Group Read of Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson's) 'Wheel of Time' series

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2019

Join LibraryThing to post.

Group Read of Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson's) 'Wheel of Time' series

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Jun 25, 2019, 5:46am


The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legends. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

A breeze arose beyond the jungle and blew its cool air across my balcony, ameliorating the tropical heat as I set up this thread. And so we begin.

Welcome to the group read for the Wheel of Time (WoT) series! (Jump to >4 for links to threads for individual books)

There are 14 (count 'em!) books (plus a prequel and a companion book) in the series of what was originally planned as a trilogy. Sadly, Robert Jordan (the pen name of James Oliver Rigney) passed away before completing the series but he left copious notes for Brandon Sanderson to write what would be another three books. I didn't get as far as that the first time I started the series (I had lost track a couple of books before, while waiting for the next ones to be published) but from all accounts, they live up to the solo books.

The rumour mill is fairly definite about a TV series which will start filming in the second half of this year, so it's a good time to pick up the books whether for the first time or as a refresher (or, in my case, to finally - hopefully - finish reading the entire series).

Edited: Mar 24, 2019, 11:51pm

Edited: Feb 7, 2019, 9:07pm

Original publication dates:

1- The Eye of the World     January 1990
a) From the Two Rivers
b) To the Blight         2002
2- The Great Hunt             November 1990
a) The Hunt Begins
b) New Threads in the Pattern     2004
3- The Dragon Reborn       October 1991
4- The Shadow Rising       September 1992
5- The Fires of Heaven       October 1993
6- Lord of Chaos               October 1994
7- A Crown of Swords         May 1996

The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time (companion) November 1997

8- The Path of Daggers       October 1998
9- Winter's Heart                 November 2000
10- Crossroads of Twilight     January 2003

0- New Spring (prequel)       January 2004

11- Knife of Dreams             October 2005
12- The Gathering Storm     October 2009
13- Towers of Midnight         November 2010
14- A Memory of Light         January 2013

The Wheel of Time Companion: The People, Places, and History of the Bestselling Series November 2015

Pick a book, crack it open and enjoy!



Link to the Tor reading of the series in 2018:

Link to the index for the Tor reading in 2018/ 2019/ ....:

If you want more, link to the index for the Tor re-read (2009):
but it does warn you it has spoilers for the rest of the series.

Please note: each instalment of the Tor read and re-read covers a few chapters, so make sure you’ve read those chapters before you read that instalment (it tells you which chapters at the top).

>31 has found a couple of useful sites, so I’m adding them in here:

Theoryland (a WoT forum):

The Thirteenth Depository (background information, links to Jordan’s and Sanderson’s blogs - ‘ware spoilers):

Edited: Jun 25, 2019, 6:40am

Reading the whole series is a huge time commitment, so I'm not going to set a schedule. Read as and when you want - although I do recommend that you don't leave it too long between books or you'll start to lose track of all the threads in the pattern.

I will set up threads for individual books for people to comment on, so there are no spoilers for people reading along more leisurely. I'll start with the first two books; give me a yell if you'd like me to set up more.

ETA: I'll also set up the thread for the prequel for those who prefer to read in chronological order.

Thread links

0) New Spring:

1) Eye of the World:
2) The Great Hunt:
3) The Dragon Reborn:
4) The Shadow Rising:
5) The Fires of Heaven:
6) Lord of Chaos:
7) A Crown of Swords:
8) The Path of Daggers:
9) Winter's Heart:
10) Crossroads of Twilight:
11) Knife of Dreams:
12) The Gathering Storm:
13) Towers of Midnight:
14) A Memory of Light:

Jan 24, 2019, 8:36am

I'm in! I've started the series a few times and have never managed to finish. Now's the time!

Jan 24, 2019, 9:26am

Thanks, Nina. All of this background is wonderful. I can't decide which set of covers appeals to me more. I do like the simple, minimalism of the first row, and similarly, the second row, although the spines of the second row perhaps appeal more than the covers. My Kindle book for The Eye of the World is the one in the next to the last row - which I guess I also like.

Jan 24, 2019, 3:13pm

>5 drneutron: Great! Welcome in Jim.

>6 rretzler: My books are a mix of the Orbit (UK) publications; 1-9 in the third row and the rest from the first two rows (I have two of the last book).

The fourth row, with the same artwork, are the US Tor editions while the fifth row are the e-book ‘covers’ which seem to have the same illustrations as the hardback covers in the last row.

Jan 24, 2019, 3:35pm

Thanks, Nina. I've read them, and I'm might jump in for a re-read of the final two or three. I'm looking forward to people's reactions and the discussions!

Jan 24, 2019, 11:22pm

I'm here! Btw, the Tor group is currently reading The Great Hunt, nearly at the end, actually, although I haven't been participating, but the index for all the discussions of the first two books is here:

Jan 25, 2019, 8:31pm

I picked up The Eye of the World last year on sale, but decided today that I would go ahead and purchase the next two The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn. I anticipate liking them and there was a waitlist at the library, not a long one, but I didn't want to have to wait to start reading. So I'll all set - I just need to finish Fool's Errand for the Realm of the Elderlings group read. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get through those and The Shadow Rising by the end of the year, since I am also reading 4 for the Realm of the Elderlings and still plan to read several of the Chronicles of the Kencyrath, too.

