Robert Jordan‘s Wheel of Time series has been a part of my reading life for almost three years now. I’ve stopped reading at 37% into The Fires of Heaven (#5) and I can’t bring myself to keep reading right now. I thought I would write a post to explain how I am feeling about this series right now.
If anyone has read more of the series than me and has some optimism about the series, please let me know down in the comments. Or, if you stopped reading like me – why did you stop?
The Wheel of Time is wonderful. I can’t deny that. The world is absolutely incredible and some of the characters are the best I have ever seen. I am mostly talking about the technical side of Jordan’s writing. His development of characters makes them feel real – you rarely wonder why a main character does something or thinks a certain way because you know them so well, and the next step in their journey always makes sense.
Why did I start this post with a positive? Because, strangely, most of my thoughts and feelings about these books are positive! I love the books I have read so far.
I had a rocky beginning with The Eye of the World. It took me a while to get into it and then eventually finish it. Once I got used to the writing style, the characters, and the world, I was enthralled – it just took me a while to get there.
The Great Hunt was a quicker read – I burned through it! Then I slowed a little for The Dragon Reborn and the pace quickened again when reading The Shadow Rising.
The strange thing is, even though I struggled through a couple of the books, I have rated them all at 5 stars on Goodreads. I love this series!
Why then, can I no longer read the series at book 5?
I think the answer lies in pacing. I can appreciate that to read a series of this size, you have to get through a lot of worldbuilding. I expect that, and I enjoy it for the most part. My issue is that there are other books out there that are just as vibrant and wonderful, but take no where near as much time.
I like reading long fantasy books – that’s one of the reasons I love the genre. A Song of Ice and Fire is not a series of short books but I burned through all of them over the past couple of years.
Another issue I think I’m having with this series is the pressure I’ve put on myself to read it. After finishing one book, I’ve told myself that I need to keep reading onto the next one, even if I read it slowly alongside another book. The problem here is that I just read the other books and never get back to The Wheel of Time! This happened with Brandon Sanderson‘s Mistborn Era 2 and The Stormlight Archive. They are much easier and quicker reads.
Maybe I’ve been lying to myself? Maybe I don’t actually love this series but I’ve been telling myself that I do because the writing itself is masterful. The language, the character development, the expansion of the world and mythology are all incredible and I take inspiration from that in my own writing. But the story itself?
If I feel like I’m pushing myself through a book, am I really enjoying it?
That is why I think I need to take a break from the series. At some point in the future I may come back to it. I can read summaries or watch summary videos of the books I have read so far so I can remember what’s happened. For now, I need to focus on books that I want to read, rather than books I feel like I should be enjoying.
Thank you for reading that! It’s very much a stream of consciousness post, but I hope I got my thoughts across well enough for you to understand.
Links to my reviews for The Wheel of Time: