The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1) The Eye of the World discussion

Is The Wheel Of Time as good as The Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit?

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message 1: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Im looking for a new fantasy to read,i love Tolkeins books,is this as good?

message 2: by K (new) - rated it 3 stars

K D I'm sure some will disagree with me, BUT not even close. Everytime I started to think this is getting there, it fell flat on it's face. Too convuluted with character structure. I finished it due to my time I invested. I don't think I'll try book#2 in a long time. Not saying it wasn't a "good read" but I had to force myself several times, so obviously can't sell it as a "must read".

Gianluca It's hard to compare any Fantasy book to Tolkien's works. He redefined the genre, and almost every Fantasy novel takes something from The Lord of the Rings in a way or another.
The Eye of the Wold is one of said novels. There are quite a few similarities between this first book and LotR, and I (being a huge Tolkien fan) found myself bothered by this at first. Fortunately, the series quickly developes its own identity, and the rest of the series offers a remarkable amount of originality.
That said, The Wheel of Time is one of my all-time favorite book series. Sure, there are a couple of weak entries in the middle, but, as a whole, The Wheel of Time is a masterpiece. Seriously, by the end of book 2 I was addicted.
However, these are not "light" books. They are all very long, with literally hundreds of named characters and thousands of years of history. In other words, they require a lot of dedication from the reader. But I could say the same about The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, so, if you loved those, I don't see why you can't enjoy these books too.

Anyways, to answer your question; I can't say if it's actually "as good as" LotR, but it's definitely an amazing Fantasy series and absolutely worth reading if you're a fan of Epic Fantasy.

Derick Lawson I severely dislike both series but the LOTR is still superior. It sets the standard while Wheel draws the most bland things from it and adds nothing to character development.

Kevin Wow, what's with all the hate?

Michael, I encourage you to shelf your LOTR comparisons and expectations as this series is masterful in scope, character development and world building all on it's own. Forget about LOTR and just enjoy this for what it is. Sure it draws on LOTR, the same as 99% of all post LOTR fantasy out there, nor will it ever be " good as...", but it's a highly entertaining epic that does enough to separate itself from the comparisons. Personally, I enjoyed it more than LOTR, but I know I'm swimming upstream in that regard.

Don't mistake it for something it isn't - it's not the second coming of the LOTR. Enjoy it for what it is: an engaging and entertaining fantasy epic that doesn't need all the LOTR comparisons / criticisms that are thrown at it. It can easily stand on it's own two feet.

Jenelle Not even close. Doesn't mean WOT isn't any good, it's just very different.

Where Tolkien can be difficult to read because he uses a more archaic language, Jordan can be difficult to read because he's just extremely wordy. Most first books in series are around 150K words... his is over 300K. Just to give you a ballpark measuring rod.

The world is intricate and interesting, the characters are ... well, you will love some of them and be totally annoyed by others.

The prologues are FAMOUS for being extremely long (some are near 80 pages) and all about tertiary characters that you have never heard of before.

Speaking of the cast list... oh my gracious, the cast list is a mile long... I can think of a good 20 main characters off the top of my head, and there are probably three times that many secondary characters and even more tertiary and "only mentioned in one paragraph in one book" characters.

After book 4, this series is nowhere near as family-friendly as Tolkien, though I can't think of anything overly graphic or explicit.

Books 5-9 can feel very long, and very little seems to happen in each book, despite the sheer number of words in each book.

However. If you can overlook many of these flaws and negatives... it is a fantastic, epic saga of a story that will keep you occupied with something to read for a good long time.

