeps yanking out new skills and abilities for Our Hero and it's making Rand look like a living machine.

This is especially bad since other characters in the story like Mat quite a bit more interesting than Our Hero.



Rand has aspects of himself that are not based on his powers, but a large part of his current life is centered on learning and controlling them. Such would be the case of any person who has a catastrophic life change forced upon them.

That doesn't mean that their original personalities have to disappear. After all, actors still do something other than act. World leaders still do things other than world-leading. Rand wasn't always God, and there's no reason for his powers to erode his character.

Midnight Son
2006-08-22, 11:35 AM
The problem is, unlike Superman, Rand's personality is entirely defined by his powers. In fact, all of his experiences are about being a Dragon Reborn or a ta'veren. And he constantly, constantly, constantly becomes more powerful, with Robert Jordan similarly escalating the threat level until it's almost a ludicrous parody of a D&D game.

Sure, he has his conflicts. But what are the odds that Rand can't just develop or discover a new ability that will solve all of them. Robert Jordan just keeps yanking out new skills and abilities for Our Hero and it's making Rand look like a living machine. *

This is especially bad since other characters in the story like Mat quite a bit more interesting than Our Hero.


That doesn't mean that their original personalities have to disappear. After all, actors still do something other than act. World leaders still do things other than world-leading. Rand wasn't always God, and there's no reason for his powers to erode his character.There is every reason for him to be defined by his power and lose his former personality. Rand has been consumed by the Dragon Reborn. There is no Rand left. This is seen in the fact that by book 5 he lost most of the compassion he held as a non-power user. He had to work hard to drum up any feeling for Moraine's loss. Then, after he gets brutally mistreated by the women who are supposed to be helping him succeed, he lets the Dragon completely take him over. At this point, his winning the last battle is not much better than his losing it. He has no feeling as evidenced by the fact that none of the females can tell what he feels through the bond even when he's going through intense battle. The only thing they feel is if he gets injured. He is the Dragon. That's all he is anymore. he's lost himself in the jumble of the power and the struggle to survive and do what he feels he must. part of what I like about the story is his losing struggle to remain himself and the attempts by those who care to help him return.

As for him becoming more powerful and the threat getting greater, that is the nature of learning your power. You get more powerful. Remember, it's only been about 2 years since his power has manifested and he's largely self taught. An Eas Sedai usually goes through years and years of learning to reach their potential. Even Egwene, who was forced, has not learned all she can do. The threat getting greater is also natural as the Dark One gets closer and closer to breaking free. The closer he gets, the more power he can use to affect the world.

And Superman is 100% defined by his power. Clark Kent has a made up personality based on Superman's need to blend from time to time. No one looks at Superman as a guy to go get drinks with after work. He is his powers.

Steward
2006-08-22, 04:25 PM
There is every reason for him to be defined by his power and lose his former personality. Rand has been consumed by the Dragon Reborn. There is no Rand left. This is seen in the fact that by book 5 he lost most of the compassion he held as a non-power user. He had to work hard to drum up any feeling for Moraine's loss. Then, after he gets brutally mistreated by the women who are supposed to be helping him succeed, he lets the Dragon completely take him over. At this point, his winning the last battle is not much better than his losing it. He has no feeling as evidenced by the fact that none of the females can tell what he feels through the bond even when he's going through intense battle. The only thing they feel is if he gets injured. He is the Dragon. That's all he is anymore. he's lost himself in the jumble of the power and the struggle to survive and do what he feels he must. part of what I like about the story is his losing struggle to remain himself and the attempts by those who care to help him return.

That's exactly why I find Rand so unspeakably bland and boring. He's not a person, he's just a bundle of powers that just keep growing and growing. His conflicts are tedious because he is tedious. He's like one of those canon Mary Sues, who are basically nothing but powers. I just can't identify or like someone who is so far removed from being a person or having any personality traits whatsoever. I think that's one of Robert Jordan's biggest screw-ups; making your hero essentially a bundle of powers is one of the quickest ways to make him a robot.

I don't know about you, but it's hard to care about someone who has no weaknesses or frailties and I am continually surprised that anyone in the series is till Rand's friend. He's nothing more than an emotionally-dead cliche.




As for him becoming more powerful and the threat getting greater, that is the nature of learning your power. You get more powerful.

