Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Wheel of Time Series

It took me almost three weeks to finish the 13th installment of the Wheel of Time series, 'Towers of Midnight." This is a record for me as I'm quite sure it's never taken me three weeks to read anything, ever. The major reason it took so long, besides the fact that it's nearly 1000 pages, is that the book is huge and pretty hard to hold while feeding my baby. I look forward to getting through 4-5 books a week now that I'm going back to paperbacks.

The Wheel of Time Series is easily categorized as high fantasy. It has about 100xs more characters than the Lord of the Rings series, and there is much more romance (not a single love story was shoved in the appendix). Supposedly the next book, which will come out some time later this year, will be the last. If you start reading now, you might be able to catch up!

It has all the tenets of a good fantasy. Good vs. evil, magic (the One Power), villains, heroes, princesses, orphans, battles, various civilizations, you name it. The main plot line (there are literally dozens of side plots) is that a young man, Rand al'Thor, is supposed to fight the Dark One at "Tairmon Gaidon" (Armageddon) and the fate of the world depends on who wins. It would be way too exhausting to give more details then that.

One interesting thing to note is that the original author, Robert Jordan, died, and another author, Brandon Sanderson, has taken over. Sanderson is using Jordan's notes, but he definitely gives his own twist. Sanderson is LDS and a professor at BYU and I definitely felt like there were some LDS-undertones, especially in this last book. The characters talk about "The Creator" more, and seem to have a stronger moral sense. I also felt like he gave the characters a little less depth because he habitually over-explains their thinking, but that's just me.

Recently, the first three books in the series were re-marketed for teens. I think teens into fantasy would really like these books, actually, and adults as well.. If you love fantasy, this series is probably worth reading. If you don't like fantasy, you should definitely skip this series. These would be good vacation reads, as they are not particularly emotionally demanding.

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