Wheel of Time

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by Celemo, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Just finished Knife of Dreams. I'll post some thoughts later.
     
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  2. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Okay, thoughts are spoilered.

    Okay, first things first. This book was just eons better than Crossroads of Twilight. I guess that, after around Book 7, I sort of forgot what the earlier books were like and had just gotten used to these books dragging on. Not that I have ever disliked reading the books completely, because I doubt I could've pushed through multiple books that were filled with 100% uninteresting plotlines, but I could definitely tell that the story stagnated and it did have an effect on my fervor to pick up the next one. Hence the multibook hiatus I took between 7, 8, and 9. So while reading Knife of Dreams, the absurdly long prequel immediately piqued my interest with the Galad storyline and then the book immediately went into the Egwene capture storyline. Egwene has been a character that I haven't liked all that much from the onset; she's always been stubborn and self-centered. While she is still both of those things, her character seems to have markedly improved throughout this book. There was a single chapter that seemed to completely elevate her character to one that I can at least somewhat enjoy reading. She kept getting beaten and yet she kept her resolve, and that was nice to see and it was fun to read about her gaining the respect of the other novices and Accepted. I'm glad that the Perrin/Faile plot is over, because it just didn't matter that much and sucked him out of two books or so. Matt/Tuon is still fun to read, and their marriage at the end of the book was handled well. That relationship was actually given some real opportunity for growth, unlike many of the relationships in this series (cough Egwene/Gawyn cough). With Nynaeve/Lan, both of these characters have been absent since they got hitched. I'm assuming this will change soon. Yeah, Nynaeve helped Rand cleanse the source but she was still just kind of there as an instrument for him to use. I thought the Rand/Sermihage fight was interesting, if a little bit rushed and anticlimactic, outside of Rand losing his hand. I don't really know what will happen there. Does he get a cool hook? Does Lord Voldemort give him a sweet ghost hand that ends up strangling him in book 14? These are the questions that I need answered. Oh yeah, Elayne is also in this book and she gets captured in probably one of the strangest subplots in this book. Oh hey, there's these two Black Ajah Aes Sedai that we heard about in this building. Let's do next to zero planning and get ourselves killed/captured. She shouldn't be Queen just for that ridiculous tactical mistake. But she is now, so maybe we can get to something interesting in her storyline because she's been boring for about 2-3 books. All in all, though, I really enjoyed Knife of Dreams. I'd probably put it in my top 5 WoT books so far. I've heard that The Gathering Storm is the darkest book in the series, so I'm pretty excited because I enjoy dark stories. But, before that, I'm taking a one book break. I'll probably do that all the way to the finish line (WoT/break/WoT/break, etc.). Only 3 books to go. I've also bought the prequel book, A New Spring, but I doubt I'll jump straight into it. I have no idea what that one is about, but I'm assuming it's the story of Tam and Rand's mother.
     
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  3. TheGrifter

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    What are you thinking about reading for your WOT break? Standalone book, or starting a new series and alternating the two?
     
  4. The Blackfish

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    New Spring is Moiraine and Lan
     
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  5. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I'm reading A Tale of Two Cities for this break. The other two are still up in the air. Most likely stand-alone.

    I will say that I plan on finishing The First Law trilogy soon, so I may read those for the breaks. I have quite a lot of options due to a lengthy reading list, but I may jump into Before They Are Hanged.
     
    #55 RegimentML, Aug 31, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  6. Jax Teller

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    Yea I mean 15 major novels is a hell of a series so there was bound to be slow points. I wasn't a huge fan of his female characters but they had their place in the series.

    Definitely agree that anyone that does epic fantasy should read it. The fact that it was a major influence on Sanderson is awesome to me. He's eulogy was a pretty good read.

    My career, like many young fantasy authors, has been deeply influenced by Robert Jordan, and I find his passing a to be a tragedy for the entire community.

    I still remember the first time I saw EYE OF THE WORLD on bookshelves. I was at my local comic store, which was the place where I bought my fantasy books. I went to buy the next book in the Guardians of the Flame series, and while browsing the new paperback shelf, I saw this HUGE fantasy novel there.