I have just started on the last book, and found myself shouting, "YES!" and pumping my fist in the air at one point where the main character did/said something brilliant... my husband (who is slogging through the middle of the series for the second time because he wants to refresh his memory on the books before he reads the last three) looked at me as if I'd grown another head. LOL

So... for what it's worth, that is the honest opinion of someone who LOVES both Tolkien and Jordan, but can definitely see Jordan's flaws (Tolkien's... not so much... but I grew up hearing my dad read The Lord of the Rings to us each night, so I may be biased) :)

Jenelle I have other recommendations for you, if you like Tolkien... some of my favorites are:

~The Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
~The Song of Albion by Stephen R. Lawhead
~The Raven King Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead
~The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead
~The Belgariad/The Mallorean by David Eddings
~Daggerspell (and subsequent series) by Katharine Kerr

Mark Put LOTR away for a while, by all means go back and visit it from time to time . Now pick up WOT and approach it with an open mind and try not to make comparisons
I will bet you that once you have completed WOT the books will sit in pride of place alongside LOTR on your shelf
good luck and let us know how you go on with them

message 9: by Michael (last edited Mar 16, 2013 07:20AM) (new) - added it

Michael I definatly want to start the series,what i ment about it being as good as lord of the rings is,the big epic battles/wars,great characters,phenominal history,and a great fantasy world.Plus lots of mythical creatures.

Diane Yes Michael it has all of that. Try it and I bet you will get hooked,

Michael Pearce I made it through Book Six of The Wheel of Time by sheer, grim determination. The world building is fascinating, the storyline interesting. But for every page of those things there are a hundred pages of the characters endlessly whining. About everything. By the end of book five I pretty much hated every character in the series and I wanted to grab the author by the throat, shake him and scream, "Just get on with it, damn you!!" On the other hand for every person that feels as I do there seem to be a hundred that like the series so you should probably give it a go.

Jenelle Not much in the "mythical creatures" department... but lots of everything else. I think you'll enjoy it!

Wayne Michael I'm on book three (prequal plus books one and two).

Prequal could have been cut down to about 1/5th the size.
Book one, awesome, book two,so far so good.

Steve to answer the question the thread posed: no.

though i personally lost momentum after book 4, i found the first 3 books enjoyable. i saw how Jordan worked hard to break new ground, delving into Milton where his rival delved into beowulf.

The Chapter in the first book that follows Rand and his buddy after they fall ill was incredibly written and to-date, the only chapter I've ever read twice. the way the author plays with time was both hallucinatory, jumbled yet strangely linear. a fever dream. if you truly enjoy the finer points of the craft of writing, i'd invite you to read it.

Jordan is no Tolkien, but then again Tolkien's no Jordan either!

Naiya I say it depends on what you liked in the LOTR. Was it the world-building, or questing in a fantasy world? The characters, or the moral message/philosophy? The writing style, or the overall story?

Some similarities:

Broadly speaking, WoT is high on detail and a lot of it is about the journey, not the destination. You have a solid variety of characters, both minor and major, and relatively strong fantasy world-building. There is a very clear evil villain/powers of darkness and dark minions, and a lot of the drama of the story revolves around prophecy - and one of the character's journey from his little backwater village to presumably saving the world. In terms of pacing, the more impatient WoT reader may feel that there's some real-time-walking-across-New-Zealand, like in the LoTR, in terms of plot development.


While WoT gives you different cultures, there are no new species. Where LOTR presents a very clear arc in its story of good vs evil, WoT draws it out, throws in a few twists (good characters may not always stay good, and vice versa; a bit more moral ambiguity). Female characters play a larger role in WoT and, from what I remember of reading the series years ago, there is more internal character angst and struggle, and more characters to follow.

Both series are large in scope, but I would be inclined to recommend classics for lovers of LoTR (think Narnia, Lloyd Alexander, etc) and WoT to readers who enjoy books by authors like George RR Martin and Tad Williams.

If you're looking for something with a bit faster pacing or humor, I say try books like The Black Company series, David Eddings, maybe Salvatore, The Gentlemen Bastards - Scot Lynch...

A few others you names you might enjoy: Kate Elliot and Brandon Sanderson.

Naiya I just took a look at the books you liked. I think you might enjoy Eragon, Salvatore, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Percy Jackson series, and the Xanth series by Anthony Piers. You might also like Sabriel by Garth Nix and The Golden Compass.

