Started reading again! My dear baby Key bought me Robert Jordan's Knife of Dreams (11th in the Wheel of Time) after we saw it at Times at Plaza Singapura. I first started reading the Wheel of Time series when I was in NJC, and there were about 6 books out. It was in the library and I always had to wait for some mysterious other person who was very slowly reading the next book in the series.
Now, I'm aware that it follows many of the worst cliches in the fantasy genre, much the way that Eddings does. Everyone (well, except Lan.. but you'll find out who he is. And maybe Thom Merrilin) is bumbling through life as best as they can, constantly thinking that they're not very accomplished and being very surprised each time they find that the next person is just as lost as they are, even though they thought they were so composed. The three heroes all think that the other two guys know how to handle girls.. the girls are all part-time super-compassionate, super-intelligent heroines and part-time small-minded bimbos.
His prose is also so-so.. It brings you through a story but it's not at all Gibson-like or Tolkien-like. So what keeps me reading? I must confess that partly it's because I just want to see how it all ends up. A major component of the storyline is this concept of the Wheel of Time, of how the far past blends into the far present. For instance, the WoT universe could jolly well be earth. Sometime in the far future, science and magic will merge.. Gene sciences will create new races, and a new form of power will be found which can be manipulated by certain humans who have a talent for it. Some point after that, researchers will tap into a hidden power source which is actually the Dark One locked away in a cell. A war is started which ravages the world, and eventually the good guys lock the bad guys away (temporarily). Partially due to this, there is a great cataclysm and civilisation is shunted into a Dark Age, without much science. After this, civilisation crawls up. Presumably there will be another battle where they lock him up properly, then forget about him and set the stage for the start of everything... It's an interesting idea and I want to see what he has to add to the idea.
Of course, I also like reading about Mat Cauthon and the adventures of the Band of the Red Hand. So this book, I enjoyed more, since much of the focus was on him being a general ( as opposed to being stuck under a stone column, like in a certain book.)
The day after that, I went to Library@Orchard with Key, and decided to borrow a Chine Mieville book. High Browse Online, the NLB blog, had recommended him, so I borrowed Iron Council to try. Haven't finished it yet, (KoD first!) but will review when I'm done!