I Blame Robert Jordan

/ Books /

So I haven’t posted in awhile and rather than make an excuse like being too busy or simply admit that I’ve been too lazy or perhaps even some combination of the two, I’ll take the high road and put the blame on another man’s shoulders, namely Robert Jordan.

If you have even dabbled in reading the fantasy genre, then you have heard of one of the great epic series, the Wheel of Time. The series was started back in 1990. At the time, I was 6 years old and my favorite pastime was watching G.I. Joe and Transformers cartoons. Today, the 13th volume of the series has been published with the 14th and final novel is on the horizon.

The series was originally conceived as a 12 novel series, but Jordan became ill and passed away while still working on the final novel. Apparently Jordan did not want to see the series left unfinished (and I’m betting the publishers didn’t either) and fantasy “newcomer” Brandon Sanderson was selected to pen the final novel from Jordan’s notes.

Brandon Sanderson is best known for his Mistborn trilogy, but also considers the Wheel of Time series as one of his major inspirations. I recently read the first installment and it really was very good. When he came to the table and began looking through Jordan’s note, he realized that there was no way he could cram all of the remaining story into one novel so he turned the final novel into a trilogy, resulting in a 14 novel series.

Well, a few years ago when I was gearing up for a long flight to Alaska, I picked up The Eye of the World for the trip. To Jordan’s credit, though there were some pretty obvious allusions to Tolkien’s work, it was pretty awesome.

Since then, I’ve been gradually making my way through the series. Around Christmas, I started up the fourth novel, The Shadow Rising. After several weeks of making little progress, I decided that in order to finish the 980 page paperback in any reasonable amount of time, that I would need to really devote myself to it. And that’s what I did. I read during lunch, I read at the gym, I read before bed. I neglected my computer and my oh-so-wonderful blog and now you see why I blame Robert Jordan.

Admittedly, it was pretty good, but it was also really long and somewhere around page 600, I was ready for something new. I struggled to stay interested at times, but I kept at it and I’m glad I did. Like I said, it was good, I just wish it was a couple hundred pages shorter.

Will I read volume 5? Hell yeah. Not only do I feel compelled to because I own it or because I have devoted so much time already, but I genuinely want to know what happens next. However, the wiki page for the series has some interesting statics for the series that might make me think again. Check this:

  • Total pages: 11,308
  • Total words: 4,062,312
  • Audio playback: 17d 11h 30m

That means if I keep reading at my current pace, which is about one a year, I won’t finish until 2021. I’ll be 37. Wow.

Now given, these numbers aren’t exactly accurate because they had to estimate the length of the upcoming 14th novel, but holy crap…over 17 straight days to listen to the series. That’s insane and I’ve committed to reading the rest of the series. Well, I suppose it’s good to have perspective.

In Over My Head

/ Books /

One of my favorite hobbies is reading, especially science fiction or fantasy novels. I have always been a reader going back to childhood, but I didn’t really delve into the fantasy realm until I read The Lord of the Rings in college. Since then, I’ve been devouring as much fantasy as I can while sprinkling in a highly recommended science fiction novel for variety from time to time.

But this has lead to a small problem. I may have over committed myself and I’m now realizing that I am partway through far too many series. I have officially put a hold on starting any new series until I finish at least a couple of these. Here’s the damage:

  • Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series: On book 4 of 13 (with one more on the way)
  • Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series: On book 3 of 13
  • Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy: Currently reading book 2 of 3
  • Stephen King’s Dark Tower series: On book 4 of 7
  • Frank Herbert’s Dune saga: On book 4 of 6
  • Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series: On book 5 of (currently) 6
  • Orson Scott Card’s Ender saga: On book 2 of 4
  • Karl Schroeder’s Virga: On book 3 of 3
  • George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice: On book 2 of (currently) 4
I’m also reading a couple other series, but luckily I’m caught up on those. I have read all 12 of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (my current favorite series) and I’m just awaiting the final novel in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle.
Hopefully, I’ll catch up on some of these pretty soon so I can get started on a few other series that I’m really excited about.