The Wheel of Time 6-11
Lord of Chaos
A Crown of Swords
The Path of Daggers
Crossroads of Twilight
Knife of Dreams
By: Robert Jordan
My Rating: Four out of five stars.
Best for: 14 and up
A journey of 12,000 pages starts at page 1
If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know I’ve been putting off reading The Wheel of Time. It’s so long! Reading it straight through (there’s just no other way to do it, right?!) would mean something like 9 months of reading nothing but Wheel of Time–and even that would require 45 pages a day, every day. I don’t mind the task, but that just doesn’t fit into One Man Book Club’s reading plans. I’m certain One Man Book Club’s fans would get sick of me exclusively talking about Wheel of Time for an entire year! So, I’m approaching this differently than other reading projects.
How? Well…I’ve become a book polygamist, for one. I’m now reading two books at once–Wheel of Time on audio and something else as an eBook. It’s making both books move slower than they would otherwise, but it also enables me to move through Wheel of Time AND keep a regular stream of other interesting books to talk about! For two, I’m not reviewing The Wheel of Time as I go. I think a separate review for each book would be kind of boring. Instead, I’m going review them in chunks. I shared my thoughts on books 1-5 a few weeks ago. I’ve been working hard to move through the series, and guess what!!! I’m THRILLED to have finished book 11! YAY!!!
Can we take just a second to appreciate this feat?
In those same 8 months I’ve read an ADDITIONAL 28 other books, call it 12,000 pages…
Phew. I am so ready for Wheel of Time to be DONE! Hallelujah, the payoff is here, because books 12, 13, and 14 were written by THE Brandon Sanderson. They’re the last three Sanderson books I haven’t read and I’m SO looking forward to them! I’ll give you just a little sneak peek: As of this writing I’m about 200 pages into book 12, and the Jordan vs Sanderson experience is so, so different. THESE LAST THREE BOOKS ARE GOING TO BE EPIC!
Okay, enough of that. Some thoughts on books 6-11 (with a ninja-mode hint at the end):
I’m sorry to say–the death-by-1000-details problem doesn’t get better. It gets worse. (Btw, I stumbled on this brilliant vid that illustrates this in less that 1 min: Check it out here)
The terrible male/female stereotypes? Gets worse.
The obsessive descriptions of every female character’s physical attributes, with special attention to body shape and breast size? Worse.
The pacing problems? Yep. Worse.
The pacing is especially rough once you hit books 9, 10, and 11. Those books are big and fat and long…and nothing happens. Well, maybe a little bit happens, and that little bit is super important connective tissue for the bigger story, but still, the storyline d……r…….a…….g…….s……..in those poor books! I can’t imagine being a fan since book 1 in 1990, faithfully waiting for a new book every year or two for 13 YEARS, only to have been delivered book 10. What a blow that would have been, not knowing that Brandon Sanderson was going to come along a few years later to save the day.
Now–If you’ve read this far, you’ve got to be thinking to yourself, “If it’s so bad, why should I read it?!”
Simple. The STORY is amazing.
The Wheel of Time is a story of truly epic proportions. The world is huge. The lore is huge. The conflict is huge. The timeline. The stakes. The character growth. The battles. The relationships. It’s all huge. If you love huge, epic-sized fantasy stories with all the requisite magical powers, evil creatures, chosen-one prophesies, oversized battles, and spending time in the common rooms of every inn in every town, you’re going to really enjoy The Wheel of Time.
“But is it worth it?” you ask? Yes. If epic-sized fantasy is your thing, especially yes.
But you’ll want to know my ninja-mode hack to survive books 9, 10, and 11: Use a Wheel of Time Wiki to read chapter summaries! If something important or interesting happens, then go read the chapters. Otherwise, use the Wiki summaries to get the facts and move on. I’m telling you, it’s a lifesaver, it’s works perfectly, and it’s worth it.
The sexual content got turned up a couple notches towards the end of these middle books. It’s all 100% off-screen and non-descriptive, but you know what’s going on. The violence steps up slightly too, but no language concerns at all. Even still, these concerns are quite mild, so I’ll say these books are best for 14 and up. And that’s even mostly because of the pacing.
Now I’m off to finish this thing!