Markus's Reviews > The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2014, fantasy, favourites, wheel-of-time

"And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.

And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time."

I have read a lot of books throughout my mere twenty years of life. Some deeply fascinating, others not so much. And every once in a while I am able to lay my eyes on something truly extraordinary. One of those is definitely The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

This is not a book turning fantasy literature on its head, or even providing the genre with major changes. When reading it, I was quite easily able to find strong similarities with lots of previous works of fantasy and science fiction, including The Lord of the Rings, Dune and Shannara. It is not among the most innovative books I have read. It is not among the most exciting books I have read. It is, however, a stunning work of pure quality which deserves to be read by all fantasy enthusiasts out there.

I do not intend to write in great lengths about the story and the characters in this review, and I feel that I have already mentioned what needs to be mentioned. Most of you have already read this book. Those who have not, should really take the time and effort to do so. It is absolutely worth it.

When I had read more books in the series, it had grown more and more in my estimate. Even at that early stage, this was definitely one of my favourite fantasy series ever. And definitely the best example of fantasy worldbuilding since Tolkien. At that point I was starting to wonder whether I actually considered it better than even my beloved A Song of Ice and Fire, but only time would tell there.

After two years of reading, the longest I have ever spent on one single story, I have reached the end. And because of my never-ending obsession with favourites, I can finally make the official statement: Wheel of Time is my favourite fantasy series of all time. That still means it is surpassed by Tolkien's works, which do not make up a series, but this is just about the highest praise I can give.

It has its boring parts just as it has its brilliant parts. It has endless descriptions of brain-tugging and Jordan's ridiculously annoying battle of the sexes. It has the worst protagonists I have ever met in fictional literature. And so much more. But I don't care.

Because it also has the most magnificent setting you could possibly imagine. It has brilliant characters, wondrous and fantastic places, and deep and thrilling backstories wherever you turn. Not to even mention Robert Jordan's astounding writing.

The best part about Wheel of Time is that it gives me a feeling only one book has been able to give me before. One. It should be needless to name that one, but this is definitely high praise coming from me.

So treat this series like an exquisite wine. Save it for the perfect occasion, and then savour every drop. It can be a challenge to get through, but it is definitely worth it.

This is in my eyes fantasy as it should be written.

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again."

description

(Note: Review updated and expanded 3/3/2016)

Wheel of Time reviews:
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
#9 Winter's Heart
#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light
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Quotes Markus Liked

Robert Jordan
“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.”
Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World

Robert Jordan
“And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.

And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.”
Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World


Reading Progress

December 18, 2013 – Shelved
May 21, 2014 – Started Reading
May 21, 2014 –
page 1
0.12% "The time has come."
May 21, 2014 –
page 19
2.33% "Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.\n \n Pretty much the best fantasy quote I've ever read."
May 22, 2014 –
page 80
9.83% "This truly feels like the beginning of a great journey, and a whole new world opening up inside my mind as I study the pages. It's a remarkable feeling."
May 23, 2014 –
page 173
21.25% "No man or woman who had stood beneath the banner of the Red Eagle at the day's dawning still lived when night fell. The sword that could not be broken had been shattered.\n \n Moiraine's tale of Manetheren was simply beautiful. Best part of the book so far!"
May 24, 2014 –
page 242
29.73% "Surely the Dark One himself is a more likeable character than Nynaeve..."
May 25, 2014 –
page 333
40.91% "Suspicion and hate had given birth to something that fed on that which created it, something locked in the bedrock on which the city stood. Mashadar waits still, hungering. Men spoke of Aridhol no more. They named it Shadar Logoth, the Place Where the Shadow Waits.\n \n Please tell me the series returns to this incomprehensibly awesome place..."
May 26, 2014 –
page 439
53.93% "Artur Hawkwing brought peace and justice, but he did it with fire and sword. A child could ride alone with a bag of gold from the Aryth Ocean to the Spine of the World and never have a moment's fear, but the High King's justice was as hard as that rock there for anyone who challenged his power, even if it was just by being who they were...\n \n Stannis Baratheon, is that you?"
May 28, 2014 –
page 557
68.43%
May 29, 2014 –
page 619
76.04% "Caemlyn is apparently a city filled to the brim with interesting characters!"
May 31, 2014 –
page 732
89.93% "There were no cheers in the streets to speed them on their way, only their own drums and their pennants' cracking in the wind, but their eyes looked toward the rising sun with purpose."
June 1, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 69 (69 new)


Anirudh You started this epic huh? :) My favourite quote comes in book 6 :)


Markus I did! I'll look out for it! :D


Anirudh Can't miss it :P You'll know when you see it :D


message 4: by Will (new) - added it

Will M. Such a huge series to invest your time in! I was planing to read this, but then I decided on starting the Mistborn series instead. Can't wait to read your review!


