Tag Archives: The Wheel of Time

A Video Reflection on The Eye of the World

It’s been a while since I’ve read the first book of The Wheel of Time, and I’m currently three books through the series. But I made a video talking about the first book, The Eye of the World. You can read my original review here.

Let me know what you thought of this book in the comments below.

Unboxing Books – I Love the Wheel of Time Covers!

I made a second video unboxing more of my books from our move. And this time, there are a lot more fantasy novels, including most of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. But you see, the books I have were published in the UK. I’m missing the last two books in the series, and would love to find the UK edition. I’m afraid I can only find the American version in Canada. Anyway, watch and you’ll see what I mean.

Lots of Shakespeare, too. I need to get more Shakespeare. And finish the Temeraire series, as well.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below!

TV News: 2017 Star Trek and Wheel of Time

A couple bits of TV news have popped up recently that I thought may interest a few people.

2017 Star Trek TV series

The new TV series will start filming this fall in Toronto. The first Star Trek TV series to be made in Canada. But I think the biggest news is who is running the show. It’s Bryan Fuller, who was involved in Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Also, Rod Roddenberry will be executive producer with Fuller. With these two working on it, it sounds like it won’t be part of the film reboot. And that’s true. It’s going to be in the prime universe. When? Well, earlier rumours have said between the original series and TNG. Another more recent rumour said fifty years after TNG. But either way, we have a prime universe Star Trek TV series next year!

The Wheel of Time Optioned

It looks like we may get to see The Wheel of Time on TV in the near future. A studio has optioned it for TV and film, which I would suspect be an incredibly long TV series. Robert Jordan’s wife, Harriet McDougal, recently announced this.

What do you think of this news? Let me know in the comments below.

When Reading Pushes Me to Write

There are times when a book makes me want to write. Other times, reading gives me little or no inspiration. I’m in the former state at the moment.

For some reason, The Wheel of Time inspires me. The colourful and well-developed characters, the wonderful worldbuilding, and the entertaining story help put me in a creative mood.

On the other hand, The Iliad did the opposite. The characters were like caricatures, very unrealistic, and incredibly melodramatic. The narration (although it was a poem) was adjective-heavy, incredibly repetitive, and the dialogue was completely unnatural. It was difficult to read, and it dulled my creativity. My coming review of the book will say something similar, but I did like it.

Even though I’ve said I wouldn’t be doing much in the way of writing for Ariadne until after we’ve moved to Canada, I have a very strong itch to write. Maybe I can use this opportunity to do some critiquing. Or maybe do some outlining. Or maybe do some more worldbuilding. Maybe all of them. We’ll see.

Do some books inspire you to write, while others do the opposite? Let me know in the comments below.

Is Investing Your Time in Novel Series Worth It?

Malazan – 17 novels and counting

Valdemar – 34 novels

The Riftwar Cycle – 30 novels

The Wheel of Time – 15 novels

Shannara – 29 novels with more to come

The Legend of Drizzt – 27 novels and more coming

Dragonriders of Pern – 26 novels

The Dresden Files – 15 books and more coming

I could keep going. These are all long novel series, mostly fantasy. What is it about series that keep us coming back for more? Are they worth reading all the way through?

In my opinion, absolutely yes. I’m currently only on the third book of The Wheel of Time, and I’m actually reading it fairly quickly. I’ve read most of Shannara that’s been written, other than the eight or nine most recently written ones. I have to catch up! I’ve read only four Drizzt novels and only the first two Malazan novels. Damn, I really need to catch up.

I love reading series. I love getting back into the worlds and meeting my old travel companions, or seeing new and familiar places. They feel like home.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. They take time, they may drop in quality, they may lose direction. The Wheel of Time becomes a bit of a drag in the middle of the series, I’ve heard, but the ending is supposed to be incredible. I look forward to reading all the way through.

I’m a bit of a completist (if that’s a word). I want to finish the series I’ve started. I’ve never actually finished a long series, but I have finished trilogies and other short series. I’m curious to see where they lead, and I can’t wait to dive into the next book of the series.

How do you feel about novel series? Let me know in the comments.

Do You Like Heroic Fantasy?

