Some rectifications on my almost-review of “The Great Hunt”.
My concerns about the plot threads not being wrapped up in a satisfying way with the conclusion of the book should be lessened. In a discussion on westeros forums (where I repeated some concepts I wrote in my review) some readers who have read the story further confirmed that the plot holds well, and what seems “random” or unexcused will be instead explained later, when some mysteries will be unveiled. I tend to believe this because other observations they made make sense.
Considering those points raised (some starting here) I actually think the story is more clever than I expected. While I thought the villain was one of the silliest and stupidest ever created, I think in the end the story will show him for what he actually is: …patient. Because up to the point I’ve read either he’s incredibly stupid, or he has a deeper, more clever plan. It can be interpreted both ways because till now he was easily defeated. But what if the defeats is also part of the plan?
So I guess I have to trust Jordan a bit more, and with this I’m eager to read the third book as soon as possible. I really didn’t expect to be so excited :)
Oh there are always reasons. Though its never obvious. One strength of the series, that isn’t lost even in the later books, is that it is highly consistent, and most loose ends are never left hanging. The flip side is that this doesn’t always happen in one book. Hence my statement that WoT is more like one long story. Never believe that the books are self-contained.
Another positive is that because Jordan is never obvious with the answers, the series is immensely re-readable. Each time you read the book again, you’ll find another layer of meaning to the story. You can enjoy it as brainless entertainment. But if you want to read deeper into the text, you’ll find that the books still hold up, with a lot of themes very well developed.
Yesterday also arrived the news about what will happen with the 12 book now that Jordan left it incomplete. Brandon Sanderson, another fantasy writer, will try to put the pieces already written together under the assistance of Jordan’s wife, and Tor will release the book in the fall of 2009. So two years from now.
I’ll quote here the interesting pieces of an interview with the author and some other taken from the forums, since he likes to interact with the community (which I always think is extremely valuable even for a “lonely” profession like a writer):
Congratulations on receiving this landmark opportunity. How are you feeling?
Honestly? I’m feeling daunted. And still a little sad. There was only one person who could have written this book the way it was supposed to be written, and he is gone now. I think I’ll do a good job (to be honest, I think I’ll do a great job) but I can’t do the job he would have done. Nobody can.
Tor could have hired a ghost writer to do this book, and then could have released it under Mr. Jordan’s name only, pretending that the book was nearly finished by the time of Mr. Jordan’s death. I think it is to their credit that they didn’t. Readers deserve to know what they are getting. My goal will be to stay true to the themes, characters, concepts, and general stylistic choices that made these books so successful without trying to mimic the smaller details of his style.
I intend to use EVERY BIT of actual written text from Mr. Jordan, and in intend to follow those outlines as exactly as possible. I’ve been told that there is a substantial amount that I will have to come up with, but I will always have a guide–if only a few lines or dictated explanations.
I just wanted to let you know that I have now seen the notes, and while I can’t say anything specific without breaking my NDA, I will say that the notes are in far better shape than I had expected. Mr. Jordan’s staff are very skilled, and they have complied an outline for me that goes scene-by-scene. After reading through it, I’m confident we can produce a book that Mr. Jordan would have been pleased with.
Also, I DO finally know who killed Asmodean, and I promise to include it in the book to finally answer that question for you.
Also, I WILL be more detailed in my descriptions for this book. I may need a fleet of people to help me get the clothing descriptions down, but I’ll do it!
This book will be one volume, but it’s going to be long. How long? I can’t say yet. Longer than any book I’ve published, I’m certain. However, I’m also very certain we can make it one book. It will not be split into two volumes. If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to FINISH.