Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time"

Not much else to say other than that it is the best series that I have ever read.  It is so well developed: the protagonists, the antagonists, the "are we good or are we bad" crowd,  the side characters, the side antagonists, the Game of Houses or in the "Old Tongue", Daes Dae'Mar  (think game of thrones except instead of one nation playing at the title of King or Queen it's the story of several nations playing the game in their respective nations and that's only a side plot), the overall narrative, many side narratives all leading to the "Final Battle".

The overall story centers around the three "main" characters Rand, Matrim, and Perrin.  They all come from the same area, mostly forgotten by the world even by their own nation, called the Two Rivers.  Their lives are turned upside down when an Aes Sedai and her Warder come and scoop them up along with Egwene and Nynaeve to save or destroy the world.  The Dark One is close to breaking out of his prison and she believes that these three boys are at the center of everything.  Along the way we develop several tiers of main and side protagonists and antagonists.   Everyone follows their own path and we are left guessing how it all ends because nothing is certain : not the future, the present, not even the past is set in stone.  All is erasable and all is uncertain.  The world itself is falling apart at the seams, literally.   The Dark One's taint touches all.

It is a 14 book epic that will have you laughing, tearing up, screaming in rage, or even fighting back political debate with the book in your hands.  Robert Jordan spent the 80's developing the world,  language, story, history, characters, and nation alliances and rivalries.  He spent the next two decades writing it down in the novels for all to read.  He unfortunately passed away before the series was finished, but he spent his last few months on earth lying in his deathbed with a tape recorder dictating how the story was going to end and how to use his notes to put it in one last 3000+ page novel.  His widow hired Brandon Sanderson to undertake this enormous task, which he executed wonderfully.  The publisher refused to publish it all in one giant book so instead broke it up into 3 slightly less giant books.

From beginning to end this series keeps you guessing and anxious.   It is never certain if good will triumph.  I have to stop here or I will end up giving it all away.  But the philosophy, religion, theology,  politics, and political systems of this book was borrowed from the real world's religions, philosophy,  etc. with a few tweaks from Robert Jordan to make them fit in a fantasy world of his creating.  So, don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to debate with the series on some points,  because he borrows from a lot of sources, even some that contradict.

Look it up.  Check it out.  Read it. And wait impatiently for a broadcasting company to pick it up for a TV series.   The biggest problem is that the series is so large that the budget would make the budget for Game of Thrones look like the Blair Witch Project.  Here's the link to get you started if you would dare to start this project:

Book 1: "The Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan, published by Tor.

There is a prequel to the series.  It was supposed to be a trilogy,  but was never finished due to his untimely death.  One book was published that I have yet to read titled "New Spring".

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