Monday, January 21, 2013

Back tracking a little

I'll have to back track a little to cover the books I finished in the first two weeks before deciding to start keeping a record of what I read. I count this in my list of 75, but it is a little bit of a cheat. I was already halfway through the book at the New Year. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series consists of pretty hefty reading so even though I was halfway through the story, it was like reading a full book post New Year anyway.


Lord of Chaos - Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time book 5)

It has taken me some time to actually delve into the series. I first attempted to read Eye of the World back in high school and failed miserably after stumbling over so many names with their very odd spellings (plus I had the attention span of a gnat). After taking a linguistics class in college, I decided to give it another go. 

All but the last three novels are already in publication at this point, so I won't have to dedicate a lot of time to rereading. Plus, by the time I manage to make it through each tome already in print the rest of the series should be available. The final settling point is Brandon Sanderson (a true favorite of mine) is going to be finishing the series after Mr. Jordan's passing. 

When I read a series, I become slightly obsessed and must pay attention to all the little details that make the vast picture and build the intricate worlds authors create. I am a huge stickler for continuity and truly like being deeply involved in the finer points of a series. I hope this provides satisfaction to those who have put so much of themselves and their time into creating these universes. 

Wheel of Time is no exception to my neuroses. There is plenty to dive in with the universe being spread through so many characters. However, the series has yet to truly capture me the way some others have. The manuscripts are very long and cover material from so many different strands I feel lost many times with all the details I try to remember. Matching the various timelines can sometimes be difficult with the switch in narration very rarely hinting at the events in terms of a calendar. It seems like substantial time is passing in one person's life, just to be teleported back to the beginning when we go to another perspective. The endless abomination of summer does not help determine a timeline. The wheel seems to have taken a whole new meaning in this installation, and I was only left feeling dizzy from spinning in circles.

In an attempt to find the silver lining, I love the development of each character and feel closer to understanding each as an individual the further I delve into the series. There are layers to each individual that would be lost if Robert Jordan attempted to rush through the plot, and I am truly hoping it is excellent use of foreshadowing of stories to come.

I realize this series is beloved by many out there and will continue to read to the end because it is a classic that has defined the fantasy genre, but I will now provide blasphemy by saying I forced this book. Even for a volume this lengthy, I read rather quickly but Lord of Chaos just took forever (in feeling and actual days reading). Some of the earlier novels were not as hard to get through, but this one felt like I was a one woman ox team plowing through solidified clay. 

Here is a brief interlude in another genre!