Pausing The Wheel of Time
This year I got into The Wheel of Time series. I wanted to get a test of this well renown epic fantasy before the TV show aired. I’m sure the show will be good, but is going to differ from the books for sure. You can’t adept fourteen thousand pages book without cutting corners.
So I went for the first and thought it was fine, but not amazing. It was the first one and seemed like an introduction to the world with not a lot of interesting action. So I kept going. Now I finished the fifth entry on the series, The Fires of Heaven. And I’m still with this weird sensation of missing something.
The book is wonderful, but I don’t think is such as amazing as the huge fans say. And that’s normal. They wouldn’t be fans otherwise. But I’m talking about myself here.
The characters are very well realised, and there are a lot of them. Which maybe is the big problem for me? Too many characters. I know their stories and interwoven, but I can’t avoid the feeling of being lost every time the scene changes. That’s probably my fault. To read epic fantasy, you need to be well versed on novels, so maybe I’m just not there yet.
The magic is very, very interesting. It’s not a hard magic system by any means, but the combination of different sources of magic and styles in the same story is super interesting. It’s something that is very close to my fantasy world. Maybe I should have read this long ago!
The plot is also very, very interesting. Is an epic fantasy after all. The world is at risk of being destroyed by the evil overlord, and our main characters need to stop it. But that’s not it, there are a lot of subplots happening constantly. Each character pursuing their own motivations without forgetting about the big picture.
When you read that it seems like the best thing in the world. And I keep thinking about that. Or at least about the promise of that. But after finishing every book, I can’t stop feeling that not much has happened. Yes, the plot has moved forward and the characters have grown, but the proportion of that with the number of pages is way too low for my taste.
And for other people that may be fine, since all those extra pages are dedicated and making us feel like part of the world. This immense world with very detailed cultures. But I guess I want a bit less of that and more action. And I FEEL BAD for saying that about world-building, which is one of my passions. But really, I don’t need hundreds of pages to tell me how Aiel are.
As the Spanish meme says...
I still like the books. And I still want to keep reading and finish it. But is a daunting task. With the feeling of not much happening on every book and still nine books to go. Without mentioning that apparently on the seventh one there is a big depression where the pacing slows down, even the fans have trouble with those. So I’m scared. I don’t want to leave it, but it won’t be easy.
So my plan is to pause it before I burn out of it. I want to go back to it after the first season of the show airs, and I’m hooked by the story and the characters again. But for now, I want to disconnect for a bit.
So what’s next?, you may ask. Well, it is time to taste a hard magic system.