Robert Bennett As the books progress they seem to get wordier and more convoluted which detracted in my view. They're different than Tolkein, considerably different. Book One is phenomenal, Book Two almost as good, but then they decline.

I didn't make it past Book Seven, mainly because it is hard to keep the characters and storyline straight unless you read them close together, and I started soon after Book One came out so each time a new one was released I'd go back and start over.

message 18: by Apollo's Crow (last edited Mar 21, 2013 08:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Apollo's Crow The first book, Eye of the World, is actually noticeably Tolkien-esque in structure and tropes. But Tolkien and Jordan are very, very different authors. Keep in mind that Tolkien was foremost a philologist and scholar of myth and history and language. Comparing the two at all is like comparing oranges with, well, maybe not apples, but at least tangerines.

Whenever you sit down with a book, you are opening yourself up to the author's unique imagination. Don't worry about comparisons. Take each story for what it is. Jordan (and Sanderson) created a rich and wonderful series that I think is very enjoyable, imaginative, accessible, well-written, and well-conceived. It's one of the best of modern fantasy. Go for it.

infael Tolkien redefined fantasy and gave it new life. WoT creates a new world. Didn't have be as long as it was. I feel Jordan started trading on his established credentials, to get more money. I recall WoT was supposed to be 5 books, then, 7, etc.

It was enjoying reading. ASOIAF is the only series I'd call equal to Tolkien.

message 20: by James (new) - rated it 1 star

James Rhodes Lawhead's King Raven trilogy is a solid fantasy read. WoT is dull as dishwater I'm afraid.

Cheryl DeWerd WoT is one of the best series I've read. I've read LOTR at least 15 times probably more, so obviously I like it, but really WoT is actually a better read and easier to get into. You had to really stick with LOTR to get to a place where you actually could keep all the characters straight, those names were murder to say even in your own head. Love or hate WoT, to each their own, but I enjoyed both series tremendously. Now The Hobbit is a different story, seriously I don't know how they could have made 3 movies out of that short, not very engaging book. I suspect Tolkien just decided to publish some of his back story work for the fun of it. The Hobbit just doesn't come close to LOTR in scope or enjoyment. How many of you even read The Silmarillion (not sure on the spelling there)? That is another Tolkien book in Middle Earth. I did and I don't even remember what it was about. The trilogy was his greatest works. So you gotta give Jordan credit, the man could write scores of books and keep us coming back for more. That is a testament to his ability to craft a story. I give both series five stars.

Christian Adam Kevin wrote: "Wow, what's with all the hate?

Michael, I encourage you to shelf your LOTR comparisons and expectations as this series is masterful in scope, character development and world building all on it's o..."

Michael, I agree with Kevin. If you enjoyed LOTR you will love WOT. However, besides the classic Good versus Evil and the setting in a "Low Tech" medieval type of world, the comparison stops there. It is just as deep though, in its development of the history of that world and its legends, that feeling of a very old world with eons of civilisation, creating mythology, legends etc... You won't be disappointed. Just read it for itself, for the escape, for the pleasure of it without taking notes to compare it to what has been written before and since. Enjoy the adventure.

Stifyn Emrys I was impressed with "The Eye of the World," but the series seemed to go downhill a bit after that. I made it through "The Dragon Reborn" before I called it quits. I don't think it stands up against Tolkien, but I will still highly recommend "The Eye of the World" as one of the best fantasy series debuts I've read.

Howard G Michael wrote: "Im looking for a new fantasy to read,i love Tolkeins books,is this as good?"


Shawna Personally I enjoyed each and everyone of the Wheel of Time books. I don't compare it to Tolkein because he was in a class all his own. These are books I will re-read and enjoy all over again. (mostly cuz there are so many and I find things I have missed previously) It is a long series but I feel it is worth the read! Judge for yourself and read the first one.

