Eric's Reviews > The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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it was amazing
Recommended for: fantasy fans

Jordan's Wheel of Time series were the best fantasy books I had ever read*, the best pure stories. I wanted to live in the world he created. His descriptions of simple village life and interaction are so rich and wonderful, not to mention his treatment of city life, magic, technology, politics, romance, history, mystery, comedy, food, the battle of the sexes, military life and tactics, cultures and on and on. Just wonderful. I couldn't wait to get home from work and slip into that world. It was anguish waiting all those years for each new book to come out. When they did, I couldn't help devouring them immediately. For a while there, I'd go back and reread all of the existing books again in the run-up to each new release. They were that good. I'm sure I'll do it again at some point - read the books all the way through again. Fifteen years I've invested in these books! Reading them over and over.

I do it an injustice to oversimplify it like this, but it is essentially the "unassuming wholesome farm boy turns out to be the Chosen One and must journey with companions to confront the supernatural evil entity" model of story. But it's just massive. Like Star Wars, it has mythological archetypes buried deep within it. Think Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey idea plus character types and situations faintly reflecting those from various cultures' bodies of myth. That makes it so deep and rich and subconsciously resonating. I remember faintly entertaining the paranoid fear that I sure hoped the author didn't die before finishing the series because I couldn't stand not knowing how it ended**. It was that good.

*But then somewhere around book 6 or 7, the series started going down hill. It lost its way, ran out of gas. There were entire books where the various substories just didn't move much. And this one time, maybe book 9, the paper got thicker, the font got larger AND the pagecount went way down. It's like he was really struggling to advance the story. Slavishly I kept buying them and slogging through them. The writing wasn't any less good, it's just that it got frustrating that the story didn't advance.

Finally on the penultimate book in the series, the last one released, it started to pick back up and get better. And he said the following book would finally be the last (12th) one and he'd wrap it all up, though I don't see how he can do it in a single book. The story just got so huge and there are still so many unexplored and unresolved things, there's no way he can do them all justice in a single book.

**Aaaand now he has some super-rare disease, the meds for which make him so fatigued that he can't write much, and the survival rate for which is about 4 years with treatment. So it's not certain that he will live to finish the last book. Arrrrgh. You can't really be selfish about it - I mean, this is a person's life we're talking about. (But still, kind of, arrrgh.)

UPDATE: And now he's dead. Some other author is going to finish the final book though. He will be working with Jordan's extensive notes and the parts of the book Jordan had already written. I don't know how I feel about that but I'm sure I'll read it.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 12, 2007 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Mhor and he did an excellent job with book 12

Darrell Caho Brandon Sanderson did do an excellent job.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I heard a lot of people saying that when reading Book 4 things start getting worse; but at book 10 or 9 I think it gets better.

Caleb Anderson I agree, a lot of these people commenting obviously don't know what they are talking about-people these days just don't have the patience for a genius like Jordan and Sanderson is a great author as well

Elven Actually a lot of what the review says is borrowed from Tolkien , which is what makes people dislike it .But I don't mind it . I don't think it's bad . I read Tolkien inspired books when I miss the Tolkien books .

Libby Rickett What he said. :)

Libby Rickett . . . in the sense that he likes it so well. I get the Tolkien connection.

But the Bible says it best in Ecclesiastes 1:9: There is no new thing under the sun." :P

We're all a bunch of idea stealers. If it was good enough for the Bard, it's good enough for me.

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