    It was so big that it scared me, and I didn’t buy it. (This is particularly ironic for me, who now regularly publishes books of 250,000 words or so.) Still, I can almost FEEL that moment, standing and holding the book in my hands, listening to someone play an antiquated upright of Cadash in the background.

    EYE had such a beautiful Darryl Sweet cover. I’m often down on him as an artist, but with EYE OF THE WORLD, I remember why he became one of the powerhouses he is now. I think, even still, the cover of EYE is the best he’s ever done—one of the best in fantasy. I remember opening the cover and seeing the second illustration on the inside flap, and wondering if it was a rejected cover design.

    Either way, I loved the cover. The feel of the troop marching along, Lan and Moiraine proud and face forward. . . . The cover screamed epic.

    I bought the book a few weeks later, and loved it. I was happy when, several years later, the next book came out in hardback. I couldn’t afford it then, but I could afford DRAGON REBORN when it was in hardcover, and so I bought it. That has been my tradition ever since—I buy them, even if I haven’t read the last two, as I wait for the series to finish.

    I still think EYE is one of the greatest fantasy books ever written. It signifies an era, the culmination of the epic quest genre which had been brewing since Tolkien initiated it in the 60’s. The Wheel of Time dominated my reading during the 90’s, influencing heavily my first few attempts at my own fantasy novels. I think it did that to pretty much all of us; even many of the most literarily snobbish of fantasy readers were youths when I was, and read EYE OF THE WORLD when I did.

    Eventually, I found myself reacting AGAINST Wheel of Time in my writing. Not because I disliked Jordan, but because I felt he’d captured the epic quest story so well that I wanted to explore new grounds. As his books chronicled sweeping scenes of motion set behind characters traveling all across his world, I started to set mine in single cities. As his stories focused on peasants who became kings, I began to tell stories about kings who became peasants. One of them those was ELANTRIS.

    I only saw Robert Jordan one time. By then, I had begun attending the conventions. You could say I’d become a journeyman writer; I’d developed my style, and was now looking to learn about the business. At World Fantasy one year (I think it was Montreal), I saw a man in a hat and beard walk by in the hotel hallway outside a convention room. He was alone, yet distinguished, as he walked with his cane. I’d never seen him sit on panels, yet I felt that I should know who he was. I turned to the person beside me and asked.

    “That?” they said as the figure hobbled around the corner. “That was James Oliver Rigney, Jr.”

    “Uh . . . okay.”

    “Robert Jordan,” they said. “That was Robert Jordan.”

    Eventually, I got an offer on one of my books from an editor whom I’d met at that same World Fantasy convention. My agent suggested that we play the field, using that offer as bait to hook a larger deal at another publisher. But, this offer had come from Tor. Robert Jordan’s publisher. Some fifteen years after I’d picked up that first printing copy of EYE OF THE WORLD, I still felt the influence of Jordan. Tor was his publisher. That MEANT fantasy to me. It’s where I wanted to be.

    I took the deal.

    Now, he’s gone. I’m sure many see this as an opportunity, not a tragedy. Who is the heir apparent? I wonder how many authors emailed their editors Monday, asking if someone was needed to finish the EYE OF THE WORLD series. Even if none of them are chosen for that task, there will be a feeling that Tor needs to push somebody to fill the hole in their line-up.

    And yet, I sit here thinking that something has CHANGED. Something is missing. Some hated you, Mr. Jordan, claiming you represented all that is terrible about popular fantasy. Others revered you as the only one who got it RIGHT.

    Personally, I simply feel indebted to you. You showed me what it was to have vision and scope in a fantasy series—you showed me what could be done. I still believe that without your success, many younger authors like myself would never have had a chance at publishing their dreams.

    You go quietly, but leave us trembling.
     
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  7. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    You can't go wrong with First Law. Or any Sanderson book in my eyes. He's may favorite author out there right now and he churns out books at a fucking amazing pace.
     
  8. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Started The Gathering Storm this morning--just finished the prologue (a much more moderate 45 pages). I'm a big fan of Sanderson so I'm pretty excited.
     
