Also, I have to say that Brandon Sanderson has done a masterful and wonderful job with the last three books. With all deference to Jordan’s skilled world-building, Sanderson is a far better writer (word craftsman) than Jordan ever was.
Reading the books quickly and back-to-back —- I’ve been bored with not much else to do these past 3 weeks — Jordan’s patterns were boring and prosaic. Four pages to move the characters down a hallway as if I care what the tapestries looked like or that I needed to be reminded every time how many servants it took to run a palace — or that I needed to know the names of every one of those servants. By the time I was to Book 4, I was literally skipping half the pages because of the unnecessary detail. And I will say unnecessary because, by and late, the detail wasn’t original — just a lot of repetition. And don’t even get me started on the useless paragraphs describing in detail how people were dressed.
[I think that scene where Matt has carefully written out everyone’s elaborate backstory is, in fact, an Easter-egg reference to Jordan’s penchant for giving us all a lot of useless backstory. And if it is, I thank him for that — because that scene actually made me laugh out loud.]
No, Brandon’s writing is much, much better — he focusses so well on characterization. With Brandon’s writing — he made me cry when he wrote about Rand’s transformation — the scene where Nynaeve stays his hand with the Borderlanders — it made me cry because I could feel her anguish.
And another thing that Sanderson does not do is try to be cleverer than the reader. The characters actually talk to each other. He doesn’t try to obfuscate make everything seem mystical.
He also relies much less heavily on the characters being stupid than Jordan. That is, Jordan would often compromise the character in order to make a story point. For example — there is no way in the Light’s world that Nynaeve would be so trusting of a newly-befriended Seanchan that she would casually hand her the male a’dam and trust her to toss them into the ocean. She would forsake that which defines her as a character — her unwavering desire to protect her 4 charges from everything the outside world will use to harm them. Not in a million years. Seriously? And that’s just one example of many. Sanderson doesn’t do that with our beloved characters, and I am very thankful for that — he doesn’t make them stupid to create drama.
Yes, I have been enjoying these last three books immensely.