I describe how a book ends up in a fire and what growing up with a series is like.


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Script for those who like to read or for the hearing impaired.

The Wheel of Time. I have never read a series so good yet so infuriating. If I hear about drawing on the tainted source one more time! I’m going to lose it.

A story:

I think this story illustrates what I’m talking about. From what was recounted to me, A friend of mine was camping. He was reading the seventh book by a warm campfire on a cold night. He hadn’t spoken or looked up for a while so everyone presumed he lost in the pages. All of a sudden he shouts “arrrgghh” and then throws the book into the fire. He then exclaims “I can’t do it, I’m sick of reading the same shit over and over again”. He gets up and just walks away. Meanwhile the book had caught fire and my friend never finished the The Wheel of Time. He had burnt the book and the book had burnt him. It's an extreme example, but you kinda get the point.

This story was told to me while I was reading the first book, the Eye of the World. I didn’t know how to grasp the frustration he felt because I had been read The Hobbit and LOTR, nothing as large as the WoT. This was the fifth book in total I had willingly read and it was the fifth fantasy book. With all this in mind, I kept on reading, but it was in the back of my mind as I went.

Life went on and it took a long time to get to the seventh book. Reading had to happen after school, working on Sundays and then rollerblading or riding my BMX bike at the skatepark and I was a slow reader. When I picked up the seventh book from the bookshop, my friends story kept playing through my head as the tainted source, coloured shawls and stony faced Aes Sedia descriptions were stuck on repeat. God dam it was infuriating. I, however, resolved to keep away from all types of fires whilst I was reading. After spending some time with the book, I then understood why the book was sacrificed to the fire. it was like Robert Jordan was fattening up the books with repetitive sentences to reach his goal of 14 novels.

I had finally read the eight book The Path of Daggers and what a ride, Thrones were in chaos, the world was heating up due to the dark ones influence, the Bowl of Winds had been touted as useful for a while and it was finally used for great affect. The Asha-Man were fighting even though there had been a massive amount of issues along the way, Huge Armies were facing off and Matt was rolling the dice, the god dam Seachan were humbled, the great sword/Sa’angreal Callandor was properly used finally and a huge lighting storm had devastates two armies, (breathe out) When I turned the last page, I was SO pumped for the next book.

Let’s pause this for a moment, one thing we need to remember about this time: Social Media didn’t exist and I didn’t use the internet apart from looking up slowly loading pictures of naked women. So. I. had to go to the bookshop to get the next book. I went without checking if it had been released yet. I arrived and then started to pour over the fantasy section looking for the next book and made sure I triple checked the section with J and It wasn’t anywhere to be found. I expanded my search to other sections thinking there must be a mistake, someone had to of stacked the shelves incorrectly, or it was sold out or something. I went to the counter and asked if I could order it in and the lady behind the counter quickly responded it hadn't been released yet (breathe again). I was crestfallen. The confusion slowly turned into into disappointment. I needed to know now, it was important, the 8th book had left off on such a cliffhanger.

It was probably obvious what was going on in my head and the lady behind the counter said she was a fellow Wheel of Time reader and she then explained that it was due out in 6 months and the name was Winter’s Heart (what an apt name, it was how I felt!). So I made a mental note to start coming to book store more frequently from November onwards. I didn’t have a car and I was still in school so when we did visit the shops I would always make a bee line straight for the bookshop and would check and check and check.

After many visits and lots of disappointment at not finding it, I arrived one day. It was there. Bold as always in the New Release section. The cover was full of snow and it looked bloody bleak. I grabbed it reverently and said “you bloody beauty” to my girlfriend. She knew, exquisitely, I had been waiting for this book for far too long. She smiled and looked happy I had finally got it. This expectant search continued for each book. It became a habit to pass the bookstore and the check if Robert Jordan, or Raymond E Feist or some other author had released another book. Every time a new book would show up in the new release section, I would get excited all over again. I still do this to this day.

In late 2007 I found out Robert Jordan (James Rigney Jnr) had passed away. It was soul crushing to hear. I had grown from a teenager into a man whilst reading his books and it had weaved itself into every part of my life. I lived in these books, I escaped into this world so I could come back to the real world ready to go again. They were integral for me. It took a while but I had to be ok with not escaping into this world anymore, and that it was gone. (breathe out slowly)

Let’s fast forward in time**

I was poking around around the bookshop again during the Christmas rush of 2009. I was searching for a book to buy myself for Christmas and to see what else I could find for friends and family. The new release sections layout and the books that were stacked there was burnt into my brain, I new the layout and could immediately tell when something new had been added to the shelves. I noticed something different this time, the book the Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I was confused, I didn’t know who Brandon was so I just assumed it was a co-written before his death about another series or a solo book. I picked it up and saw it was the Twelfth book! I cried in that bookshop. It opened an old wound and healed it immediately. I could escape back into this series and also have closure. I took it home and told work I was sick and just read and read to my eyes hurt and then some. I had years of catching up to do. I had it back and I was full of gratitude that life could be so kind sometimes.

After finishing the Wheel of Time, not only had the book taken me on such an epic journey but I had gone through so many epic journeys myself. . It had allowed me to escape during lifes tragedies. I had also grown into being a man when the last book came out in 2013. I'm still grateful all these years later that I introduced into Robert Jordans world. Every now and then I revisit them all to dive into it again and to find out what I missed last read through. These books have a special place in my heart.

So to end this episode, thank you to James Rigney Jnr aka Robert Jordan and his family for creating The Wheel of Time and a quote from Thom Merrilen in Winter’s Heart.