Have I stopped reading Wheel of Time?
Yep, in fact I have. I stopped reading shortly after starting Lord of Chaos, because, simply, it was enough.
No, not simply. It's more complex than that.
I started reading The Eye of the World with great hopes. That hope was more or less smashed in the beginning, when that Trolloc talked to Rand. "Aha," i thought. "Now things are getting interesting: The ambiguity of Evil." Turns out, the trolloc just tricked him to come close so that it could attack him!
That incident very precisely tells you everything you may ever need to know about Wheel of Time.
I read The Great Hunt, which wasn't bad, just very slow, and with some stupid plot conveniences.
I read The Dragon Reborn. It nearly made me forgive the series. I liked it a lot, until Faile was introduced. It was clear where it would be going from then, but I read on just to see if I was right. Yep. Faile, arrogant as all the other females in the series, is secretly admiring our stout and masculine Perrin, and he has to save her from some unlikely danger/captivity in the end. Q.E.D.
I read Shadow Rising and Fires of Heaven, which have sort of floated over in each other as they were rather similar. It was not until I had read these, that I finally formulated the question that had been on my mind ever since the first book: What is Jordan's problem with women?
No really, that is for me the big question of this series. Why are all the female characters portrayed as either arrogant, manipulative, aggressive, tactless, jealous, or, as with most of them, all those characteristics at the same time? And why does hardly any of the male characters inhabit any of them? In The Great Hunt there's even a dude apologizing to Rand for being a darkfriend!
It breaks the story for me. Half the charcter gallery is thoroughly flawed, extremely annoying, and needs to be rescued constantly. The other half stands out as noble, near-perfect. Even Mat and Thom's devil-may-care recklessness always seems to work towards a greater good.
I mean, it's like reading Terry Goodkind: Constantly having the writers ideas pushed into your face. Whenever female characters converse (without ending up fighting) there appear comments about their view of men as useless, and Jordan never fails to deliver a greater set of circumstances that show how obviously contradictory their statements are. An example is Nynaeve: Thinking men see violence as a solution to everything; she'd like to give them a good trashing so they understand their error. See what I mean?
If this had worked both ways, it could have been interestng. But it goes only female-male. The men are constanly portrayed as polite and patient, ever striving to understand the women's hysterical irrationality, and when they fail to do so, it is perfectly understandable.
This is why I've stopped reading Wheel of Time. It appears to me as a series written to satisfy teenage boys.
And it's so damn long too.
After a while I wanted to throttle that girl with her hair braid if she pulled on it one more time.I've tried again occasionaly until the sniffing, braid pulling and duplicated dialogue (both external and internal) gets too much.
Which is a shame because I loved the first three books and like Sandersons other work.
Lots of very good points here, I think . I stopped reading at book 3 (possibly finishing it, cannot recall anymore), because the plot was progressing at a snail's pace and the narrative was highly repetitive as if Jordan was struggling to fill pages with content (please, excuse my harsh words). I later learned from a colleague that it gets worse and finally Brandon Sanderson managed to restore some of the series' former splendor.I really enjoyed the concept, the world and the magic system. The moral complexity of the lead characters was interesting to explore. The downside to this series was the caricature-like behaviour of most of the lead females. I would have bitch-slapped Nynaeve and Egwene to Shayol Ghul so hard, if not killed them. As for Elayne, well a good spanking is the least she deserved. All the depth to their personalities was kept pretty much internalised, or shown only to other women. There was no real development with the menfolk, which made for unnecessary and pointless conflict, needless pages of annoying bratty behaviour, and a great hinderance to the plot and the reading experience. I think this is why I appreciated the scenes with Rand and Lan more. They understood their positions in the world, understood what they needed to do, what they were and what was demanded of them, which lead to one of the best relationships in the series.
Sanderson is a great writer. A better writer than Jordan. Still even before Sanderson took over the last 2-3 books done by Jordan got better and better until he passed.. I later learned from a colleague that it gets worse and finally Brandon Sanderson managed to restore some of the series' former splendor.