Many years ago I was asked to Interview Robert Jordan when he was expected in the UK on one of his rare overseas visits, and because I was always one to do my research, I devoted the next couple of months to reading Books 2, 3 and 4 in The Wheel of Time saga (I read the first when it was originally published). Sadly, Jordan had to cancel his trip, but I was glad to have read the books, if only so I could see what all the fuss was about. And course I could see what the fuss was about.
Now, a large number of books later, the entire cycle has been shortlisted for a Hugo Award, and as a result, there’s been a great deal of flapping on the interweb.
I could just mention the phenomenal amount of work Jordan (and latterly co-author Brandon Sanderson) put in – according to the Guardian, who have very kindly done the sums for me, that includes a little under five million words and 129 point-of-view characters; or the number of copies sold, which is estimated at some eighty to ninety million books worldwide – but instead, and with thanks to the author for allowing us to use his piece, I’m going to hand over to Brandon, who was chosen to finish off this monumental undertaking after Jordan’s untimely death.
I think he speaks for a great many of us .