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  9. RegimentML

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    370 pages in. Egwene just stood up to Elaida. When did she become a badass? It's weird to look forward to her chapters. Really enjoying this book so far.
     
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  10. RegimentML

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    Finished The Gathering Storm last night. Spoilered my thoughts. Sorry for any typos (on mobile).

    This was probably a top 3 book for me so far. I said before that I enjoy books that are dark in their nature; books that kind of delve into characters' demons. So I really enjoyed Rand's internal struggle and continued fall from grace in this book. His banishment of Cadsuane, his use of balefire on an entire fortress to kill a single Foresaken, his cuendillar-ing of himself after he was collared--it was all good stuff. Then the way it culminates with the near murder of Tam and his gripping of the power on the peak of Dragonmount, ending with the dissolution of Lews Therin and the assuagement of his mind? Goosebumps, fellas. Now, the book was not without its flaws. Perrin is still boring. Mat was missing for large chunks. Other characters like Lan and Loial were completely MIA. But the other strength of the book mostly made up for these issues. I'm speaking of the rise of Egwene. I alluded to this in my review of Knife of Dreams, but she takes another step and then a leap forward in this book. She becomes an Amyrlin, which is good because Elaida just got raided. Elaida's character is one of my gripes of this series--I think she could have been a much more formidable opponent, after the way she was written in the first few books. But, anyways, Egwene becomes a bad ass and fixes the Tower and leads the novices against the Seanchan, only to be rescued by Siuan and Gawyn. Hugs for everyone. Does she go back to being annoying now? I hope not. There were minor storyline in this book that will probably become bigger as we move forward, primarily Tuon and Rand's relationship. But, all in all, I read this book, which was about 300k words, in 5 days so it was definitely one I couldn't put down. The differences between Sanderson and Jordan were there, but I didn't find them distracting. I think Sanderson is definitely an author who likes to make his characters more introspective, and there was a noticeable lack of bosom descriptions. But I'm a fan of Sanderson, so I had no issues with his style.
     
  11. Jax Teller

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    Yea I really enjoyed the progression/fall/progression of Rand throughout the series.
     
  12. The Blackfish

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    Couldn't agree more

    The Rand story line was great in this. His dragonmount moment was great. Egwene almost became a bearable woman. I thought Sanderson did a great job of reeling the storylines in to a point where he is headed towards a definite ending.
     
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  13. RegimentML

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    400 pages into Towers of Midnight. I must say, this one is much slower than the last two. I'm hoping it picks up over the second half.
     
  14. RegimentML

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    Towers of Midnight thoughts spoilered.

    I felt like this book was a step back after the last two books, both of which I would put in my top 5 of the series. The first half of the book lagged a lot for me. I'm sorry, but Perrin's wolf dreams just don't really interest me and I felt that there was way too much time spent on something that didn't really matter until his fight with Slayer and the death of Hopper. Sure, I understand training but it didn't need multiple chapters dedicated to it. Maybe I'm in the minority here. We also had the awkward Galad/Perrin showdown and rise of Morgase, which was fine but a little underwhelming after a build of 5-6 books. The Tower of Ghenjei sequence at the end of the book was the strongest part of the book, but I think Moiraine should have been left dead. Maybe my opinion will change after 14, but I don't typically like resurrections. Then her immediate marriage to Thom? Seemed rushed and unnecessary. Elayne continues to be flawed, which is probably good for her character but man she's frustrating (almost getting killed by the Black sisters and losing Mat's medallion). All in all, I enjoyed this book but I definitely think it was weaker than 11 and 12. One final thought--Rand, who apparently went from incompetent to perfect in the span of one moment on Dragonmount, better kill Mazrim Taim.
     
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  15. The Blackfish

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    Good stuff. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you finish the last book. I thought Sanderson/Jordan did a very good job with the Taim resolution. Jordan gave Sanderson an impossible task in wrapping up all the threads he left out there (and Sanderson was originally supposed to do it in just one book lol) and I think Sanderson does about as well as possible.
     
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  16. RegimentML

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    What went through my mind as I was reading was

    "Man, I'm glad Jordan mentioned Moiraine's letter in Knife of Dreams because if Sanderson had been the first to break that news, he would've gotten a ton of flak for it from the devout fans--even if he was going straight off of Jordan's notes."
     
