The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time can hardly be called a book – having started in 1990, this series isn’t finished yet and now consists of 13 volumes with the final, 14th, due to be released next year. Thousands pages of text, almost 2000 characters (all carefully counted up by fans), hundreds of elaborated descriptions, a strange and peculiar world described in minute detail – all these are the iconic qualities of one of the most imposing fantasy epics ever written.
Initially considered to be finished in six books, The Wheel of Time went out of its author’s control and continued to expand. Jordan mentioned that when he was writing it, he was inspired by War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and one can easily believe it – the plots and subplots keep interlacing all the time, creating a very unusual, although very prolonged reading.
Robert Jordan did not manage to finish his work – he died in 2007, while working on what was supposed to be the final novel of the cycle. Now his job is continued by another writer, Brandon Sanderson, who bases his writing on the Jordan’s notes.
This epic may serve as an excellent example of a book acquiring life of its own – Jordan created a world that looked extremely real, and seemed simply unable to part with it by finishing the series. The pace of action went slower and slower, the number of characters grew, as well as the number of descriptive passages and, as a result, one of the most popular fantasy writers of our time was unable to lead it to logical end.
Yet, all the same, it is still one of the best fantasy works in existence.