Over the last few weeks, with all the anticipation over the release of the final Wheel of Time novel, I’ve been dithering with the idea of making another attempt to tackle the series.
I’ve tried a couple of times over the last ten years, and have never been particularly successful. I find Jordan to be painfully slow and dithery, but everywhere I look there seem to be hordes of people promsing me that it’s well worth hanging in there because the series as a whole is genuinely outstanding, and like nothing else I will ever read. Now, as yet I remain unconvinced, and I worry that the reason the most ardent fans adore this series is because they grew up with it. Reading something as a 12 or 13 year old and then having the series with you through your formatitve years is going to be a very different experience to picking something up as a thirty-something with a lifetime of Fantasy novels already under your belt. I don’t think it could ever mean as much to me for that very reason. Same situation I get with the Dragonlance or the Pern novels. Friends rave, and I can’t see a thing in them if I’m honest.
That said, I do hate the feeling that I’m potentially missing out on something!
It’s hard to contemplate committing to such a colossal series when there are already so many titles massing on my TBR pile, and I worry that my little site here would suffer. Advance/early reviews seem to be the only posts that bring in traffic. If I trawl through such a huge series that 95% of all Fantasy fans have already read, how stale will the content here be for the forseeable? Unless first impressions from a n00b would be of interest even to old-hands? Hmmmm. I don’t know. I’m sorely tempted to give it a go, not least because I’ve been reading a lot of Urban lately, verging dangerously on PNR in some cases and I feel like I’m drifting away from my Epic roots. I’d like to lose myself in a seriously immersive world again, I want another experience along the lines of being swallowed up completely by Martin’s ASOIAF novels. A series that can become a hideaway from the stresses and strains of work and life in general. Can WoT do that? or will Jordan’s rambling just stress me even more?
What do you think, gentle reader? (assuming anyone is in fact reading this!), is it a series worth committing to as a new reader? Would reviews of the novels within the series be of any interest/relevance today? Let me know what you think!