Book Review

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World by Robert JordanThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Series: The Wheel of Time #1

Genre: Fantasy

Published on January 15, 1990
Published by Macmillan Publishers, Tor Books
Format: eBook, 753 pages
Source: Purchased

My rating:

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First sentence: The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.

A decade ago, I abandoned the reading of Wheel of Time series when Robert Jordan died. Why didn’t I continue when Brandon Sanderson wrote the rest? That answer would require a deep psychological evaluation of my tendency to neglect series when I make big breaks between books. 🙂

The last couple of years, my husband has been slowly conquering Wheel Of Time series, one book at the time. His comments made me remember how much I liked this series. He also made me realize how much I have forgotten over the years. So here I am, restarting the series again. And this time, no quitting until the end.

What Is The Eye of the World About?

Rand, Perrin, and Mat are young men from a small village of Two Rivers. Their world gets turned upside down when the village is attacked by creatures that should only exist in nightmares. On the run, they encounter unexpected allies, familiar faces, fabled cities and more adventure than they dreamed of.

What Did I Like?

  • Leisurely pace. Robert Jordan was a master storyteller. I envision him as a bard, standing by the fire on a medieval court and telling this tale to an enraptured audience. You can’t hurry him. Not one detail is neglected: the fall of the shadow, the sound of the wind, the color of the grass…
  • Beautiful descriptions. Every line is like poetry.“Warder’s blade met black steel from the forges at Thakan’dar with a clang like a great bell, the toll echoing in the hollow, a flash of blue light filling the air like sheet lightning.”
  • Easy intro. While the word of Wheel of Time is gigantic in scale, Robert Jordan makes it easy to get to know it. Starting from the small village unexperienced characters (and me) discovered the big world together. Also, to make it easier to follow, the point of view does not start to change in the first half of the book.
  • Strong female characters are present in the story too. When I read it for the first time, I liked fierce Egwene the most. 10 years later, stubborn and more mature Nynaeve is my favorite.

“If you boys… you men, can do what has to be done when you’d rather do almost anything else, why do you think I will do less? Or Egwene?”

  • The similarity to other classic fantasy novels. While some could complain about this, I found it interesting. I especially liked drawing the comparison to Lord of The Rings series: “This is like when Frodo and the guys ran through Moria…”
  • The ‘not good with girls’ gag. Whether the narrator is Rand, Perrin or Mat, they complain about their inability to talk/deal with girls like the other one. They always think ‘Rand/Perrin/Mat would know what to do.” This always makes me smile.

What I Didn’t Like?

  • Love story progressed too quickly. While the plot will take 14 books to unravel, it seemed to me that feelings between some characters sprouted out of thin air. Considering their character, I would have expected more time to pass until they confront them.

“I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile.”

My Rating:

Even after 30 years, Wheel of Time series has a lot to teach new epic fantasy writers: how to do great world-building and write beautiful descriptions. The fact that it’s one of the classics makes it a must-read for the fans of the genre. If you haven’t already, I recommend you give The Eye of the World a shot.

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