Jan 25, 2019, 9:47pm

>8 jnwelch: Wonderful, Joe! I'm glad you're along for the ride. I hope you join in the discussions, too.

>9 ronincats: Yay! Thanks for the links Roni. I'll add them in.

>10 rretzler: I'm quite looking forward to starting The Eye of the World now, but I want to get through Ship of Magic first (I'm so far behind). And as well as the Kencyrath books, I'm hoping to join the Ranger's Apprentice group read with my boys so they can start to discuss what they read (or, in the case of my older boy, start reading again).

Edited: Jan 25, 2019, 9:53pm

>7 humouress: >3 humouress: I like it when the spines of a series make a picture (probably what started my obsession with wanting the same cover editions for my series). You can't quite see it in the photo, but the current Orbits show the centre of the WoT logo, where the serpent's head bites its tail as it crosses the wheel (as repeated on the cover of the last book in that edition).

Jan 27, 2019, 10:04am

Personally I like to start with the prequel. I will read New Spring next week and then join as soon as I find a copy of The Eye of the World at the library.

Jan 27, 2019, 11:38pm

Not sure what happened to my previous comment on this thread but I would highly recommend The Wheel of Time Companion for any who find the series a bit too overwhelming.

Edited: Jan 28, 2019, 2:01am

>13 FAMeulstee: I usually like to read series in chronological order too, Anita, but be aware that the prequel was published after book 10 in the series so there may be spoilers. I read (as far as I did) as they were published so I read the prequel after the first books. It will be interesting to see what you think without having read the other books.

Oh - I'd better set up a thread, hadn't I?

ETA: thread set up and ready to go.

Edited: Jan 28, 2019, 2:03am

>14 Oberon: Thanks for the suggestion, Erik. I do have the Companion but I've only dipped into it a bit. I was thinking of using it to add to the discussion (should I be organised enough). I'll add it to the list, though.

ETA: Actually, I have the World of Robert Jordan's WoT written with Jordan, not the Companion written by his wife, Harriet McDougal.

Jan 28, 2019, 1:19am

>14 Oberon: >16 humouress: The companion arrived yesterday! Ordered it in paper so that I can refer to it while I'm reading the ebooks.

Jan 28, 2019, 2:02am

>17 rretzler: Yay! So we'll ask you all the hard questions then :0)

Jan 28, 2019, 4:05am

I've starred the thread but not sure if I can really manage another long series of huge fantasy novels alongside the Robin Hobb read. I've tried to read this series twice before and don't think I ever got past the second book but I can't really remember why...

Jan 28, 2019, 6:27am

>19 souloftherose: I hope you do join us Heather. I’ve taken a leaf out of your book and set it up as a relaxed read with no schedule.

Having said which, I’ll have to find time to start soon, myself.

Jan 28, 2019, 11:21am

>16 humouress: I have both the Companion and The World of Robert Jordan. I didn't mention the first just because, as you noted above, it came out well in the middle of the series. The illustrations were very nice and such and it is on the shelf but as a reference guide it ended up being a lot less useful than the Companion.

>9 ronincats: Also a plug for what Roni said, the TOR reread is really good IMO and pick up a lot that I missed the first few times I read the series.

Jan 29, 2019, 6:09pm

>21 Oberon: I agree - the TOR commentary is fantastic!

Feb 1, 2019, 11:18pm

I have starred the thread and we'll see if I ever get my hands on the book. 11 weeksout from the library.....

Feb 2, 2019, 2:15am

>10 rretzler: >13 FAMeulstee: >22 drneutron: Go ahead and put comments on the relevant threads if you want. Since there's no set schedule and some folks are starting with New Spring while some are starting with The Eye of the World, don't wait for each other.

>22 drneutron: Good to know.

Feb 2, 2019, 2:15am

>23 Berly: Welcome Kim. (Come on, library.)

Edited: Feb 2, 2019, 9:38am

Choice made; I'll start Eye of the World today.

I remember it as dense and tense, starting with nothing but the bare bones of winter around and we as innocent as Rand and his friends although Nynaeve, the surprisingly young wisdom, seemed to think she knew it all. Racing time in an urgent but unrecognised mission to save the world.

Okay, less talking so I can start ...

ETA: popping back for a sec; does anyone know how they calculate Ages in this? Probably not important and something I paid no attention to before ( - but why not find out this time?)

Edited: Feb 2, 2019, 9:57am

Googled my own answer; I should have remembered. There are 7 Ages (spokes) on the Wheel of Time. ‘The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legends. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.’

Chapter 1 of book 1 begins in a Third Age.

Feb 3, 2019, 12:56pm

Is this a multi-year group-read then? I couldn't handle more than one every two months, they're so long

Feb 3, 2019, 3:21pm

I’m planning about one a month, so yeah, it’ll be multi-year. 😀

Feb 3, 2019, 4:46pm

>28 The_Hibernator: >29 drneutron: As long as it takes :0)

Feb 7, 2019, 3:03pm

>28 The_Hibernator: >29 drneutron: >30 humouress: I'll probably read 4 or so a year, so it will take me a few years to get them all done.

