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The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time

(The Wheel of Time reference)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  7,795 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel of Time(R) by Robert Jordan has captivated millions of readers around the globe with its scope, originality, and compelling characters.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 10th 2001 by Tor Books (first published 1997)
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David I don't think so. They have published a companion to the series that isn't bad. It covers the characters in much more depth than the previous…moreI don't think so. They have published a companion to the series that isn't bad. It covers the characters in much more depth than the previous companion, and they both work well together.(less)

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3.92  · 
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 ·  7,795 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely only for WoT fans, for it has no story line; it is a comprehensive chronicle (best possible, sic!) of the universe in which WoT series events are taking place (prior and during them).

There are a lot of facts related to the lost Age of Legends, the Breaking, the Trolloc Wars, the Artur Hawkwing's reign and the War of the Hundred Years. But as the author says:

"This compilation of the world’s geography, sociology, and history uses information dating from the earliest availab
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
The information and history written in the book are great, but there's a reason it's called the Big White Book of Bad Art. >_<
Gere Lewis
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You have to be a special sort of reader to read and enjoy this book thoroughly. First of all, one needs to take a minute to grasp that all of this history and geography existed INSIDE THE AUTHOR'S HEAD. A lot of this was clearly never intended to be in the novels, it was background information that the author needed to shape the places, characters, and the decisions the characters made.

You are not going to find a story in this book. Basically, if you put yourself into the world of the Wheel, th
Jeremy Preacher
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, art
Fondly (or at least accurately) known as the Big Book of Bad Art in Wheel of Time fanatic circles. The text is fine - a bit dry, mostly superceded (this was published barely halfway through the series, before quite a few mysteries were settled) but generally interesting, at least to completist nerds like me. The internet is a better resource for nerdery, though, which would make the only major virtue of the book the art.

And the art, she is bad. Sloppy, poorly-proportioned, irrelevant, generally
Jun 03, 2010 rated it did not like it
Boy, if you thought the artwork on the book covers was bad, this book will make you think again. Absolutely awful. The book is written from the point of view of a frustrated historian writing a synopsis of the known history through book... 7? Either way, this work, rather than encompassing the entire series, leaves off details from later books, and leaves question marks lingering over peoples, kingdoms, and events that become very well known throughout this world in the course of later books, in ...more
Greg Strandberg
Like many of you, I never really 'read' this book so much as looked the hell out of it at the bookstore and maybe the library. The images of people leave a lot to be desired, but the world maps and other art is pretty good. You get some cool information about the world and the places and their peoples.

This is a great book for when you're dragging your feet on the main series. Let's face it - many of us drag our feet when it comes to starting a new book...because Jordan dragged things on so long.
J. Argyl
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only people who are really obsessed with the Wheel of Time
This book is kind of silly. The illustrations are not very good and the information is claimed by Jordan to be only semi-accurate and intentionally so. This was kind of frustrating and so I didn't take it very seriously. There are some interesting bits of information about Shara, the Seanchan, and so on. However when you can't verify that the information is legitimate it seems like a fool's errand to read the thing.
Zoe's Human
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
First of all, I expect better editing out of a professional publishing house, much less one of the "Big Five." All of Gertrude Stein's rejected commas appear to have found a home in this book. At one point "thai" is used in place of that. Then there's this sentence: "The Red Ajah, the largest, is led by a single woman, who wields a great deal of power both within her Ajah." Both within her Ajah and ... I mean you can reasonably guess if you know anything about the series, but still, bro, finish ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5 stars. Recommended for fans of WoT.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book - now I will admit that the version i have although the same ISBN number i suspect may have been an earlier edition as it was printed in 1997 and as such is very early on in the series - I figure out only the first handful of titles were published in fact where as now we are in to double digits and in fact have a new author after the passing of Robert Jordan.
The book is far better though than many of its kin- its not a mere lexicon or glossary repeating snippets from k
Dec 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reference guide to Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series published about halfway through the series (around the time of the 7th book), this book is a fascinating reference for fans of the series. Due to several factors, I wouldn't recommend reading it before the series or before finishing at least the first few books - otherwise many references will not make sense and there are "spoilers." Unfortunately, the book is very incomplete in that several things that were left out of the book because ...more
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I got this book pretty late. Serves me right for not checking reviews first - sort of an impulse buy when I saw it. If you're planning of getting this book, try to find the smaller paperback instead (The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time). Why? Because the only worth it about this book is the text - unless you like big books. The artwork, as mentioned in so many reviews, is simply very amateurish, to put it politely.

The lore that you find in this book will definitely be of interest to a
Dec 01, 2011 rated it liked it
The first three books are excellent epic fantasy. As the series progressed, it the books began to groan under the weight of so many plot threads and character arcs. Also, he relies on certain descriptive phrases that become really repetitive by the middle of the series. The low point in the series -- which occurs after you're hooked on the world he has created -- is doorstop sized book that covers one week of time in which the characters effectively do nothing of significance. Fortunately, thoug ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
A solid read for fans of the series, but non-fans probably won't have much interest. Full of tidbits not described or seen in the novels, this will enlighten any WoT afficionado with trivia as well as valuable history.