The problem is that the rapid accumulation of superpowers has far out-stripped the characterizations of Rand and pretty much every other character in the series. Almost everyone is a cardboard cutout, a cypher who could be easily replaced by anyone else. Robert Jordan's characterization of everyone, not just Rand, is almost exactly the same. The women are constantly saying things like "woolheads" while the men are always dimwitted oafs.


Remember, it's only been about 2 years since his power has manifested and he's largely self taught. An Eas Sedai usually goes through years and years of learning to reach their potential. Even Egwene, who was forced, has not learned all she can do. The threat getting greater is also natural as the Dark One gets closer and closer to breaking free. The closer he gets, the more power he can use to affect the world.

The other problem with this is that since the world and everyone in it is SO dry and SO flat that it's nearly impossible for me to care about Shaitan's threats. If Robert Jordan were to make Rand (or ANY of this other characters) even remotely interesting or compelling, then the series would be much better.






And Superman is 100% defined by his power. Clark Kent has a made up personality based on Superman's need to blend from time to time. No one looks at Superman as a guy to go get drinks with after work. He is his powers.


At least Superman does something other than being Superman. He doesn't always stay in costume and he's not always fighting some guy. And he sometimes loses his fights and sometimes feels like quitting. He at least pretends to be a person and does person-stuff sometimes instead of staying in robot mode 24-hours a day. He actually has conflicts and sometimes it looks like the villain might have the upper hand, which is almost never the case with Rand the God.

Midnight Son
2006-08-22, 05:27 PM
That's exactly why I find Rand so unspeakably bland and boring. He's not a person, he's just a bundle of powers that just keep growing and growing. His conflicts are tedious because he is tedious. He's like one of those canon Mary Sues, who are basically nothing but powers. I just can't identify or like someone who is so far removed from being a person or having any personality traits whatsoever. I think that's one of Robert Jordan's biggest screw-ups; making your hero essentially a bundle of powers is one of the quickest ways to make him a robot.

I don't know about you, but it's hard to care about someone who has no weaknesses or frailties and I am continually surprised that anyone in the series is till Rand's friend. He's nothing more than an emotionally-dead cliche.


The problem is that the rapid accumulation of superpowers has far out-stripped the characterizations of Rand and pretty much every other character in the series. Almost everyone is a cardboard cutout, a cypher who could be easily replaced by anyone else. Robert Jordan's characterization of everyone, not just Rand, is almost exactly the same. The women are constantly saying things like "woolheads" while the men are always dimwitted oafs.


The other problem with this is that since the world and everyone in it is SO dry and SO flat that it's nearly impossible for me to care about Shaitan's threats. If Robert Jordan were to make Rand (or ANY of this other characters) even remotely interesting or compelling, then the series would be much better.




At least Superman does something other than being Superman. He doesn't always stay in costume and he's not always fighting some guy. And he sometimes loses his fights and sometimes feels like quitting. He at least pretends to be a person and does person-stuff sometimes instead of staying in robot mode 24-hours a day. He actually has conflicts and sometimes it looks like the villain might have the upper hand, which is almost never the case with Rand the God.


See my sig for rebuttal. Essentially we are going to disagree on this till the Last Battle is come and gone. I think he is a very fleshed out character. You don't. Since I dislike Point/Counterpoint especially when both parties are just reiterating previous points, I will be withdrawing from this debate.

Truwar
2006-08-23, 05:43 PM
That's exactly why I find Rand so unspeakably bland and boring.

If you find Rand unspeakably bland and boring, what is main character from a Fantasy novel that you find interesting?

McDeath
2006-08-25, 08:36 AM
If you want a cardboard character, Lan.

Most stereotypical character EVER!

Steward
2006-08-25, 05:30 PM
If you find Rand unspeakably bland and boring, what is main character from a Fantasy novel that you find interesting?

1) Frodo Baggins/Samwise Gamgee/Bilbo Baggins -- Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
2) Christopher Chant/Eric Chant/Polly & Tom Lynn -- works of Diana Wynne Jones
3) Samuel Vimes Sr./Moist von Lipwig/William de Worde/Granny Weatherwax -- works of Terry Pratchett

There are a bunch more that I can't think of right now, though.

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See my sig for rebuttal. Essentially we are going to disagree on this till the Last Battle is come and gone. I think he is a very fleshed out character. You don't. Since I dislike Point/Counterpoint especially when both parties are just reiterating previous points, I will be withdrawing from this debate.

Ah, okay. It was nice talking with you.