  17. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    And I'm starting A Memory of Light.
     
  18. Damion

    Damion Fan of: Firing Butch Jones
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    are you wanting to choke the shit out of egwene yet for being such a cunt
     
  19. RegimentML

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    Does this mean she takes a step backwards on the likeability scale? She made some positive strides in 11 and 12 from being insufferable before then.
     
  20. RegimentML

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    I finished A Memory of Light. I'll post some thoughts some time soon. I enjoyed the book but I definitely want to talk about the ending.
     
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  21. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I just realized I never actually posted my thoughts. Whoops. Check the spoiler if interested.

    This was a strong book. I won't say it was my favorite, because it wasn't. The main reason for that is I thought the first half or so read like filler. Sure, there were some events that took place (Rand's contract) that were important, but the true meat of this book came in the 200+ page Last Battle chapter. The character deaths were well done, especially Egwene. Her sacrifice was excellent. Gawyn's death made hers somewhat predictable, but she went out in a pretty boss way. Rand's actual fight, on the other hand, was a little underwhelming for me. They were showing each other alternate realities of what could be and, through that, Rand found that he had to alter his plan. Looks, it sounds cool in theory but after 14 books I was hoping for a bit more fireworks. My biggest gripe was Moiraine, still. Why did she need to come back? Was there anything that she accomplished that she alone could have done? I don't like bringing characters back, so that still irks me. The ending was quite ambiguous and somewhat short, considering the investment readers have put into the characters. I personally would've preferred Rand's death, but I thought his switch with Moridin was handled well. All in all, the series was a read that I think any true fantasy fan needs to have on their bucket list. It had its flaws, but its scope and impact are hard to deny. I'm surely forgetting a lot of things as I type this during my lunch break, but that's all I can think of. Official character rankings may follow.

    Edit:
    Also, why did Padan Fain only get like 10 pages (if even that) in the book? What the hell. That character was just bizarrely handled.
     
    #71 RegimentML, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  22. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    This is one reason I think every fantasy fan needs to read. It was one of the first massive epic fantasy series if i recall and many authors today will tell you it had a huge influence on them.

    I also wonder all the time how it would be different if he hadn't have died before finishing it. I think he would have seen some of the criticisms that most people have with the end and fixed it.
     
  23. NYGator

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    I don't think it would be finished. We wouldn't have an end.
     
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  24. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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  25. BP

    BP Bout to Regulate.
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    Promising, but there are way too many obstacles for that story to over come to be good IMO.
     
  26. TheGrifter

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    On a positive note, they can't possibly write the female characters any worse than Jordan.
     
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  27. Jax Teller

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    Well a mini series is the only way it could turn out well. I wonder how they managed to get the rights back from those jack asses that made the pilot? Probably a large payoff.

    And i'll absolutely be watching it (i watch the train wrecks that are TWD and FTWD so this can't be worse)
     
  28. Jax Teller

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    Some of them had potential in the beginning but it's like he just didn't know how to keep them that way. Morraine and the evil women were about the only ones I could tolerate. Oh and the Ariel women for the most part.


    But Rand and Matt were freaking awesome. Especially when Rand begin to accept who he was.
     
  29. RegimentML

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    I liked Min for the most part :idk:
     
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  30. Jax Teller

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    Almost forgot about her. Yea I liked her as well.
     
  31. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    A guy I know is just starting this series. Pretty intrigued to see how he responds to Nynaeve.

    Or, on second thought, Nynaeve and Egwene and Elayne and...
     
    #82 RegimentML, Dec 1, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  32. BP

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    Probably frustrated as fuck, like most of us.
     
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  33. Arrec Bardwin

    Arrec Bardwin He ain’t me, he can’t be me
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    Wish I could read this series for the first time again.
     
