Christina's Reviews > The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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Jun 04, 09

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bookshelves: 2009, fantasy, fiction, series
Read in June, 2009 , read count: 1

This is a hard book to review. Before even picking it up, I had heard so much about it and a lot of it wasn't good - but at the same time, this is one of the most known fantasy series out there. So even though it seems everyone agree that this series starts out rather good but goes very wrong later on, I've decided to try it out - especially now that it is certain that the series will be completed, even though Robert Jordan has died before being able to finish it. We'll see if I'll finish it or if I quit somewhere along as so many before me has done.

Rand and his two friend Mat and Perrin has to live their hometown Two Rivers because they are being targeted by Trollocs sent by the Dark One. They are being joined by an Aes Sedai and her Warder as well as a gleeman, a young girl from the village as well as the village Wisdom. The book follow their journey to try and reach The Eye of the World because for some reason, the three boys - or at least one of them - have been chosen and they are all three able to change the Pattern of the world. During this journey, they become separated and some of them meet a man able to communicate with wolves, a group of Traveling People, the Tuatha'ans while others are almost assassinated several times before they finally meet up again and travel on as a group towards the final battle.

This all sounds good and well and perfect for a fantasy novel. And it is - except for one problem. Jordan has definitely read his Tolkien - and not just once. He knows Tolkien by heart - and is not afraid to use him. So many things in this book is borrowed - or downright stolen - from The Lord of the Rings. I'll give some examples. Some of the main characters are copied from Tolkien: Rand and his friends are the hobbits, Lan the Warder is Aragon (even to the extent that he is a king without a crown or a throne), Moiraine is Gandalf - and we even have a sort of Gollum in there too... Oh, and of course we have a race - the Ogiers - who hold year-long meetings and in other ways are similar to the Ents - besides there of course is a treeman too... There are dark flying things in both stories and the creepy dudes are very similar to the creepy dudes in The Lord of the Rings too. The story is often similar as well. A companion of travellers banding together to reach a certain destination to stop the evil mastermind of the world - Tolkien calls him Sauron, Jordan calls him Shai'tan... There are seven towers, not two, the battle at Helm's Keep is now at Tarwin's Gap. They journey through a dark scary place where they are being followed by something - something crazy. And Moiraine has to fight off an ancient wind thingy with her staff to get them out safely...

So a lot of things are copied from The Lord of the Rings and I must say, it bugged me. And it is the main reason for my rating. It annoyed me each time I read something that just seemed so Tolkien instead of Jordan. And a couple of Jordan things annoyed me too - like the characters swear (saying 'Blood and ashes') constantly or Perrin and Rand constantly thinking how the other one is so much better with girls...

And these things all bothered me. But I still enjoyed reading it. It is a nice, easy, very light fantasy read and I enjoy those from time to time. And I do like the idea of following the same characters through so many books - even though I fear that Jordan is not able to pull it off without being able to lean on Tolkien for support and he has already pretty much used everything from The Lord of the Rings... But here's to keeping my fingers crossed and I'll go and pick down book two from the shelf and start reading that next.
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Reading Progress

05/27/2009 page 1
0.13% "(*deep breath*) Starting this one tonight. I have heard so much about it, both good and bad, and still have no clue what's it's about..."
05/29/2009 page 80
10.0% "The action is starting now for real ..."
05/29/2009 page 173
21.63% "So far I like it - but he has definitely read 'Lord of the Rings'!"
05/30/2009 page 314
39.25% "Enjoyable read - but I do hope the books following this one are more original and are not borrowing so heavily from Tolkien."
06/01/2009 page 378
47.25% "Sometimes his language doesn't quite work for me and I stop reading and wonder why he wrote it that way..."
06/01/2009 page 423
52.88% "But even though the storyline reminds me of Tolkien, I'm still curious as to what happens and reading it as fast as I can..."
06/02/2009 page 513
64.13% "He's jumping back and forth in time ie. they got some scarves from a friendly man and several pages later he tells the full story (455-513)"
06/03/2009 page 557
69.63% "The Ogiers have some similarities to Tolkien's ents."
06/04/2009 page 659
82.38% "Getting close to the end now - curious as to how he ends this volume."
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