Robert Jordan is no George R.R. Martin, but his Wheel of Time series is one of the classics of fantasy fiction and after practically inhaling what’s available of Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice I thought I’d give it a shot, after finding the first book in a thrift store.
Well, starting it right after finishing Martin is not a good idea; I’ll probably get stoned for this, but I think Martin is a better writer. The first book of WoT is standard fantasy coming-of-age fair that is so stereotypical that it’s almost impossible to read. I understand that this is probably the blueprint for a ton of other books, so it’s bound to feel familiar and boring.
And fantasy as a genre seems to be much more conservative than Science Fiction.
The pace picks up considerably in the second book (which I started a couple of days ago) but I still have one pet peeve: the weird invented cursing. I mean, this:
The same flaming woman as at the flaming ferry. She was there, and then she bloody wasn’t. You say what you bloody want to, but watch how you flaming say it, or I’ll bloody skin you myself, and burn the goatkissing hide, you sheepgutted milkdrinker.
…come on! I think I can give ‘bloody’ and ‘milkdrinker’ a pass, but the rest? Fucking say ‘fuck’ already! Especially considering that, at this point in the book, two people have been flayed alive, two have been hacked to pieces, and several have been eaten by Trollocs. We come upon these things after the fact, but still. So give me a break and curse already. I doubt a ‘fucking’ here and there will do much damage to the mind of a juvenile reader.
This is what’s on my mind right now.