As many of you know, I’ve been co-hosting an epic read along on this blog of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series! The first book is The Eye of the World, which we finished up a couple of weeks ago now. I’d say it’s time for a review, don’t you? ;-) I feel like I’ve already talked about Eye of the World a lot, mostly because I have, haha. However, while we’ve discussed each 7 chapter section in gritty detail, a nice overview wrap-up post seemed like just what I needed to put everything in perspective :). If you’ve been skipping the read along posts for fear of spoilers, you don’t have to worry any more, since there are no spoilers here!
Life in Emond’s Field has been pretty boring for Rand Al’Thor and his friends until a strange young woman arrives in their village. Moraine is an Aes Sedai, a magician with the ability to wield the One Power, and she brings warnings of a terrible evil awakening in the world. That very night, the village is attacked by bloodthirsty Trollocs—a fearsome tribe of beast-men thought to be no more than myth. As Emond’s Field burns, Moraine and her warrior-guardian help Rand and his companions to escape. But it is only the beginning of their troubles. For Moraine believes Rand Al’Thor is the Dragon Reborn, and that he is fated to unite the world against the rising darkness and lead the fight against a being so powerful and evil it is known simply as the Dark One. – Goodreads
- The Eye of the World had an awesome spin on the young hero needing to save the world trope, since there are actually three boys, one girl, and one village Wisdom involved in this legend come to life.
- The world-building in Eye of the World is so amazing that I don’t actually know how Jordan kept it all in his brain while writing. There must have been crazy flowcharts! There is even a map halfway through to show you where the party has traveled to :D.
- Mmm the foreshadowing, it is so delicious! I’ve always been a sucker for portents and trying to guess what they might foretell, and Jordan does not disappoint!
- Every character we encounter has a rich backstory that we find out steadily. You might not find out right when you meet them. You might think that minor character was only there to sell you bread, you are probably wrong ;-). So many threads to be woven together, it is awesome!
- There are some very obvious tributes to Tolkien in Eye of the World, and there has been heavy criticism of this already. I found myself able to acknowledge this unfortunate shortcoming and move on, but it might severely irk others.
- Given the genre, you would expect the final epic battle to be crazy epic, but it falls a bit short and confusing….
- As many books in this genre fall into, Eye of the World gets wordy in places and I found myself tempted to skim at times. This is no where near Tolkien levels of wordiness though!
If you are craving high fantasy, Eye of the World is everything everyone has said it is. I didn’t find myself quite as edge of my seat as the lady in the bookstore said she was when she read the first five *shrugs*. It was refreshing to see women making a big splash in a high fantasy novel and the other new ideas that Jordan brought to his novel. While it was a little odd to see so many obvious parallels to The Lord of the Rings pop up again and again, it was easy to view The Eye of the World as inspired-by, but with plenty of original ideas.