Next SFF Author: Sherryl Jordan
Previous SFF Author: Tamara Siler Jones

SFF Author: Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan(1948-2007)
Robert Jordan passed away on September 16, 2007. You can read family and fan reaction, and leave a note, at his fan website. Brandon Sanderson will complete the last trilogy (A Memory of Light) of The Wheel of Time. Read announcement.



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The Eye of the World: An entertaining, if daunting, start

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Years ago I read the Wheel of Time series up through book 10. Now it’s late 2008, Robert Jordan has passed on, and we’re expecting the last Wheel of Time book, A Memory of Light in about one year. Brandon Sanderson will be writing it with the help of notes and taped messages left by Jordan, and in consultation with Harriet, Jordan’s widow and confidante.

When I read it the first time,


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The Great Hunt: Another fun installment

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Here’s another really fun installment of The Wheel of Time. Like The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt kept me thoroughly entertained. Everything I said in the review above goes for this book, too. It’s fast-paced and full of plot. I think this is the best book in the series.

We get to meet some excellent secondary heroes and villains in The Great Hunt — Egeanin and the Seanchan from across the sea who use captured and chained women with power to fight for them,


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The Dragon Reborn: One of the better books in the series

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (on audio)

In The Dragon Reborn, Rand finally starts to discover his new talents. Unfortunately, we don’t get to watch that happen. We only see a few glimpses of him learning to use his power. It makes me wonder if it was just easier for Jordan to show us the newly developed Rand rather than to explain how he got that way.

A couple of times here (and in later books) we’re told that Rand doesn’t really know how he wields the power — he just does.


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The Shadow Rising: Starts to slow down

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

In The Shadow Rising, things start to slow down. In fact, it often feel like the reading of the story must take longer than it took for the events to actually occur.

Part of the problem is that Mr Jordan tells us nearly everything except when the characters make a bowel movement. Also, he regularly launches into pre-set spiels in which he re-describes something or someone who we’ve encountered numerous times before or re-explains something we’ve been told dozens of times (e.g.,


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The Fires of Heaven: Amazingly little happens

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

For being such a long book (nearly 1000 pages in my trade paperback copy), amazingly little happens in The Fires of Heaven, and this is why so many readers have abandoned this otherwise interesting story. Approximately the first third of the novel contains so much recap and repetition that, if I’d had “my hair in a proper braid,” I would have been yanking it as often as Nynaeve does.

The formula for the first 100 pages or so goes something like this:  One or two lines of dialogue,


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Lord of Chaos: More of the same

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (on audio)

I could almost copy and paste my review for Fires of Heaven right here and it would be mostly suitable because Lord of Chaos is more of the same. This is another metropolitan-city-phonebook-sized novel with a potentially interesting story that is bogged down by its excruciatingly slow pace, regular insertions of backstory, constant descriptions of the garb of every major and minor character (garb which keeps getting smoothed, straightened, or otherwise adjusted), and too many mentions of expanses of bosoms,


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A Crown of Swords: Someone stuck a stick in the spokes of The Wheel of Time

A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

My reviews of The Wheel of Time novels are getting just as repetitive as the actual books. There’s really not much more to say. A Crown of Swords is another long slow installment in which there are too many detailed descriptions of clothing, references to spanking, concerns about bosoms, and people blushing. There are pages and pages which chronicle secondary characters’ extensive internal thoughts. But what bugs me most, though, are the constant depictions of people and places as if they have a corporate personality:

Men strutted arrogantly along the streets with often ragged vests and no shirts,


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The Path of Daggers: At least it’s shorter

The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

The best thing I can say about The Path of Daggers is that it is significantly shorter than the last few novels have been — only 700 pages (mass market paperback) compared to the 900-1100 page novels that have preceded it. There is much less of the repetitive backstory. I guess Mr. Jordan finally realized that new readers aren’t jumping in at this point.

