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Robert Jordan biography and books reviewed

Robert Jordan was born on the 17th of October 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2006 he was diagnosed with the rare blood disease amyloidosis and died on September the 16th, 2007. Jordan will be best remembered for his best-selling fantasy series, The Wheel of Time, with 14 million copies having been sold in North America alone.

Robert Jordan (real name James Oliver Rigney Junior) found books and reading at any early age. He had (with the help of his older brother) taught himself to read by the age of four and was reading Mark Twain and Jules Verne by five. It was at this time that he realised that he intended to be a full time writer.

A military career as a helicopter gunner in the United States Army followed. His service included two tours of Vietnam where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses. Jordan was educated at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina where he gained bachelors in mathematics and physics. A career as a nuclear engineer in the United States Navy followed and it was during this time, in 1977, that Robert Jordan began writing.

Jordan chose the fantasy genre for his The Wheel of Time (the name of which comes from Hindu mythology) series because his believed that it allowed him to explore good and evil, right and wrong, honour and duty without having to having to conform the mainstream belief that these were but two sides to the same coin.

Right now I have fame, whatever you want to call it, but I'm not going to keep writing the same thing. I like fantasy, and I will write fantasy, but it's not all going to be 'The Wheel of Time'. I intend to change universe, rules, worlds, cultures, characters, everything, with the books I do when I finish 'The Wheel of Time'.

From: An interview with Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time series for which Robert Jordan is best known was to consist of twelve books. Eleven books had been published at the time of his death and Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, has chosen Brandon Sanderson to write the twelfth book and thereby complete the series. All the important plot details had been shared with his family before his death.

Robert Jordan reviews

Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan

Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end.

The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions.

But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them?

"Warrior of the Altaii is an interesting read that I might have enjoyed more as a relic of another era of fantasy writing than I did for its own sake. Nevertheless, it will appeal to fans of Robert Jordan and those looking for something new with a very much 70s fantasy vibe."

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time is one of the most popular and influential fantasy epics ever written. It puts the epic in epic fantasy, a hugely ambitious undertaking that redefined a genre. This skillfully written fourteen book series is filled with unforgettable characters and set in a world steeped in rich history and legend.

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Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unravelling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to spill out of the Blight. Perrin Aybara is haunted by spectres from his past. To prevail, he must find a way to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it for ever. Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost. The end draws near. It's time to roll the dice.

"Sanderson has done a wonderful job in stepping up to plate and filling the big man’s shoes. The writing flows wonderfully but I still feel, however, that Jordan’s female characters are sometimes lacking. Many seem to me to be copies of each another and too shallow in their ideals. Elayne’s personality has certainly changed for me in this boo. I don’t know if it was due to her pregnancy or the need for her character to develop to drive her storyline along but thankfully, throughout the book, Elayne becomes less annoying (she’s one of my least favourite characters in the story)."

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The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

The Forsaken are loose, the Horn of Valere has been found and the Dead are rising from their dreamless sleep. The Prophecies are being fulfilled - but Rand al'Thor, the shepherd the Aes Sedai have proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, desperately seeks to escape his destiny. Rand cannot run for ever. With every passing day the Dark One grows in strength and strives to shatter his ancient prison, to break the Wheel, to bring an end to Time and sunder the weave of the Pattern. And the Pattern demands the Dragon.

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The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

The Dragon Reborn is the third in the Wheel of Time series and continues almost immediately on from The Great Hunt. This book contains two distinct paths to the climax, a feature throughout the series and one of the many reasons why I am such a big fan of the series.

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The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

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