Spoiler Free - WOT as an Intro to Fantasy

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - First Time Read' started by Jocasta Braithe, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice Game Master

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    So I was watching some stuff about the upcoming show and stumbled on this discussion about Wheel of Time as a "gateway drug" to fantasy in general. I guess probably when the books were originally released, a lot of new fantasy fans had WOT as their first introduction to the genre, but the idea kind of made my eyes go :eek a little because I was first given a copy of Eye of the World my freshman year of high school back in... mumbles the 1990s /old *cough* and I wasn't able to get into it at all. I don't think I even got past the prologue. And I was that weird Tolkien kid who had books about Sindarin Grammar that were all dog eared and worn out because I used them so much. I didn't pick WOT back up and get into it until I was 30+ and I still haven't gotten all the way to the end and it's probably been five years since I started!

    What do you all think. WOT as a "starter series" or no?

    In some ways I do think especially the early books are good for a younger crowd, but the sheer length of it. It intimidates me and... yeah. I read the entire Silmarillion when I was like 13. :lol
     
  2. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe

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    Harry Potter is a gateway to fantasy...
    Wheel of Time IS fantasy. Is it Tolkien level? Maybe not, but they focus on very different things. Tolkien was all about language, but Jordan has the whole trouble with communication and destiny stuff. I'd say that it was probably a lot of people's first introduction to the genre, and I know many that have tried Tolkien's LoTR, but never even made it out of the Shire :look
    Is it perfect? No. but sadly, there probably isn't such a thing as a perfect fantasy book ;)

    I have heard some people talk of fantasy as a genre in progress. Tolkien started it, Jordan continued it, now Sanderson continues it. Many other too by now of course, but Jordan was sort of seen as the one that continued the genre past Tolkien.
     
  3. Lenore Carvoe

    Lenore Carvoe Aes Sedai

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    It's too complicated and far too long to be a starter series if you've never read any Fantasy before. I started WoT also back in the 90ies, but before that I've already been a reader of Fantasy for ten years or so. In fact, ancient myths and sagas got me into reading Fantasy. Myths and sagas somehow were the logical follow-up after reading fairytales.
     
  4. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai Head of the White Ajah Moderator

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    If someone hasn't read fantasy before, I wouldn't recommend WoT. If you're not used to how immersive the entire world can get, it's probably not going to hold someone's attention. Not because it isn't interesting, but because they're not used to that style.

    For me, my "gateway" into fantasy was reading modern fantasy, like YA novels and the occasional one of my mom's romance novels that had "weird stuff" in it like psychics.

    Reading something like WoT or LotR is something that you should probably go into knowing that there's going to be a lot of world-building going on.
     
  5. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice Game Master

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    My first fantasy was the Hobbit and the Winkle in Time books.
     
  6. Arella Mathara

    Arella Mathara Accepted

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    Mythology, fairytales and myths is what got me into fantasy, I guess. I read Tolkien then WoT though, so I got to them pretty early on. Wouldn't say it's a starter series though, but could be for some.
     
  7. Juliya Karisu

    Juliya Karisu Aes Sedai

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    Same. I loved fairytale retellings especially.

    I read The Hobbit and LOTR after WoT. Also Brandon Sanderson was after I completed the entire WoT. Even now I tend to read shorter series or standalones.

    I wouldn't say it's a gateway because I feel you have to like fantasy to start it. I have friends I've recommended it to who don't read fantasy and they never got past the first book.
     
  8. Tobias Carawin

    Tobias Carawin Citizen

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    I see books like the Eragon and Harry Potter series as entry level fantasy. For me, they are quick reads and seem to be more action oriented than most fantasy books. Where people usually run into issues with the WOT series is in the vast amount of detail, world building, and long introspective character arcs. The people I have introduced to the series find it difficult to digest it all when they are normally accustomed to fantasy that has more action or moves at a fast pace. WOT is a marathon. It takes patience... but when you cross the finish line you realize you want to do it again. I have lost count of re-reads.
     
  9. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai Head of the White Ajah Moderator

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