Amph [Wheel of Time] A Memory of Light (HTR spoilers allowed)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jek_Windu, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Thanks, Tim!


    Show Spoiler

    I don't really consider those Compelled as Darkfriends. But I didn't realize that as I read through. Sometimes I skip over things...

    If Lan and/or Faile didn't live, I was probably going to cry. Lan deserves to live after all the utter crap the authors put him through. It really would have sucked for Nynaeve...and Perrin. They hide their emotions, but Lan & Faile bring out the best (and crazy :p) in them both.
  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    And so it begins.....

    [IMG]

    Not quite sure which thread to go for now, given the last book's been out for ages.

    Anyway, have finally started the WoT re-read of Volumes 1-11. Could take a while, but am around 100 pages into Eye of the World.

    Oh and Nynaeve still has a "hate on sight" sticker plastered all over her character, if you wanted to start a war - then make her your chief negotiator, you'll be fighting before you know it!
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Mar 30, 2014
  3. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, got through Eye of the World, which had its high points - Shadar Logoth remains bloody creepy, as does the Blight. You can pretty much bank that there'll be a half-decent action finale.

    But problems..... Quite simply I'm not 14, that was a long, long time ago and I'm not sure what I ever saw in this lot, can't say I care for any of them! And if the truly teeth-grindingly bad social observations on gender were removed, the book would be so much shorter and better.

    In short, decided that I would be unable to stomach 10-11 more books of this so jumped to Book 12, the Gathering Storm.

    Will I read the next two? Yes, if only to see how it ends. Will they ever be re-read? Errrrrr...... I'll get back to you on that.

    It's interesting seeing how Sanderson writes the story, but I couldn't say his work here tops his own creations - I'd likely rank Mistborn or Stormlight Archive way above this. I also read far slower these days but tend to notice more - but on this one I was pretty much flicking through the pages, more often than not due to boredom. Sometimes due to the sheer artifice and dragged out nature, other things irritated - why the hell didn't anyone balefire Semirhage from the off? To a degree Sanderson is able to reduce the worst elements of Jordan's but he can only reduce.

    The problem with the relationships? I suppose the best defence of them you could make would be to class as soap opera. I'd still be inclined to class it as a really bad soap opera. There's 2 major issues with how the great bulk of the characters act. I've likely worked with hundreds of people over the last decade, very few toxic personalities or pointlessly adversarial gits amongst them, guess what? Yep, the WoT characters fall into both categories! Oh you can wield magic? Congrats, you get to be an even worse git than those without! At the same time, I've been married for just under 10 years. The result of both of those? None of these relationships works for me. It's too argy-bargy, too much conspiracy theory, too much rage and anger as a first resort, if not going all the way to out-right violence - it's quite repulsive.

    So onto Towers of Midnight..... Oh about that re-read? Highly unlikely I'd say.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Apr 8, 2014
  4. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    I feel like Sanderson did an excellent job keeping Jordan's style but weaning us from that enough that it's less 'in your face.'
    I also see it as that's how human history was in many places.


    Did you feel like you were missing too much? Since I know the entire story (okay, bits & pieces, my memory is horrid), when I read the later parts I really can't tell how well the past novels were summed up.

    Will I read the next two? Yes, if only to see how it ends. Will they ever be re-read? Errrrrr...... I'll get back to you on that.


    Balefire shouldn't even be used. It's horrific. It's like using an atom bomb or something to eliminate all enemies.

    Your take on the Sanderson front is spot on.
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I'm very sceptical of any fantasy being anything like history and don't really look to it to be that. Probably why GoT holds little appeal, if I want to read of a bunch of medieval houses being utter bastards, there's no shortage of the real thing available!

    Ever read Gaiman's Sandman? #73 has this great riff on how we view history compared to how it actually was - Gaiman was poking fun at the whole medieval era love-in, the underlying point being no one in their right mind would want to go back to that!

    As to the jump, had I not already read those books, I'd be missing loads but as it is there's so interminable plotlines, with little progress, it wasn't too bad.

    As to balefire, yes, I would agree in 987 out of 1000 cases, it should never be resorted - but I'll make an exception for the 13 Forsaken!

    There were things I liked in TGS but did I have go through a load of dross to get to them - Tam's very pointed put-down of Cadsuane was very satisfying, but it'll probably have bugger all actual effect. After several books of causing pointless and avoidable aggro on a large scale, Elaida gets nabbed by the Seanchan and.... oh, that's it? Kind of a poor pay-off there.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Apr 9, 2014
  6. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    @Jedi Ben I haven't read anything from Gaiman. I've heard "Sandman" is great though.

    Oh duh, you said "reread." [face_blush] eh-heh that makes sense
  7. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, it's been a long, long time since I did read 'em!

