Hello! Welcome to the introductory post of a new blog series on Tor.com, The Wheel of Time Re-read. This is in preparation for the publication of the next and last book in the series, A Memory of Light, which is scheduled to be published this fall.
My name is Leigh Butler, and I’ll be your hostess for the festivities. I’m very excited to be a part of this project, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.
This project was inspired in large part by the lovely and talented Kate Nepveu’s current re-read and commentary series on The Lord of the Rings here on this site, and will follow the same basic outline, because why mess with fabulousness? So, as with Kate’s series, there will be a brief recap of each chapter, followed by commentary. However, there will be some differences from Kate’s model.
Owing to time constraints (the impending publication date) and the comparatively ginormous amount of material to be covered (The Wheel of Time is about ten times as long as LOTR), doing one chapter per post simply isn’t feasible, so we’re going to be stepping up the pace a bit. And by “a bit” I mean “a lot.”
Hang on to your hats: the current plan is to do bi-weekly posts every Tuesday and Friday, covering roughly 8-10 chapters per post (give or take, depending on the lengths of the chapters involved). The goal is to get through just over a book per month, finishing Knife of Dreams in time for the publication of A Memory of Light.
Sadly, the rapid pace means that I won’t always be able to comment on each chapter in as great detail as I might have wished (though I will pause to dwell on particularly big events or central ideas). What I hope to do, instead of providing commentary at length, is to identify items of interest/controversy/what-have-you to serve as jumping-off points for you guys to run with in the comments.
Discussion and participation is the aim, because otherwise what’s the point? I want to hear your thoughts on my thoughts: do you agree, do you disagree, do you think I’m out of my ever-loving mind? Let me know.
So that’s the idea. And now, a little bit about me, so as to get a feel for how I’m coming at this puppy:
I am best described as a jack-of-all-trades, I guess—as long as the “trades” in question don’t actually involve hard labor. I grew up in New Orleans, received degrees in Film and English (for maximum usefulness!) in Austin, Texas, and then lived for 8 years in Los Angeles, because with that on my resume where else was I gonna go? Over the years I’ve worked in the entertainment industry in various capacities, including but not limited to news editor, quality control technician, legal secretary, and
punching bag production assistant.
I now reside in New York City, because why not, really, where my status is to be determined. I’m keeping busy, though.
I am an amateur writer, critiquer, and LiveJournaler (yes, I know “critiquer” is not a word, but calling myself a “critic” rates about an 11 on the Hubris Doppler Radar), and two of my favorite things are fantasy, pop culture, and the hilarious (and, sometimes, awesome) ways in which they combine.
I first came to WOT fandom sometime in 1997, when I stumbled across the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, of which some of y’all may have heard tell, after chewing through the then-published seven books in the series in about two weeks flat. I had many years of great fun on rasfwr-j, and eventually
was shanghaied ended up in charge of the Wheel of Time FAQ, which I updated and maintained through the publication of Crossroads of Twilight. However, for various reasons I was not able to update the FAQ for Knife of Dreams (check out the FAQ’s Welcome page if you want more info on that).
The relevant result here being, I have read the Wheel of Time series a lot, and pored over many parts of it with nearly indecent attention to detail, but contrariwise, I haven’t revisited the series since I read Knife of Dreams over three years ago.
What I’m hoping this re-read will produce on my part, therefore, is a kind of “old-familiarity-meets-new-rediscovery” gestalt that will inspire Deep Thoughts, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. Or, if all else fails, good snarkage. Ideally, we’ll get both.
So there you have it. I think this is going to be good fun, and I hope all y’all will come along for the ride. The first regular post, The Eye of the World Part I, is scheduled to go up tomorrow. See you there!