Lord of the Rings, Shannara, Forgotten Realms, all standard fantasy involving heroes, elves, dwarves, and so on.  They’re quite popular.  But are you sick of it?  Do you prefer other kinds of fantasy?

wot01The Wheel of Time is a pretty typical heroic fantasy.  The main character is from a small village and goes on a quest with friends and magic users to defeat the evil overlord.  And he’s also got some big destiny waiting for him.  That’s pretty typical fantasy there.  It’s a long series, too.

A Game of ThronesA Song of Ice and Fire is the hot thing today.  It’s not your typical heroic fantasy.  In fact, I’d say there are no heroes at all.  It’s very dark and gritty with lots of sex and violence.  Many people die.  No one is safe.  It’s less fantastic, more medieval.  It has some magic, and it has dragons, but it’s mostly humans, giants, and the undead.

gardensofthemoonMalazan Book of the Fallen is another atypical fantasy.  It’s quite original in terms of the races.  Everything is original about this, except humans, and there are dragons.  From the unique magic system to the intriguing god/Ascendant based religions, we have a very interesting world.  It’s also very violent, dark, and has a lot of death.  And yes, there are dragons, too.  No heroes here, though. This is military fantasy.

wizardsfirstruleThe Sword of Truth series is another fantasy series, though the races tend to be only humans.  But there are dragons!  And swordsmen, wizards, and other magic users.  And the main character is a typical from-the-countryside-you-have-a-destiny type of hero.  This is very typical hero fantasy.

darkelftrilogyForgotten Realms, and in particular, the very long series about Drizzt Do’Urden, is another fantasy series with a hero.  And here, we have the very standard races, elves, dwarves, and so on.  This is about as typical as it gets, to be honest.  Drizzt is our hero, a dark elf hero.  Not quite typical, as he’s not some naive farm boy.  He does grow up to be something great, though.

There are many more examples.  So, do you like heroic fantasy?  Please answer the poll below, and leave a comment explaining your choice.

Why Haven’t They Made a Movie Yet?

Great books are often made into movies.  Not always great movies, but movies nevertheless.  Sometimes they’re also made into TV series.

Recently, Ender’s Game was made into a movie.  A Game of Thrones is a TV series.  Lord of the Rings became amazing movies.  I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, despite a lot of cuts from the original books.  But there are some books I’ve read that I wonder why they haven’t been turned into movies or TV series.

The book I’m reading now seems like the perfect book to be made into a movie about Mars colonisation.  That’s Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  I’m halfway through the first book of the trilogy, and it’s been about 20 years since it was published.  Will it ever be made into a movie?  I would watch it in a heartbeat!

Another I’ve read recently is Reality Dysfunction.  It would be great for those who like a bit of horror in their science fiction.  It’s a long trilogy, though.  It may be difficult to make such a complex story into a movie or series of movies.  TV series?

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series seems ripe for a TV series, although it is incredibly long.  Or how about 14 movies?  That would be long.  I wonder if it’s ever been considered for filming.  I think the length would put a lot of producers off of a project like this.

How about Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen?  It’s dark and gritty, and it seems people are eating up A Game of Thrones.  So why not this series?

Ringworld would be a fun movie to see.  It could be doable, and would need some great special effects.  I’d love to see it made into a movie.  The lighthearted mood in the book may not be carried over to a movie, though.

I know that Terry Brooks’ Shannara series has been optioned for a movie, but nothing has come of it yet.  I wonder if it will.  Same with Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series.  I’d love to watch either of them.

What would you like to see turned into a movie?

Note:  200th blog post!

Book Review – The Great Hunt

thegreathuntThe Great Hunt is the second novel of The Wheel of Time epic fantasy series by Robert Jordan.  I’ve previous reviewed book 1 of the series, The Eye of the World, and this book is a continuation of the story.

