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I have just finished reading the Night Angel Trilogy and while it is a fun read I couldn't help but feel large parts of the world were copied from the Wheel of Time series.

Female "Casters" are expected to be taught by a group of women called the Chantry who live in a White Tower and don't trust Male Casters.

There are 2 types of magic, good Magic (which some talented people can use) and Vir which is a dark magic that slowly takes over a person making them despotic and crazy; this is "Gifted" by one of the Big Bads of the series

Magic is talked about as being in "Weaves" and at one point a character is partly healed from a Compulsion spell by having the weaves slowly unravelled and removed from her.

There is a Seafaring nation who are basically Atha'an Miere except they don't live on ships all the time

There is a magical sword that can enhance the power of anyone with magic, but if it's overused the mage could die.

I have no doubt that others have seen the similarities but has Brent Weeks ever talked about this?

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    You are far from the first person to suggest it, but I haven't found anything from him directly answering it (although I have seen a few references to him addressing it at brentweeks.ning.com/forum/topics/…, which is now a dead domain). The closest I've found is an interview with Patrick Rothfuss (blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2010/01/…) where Weeks indicates he's aware of the "Brent Weeks Raped the Wheel of Time" thread and indicates it amuses him a bit. – FuzzyBoots Sep 27 '17 at 11:20
  • @FuzzyBoots Wayback Machine to the rescue :-) – Rand al'Thor Sep 27 '17 at 13:33
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Yes.

He addressed it on his website, which no longer exists (at least not with the same URL) but can still be seen using the Wayback Machine here.

A forum poster named ChrisW made a long list of similarities between Wheel of Time and Night Angel, to which Brent Weeks replied as follows:

Chris,
I feel like there’s the question you’re asking--which has many parts, but is fairly simple--and then a raft of assumptions behind the question that you may or may not hold, but that I’m leery of.
So, first to take your questions at face value: are there similarities? Sure. Jordan was a favorite of mine. I didn’t love everything he did, and I haven’t read any of his books for eight (?) years, but those first books wowed me as much as Tolkien's books did. Jordan rocks.

He goes on to describe how many of the common elements in the two series were both based on the same inspiration - whether that be from real-world history, myths and legends, or other fantasy works such as Tolkien's - rather than NA being a ripoff of WoT.

When you’re talking about elements of stories that get repeated, and whether they’re rip-offs, you have to decide how specific or general you’re going to be. In the Night Angel Trilogy, Kylar’s an orphan. Wait, not just an orphan, a poor orphan. (Oh, rip-off of Charles Dickens.) Wait, not just an orphan, an orphan who can use magic. (Oh, rip-off of Harry Potter.) Wait, not just an orphan, an orphan who’s smart. (Rip-off of Orson Card.) Wait, not just an orphan, an orphan whose master teaches him to fight. (Rip-off of Star Wars…or whatever.)
Or maybe there’s just something intriguing about orphans. Orphans face an amplified form of the same question that bothers all of us as we grow up: who am I? Where did I come from? Who are my people, and how much does that matter? Plus, orphans are underdogs, so it’s easier to care about them.

He does admit that the part about women, men, and their use of magic is too similar:

I’m not going to go through them all your examples because of space. Some are really pretty different, or conversely quite common to the genre. The one that IS quite similar is that the women have a unified school and the men don’t. I’d do that differently if I had it to do again. It’s not essential to my world and it IS too similar. My bad.

And he concludes by saying that regardless of whether all the ideas are original (hint: they aren't), he did at least put his own personal spin on them:

Those guys each have a couple of decades of writing experience on me, so if you think they do it better than I do, that's fine. My work is definitely influenced by them, and it's influenced by Tolkien, and it's influenced by a bunch of other writers both famous and gifted and not-so-much. At the end of the day, I think if you tore off the cover and read any of my books without seeing who wrote it, you wouldn't say "Hmm, seems like a pale Robert Jordan. Maybe something from early in his career?" I think you'd say, "That's a Brent Weeks book. Definitely."

His full post was too long to quote here, but it was an interesting read and says a lot about fantasy.

Whether Weeks was telling the truth here, or simply waffling to cover up the fact that he did rip off Jordan, is up for debate. But your question was whether he's talked about it, not whether he copied from WoT.


I found this by searching Google for brent weeks wheel of time, which led me to this forum thread, with a link to this page which no longer exists. It then took me ages, even using the Wayback Machine, to find a copy of that page, but eventually I managed it using this list.

  • Congrats! I gave up after the first failure or two plugging things into the Wayback Machine. – FuzzyBoots Sep 27 '17 at 13:35
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    Recent fantasy has become a huge case of "the Simpsons did it first". Our imagination will always be influenced by the legends and myths of previous eras, and some tropes have definitely become more popular than others. In the end, I think Weeks has it right, that you are bound to "copy" someone else no matter what you do, but you can always put your own spin on it. Besides, it's pretty hard to blame anyone for ripping off Jordan, as he pretty much ripped off every single legend ever in the Wheel of Time. Of course there's going to be similarities! – Dungarth Sep 27 '17 at 13:49

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