This is the fifth time I’ve read this book. Keep in mind that I’m the type of person who rarely watches a movie or reads a book a second time. The EyeThis is the fifth time I’ve read this book. Keep in mind that I’m the type of person who rarely watches a movie or reads a book a second time. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan is the book that drew me into the reading world, and now the writing world. I’d read maybe ten novels before this one, usually because they were required reading for school.
I don’t remember the exact times, but it took me almost three months to read the first 60 pages or so, then I read the next 700+ in a matter of days. My bedside hasn’t been without a book since.
If you couldn’t guess by my introduction, I’m in love with this series. If epic fantasy is your genre, do yourself a favor and check this book out.
The main plot behind the story (there are probably hundreds of sub-plots later in the series) involves a few villagers whose lives are changed dramatically within the first few chapters of the book. They’re thrust into a world of legend and fairy tales, learning along the way that those legends aren’t necessarily fairy tales after all.
Their fate is tied to the fate of the world, and maybe time itself. With only a single Aes Sedai and her warder to guide them, they fight just to survive the coming shadow.
The book starts much slower than other books I’m used to, particularly the first time I read it because I’d never read epic fantasy before. I’m still surprised I kept going that first time.
Once the action started there was no putting this book down for me. Though The Eye of the World is filled with action, there are plenty of slow downs to give the reader a chance to take a breath. Even during these slow parts, Jordan keeps the tension up by making sure the characters are in constant danger. He’ll give the reader a false sense of security right before unleashing another unique monster to keep us on our toes.
The depth of Jordan’s world is breathtaking. Other fantasies I’ve read often focus on the world building, almost as if the world is the story. Some readers may disagree, but I never felt this with The Eye of the World. Every intricate piece seems to play a much larger role that we may not realize until later in the series.
The political and personal intrigues used in this series go way beyond anything else I’ve read before or since. As I mentioned with the world building, each political nuance discussed plays a significant role in the story. The only other writer I’ve seen come close in this respect is George R. R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. I actually describe the first book in Martin’s series as more of a political thriller set in medieval times.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Jordan’s first book in the Wheel of Time series is the interpersonal relationships and the inner thoughts of his characters. I don’t think he had a degree in psychology, yet the motives and inner workings of each character were amazing, especially the male/female relationships. It felt as if he knew each character on a personal level and we were seeing things from their perspective.
Then there is the story itself. Epic in every way, shape, and form. Though we’re able to feel for the characters on a personal level, we still sense the impending doom as the entire existence of their world is uncertain. There are some similarities to other fantasies, of course, as there is in any book in this genre, but the story is told in a unique way with a new kind of magical system. Each book only develops these systems more as Jordan unveils a deeper understanding throughout.
I almost say it’s a MUST that you’re an epic fantasy fan to enjoy this book because there are details aplenty, details only an epic fantasy reader, or possibly one who enjoys historical fiction, could truly appreciate....more