Markus Happy to hear that! I'll probably write a small update each day as well :)


Search hahahahahaha


Markus Search wrote: "hahahahahaha"
Hmm... that comment is a bit confusing.


Search "Surely the Dark One himself is a more likeable character than Nynaeve."

Your Statement. Its Funny.


Markus Ah, since the comment was here and not on the status, I could not for the life of me understand what was so funny, lol. Guess I should have thought of that! :)


Anirudh 5 stars! You liked it that much?! :-)


Markus Indeed! This is more or less exactly what I am looking for in fantasy fiction. I haven't decided yet whether or not it deserves a place on the favourites shelf though, but I think I'll read the rest of the series first before making such an exceedingly important decision.


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more I really hope you stick with it--I can't wait until you get to book 3. I love all of the books in this series, but book 3 is where the series first earned it's place on my best series EVER list. Who's your favorite character(s) so far?


Markus I'm certainly going to stick with it. The next five books stand ready in my bookshelf :)
My favourite characters so far are Moiraine, Lan and Rand, in that order. I really liked Elayne and think she'll probably be my favourite, but I didn't get to see enough of her.


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more You'll see more of her ;) And I love watching everyone's favorite characters shift as the series progresses. I think Rand was my favorite of the Big 3 when I finished this book too, but by book 4 or 5, it was (and stayed) one who had started out as one of my least liked.


Anirudh Markus wrote: "Indeed! This is more or less exactly what I am looking for in fantasy fiction. I haven't decided yet whether or not it deserves a place on the favourites shelf though, but I think I'll read the res..."

Good Idea :-) You liked Moiraine eh? My favourite from the series is Mat. He doesn't have much to do now but after book 3 gets a lot of attention


Tim The Enchanter I really need to read these


Lilyan Welcome to the wonderful world of Jordan.
I love Moiraine. Most people start our resenting her and appreciate her later on, but she is kick ass.
I'm so excited for you. I've read the series twice and am currently on my 3rd read, yet I always wish I could read it for the first time.
P.S. Nyneave becomes less irritating as the series wears on and you find characters that are more annoying :P


message 18: by Igor (new) - rated it 4 stars

Igor Ljubuncic Yup, Jordan did epic until he accidentally the sixth book.
Igor


message 19: by Markus (last edited Jun 01, 2014 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Markus Jessica: Looking forward to it already!

Anirudh: I can see that Mat has potential, but he was undoubtedly my least favourite character in this book. I liked even Nynaeve more.

Tim: That's exactly what I've been saying to myself for some years now. You just have to jump into it.

Lilyan: Thanks! I can't see why anyone would resent Moiraine, and I'm already starting to like Nynaeve a bit more. So far though, I think the characters constitute one of the biggest weaknesses of this series, but I can see they're already starting to improve.

Igor: I'll get through them all, somehow!


Conor Nice review bro. Hope you continue to enjoy this great series.

Good call from Anirudh about Mat. He's pretty annoying in the first book but once he starts getting POV's in book 3 he gets less annoying and more awesome (and pretty funny). If you're a big Lan and Moiraine fan you should check out the prequel New Spring btw. It provides some really cool background information on Lan and (especially) Moiraine that explains a lot about their characters.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Well said. I agree; definitely a series everyone should try.


Anirudh @Markus, that's a general feeling everyone gets at the beginning. By the time the series ends Mat will be the favourite of a lot of people :-) He's hardly there in book 1 and 2.

The letter he wrote to Elaine in book 13 is the funniest thing in The entire series :-)


Markus Thanks everyone!

I have difficulties viewing Mat as a potential favourite character, but I'll give them all a chance.


message 24: by Kaya (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kaya Mat is definitely my favorite character of whole series. Once he gets the attention he deserves, I always was so proud of him. Egwene becomes suprisingly exciting as well! :)


Evgeny Markus wrote: "Thanks everyone!

I have difficulties viewing Mat as a potential favourite character, but I'll give them all a chance."


I am going to say that if Mat is not your favorite character by the middle of book 4, I will eat my hat ;)


Markus I'll hold you to that, lol! But now I'm wondering why, since everyone seems to agree about this. I guess I need to get some reading done so I can reach book 4.