Christian Adam I too enjoyed both series. But I must admit, I prefer WOT over LOTR. It is a lot more complex, a lot deeper. Not taking away anything from Tolkien, but Jordan was meticulous in the creation of his world. I still think that if it weren't for his untimely demise, WOT would have been a 20 book series with many more spinoffs.

Christian Adam I too enjoyed both series. But I must admit, I prefer WOT over LOTR. It is a lot more complex, a lot deeper. Not taking away anything from Tolkien, but Jordan was meticulous in the creation of his world. I still think that if it weren't for his untimely demise, WOT would have been a 20 book series with many more spinoffs.

Shawna I think Brandon Sanderson did a pretty good job taking over for Jordan. If he could stick that that format I would look forward to a few spinoffs from him. The ending was somewhat open as far as I'm concerned.

message 29: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy Goodwin I gave up on Robert Jordan after about book 5, I think.

It had a really promising beginning, but I felt like it just never went anywhere.

Howard G I agree with Judy. I made to book 5 but where ever the story was going was taking too long and was gaining way too much in scope.

Plus it was taking too long between books.

message 31: by Jake (last edited Apr 29, 2013 05:03PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jake Yaniak The Wheel of Time is a pretty good series. Robert Jordan was an excellent writer, but I sometimes felt as though he was writing so much just to write long books. The stories are good, but I felt like a good 80% of the book was devoted to a tedious blow by blow account of how the characters feel about their surroundings.
In one respect this is good, because each character becomes unique and predictable (in a good way since you really start to know them). But I think it is exhausting to be stuck in someone's head for so long, especially when you want the story to progress and especially when the characters are obsessing over their wardrobe, or reacting to someone else's clothing.
There are some things that Robert Jordan probably does better than Tolkien, but I think that all around Tolkien stands head and shoulders above him.

message 32: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John LeViness Hmmm.... It is kind of hard to compare the two. LOTR is like the Bible of fantasy. It is hard to knock because we all really want to love it, no matter what flaws it actually has. It's like a first-love thing.

So, if you liked LOTR, read the WOT. The world building in WOT is more complete, hands down. Be ready. It is quite a bit more complex. So much so that a lot of people put it down after a few books. It is a long haul to the end. The character list is as long as your leg and many of them are fleshed out considerably more than you would expect of minor and mid-level characters, although you do want to stretch their necks at times, as there is a lot of stuff going on all the time in their heads. Some people like that and some hate it. (Personal preference)

Keep this in mind. Many of the people who read the last book do so with tears.

Besides, you can't just pass it up because some other people don't like it. It is required reading. Period. Tests will be given and graded.

Enjoy! :)

message 33: by Char (new) - rated it 5 stars

Char You must understand that Tolkein is the 'Godfather' of fantasy and did it seamlessly. I myself and halfway through the series and it kinda gets annoying because one of the main characters goes through some self ego paranoid mood.
What I do enjoy is the multiple main characters and they will die as you go along but its not going to happen so frequently that its annoying. Rather their death makes sense and some narrations come and go but only when it makes sense to the story. There is usually always something going on which I also enjoy. Try the first few chapters then if you decide against then you will know for sure rather than sitting there wondering about it.

Christian Adam LOL J. but very well put. it's like saying, will I like Shakespeare or Voltaire better? It's not really the point, they are both great in their respective niche as playwrights, both just as grand. It's like comparing apples and oranges, it's not really a matter of differences but of taste. Orange isn't better than apple, both are fruit, both are sweet, yet how can you say one is better than the other. have both or prefer one without necessarily knocking or hating the other. I like both, but prefer WOT. Jordan is the litterary Darwinian result of Tolkien and C.S Lewis [Let's not forget his contribution even if not as heralded as JRRT]....

message 35: by Erik (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erik The question posed and the multitude of interesting comments afterwards gave me much pause for thought. I rated both very highly. Which is better though? Depends.
I prefer reading WOT, but the simplicity of Tolkien has alot of appeal. Both series have annoying characters, true. However, both have some of the most interesting main and secondary characters in all of literature. WOT leaves me thinking I could run into one of the characters and actually pick him out of a line up or sit at a bar and dice a game or two. So much detail, it is almost overwhelming. Tolkien gets the readers so deep into Bilbo and Frodo's heads that you almost feel the pull of the Ring as you flip the pages.
How can anyone choose between such literary gems? I say don't both! You won't be sorry.

