I am a fan of many writers, Mr. Sanderson not being the first I would choose but there is a reason for this article.
When I was in my late twenties, a long time ago now, I read the first volume of the “Wheel of Time” novels by Robert Jordan. “The Eye of the World”.
Then I waited two or three years for the second volume and so on. In the end there were Fourteen books. All lengthy (around eight hundred pages each) and after the fourth volume I gave up. Not because they were no good but rather, I had to wait too long for the next fix when there were other books, I really wished to read so I gave up on the “Dragon Reborn”, Rand Al’thor, Egwene and the forsaken.
Move on thirty years and I noticed an advert on Amazon Prime for the “Wheel of Time” TV series.
I remembered those wonderful fantasy novels from my younger years and so watched the television series which I enjoyed but perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me, and I had forgotten parts of the books, perhaps I miss remembered them but the TV series seemed very different to me from what I remembered of the books.
LOTR with very little difference. I loved Tolkien. I would have enjoyed at the time reading another author working with similar themes. There were many trying to emulate him, but most fell well short.
There were some writers, however, that had truly original fantasy tales to tell rather than just rehashing LOTR. Julian May, David Eddings, David Gemmell and a few others jump to mind and of course Robert Jordan.
So, many months ago now I bought the full series and started rereading The Wheel of Time.
Fourteen huge novels. Even for a constant reader such as I this is a huge undertaking. It has taken me approximately nine months to read all fourteen books. For your average reader this would be a four- or five-year undertaking.
Are they worth it. Yes. If you enjoy a new world fantasy that is incredibly different from Tolkien but hugely impressive, then these are for you. You can become immersed in this series in a way that you can with few other authors and the scale is truly EPIC. LOL and I repeat EPIC.
Now perhaps you are wondering why I called this piece “In Praise of Brandon Sanderson” when I have mentioned many authors but have never mentioned him.
Well, when slowly drawing to the conclusion of the “The Wheel of Time” series of novels Robert Jordan died. Having written
eleven novels in this series. The story that had been going on for around twenty years was unfinished. I have no idea how Brandon Sanderson took up the reins, wither he was chosen or wither he just decided that he was going to complete the wheel of time series.
But that does not really matter. Mr. Sanderson took all this sprawling epic (I know I keep coming back to that, but it is simply huge) and drew it all together. A monumental task. I would have considered it an impossible task.
Finishing it with so much flair that the late Robert Jordan must have been impressed.
Firstly, to take on a work so loved and admired was a leap of faith on its own but more, the writing and enjoyment of this rather long saga improved under the young (at that time) Mr Sanderson.
I say, “Hats off to the fellow”.
I should also mention that Brandon Sanderson has gone on to write many wonderful fantasy series of his own devising. The Mistborn Trilogy was one I enjoyed.