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November 19, 2009

Great news for Fantasy lovers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Francesca @ 10:16 am

Non-geeks, please move along. Francesca has something to say to her Ren-Faire sisters.

In case you haven’t heard, the 12th and pen-ultimate book of the Wheel of Time series, The Gathering Storm, has finally been released.

As you know if you have been following the series thus far, the author, Robert Jordan, sadly died after a long illness before he could finish the story.

His wife and editor hired another fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson, to use Mr. Jordan’s copious notes and taped synopses to finish the epic adventure for the fans.

For those who have not yet started the Wheel of Time, book One, The Eye of the World, is available here. Boxed set of first three books here. Books 4-6 here. Francesca warns: You will get sucked in by the fascinating characters and endless mysteries and loose threads. You will also lose patience starting around book 6 or so and wish that Jordan had hurried things up. And then around book 10 or so you will feel the pace picking up again and be happy. The color and texture of this series is outstanding. Francesca loves!


  1. Ooh, tempting… but I made a pact with myself not to pick up another WoT book until the series is finished. I haven’t even read Knife of Dreams yet, and I am NOT going back to do a reread (something I believe I haven’t done in almost 7 years) until I have that truly final book in my hands. What a maddeningly addicting series. :)

    Comment by KES — November 19, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  2. Thanks for the heads-up. Timely too, as I was bemoaning the lack of reading I’ve been doing lately. That, now that I know, or Terry Pratchett will probably end my streak of illiteracy nicely. Maybe soon. Where is that silly library card, anyway?

    Comment by idalin — November 19, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  3. You will also lose patience starting around book 6 or so and wish that Jordan had hurried things up.

    This is me. I loved this series right up until around this point (I think I got through Book 7). Then it just became a soap opera and I gave up. I was really starting to think he was just milking it along to see how far he could go, regardless of how bad the story got or rediculous the characters. Now that I know it’s finished, I might try to keep going, but honestly by the time I gave up I really didn’t even LIKE any of the characters anymore, even my favorites from book 1 (I’m looking at you, Perrin). Also, I hate how shrewish pretty much every single woman in the series is. Really, so very few of them had more than one dimention and it just got worse and worse as the series went on.

    I am sorry to hear he died, I’m sure he was a lovely man. I’m also sorry if Francesca feels I’m bashing a favorite, but this series got in my craw and I can’t let it go. It’s pretty much the first time I got this far into a series and angrily gave up.

    Comment by Beth — November 19, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  4. Beth-

    Everything you say is understandable. It is a matter of how much one wants to keep going until the pace picks up again, as Francesca said.

    But I want to respond to your comment about the shrewishness of the female characters. This is true. But WoT is also one of the first fantasy series — and I think the first of its scale — in which the female characters across the board are strong, independent, and get things done on their own — even the ones who can’t do magic. Hardly any of the women NEED a man except for romantic/sexual relationships. They don’t need saving. They are not damsels in distress. Francesca likes that.

    However she agrees that it would be nice if they were, now and then, POLITE to the men!

    Comment by Francesca — November 19, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

  5. Beth, I completely agree with you concerning the women characters in the WoT series. They are consistently strong, sometimes overbearing but always a dream to read about, and moreover, an amazing change from the normal women characters in fantasy novels. It seems like they are always wearing these shirts.

    Comment by IG2bm — November 19, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

  6. Hubby has been reading the series and will be very happy to know the last book is finally out.

    Comment by Linda — November 19, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  7. But WoT is also one of the first fantasy series — and I think the first of its scale — in which the female characters across the board are strong, independent, and get things done on their own

    Has Francesca read the Discworld novels? They are not epic in tenor, although they are in scope. And, in my own estimation at least, the writing and characterization are a head and shoulders above Jordan’s. They are teeming with self-possessed, capable female characters.

    I would take Granny Weatherwax over a whole troop of Aes Sedai any day.

    Comment by TeleriB — November 19, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  8. Linda-

    Please note it’s not the last book. Second-to-last, so they say.

    Comment by Francesca — November 20, 2009 @ 3:43 am

  9. Maybe Francesca should start with Terry Pratchetts Tiffany Aching books, they are labeled as “Young Adult”, but that shouldn’t scare you.
    I might get into Wheel of Time, any book that doesn’t feature a shrieking damsel in distress is good for me. I grew up wanting to be Robin Hood or Lancelot, because there simply weren’t any female rolemodels around before Buffy or Xena.

    Comment by Cara — November 20, 2009 @ 6:36 am

  10. Francesca, I will totally give you that on the women being strong, it’s one of the things that drew me to the seires in the first place. I just couldn’t get past the fact that they were also so damn RUDE and stubborn, it just got obnoxious. It started to fall into the strong=bitch model that I hate so much.

    If you want strong women in a fantasy series, I highly, highly, highly recomend the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. The forst book was a bit tough for me- pretty gritty descriptions of what really happens in a war-torn region- but the writing is great and the characters are even better. These are some of the best written women I’ve found, you won’t like all of them, but then again, I don’t think it’s necesary to do so, but they are all three dimentional people with thoughts and feelings and baggage. There isn’t as much of the “magic” element that WoT has, but if that isn’t what keeps you in, this is a good one.

    Comment by Beth — November 20, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

  11. I picked up the Wheel of Time when it first came out, and excitedly bought sequels (rereading the previous series) each time one came out. Unfortunately, with all the rereading and not much plot development by about 5 or 6 I just didn’t care anymore. I stopped, and gave away my books. As much as I enjoyed the first 2 or 3, I find it difficult to believe that there are TWELVE! I’m glad I stopped when I did.

    Comment by Babs — November 23, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

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