I found a couple of interesting sites which I thought I would share: Theoryland which has links to interviews and discussions about the series and The Thirteenth Depository which has theory and analysis of the books. Both look to be excellent references for anyone who is interested in something more in-depth.

Feb 7, 2019, 9:03pm

>31 rretzler: Thanks Robin; I can add those in to the top.

The Thirteenth Depository does seem to contain information from further along the series, though, so may be better left for analysing it after finishing the whole thing.

Feb 9, 2019, 6:46pm

>32 humouress: Very true, Nina. I found it when I was searching for the whole Arthurian legend thing.

Feb 15, 2019, 9:07am

Well, I reserved the first book a while ago, but it'll take 16 weeks to come, lol.

Feb 19, 2019, 5:10pm

>34 The_Hibernator: Yikes, Nina. That is a long time. 🙁 I’ve been waiting on a Donna Leon book for 6+ weeks now and the library indicates it will be another 2 weeks. Which is odd since I was the only one on the list and the max borrowing period is 21 days. It’s a head scratcher!

Mar 11, 2019, 2:52am

>35 rretzler: That's Rachel :0) I have my own collection, though I didn't get to the end the first time around.

I've posted the thread for The Dragon Reborn (link in message >4 humouress:). I forgot that having Anita along means she'll probably finish the series before I finish the first book ;0)

Mar 11, 2019, 9:25am

I've added the new thread to the group wiki.

Plus, I need to get started on THe Great Hunt...

Mar 11, 2019, 4:55pm

>36 humouress: Planning one book per month now... So you are good with the threads until April ;-)

Mar 11, 2019, 8:33pm

>37 drneutron: Thanks Doc.

>38 FAMeulstee: Phew! ‘:0)

Mar 13, 2019, 1:28pm

Thanks for the links to the threads for the specific books. I’m glad everyone seems to have enjoyed the first one, to one extent or another.

It’s fun to hear the comments on the characters - there will be a lot of them! His world building is one of the things that makes the series a standout, IMO.

Mar 24, 2019, 11:48pm

>40 jnwelch: You're welcome, Joe.

How is anyone else going with reading (apart from Anita, who's shooting away as usual)? I seem to have lost my reading mood (probably because number one son has his first public exam coming up and since he's not stressed, I have to be); I'm still on the first book, but enjoying it when I can get to it.

Mar 25, 2019, 8:54am

I planned to start The Great Hunt in March, but life has slowed my reading down, so it'll more likely be April. My plan was to do one every other month - best laid plans...

Apr 13, 2019, 8:05pm

>34 The_Hibernator: >35 rretzler: >36 humouress: Ha! This is a problem that I have when reading and characters have names that start with the same first letter - I tend just to look at the first letter and it can cause great confusion! I'm sure I saw the H in Hibernator and thought H for humouress! LOL! It was great fun when I was reading the Harry Potter series to my sons! Harry, Hagrid, Hermione, and who knows who else!

>41 humouress: >42 drneutron: I started The Great Hunt early this month, and am still chugging along at about 50% right now. Haven't had a lot of time to read, but now that April 15 (US tax return due date) is almost here, I'll have more time to devote to reading (thank goodness!)

Jun 4, 2019, 5:58am

I didn't read as much as usual in May, and skipped my planned Wheel of Time book. I just reserved the next two Wheel of Time books (The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven) at the library to be read in June. I expect them to arrive later this week.

Jun 7, 2019, 4:52pm

>44 FAMeulstee:. Those are two of my favorites in the series, Anita. Have a good time!

Jun 8, 2019, 7:02pm

>45 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe, I will start with The Shadow Rising tomorrow :-)

Jun 24, 2019, 6:45am

Finished both The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven.

I find myself trapped. I am not enjoying the series as much as I had hoped. Some parts I like and some parts not so much (the parts about annoying characters). And the endless whining about the other gender by both male and female characters wears out. But I am almost halfway and now I want to know how the story continues.
I am going to try Lord of Chaos next month. And if I still feel the same I might skip a few books and read the summaries instead...

Jun 24, 2019, 9:59am

Just picked up The Great Hunt from the library.

Edited: Jun 25, 2019, 5:50am

The threads for The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven are open!

Jun 25, 2019, 5:49am claims that Rosamund Pike has signed on as Moiraine for the Wheel of Time TV series. Apparently, she has created an Instagram account in honour of this.

Sep 26, 2019, 9:11pm

>50 humouress: Thanks, Nina, for the info. I think I could see her as Moiraine.

In the newsletter today, there is an article about several Wheel of Time podcasts here. A couple of them sounded pretty interesting, and I think I may check them out.

Jan 3, 2020, 3:46am

Do we plan to continue this? I read the first 3 original in 2019 - and I thought I would attempt to read 4 more in 2020, including New Spring. I'm like Anita though - if they don't pick up for me, I may end up bagging it.

Jan 3, 2020, 10:26am

I do, but slowly. My general reading, as you know, has really slowed down.

Jan 3, 2020, 1:23pm

I'm still in!