Evgeny Mat becomes awesome in book 3; by book 4 he is a greatest badass in the series and fantasy literature in general.


message 28: by Kaya (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kaya It's like, he's doing everything he can not to be a hero, but ends up being one, lol. He just can't accept the fact that he's noble and fierce.

yup, we all adore him, I suppose :D


Anirudh @Markus, Its all because of a quarterstaff and a wager :-D


Conor Mat's my favourite main character in WOT but probably not my favourite character in general. Like the other 5 main characters he does a lot of annoying stuff and in the next book his being annoying get's worse before it gets better. But yeah in book 3 he was really cool. In book 4 he gets certain 'powers' I guess that were easily my favourite in the series and I loved whenever they were used. Some stuff he does mid-way through book 5 were my favourite parts of the entire series. Legits, when I have time to kill I sometimes go back and re-read just those parts. Timeless awesome.


Lilyan Mat only became one of my favourites by my 3rd re read. His plotline is definitely the most diverse, interesting and fun


Allison Glad you liked it! I envy you the first time experience of reading this. If only I could read it with fresh eyes again.

I think the echoes of other books become less apparent as the series grows.


message 33: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Nice review man, this is one of those series I've been meaning to read for an age now. I'm going to schedule a 2015 read and see if I can do one a month with some bonus Xmas reading to tie it off (maybe).


Markus Richard wrote: "Nice review man, this is one of those series I've been meaning to read for an age now. I'm going to schedule a 2015 read and see if I can do one a month with some bonus Xmas reading to tie it off (..."

Thanks! It's certainly a great series, and a recommendable one. The first book is awesome. The second and third books are great too, but that's where I started hating all the main characters. I'll read it all eventually, though!


message 35: by Komal (new) - added it

Komal I am so torn between my need for huge amounts of time and my desire to read this series. Your review isn't making my decision easier, haha.


Markus Komal wrote: "I am so torn between my need for huge amounts of time and my desire to read this series. Your review isn't making my decision easier, haha."

Haha, those kinds of decisions are always difficult to make. The Eye of the World is one of the best fantasy books I've ever read, but the characters become insufferable in the sequels. Because of that, the series has been incredibly hard to read for me, but at the same time it is also amazingly good so far.

But I suppose that didn't make the decision easier either!


message 37: by Komal (new) - added it

Komal Haha, no it didn't at all! I've been hearing mixed reviews of this all the time, but all point towards it as one of the greatest fantasies out there.
I think I've reached a conclusion--I'll try the first in the series. If I like it, then it's a march!


Markus Sounds like a plan! Then I hope you'll enjoy it!


Michel Avenali For sheer length and amount of epic moments, this has always been my top favorite fantasy series. Amazing if you commit to it.


Markus Michel wrote: "For sheer length and amount of epic moments, this has always been my top favorite fantasy series. Amazing if you commit to it."

I couldn't agree more. I didn't really get into it until I read the fourth book, and didn't love it until I read the sixth.


Rachel MacNaught i keep looking at this series but i'm put off by the fact everyone i see recommending it in person or online seems to also enjoy the Dresden books and those are so sloppy it's painful to read. bad company but i'm so curiouuss.


Markus Rachel wrote: "i keep looking at this series but i'm put off by the fact everyone i see recommending it in person or online seems to also enjoy the Dresden books and those are so sloppy it's painful to read. bad ..."

Whoa whoa whoa, those two series have literally nothing in common. Well okay, they're both long and contain fantasy elements. But other than that, nothing. Dresden is urban fantasy, WoT is high, epic fantasy. Here there is much more quality in writing, storyline, setting and characterisation. While Dresden has a better protagonist, action and humour. I like the Dresden files, but I absolutely love this series.


Evelyn (devours and digests words) This series has become a to-read-before-i-die series. I am sold by the first paragraph of this review.


Markus Evelyn (devours and digests words) wrote: "This series has become a to-read-before-i-die series. I am sold by the first paragraph of this review."

Those two paragraphs make up my favourite fantasy quote ever (not counting Tolkien, of course) :)


Shobhit Sharad did you change the rating of this book?


Markus Shobhit wrote: "did you change the rating of this book?"

Oh no, I just changed a few things in the review itself. But I will never change this rating :)


Markus Sabah wrote: "Wow, as I know only too well the ONE you refer to this one must really have met your expectations. High praise indeed, Markus and fabulously detailed review!

An absolute pleasure to read! : )"


Thank you, Sabah. Nothing comes close to the one, but this is the best of the rest.


Lilyan I'm so confused and surprised by this review! especially after reading your thoughts about the last book.


Markus Lilyan wrote: "I'm so confused and surprised by this review! especially after reading your thoughts about the last book."

The review might be a little out of sync since I've written it in three different parts, but what are you surprised about?


message 50: by James (last edited Mar 08, 2016 11:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

James I love this book. I can sit and look at it for hours. I want to finish it so I can read books 2-14 so I can start again. (I have never even seen a Harry Dresden book, let alone read one).

The much-discussed similarities to Tolkien are quite easy to ignore - the atmosphere of the book helps see to that.


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