A word of warning: the artwork is mediocre at best and downright poor at worst. The characters have strange, alien-like faces with eyes spaced too far apart (even Loial's). I'm not sure if RJ approved the art, but it is not how I envisioned the characters and not at all like the co
Michelle Morrell
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x-read-2008
An addition to the Wheel of Time series, this works more as an encyclopedia, delving in-depth to various elements of the books. More than just a gathering of facts, it expands the stories of the characters, the places, the times. I particularly enjoyed the section on the Age of Legends, with stories of the "wonders" of the time. I also liked the sections on the Forsaken, with backgrounds and details that aren't shown in the books.

This was a reread, I scanned before but read cover-to-cover this t
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
There isn't much to discuss concerning this World Encyclopedia of the Wheel of Time.

I am guessing that the upcoming encyclopedia will expand greatly upon this book, since this book is limited by giving information stemming from the first seven books. This book contains such information in a streamlined way and information of the literal world. Although a lot of the info could be found in the books themselves.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Lots of fascinating details for Wheel of Time buffs.

The art varied in quality...much of it seemed sub-par. There were also a surprising number of typos and minor inaccuracies. And among the historical information it would have been nice (and made sense) to include more information on the societies of the New Era, including a map showing vanished lands like Malkier, Almoth, Caralain, etc. Aside from those issues, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Better maps, interesting tidbits, infamously terrible illustrations.
Christopher Rush
I believe this was the first Wheel of Time book I owned, or close to it at any rate. I remember years ago leafing through it agog, thinking how could I ever possibly become familiar with all of these races and nationalities and conflicts ... and then years later after finally reading books 1-7, most of it was easy reminders. Considering the clever viewpoint of the material, long before GRRM started doing basically the same thing (not this particular volume, but in general), the absence of the ve ...more
Matthew Gagnon
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
When this compendium came out, I was in the middle of a white hot obsession with the Wheel of Time novels. I was hungry for more, and I couldn't get it fast enough.

So when Jordan released this book, promising to reveal more about the world the novels were set in, including history, geography, more on creatures and servants of the Dark One, I couldn't buy it fast enough.

And in terms of content, it delivered. Contained within were histories of the ages, as well as world history in the current ag
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had this companion guide for so long but I didn't read it as I was worried about spoilers. It only recently occurred to me that it was written way before the last books were released so maybe it was ok to read.

I think so long as you have read books 7 to 8 you should be okay to miss any spoilers.

Is it essential reading? Not really, has it added anything to my experience of the books, again not really. It was interesting to see how much work had actually gone into the backstory of the peo
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, engaging summary of the lore and cultures created by Robert Jordan in his Wheel of Time series. It's a nice collation of all the little facts that are spread over several books in the sprawling series, and provides a neat reference for anyone looking to refresh their memory of the many different places and names Jordan created. I would not recommend this to newcomers to the series, as it reveals key plot points from the first six or so novels.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More! Really wish this had been longer and perhaps with a section as the order of the books. Maybe the other WoT book I’ve seen (similar cover) does this?!?

But it’s a great guide to the history of the lands and characters. It does give a few spoilers so if you haven’t read the series you might want to wait. I’m only on book 4 but I like spoilers lol.
Henry Kline
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Very good collection of details from Robert Jordan's series "The Wheel of Time" but only the first 6 or 7 books (of 14) I now understand more about his thinking, the problem is that there is too much detail on background and not enough on active concepts.
Steve Howarth
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: old-books, fantasy
I looked forward to it as some padded filler to the series, which was a slog but had a cracking ending. While the text and info was interesting I hated the artwork. It could have been done much better (opinion) especially when looking at the series covers.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was way better than the other companion book I read, far more interesting, and taught a lot more about the world, the various societies, and what was going on in a more narrative sense. Of the two, I'd definitely recommend this one for anyone really wanting to dig more into the universe of the series.
Tempest Wylde
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved having this on my Ipad and blitzing through the whole series at once... a massive undertaking but so worth it...
Joel Minty
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A cool book with lots of pictures and details from the Wheel of Time world, perfect for an obsessed teen like myself.
Jim Taylor
Really need an updated one now that all the books have been out a while. There is also much better artwork that could be incorporated into an updated version.
This is the sort of book that only fans of the Wheel of Time series are going to like. Luckily, I am!

It has a sort of guidebook style, with notes on the history of the world, the current political and social breakup of the different countries, with some allusions to the vents described in the first 7 of the books. Some of it is a bit of a chore to plough through, but on the whole it provides an interesting background to the stories themselves.

The only thing I don't like about it is the illustrat
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr., under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly.

Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He served two tours in Vietnam (from 1968 to

Other books in the series

The Wheel of Time (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)
  • The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, #2)
  • The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time, #3)
  • The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, #4)
  • The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time, #5)
  • Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, #6)
  • A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, #7)
  • The Path of Daggers (Wheel of Time, #8)
  • Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time, #9)
  • Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time, #10)