Kereesa's Reviews > The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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Mar 27, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, friendship, high-fantasy, necromancy-ghosts-and-the-dead, romance, stupid-character-is-stupid, witches-wizards-powers, we-are-never-getting-back-together
Recommended for: High Fantasy Fans
Read from May 10 to 21, 2012

By this point in my life, I think I'm allowed to say I've read my fair share of high fantasy. I've scrambled through J.R.R. Tolkien, read wayyyy too many Dragonlances for any sane person to, and have at least experienced Terry Goodkind, Terry Pratchett, and now Robert Jordan. I've also sadly experienced a few of their 'knockoffs'-I'm looking at you Christopher Paolini-and more than my fair share of modern high fantasy. [Mostly [author:Tamora Pierce|8596]'s awesomness] Reading The Eye of the World was liking finding that last piece of a puzzle you've been working on for years, or finding that missing piece that somehow got stuck under the coach next to a marble, and that earring you always could never find. It's nice, but by the time you find that piece you're pretty bored with the puzzle.

It's like watching Star Wars (if you somehow never watched it before) after reading Eragon (which you thought was amazing), or going to an illusion show after experiencing a small magic show put on by your cousin. It's great, it's wonderful, and it's utterly superior to your first experience (Sorry Eragon, but even at like 14 I knew you weren't that great), but by the time you see/experience/read the original you already know all the tricks, and it kind of falls flat. Reading The Eye of the World was kind of like that, because while it definitely does hold up to being a good fantasy novel, I've seen the works it's influenced, and I've read the stuff it obviously was inspired from (LOTR in case you were still guessing), and I really can't help but be unsurprised by the tropes (I guess they'd be tropes now, though they probably weren't back then) within it as well as nitpick the places, events, and characters that are obvious (and a tad annoying) odes to stuff like LOTR.

I mean "Mountains of Dhoom?" Really?

The Eye of the World was, in a nutshell, good. Featuring a troop of farmer boys all targeted by this world's baddie, the Dark One, the story follows a quest/journey-like plot as the fellowship group run from a variety of orcs trollocs, nazgul fades, and other crazy things in their journey to get to the one place that may be able to help them.

In general, I liked the novel. The pace is decent, the descriptions thankfully shorter than I expected, and the suspense is at least enjoyable. I never felt truly bored while reading, but I wasn't exactly burning pages with my fingers. Like all older high fantasy novels, I took many breaks with this one, if not just to get my head out of the world Jordan was describing, then to get away from what I dub 'stupid character is stupid' syndrome.

Oh yeah. This book? Full of it.

I think my biggest problem was the (assumably) protagonist of the novel, Rand (God I hate fantasy for their wacky names), and his less than likable decisions throughout the novel. To be brief, Rand is kind of prejudiced towards a certain character, (who's basically a mage dedicated to fighting evil, but who's order has a bad rep) and because of that isn't exactly forward with her about certain things that are happening to him.

Like freaky-deaky nightmares that might or might not contain that Dark Super-Duper Evil Guy I mentioned, that you know your friends also have, and even have REAL LIFE CONSEQUENCES.

I understand that you're prejudiced and all, Rand, and this lady and her magical-crazy stuff is like 'woah you don't mess with that, totally destroyed the world, blah blah,' but SERIOUSLY? When rats are showing up dead like the ones in your dream it might be time to actually TALK to someone about them. Or just you know MENTION that you might've had a conversation with the Dark One and he talked about using you for his own return to power.

Just a suggestion.

I mean I understand that Rand and co. are farmers and fear for their lives in a world where this kind of stuff can mean serious trouble for them, but I felt it was a bit unrealistic that they didn't worry about it or even consider it might have broader implications considering their dreams contained the Dark One.

The other characters aren't much to write home about it either, and have a variety of stereotypical traits, desires, and actions I've seen just about everywhere. Two characters in particular reminded me of a couple that feature prominently in the Dragonlance series, for instance, (Riverwind and whatsherface for those who've read the series) and I had to kind of remind myself not to hate them on sight despite their similarities. (Riverwind and idiot aren't what you'd call my favorite characters. They aren't even acquaintance worthy really) Other characters, like the Green Man, felt Tolkien-like, and kind of annoyed me.

No one does Tom Bombadil like Tolkien. I'm just sayin'. That boy is badass. (He truly doesn't afraid of anything)

To be honest, a lot of The Eye of the World felt kind of like a weird fan-fiction version of LOTR. Like Jordan had taken things he'd liked, but re-wrote Middle Earth to his own song. I mean technically authors all take things and remake them, but in this case I saw the comparisons very prominently.

All in all, I liked, but didn't not come close to loving The Eye of the World. It was entertaining for the most part, and while featuring plenty of tropes, stereotypes, a lackluster romance (I don't even consider it a romance tbh), and a slightly predictable plot, I saw the value of it as a foundational piece of high fantasy (post Tolkien especially), and the potential the series might have should I decide to continue it. 3-3.5/5
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Reading Progress

05/16/2012 page 176
22.0% "Oh look a farmer's boy might have a crazy, cool destiny, and eeevvilll things are hunting him because of it. Shocker."
05/16/2012 page 176
22.0% "Oh look a farmer's boy might have a crazy, cool destiny, and eeevvilll things are hunting him because of it. Shocker."
05/19/2012 page 274
34.0% "Time to go to Moria...I mean, er, Shadar Logoth."
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