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October 31, 2008 |

By Brian Prisco | Books | October 31, 2008 |

Hallelujah! I’m finally finished! Holy shit and shove me in it!

I’ve been reading this 1000+ page behemoth for about six or seven other novels now — it was originally book 13. It’s not that it was an arduous or painful novel, it’s just that it’s so. fucking. long.

Everyone’s been pissing on Jordan, but I’m going to have to call a respect your elders on this one. While fanboys love to laud Tolkien as unparalleled father of fantasy — much as I do with Romero and zombies — let us not forget that much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is characters with a thousand names walking around for many, many pages. But as far as I’m concerned, fantasy has advanced well since the hallowed days of Tolkien. It’s gone from the Shire, to Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorean and Jordan’s Wheel of Time, to Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. While I’m willing to accept that the Martin series is tits out the bomb, I’m not going to discount my enjoyment of Rand al’Thor and his quest to fulfill the prophecy of the Dragon Reborn.

Not to say, it’s not getting a little waining.

The books are getting bigger, and more unwieldy, and slightly repetitive. If the Lord of the Rings trilogy was walk, walk, throw the ring, a formula has started showing in Wheel of Time. People scatter around, men are woolbrained, women are impossible to understand, the characters speak the same general lines over and over. Then there is a giant war against the Trollocs, and Rand does some sort of insane magic war against one of the Forsaken. It’s getting like a video game, only instead of a level boss, I’m fighting against a 800+ page narrative. But I’m not going to stop.

I am however going to try to space them out. I want to read the final book when it comes out next year, but I don’t want to have to slog through all of these books to remember them. This is no Harry Potter re-read. This is big. So I’m trying to time it so that by the time book 12 comes out in 2009, I’ll be done with the rest. So there’s gonna be Books 5 and 6 on the list for the Cannonball Read, but I think I might stop with those. Maybe 7, we’ll see. I’ve started replacing some of my long in the series novels with some novels. Just because I’m getting glutted with massive fantasy tomes.

Still Shadow Rising advanced the story, and I look forward to the further adventures. But for now, I’m probably putting about 10 more between me and Fires of Heaven.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. Details are here and the growing number of participants and their blogs are here.

Cannonball Read / Brian Prisco

Books | October 31, 2008 |

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