Robert Jordan started writing a extremely good Fantasy trilogy with deep themes and an epic scope, however somewhere along the line he broke with the expectations of the genre, realised that he was being paid by the word, and money was better than critical acclaim or self-respect.
Here we have a hero with a quest just crying out for satisfying, climactic resolution, but we get an Achilles and the tortoise race in which each successive book merely halves the distance to the finish line. Dramatic tension needs to be resolved in a reasonable time frame, damn it!
The further you get into The Wheel of Time, the more it drags out, the more irrelevant digressions occur, and the less you get any kind of closure.
I would have considered this a great book if it had finished in three or even four volumes, but as it is I got frustrated and gave up after five volumes, with no end in sight.1
If Robert Jordan is really a good writer, then can't he even finish one book and then just write a different one? Steven King doesn't spend his entire career writing just one unfinished mega-book, does he? Heck no, he knows how to tell a story. Which includes ending it.
Robert Jordan should be taken out and shot for his crimes against his own integrity.
Update: Robert Jordan died on September 16, 2007. Knowing that he was not long in this world, Robert Jordan tried to bring the series to a close in 12 volumes. He failed. The twelfth and final volume is incomplete, and the plan is for it to be published posthumously from his notes and dictated outlines. Brandon Sanderson be the author to finish it.
1) Myrkabah claims that It doesn't get any better by book ten.
Nekojin says: Robert Jordan has stated publicly in interviews that he has no intention of bringing The Wheel of time to a close as long as the series is popular. So is he going to do it when nobody cares? He writes for money so don't count on it happening at all.
pi pointed put that Steven King was writing that mega-book Dark Tower thing. True, but that's not what made him famous, and is hardly the only thing he has done. Hey, he's even finished it now. What else, if anything, has Robert Jordan written? Is he even capable of doing so?
Yes, this is an opinion. In this it is no different from the rest of the writeups here. It is my opinion, I am proud of it, and I have reasons for it, which I hope that you now understand now even if you do not agree with them.