I started reading The Wheel of Time series way back when the first book came out 20 years ago. For many years following that first introduction I was wound up in the story. Then, something happened. Around book 6 I completely lost interest. I kept buying the books thinking I would start up anew but by about 1996 when the 7th book came out I just wasn’t keeping up with the story. Personally I think the narrative just got too caught up in itself and it lost the strength found in the earlier titles. There was never a time, however, when one of the books wasn’t somewhere near my nightstand waiting to be picked back up.
Late last year book 12 was released. The Gathering Storm is the first book to be released after Jordan’s death and when I spotted it in the bookstore I realized I needed to get busy finishing the series so I would be there to experience the end when it finally hit the shelves. It is hard to believe that the story has been in development so long but the end is on the horizon and even if it is not exactly what the original author intended I believe it will come close. So, not long ago I picked up my copy of book 8, there is no telling how long it has sat on the nightstand waiting, and dived back into the epic story.
Immediately I was struck with how much I had forgotten in the lost years. So much was familiar yet I was missing the details of things that had happened in the middle books. The good news, however, is that I had the foresight to purchase the audio versions of the books back when I had an audible subscription. Not all of them but most of them. Enough to start the series over without having to reread anything. I put away my poker and tech podcasts and cranked up The Eye of the World. Listening to the first book again helped me remember why I loved the story so much and inspired me to get to reading. Now, as I listen to the early books while traveling, I also am reading the later books for the first time. I am immersed in that world again and am glad to be back.
Today I am making steady progress through The Path of Daggers and it seems like the story is picking up again after the lull of books 5 & 6. A new resolution not to buy any new books until I have finished what I already have is also helping me move along. My hope is that I can catch up to the series by the middle of the year. My reading pace is sadly not what it once was and one book a month is about the best I can do now. Just not enough free time. No matter what the pace, however, it is good to be back reading again and, as they say, the wheel turns…