Coming off a rather predictable beginning to the series, I was hoping for something deeper and less predictable.  That’s exactly what I got.  The story continues where the first one left off, with Rand al’Thor struggling to come to terms with who he is, and a beginning of another journey for him and his friends.  This time, they’re to deliver the Horn of Valere, but of course, their plans don’t exactly happen the way they hoped.  While the first book was a fairly straightforward and simple story about a reluctant hero, this one is a much more complex and compelling story about a hero who hates what he is.  He hates it so much, he denies it to himself, his friends, and all others.  His friends Mat and Perrin have their own troubles they have to come to terms with, as well.  In the first book, they were great friends, but now they all have psychological issues to deal with, and things are no longer cheery for them.  Add in Egwene and Nynaeve with their new quest to become Aes Sedai, and more mysterious actions by Moiraine, and we have a story with multiple subplots.  One great thing is that we get to see what goes on in the lives of the Aes Sedai.  My, what a lovely dysfunctional family they seem to be.  Jordan did a great job with the story in this book, and developed the characters very well.

The world in this series continues to reveal itself, and I’m very intrigued about every part of it.  I love fantasy worlds, and this one seems so well done with many different kinds of people and cultures.  Tar Valon, the Aes Sedai city, was very interesting.  I want to see more of it.  Cairhien proved to be a paranoid city that I would not want to live in.  The Aiel made an appearance, which I was waiting for.  I’m wondering if we’ll see much of them in future installments.  But the coming of the Seanchan provides another enemy to focus on, not just for Rand, but also for the Aes Sedai.  We’ve got a rich variety of people and places.

Being a continuation of a series, there’s a big overall story, but each book needs to have a complete story itself.  The Great Hunt does well at having a good self-contained story, but also to be only one piece of the greater picture.  The final battle of this book was a surprise.  I wasn’t expecting that at all.  It’s going to be interesting to see how things go from here.

The Great Hunt was pretty good.  I think it was better than the first book.  Anyone who gave up halfway through The Eye of the World should try again, and then read this book.  I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.  It’s worth it!

I’d give this a full 5 out of 5 stars.  Great read!

Book Review – The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World” is the first book in Robert Jordan’s fantasy epic “The Wheel of Time.”  It’s sometimes considered a modern take on Tolkien’s world, although I haven’t seen any dwarves or elves.  I can see some parallels plot-wise, but I’d like to consider this book on its own merits.  I don’t like comparing to other books.

This series came highly recommended to me by a friend who loves “The Wheel of Time.”  I’d already had most of the series, though I hadn’t read any of it. Well, I finally started it, and I’d have to say my initial reaction wasn’t very favourable.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

The story starts out with a prologue, which sets a bit of a background for the events that will happen in the book.  It then moved forward to our main story, featuring a trio of sheepherders, tall and strong Rand, prankster Mat, and stocky Perrin.  These three, as well as a few other characters meet a mysterious woman and man, and are swept into a long journey of self-discovery and a quest to save the world from an evil being.  Sounds like a pretty typical fantasy epic storyline.  It is a pretty standard story, but from what I’ve heard, the books after this are quite different.

It’s said in this book that time repeats itself.  Ages come and go in a forward progression of time, but the events that happen are repeated many times, though by different people who are actually incarnations of people in previous ages.  It’s an interesting concept, so I wasn’t exactly sure if each book would just repeat the same kind of story or not.  As far as I know, that’s not the case.  It’s a very, very long epic story involving the same characters.  I’m interested to see how it progresses.

As I said before, my initial reaction wasn’t very favourable.  The story progressed very slowly, and I found it somewhat difficult to get into it.  The characters weren’t very engaging, and I just couldn’t get attached to any of them.  I felt no sympathy for them.  But they did grow on me over time.  This is the kind of story that you just have to stick with to the end to be satisfied.  In the last quarter of the book, relationships between characters were moving in interesting ways, and questions were finally being answered.  There were a lot of mysteries presented earlier on in the book, and I was looking forward to seeing them resolved.  However, by the end of the book, several mysteries were still unresolved.  It ended with the main story concluded, but it also opened the way for a much bigger story to be told.  It looks like it’ll be a very large epic story to come.

I felt like this book was a mediocre story most of the way, and I was thinking I’d have to give it a middle of the road 3 stars.  But the final quarter of the book redeemed it.  I’ll give it 4 out of 5 stars.  It’s good if you’re patient, and I do recommend that you finish reading it.