Collin's Reviews > The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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's review
Jan 06, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: fantasysci-fi

For me, the experience of reading Robert Jordan is a bit like taking a glider ride from low Earth orbit. At first, the whole world is spread out before you and you marvel at the fragile beauty of our jewel-like home. The ride is smooth; you sail over lush green continents and deep blue oceans and feel an overall gentle sense of well-being. Then, by degrees, your magical glider starts to descend, shedding orbit and entering the turbulent atmosphere. Your wings are wide; minor disturbances are barely felt, but looming ahead you see bruised, angry clouds and you know that you'll be in for some trouble. Your trajectory sharpens and you begin nosing down toward Cleveland at increasingly unsafe speeds. It's getting hot in the passenger compartment. People could die. People like you. Fortunately, you pass out before your glider impacts the surface of the Earth, so you are spared the final burning agony to a limited extent.

I won't bother reviewing the whole series (or at least that which has been released so far). I've attempted to read this cycle twice and have only made it as far as book 10. Now I know some people swear by Jordan's stuff and that's great for them. I was feeling the magic myself up through about book 5, but for me the whole thing just becomes a turgid mess by book 6 or 7. This should serve as an object lesson for all authors -- more is not better. If you have more story to tell, do it justice and give it its own stage, don't try and shoehorn everything into one never-ending yarn. Also, if you're lucky enough to be paid by the word, try your hand at writing blogs, editing compendiums or starting a religion -- anything but injecting your breadwinning series with the literary equivalent of collagen.

Others I'm sure have gone into sufficient detail outlining the deficiencies of this series, but for me personally the real deal breaker is Rand al'Thor's refusal to develop beyond the first stage of Maslow's Hierarchy (Braid tugging bad, hanging with the ta'veren good). Maybe he'll achieve self-actualization in the final book (good luck, Mr. Sanderson) but I have extremely little patience for all-powerful heroes who do nothing but brood, listen to The Cure, and grow their bangs out over their eyes. You can melt people with balefire! You have umpteen gazillion followers and a big sword! Get over yourself and start getting your Muad'dib on. Crom laughs at you from his mountain.

I won't be attempting this series again.

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