    About 250 pages into ToM, surprisingly less irritating than TGS.
  8. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    If you do want to give Sandman a try, start with #8 The Sound of Her Wings then read The Doll's House arc, if it doesn't work for you, then it's likely not for you. That said, my first story was Season of Mists which is a little later.
  9. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Towers of Midnight is done.

    Definitely better than TGS, but some of it dragged greatly - especially the Perrin / Whitecloaks plot.

    The other major point is time - only 2 years? So Books 1-3 are about a year, Books 4-14 are about a year - no wonder the pace became so glacial with plots running forever.

    Oh and hell has frozen over as I've found in agreement with Nynaeve! Didn't expect that but liked her critique of the Aes Sedai and her asking what was the point of being so in the first place! Egwene, in contrast, infuriated by her arrogance that she knew it all. Did like that Gawyn finally took the hint and buggered off - only then to be to ordered back. Oh yeah, that's going to work. I suppose one defence is that these characters are young, they've into power to early to really know what they're doing with it cue major screw-ups across the board. Except it doesn't track as I've read other stories with young characters who have their selves far more together than this lot! It's as if everyone looks out for their ego first and to hell with anything like working towards common aims. Want someone to do something for you? Force, bully, coerce but don't even think of asking - pointless and irritating power games.

    The battle of Maradon was an utter grand-scale slaughter - watching Rand take out an entire Trolloc army was fun, as was his other activities. A whole load of characters have been saying that Rand should grow up? So when he gets his head sorted out and does? Still not happy. So what do these people want, save for a punch-up?
  10. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    A Memory of Light

    Well, that was.... relentless.

    In a lot of ways it felt like NJO's The Unifying Force, an unexpectedly strong conclusion that brought the best aspects of a flawed series to the fore and severely reduced the worst ones.

    I can't say I buy the theology though, that only works if you grant the Dark One and Creator are opposing sources of agency, up until now the Dark One had been deemed an influence only. Therefore the notion that removing the Dark One removes all agency from humanity doesn't work, removing the Dark One would take away a single corrupting influence, it wouldn't stop people choosing to be complete gits if they wished, just that they couldn't invoke as an excuse. Still, this is a minor fault, at worst, not least as fantasy is full of dodgy theology and metaphysics.

    Sanderson succeeded in making the women more heroic and less fool politicians - Egwene's defeat of Taim and the Sharans being a case in point. The dreamspikes were a clever addition to, not least as they can be used against the Shadow too.

    The final resolution? Definitely a case for filing under 'moves in mysterious frakking ways' - that was the idea? Weave Saidin, Saidar and the True Power, with Ishamael as a power-Duracell? Kind of an against the odd bet wouldn't you say? Still liked it, utterly absurd in its infinitesimal nature of happening - but hey, Rad's got to be a ta'averen for a reason, right?

    Found it a neat touch that, after being ensnared and done over by geopolitics several times over, Rand's attitude's to it all is: No, you're not returning to business as usual after all this!

    The addition of the red-veiled dark Aiel was out of the left-field but did have a certain logic to it.

    As to the Forsaken, Demandred did prove to be quite an Arch-Bastard - though it did come across as overkill to give him an entire nation of channelers, plus army, plus sa'angreal, that was all bit too convenient. Though, admittedly, as I get older, I do have less patience for such plot conceits. Graendel's fate was fitting. Liked that Perrin went and snapped Lanfear's neck, she was irredeemable in every sense.

    And the finale? I liked that Rand lived, the body swap notion was quite well done. Should he have abandoned Elayne and the children she carried? It'd be easy to lay the charge on him here but thinking it over a bit more - if he was around, he'd be enmeshed in politics and those kids would never be free of his shadow. This way, at least, they get to be free to be who they wish, and as Queen of Andor, it's not as if they'll have that harsh a life without him.

    Unlike the other two books of this final trio, this one managed to be quite different. It both demanded to be read and attention paid to the page, due to all that was kicking off. When it's been on form, WoT has always had that narrative force and hook that just encourages you to keep reading, no matter how imperfect at times the writing may be.

    So, all in all in one hell of a finale.
  11. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    kind of a sad commentary when the mormon who took over your series writes women better than you do, robert jordan
  12. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    DANG @Jedi Ben you busted through them!


    The final resolution? Definitely a case for filing under 'moves in mysterious frakking ways' - that was the idea? Weave Saidin, Saidar and the True Power, with Ishamael as a power-Duracell?

    I thought it worked fairly well, overall. Yes, it was a bit extreme, but the entire series was as well. It's not an easy fix to Break the world! :p

    I plan on rereading it this year. I remember wanting to almost gasp for breath at the end - annoyed at some things but it was a great wrap-up to a series where the author died about 4/5 of the way.