However, that’s not to say that there are 700 pages of plot here,


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Winter’s Heart: Plods along

Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

The first six chapters of Winter’s Heart follow Perrin and Faile after Faile is abducted by the Shaido Aiel. The next several chapters follow Elayne as she returns to Caemlyn and prepares to make a bid for her mother’s crown. These two storylines are incredibly dull and I confess that I skimmed over a lot of it and read the excellent cross-referenced chapter summaries at Encyclopaedia WOT. I read Winter’s Heart years ago and I just did not feel like once again sitting in on Elayne’s steward’s descriptions of the rats in the Caemlyn sewers or Perrin’s angst about Faile (good riddance,


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Crossroads of Twilight: THE PLOT DOES NOT MOVE

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

Crossroads of Twilight was maddening. I read it years ago and ended up giving up on The Wheel of Time after this book. I tried again in my preparation for reading Memory of Light, and I just couldn’t manage to do it again. So, as with Winter’s Heart, I cheated by reading many of the chapter summaries at Encyclopaedia WOT. I skimmed the chapters involving Perrin’s hunt for Faile because I remembered how slow,


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Knife of Dreams: Moves story forward

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

Knife of Dreams has several things going for it. It isn’t as bad as the last few for one, no slight achievement. It is relatively crisp in prose and pace. It advances story and character at a more enjoyable pace. It even has a few (though too few) strong scenes that evoke fond memories of earlier (much earlier) books in the series. It is without a doubt an improvement on the past few and anyone who has put the time into this series and felt like they were scraping along will breathe a sigh of relief.


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The Gathering Storm: WOT is in good hands

The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

That the twelfth book in a series is entitled The “Gathering” Storm probably points to a fundamental problem with the series. I mean, we’re eleven books (long, long books by the way) down and the storm is only just “gathering”? And anyone who has stuck with The Wheel of Time thus far (which I’m assuming is pretty much everyone reading this because otherwise why the heck are you reading this?), knows that pacing has been a big problem in Robert Jordan’s work,


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Towers of Midnight: An event-filled book that moves the big story forward

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

One of the problems with reviewing books like Towers of Midnight is that as you’re taking your notes and then as you’re writing the review itself, you know that really, none of it matters. Because let’s face it, nobody’s reading a review of the thirteenth book in a series — the penultimate one no less — to see if they should read the book. So we’ll dispense with the recommending part of the review and just give some spoiler-free impressions of this almost-the-end book by Robert Jordan &


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A Memory of Light: Truly the “Last Battle” and a fitting close

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Every now and then, I find myself writing a review that I know just really doesn’t matter. Usually, you like to think of your reviews as acting as a guide to potential readers as to whether or not they should give any particular book a shot. Somebody out there somewhere saw this book and is wondering, “Hmm, I’m not so sure about this one, should I try it?” or somebody out there never heard of this book and is thinking, “hmm, that sounds intriguing;


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Patterns of the Wheel: Not the right format for this art style and subject

Patterns of the Wheel: Coloring Art Based on Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan & Amy Romanczuk

Patterns of the Wheel is a posthumous collaboration between late author Robert Jordan, of THE WHEEL OF TIME fame, and officially licensed Wheel of Time™ artist Amy Romanczuk, who has merged phrases or dialogue from many of Jordan’s novels with pysanky, a style of Ukrainian folk art most often seen on brightly-colored Easter eggs. While marketed as an adult coloring book,


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The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time: A companion book from the series’ halfway point

The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan & Teresa Patterson

The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is a companion for readers of Robert Jordan’s THE WHEEL OF TIME novels. Although I enjoyed the ~14 (15, if New Spring is included or fewer if the final three novels are counted as one, the way Jordan intended) WOT novels, I don’t recommend this companion. Here’s why.

The book is written from the point of view of fictional historians from within Randland,


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New Spring: The Wheel starts to (creeaak) turn …

New Spring by Robert Jordan

With New Spring, Robert Jordan offers himself up to two major criticisms up front. One is for releasing a prequel when you haven’t finished the first series yet and the other is for trying to grab a quick book by just padding out an already published first story. With regard to the first, I think it’s pretty silly to complain about an author’s choice of subject — perhaps he became inspired with something in terms of the back story and is excited to write it,


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The Wheel of Time: The wheel spins a little too slowly

The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

Let’s face it, this is a Big One for sci-fi/fantasy fans. The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time dropped on Amazon Prime, and I promptly watched all three. In the spirit of full transparency, let me say that while I quite enjoyed Robert Jordan’s first three books, I felt the series started to decline at that point and kept going south, such that my final word on the series (which I did finish in masochistic fashion) was that I wouldn’t recommend the time investment to anyone thinking about starting it.


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Next SFF Author: Sherryl Jordan
Previous SFF Author: Tamara Siler Jones

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