Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time” as Want to Read:
The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time

(The Wheel of Time #reference)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  8,214 ratings  ·  149 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 January 15th 1990)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 companio…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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,214 ratings  ·  149 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time
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
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. >_< ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wheel-of-time
I listened to this book on audiobook and really enjoyed it, as my favorite aspect of the Wheel of Time is it’s world and history - Robert Jordan’s imagination truly was unparalleled in that regard. His creation easily rivals Tolkien, IMO.

That said, I totally understand that others may not enjoy this book. It takes a unique person - namely a Wheel of Time fanboy/girl that enjoys learning about the history of a completely fictional world.

Do with that what you will.
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. ...more
Melissa Koser
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
As everyone else agrees, the art in this is pretty awful. But you read it to get a full timeline of the WoT history from the Age of Legends to the present, and to gain a greater understanding of the lands and cultures. The most fascinating of course were the Seanchean and Sharans, but there were a few brand new surprises that even a complete fanatic like myself hadn’t known about. The reason this doesn’t get 5 stars is because there were no prophecies actually listed under the chapter, “Propheci ...more
Tom Sheddy
Includes some knowledge that literally no one needs to know. As a WoT fanatic, I do recommend every reader who is as big a fan of WoT as me to read it.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Lukas Lovas
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Unless you are a huge Wheel of Time fan, this book probably won't bring you much joy. It reads a bit as if someone grabbed a wikia on WoT, ordered it into chapters and published it. COnsidering this came out in 1997, that's actually pretty impressive :)

Still...the info contained here is....nice to know. There are some bits we know and are familiar with, but then again, especially with the chapters on the old world, some of it is extremely interesting and provides a lot of color to the series, f
Jonas Birk
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, other

Despite having read the entire series, this book sheds light on things I didn’t know about the world of Wheel of Time.

The parts must enjoyable—to me at least—are the background information provided on the Age of Legends, the Breaking of the World, and the time of Arthur Hawkwing.

I wouldn’t recommend reading this book before or during a first read-through of the series, as it contains spoilers. But obtaining a better understanding of the setting may increase the quality o
Fiona Saunders
This was a great listening to as an auto book but that also meant that I did miss out on the illustrations. It was a better way of exploring the world that Robert Jordan create without it been swallowed by the action/drama occurring through the series. Also contains min stories of the history that is mentioned through out this saga. A good read no matter if you read it during the reading of the saga or after. I would not recommend it before you at least read first couple of books first due to a ...more
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.
S. D. 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Sword of Truth, Boxed Set III: The Pillars of Creation, Naked Empire, Chainfire (Sword Of Truth, #7-9)
  • Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6)
  • The Scions of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara, #1)
  • New Spring: The Graphic Novel
  • Debt of Bones (Sword of Truth, #0.5)
  • A Fire Within The Ways
  • Exile's Return (Conclave of Shadows, #3)
  • The Wounded Land (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #1)
  • The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #3)
  • Hellraiser: The Toll
  • Zosma (The Lost Children of Andromeda - Book 1)
  • Magician: Master (The Riftwar Saga, #2)
  • The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm
  • The Hunter's Blades Collector's Edition (Forgotten Realms: Hunter's Blades, #1-3; Legend of Drizzt, #14-16)
  • Enchanter (Wayfarer Redemption, #2)
  • The Verdun Affair
  • Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization
  • The Warrior's Path (The Sacketts, #3)
See similar books…
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 (The Wheel of Time, #2)
  • The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3)
  • The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)
  • The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5)
  • Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, #6)
  • A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, #7)
  • The Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time, #8)
  • Winter's Heart (The Wheel of Time, #9)
  • Crossroads of Twilight (The Wheel of Time, #10)

Related Articles

If you love the fantasy genre, this is the season for you! Some of the biggest books out this fall promise to be epics full of magic, adventure,...
170 likes · 44 comments