  34. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    Just finished book 14. Really enjoyed the series. here were my book rankings out of 10:

    The Eye of the World (WoT1) *7.0
    The Great Hunt (WoT2) *7.5
    The Dragon Reborn (WoT3) *7.5
    The Shadow Rising (WoT4) *6.5
    The Fires of Heaven (WoT5) *7.5
    Lord of Chaos (WoT6) *8.5
    A Crown of Swords (WoT7) *8.0
    The Path of Daggers (WoT8) *6.5
    Winter's Heart (WoT9) *6.0
    Crossroads of Twilight (WoT10) *6.0
    A New Spring (WoT0) *7.5
    Knife of Dreams (WoT11) *7.0
    The Gathering Storm (WoT12) *9.0
    Towers at Midnight (WoT13) *9.0
    A Memory of Light (WoT14) *8.0
     
  35. RegimentML

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    The Wheel of Time TV Series Moving Forward at Sony Pictures Television with Showrunner Rafe Judkins
    Stubby the Rocket
    Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:30am Post a comment Favorite This


    Variety reports that Sony Pictures Television will produce the TV adaptation of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series. The news comes just about a year after Harriet McDougal, wife of the late author, announced that the TV rights for the 14-book epic fantasy series had been optioned by a major studio. Sony will produce with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures.

    The series has also set a showrunner: Rafe Judkins, who has written for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Chuck, and Hemlock Grove, will write and executive produce. Other executive producers include Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon (from Red Eagle), Ted Field and Mike Weber (from Radar), and Darren Lemke. Harriet McDougal will also serve as consulting producer.
     
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  36. BP

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    Early word is AMC might be the landing place. :blech:
     
  37. Arrec Bardwin

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    This series deserves nothing less than HBO
     
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  38. Jax Teller

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    Better Caul Saul, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels, Into the Badlands, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, are all good to great shows (well Walking Dead has moments of greatness with moments of shit). I think they will do fine with it.

    I'd love it on HBO or any premium channel. But I think it will do fine on AMC. It doesn't have the level of violence and rape, etc that GoT has. It's going to be all about how much they put into it. And with how long it took his estate to win the legal battle I'm hoping they will be very devoted into making this series great.
     
  39. Jax Teller

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    I really wish the fucks from Red Eagle were kicked completely out of this. They are the reason it's taken so long to get this. I'm sure they had to give them these concessions to get the rights back but still. Fuck them.
     
  40. BP

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    Wheel of Time is a completely different animal than any of those. Plus with the complaints from TWD about them being being cheap, that's not gonna play very well for a fantasy show. Not to mention we won't be getting the gratuitous nudity.
     
  41. Jax Teller

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    I don't think there was much nudity in these books other than the Ariel. And it probably wouldn't take away not having that.

    Again I'd rather have it on HBO or something but I think if lands on AMC it won't be the end of the world.

    I haven't heard much about them being cheap on Walking dead since the first couple seasons but maybe I haven't been paying attention.
     
  42. NYGator

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    I could see it having an Into the Badlands feel.
     
  43. BP

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    There is a ton of nudity not to mention all the "switching" or spanking. Theres some good stuff about Jordan having a fetish about having women humiliated and lots of BDSM undertones in the books.
    I believe one of the reasons Darabont was fired was he was complaining about AMC cutting the production budget.
    Overall I just think its too daunting to be done as a live action series, much less on cable.
     
  44. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    I haven't read anything in this thread for fear of spoilers, but I'm wondering if this series is worth the massive time I would be investing in it. I know it's super popular, but I wasn't sure if that was more of a function of when these started getting made and that there weren't as many great options at the time.
     
  45. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    I rated them
    As 3-4 stars until Sanderson took over. Then they were 4-4.5s.

    I enjoyed the series all the way through, although several books like 9 and 10 were not that great.
     
  46. MORBO!

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    Yea, I saw the ratings went up significantly on Goodreads once Sanderson took over. But still...to get through that many books just to get to those? Quite a commitment.
     
  47. The Blackfish

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    I don't regret investing my time in this series
     
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  48. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    It's a good series. I don't regret reading even the slow ones. I put it on my list to read and then sprinkled in other books to break up the grind in between books, then read the last 4 straight through.
     
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  49. BP

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    Agree with everyone else. Starts off great, a couple lulls in there but finished great with, Sanderson really injecting some fresh blood. Worth your time.
     
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