The Wheel of Time is not an epic fantasy series. It is THE Epic Fantasy series. There are currently 13 books out, plus a prequel. The last, #14, comes out next year. The first book came out on 15 January, 1990, before I was born. (November 1991)
This post is about how I came to read the Wheel of Time series. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the series itself. 🙂
In 2005, I went to Korea for a martial arts tournament. That’s another story. Anyways, the plane flight home was some 12 hours long. I was sitting with a friend that I had met in Korea, and we had a good time. The guy next to us had a book from the Wheel of Time series. I think it was The Dragon Reborn, #3, but I’m not 100% sure. He recommended it to us highly. My friend wanted the name of the series, to read it herself, so I wrote it down and took it home to send to her.
I don’t know if she actually ever read those. I really need to contact her… I’ll do that right after this. 🙂
I did. I went and bought the prequel, New Spring, and read it. I liked it, but I didn’t appreciate it fully. I got the rest of the series to date and read them, intermittently. I read several other books between each one, and it was a rather broken experience. However, I still really enjoyed them. It wasn’t long after I finished Knife of Dreams, #11, that I found out that the author, Robert Jordan had died.
I was devastated. Here was a book series that I had followed for 11 books, and the author goes and dies on me. Shame on him. I later found out that he had left notes, and that Brandon Sanderson would be finishing the series. I had never heard of this guy. Who was he, and what business did he have with my Wheel of Time books?
I waited several years, and because I was cautious, I got The Gathering Storm (#12) in paperback. It was good enough, but it felt a hair off. I decided I would stick with it, and read the final two, although I guessed the book was only good enough because Sanderson had so many notes to work with.
Boy was I wrong. Before I get any further, let me talk a little bit about how Sanderson was chosen. At the time he was chosen to finish this series, he had two books published, with another two scheduled to come out. Harriet Douglas, Jordan’s widow and editor, read Mistborn, Sanderson’s second book, and chose him based on that, and on this Eulogy he wrote. Beware, it’s a good one. I cry every time I read it.
Okay, so enough story. I also got Towers of Midnight in paperback. Yow! It was the best book of the series yet, I was majorly happy. I figured I should give this Sanderson dude another look. That was when I found out about the Eulogy and stuff, and I’ve now read Warbreaker, the Mistborn trilogy, and The Way of Kings, and I’m in the middle of Elantris. He’s now my favorite author, and I’m incredibly glad that he took over the series.
I’ve started again from the beginning, reading New Spring and most of Eye of the World while I was in Spain, and going from there. I’m taking breaks for other books, and I’ll be reading slowly during the school year, but it’s less than a year from when I started re-reading to when the last one will be read, and that’s a short time, for over 4 million words.
The final book comes out on January 8 of next year. I am getting it the day it comes out, in hardcover. And I’m not planning anything for the next week. I’m really really looking forward to this, as the Wheel of Time has become my favorite series over the years for its rich epic scope. Brandon Sanderson has also become my favorite author for his other books. So, my favorite author finishing my favorite series. Yeah.
I’ll end with a quote from the New York Times review of The Wheel of Time. (Keep in mind that they don’t review fantasy on anything like a regular basis. That they even reviewed the series is a big deal.)
“Jordan has come to dominate the world that Tolkien began to reveal.”