We knew it was coming, last year he disclosed that he had amyloidosis. Sure, he has that little rebuke to those of us who’d probably say, “But he said 4 years!” in the middle of that letter but I’ll go ahead and think it anyway. Apparently, amyloidosis is a really rare disease. It’s awfully unlucky that he should’ve gotten it. Rest in peace, J.O.R.
The Wheel of Time is probably my favourite long fantasy series, even though it seemed to be winding down a bit near the end. The climactic battles at the end weren’t so much fun as they were before and there seemed to be a lot of whining and a lot of annoying bits where the Aes Sedai just act like little kids. On the whole though, I’m happy I started reading it (my uncle let me borrow a whole bunch of the books in the series and I filled in the rest by borrowing from Nerus) and I wish he’d kept up the pace that he had in the beginning. Those first few books were fascinating and filled with story, lots of it while the later ones seemed to focus on minutiae. It didn’t seem like they were going to end. Now it looks like they won’t.
Or more likely, the publishers will hire someone to ghostwrite the last section of the book. Though personally I would love it if everything were left open-ended, this isn’t the way I wanted it to go. If RJ had said, “I’m not going to write an ending book. Enough for me.” and left it at that it would be fine. After all there are just too many plot threads to close up. No ending could possibly be satisfactory, there’s just too much to do. Atleast one thing is for certain, we won’t see a Rand Matrim Aybara going to school in a separate One Age Later epilogue added to the rest of the book, unless the ghostwriter is some kind of a misanthropist who secretly dislikes Robert Jordan but admires the Perrin Aybara character. In any case, most of the significant plot details will live on after him because he spoke about them with his family.
Wheel of Time is all the Robert Jordan I’ll ever read, probably. I’m not a big fan of the Conan series so I shan’t be reading all of them that he wrote, and he wrote lots. There’s something to the Wheel of Time, it seems so internally consistent and has some nice references to other things outside. The best part is wondering about the pasts of each of the characters though RJ seems to put a lot of trouble into describing those things in such a way as to leave few doubts. In fact, one slashdot member commented on how he goes into so much detail describing the trees in the forest that you can’t have a clear picture of the forest in the end. Ah well, it’s his book, not mine.
Imagine if the whole series were 6 books, that would’ve been so awesome. I wonder why it was so long. I tried reading the whole series again because by the time I got to 11 I’d forgotten what had happened before and I was surprised at how much I was skipping, there are whole chapters which are just boring. The most horrible thing about the later books is how they ignored the Big Two and instead focussing on fringe characters. I don’t know. I’m confused. I guess I have mixed feelings about the series.