Christian Adam Great comment Erik. Don't choose read both. That's right!

Christian Adam Great comment Erik. Don't choose read both. That's right!

message 38: by Ian (last edited Aug 30, 2013 09:17AM) (new)

Ian I found a compelling argument on this topic on

"In Lord of the Rings, you have two armies trying to bash each others’ heads in outside the Gates of Mordor while Gandalf does his little magic tricks, in the Wheel of Time, you have a five-front battle spanning hundreds of miles wherein an endless flood of Shadowspawn tries to overwhelm all the armies of the world with hundreds of magic users on both sides."

And it pretty much sums up why i prefer WoT. It's more action-packed.

message 39: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Ian wrote: "I found a compelling argument on this topic on

"In Lord of the Rings, you have two armies trying to bash each others’ heads in outside the Gates of Mordor while Gandalf does his little..."

Wow just wow,I'm defiantly reading the wheel of time!!!

Howard G All 483 books? Each with 1000+ pages?


Howard G No really, the WoT books do have LOTS more action, but when you spread it across, what, 14 book? The density of action is really poor.

message 42: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John LeViness Read both! They are both excellent in their own way.

message 43: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael J. wrote: "Read both! They are both excellent in their own way."

I will be sure to

message 44: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John LeViness I really can't classify either as Action Adventure. Epic Fantasy with strong High Fantasy qualities fits. The thing I always try to keep in mind is that every book, like every personality, is different. Let yourself go and enjoy the ride!

Howard G I agree completely with J.

I may not be interested in reading the full WoT series, but I have many friends who do. Dispite anything I posted on this thread, I encourage everyone to give it a go. :-)

message 46: by Cameron (new)

Cameron Boyle Loved lotr as a kid. More as an adult. Faramir is still top 5 in my favorite literary characters of all time. With that said, Mat Cauthon and Rand al Thor are without a doubt numbers one and two, respectively. Jordan builds a character like an architect builds a skyscraper, you get the structure and then it just keeps getting larger and more incredible.
Comparisons are impossible but with 14 books (no complaints here. We're all readers. If you don't like it, don't read it, but you were going to read something else anyway.) you can build such a larger expanse of a story. There are some slow spots in books 7-9 but if jrrt wrote The Silmarillion (which I also loved) into Lotr how many of you would have finished due to its "length"

message 47: by Cameron (new)

Cameron Boyle Plus,and I mean this with love and respect for dear frodo, wot offers frodo's battle within himself on a much grander scale with a more dynamic protagonist. You're in Rand's head as much as Lews Therin and it's fantastic

message 48: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott Gottstein Lots of criticism here. I can feel some Tolkien like qualities and I'm only on chapter 6. Chapter 5 "Winternight" won me over and from that point on I knew I would like Jordan's style of writing. To each there own. I know tons of people who loved "The First Law" trilogy. To me it was boring and I couldn't get halfway through "The Blade Itself". To each there own.

Tyler I wont lie there are moments in the story that you need to power through but when you get through a Memory of light, the ending is beautiful. I do not know if the ending is so captivating because it is such a long story, or whether it is due credit to Jordan's genius and Sanderson's writing. I would not compare the two, I would instead set them side by side. Tolkein will always be a master and a classic, but Jordan will always be a frontiersman. Both are genius.

Diane Tyler wrote: "I wont lie there are moments in the story that you need to power through but when you get through a Memory of light, the ending is beautiful. I do not know if the ending is so captivating because i..."

I agree - No Need to choose!

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