7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't disappointed...
Over the years, I've had many online discussions regarding my favourite books, and almost every time Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series has been mentioned by someone as their all-time favourite, or as a must-read series. Being a fan of fantasy and sci-fi fiction, I've always meant to get round to reading it at some point, but there always seems to have been other...
Published 9 months ago by S. Cole
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Stuff
This book has provoked such a diverse range of responses from the fantasy genre fanbase, I thought I would add my comments to the fray! Of course, this genre does attract people of all ages and backgrounds so it is perhaps not surprising that the reviews for this novel range from awful to sublime. As an old fan of Tolkien, Salvatore, Hobbs and (early) Eddings amongst...
Published on 13 Mar 2007 by D. J. Matthews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't disappointed...,
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Over the years, I've had many online discussions regarding my favourite books, and almost every time Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series has been mentioned by someone as their all-time favourite, or as a must-read series. Being a fan of fantasy and sci-fi fiction, I've always meant to get round to reading it at some point, but there always seems to have been other books higher up my to-read list.
Finally, I found myself in a situation where I'd read every book I owned, and was halfway through my last book - time to open Amazon and browse through my Wish List. The Eye of the World has been sitting in there for a while, and was a great price, so I decided to take the plunge into a new epic series - and I'm glad that I did.
The story is a classic among fantasy novels - poor farmer's son is destined to save the world, and a powerful magician drags him and a couple of friends on an epic journey. It worked well in Lord of the Rings, and in Terry Brookes' Shannara series, and although this gives the story a familiar feel, it is done in a way that keeps the reader enthralled from the start, right through to the last page. By the time I was a third of the way through book 1, I had already ordered books 2 and 3, and the 'prequel'.
Of course, the entire series is huge, but I am now halfway through the second book, and don't plan to stop until I've read all 15 books. If you like Tolkein or Brookes, then you'll love this!
67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh no, another addiction....,
By A Customer
Wow. I read this book six months ago and can still tell you exactly what happened, but I won't, because I want everybody to read the books. The wheel of time is surely THE MOST addictive series of books ever. I read Eye of the World in five days and went straight out to buy the next one, and straight out to buy the one after that, and so on. Yes, it's a little slow to start, but the minute Winternight gets going you can't stop. Ever.
Sub-plots galore, love and hate relationships, twists and subtle hints as to what the horrifying ending is all make this book possibly the beginning of the best series I will ever read. People say the later books are more boring and too long, but THIS IS NOT TRUE. Robert Jordan has an amazing talent for story-telling, and I recommend him to everybody.
I must also say that his characters are perfectly developed so that you know precisely who they are and what they would feel and think. By book 9 you will know and love our main characters, and don't start book 1 without thinking you won't finish, because you will be hooked. Enjoy, everybody, you will not find better.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Stuff,
This book has provoked such a diverse range of responses from the fantasy genre fanbase, I thought I would add my comments to the fray! Of course, this genre does attract people of all ages and backgrounds so it is perhaps not surprising that the reviews for this novel range from awful to sublime. As an old fan of Tolkien, Salvatore, Hobbs and (early) Eddings amongst others I was mildly impressed with the first of this seemingly ever expanding series. It is true that some of the English is somewhat dubious but less so than other American authors (Conn Iggulden et al) and is sometimes actually fairly amusing. (Granted, this is perhaps not a good thing where it's unintentional.) The descriptive narrative is excessive upon occassion, although I personally find this to be a positive attribute of the author; which does not get in the way of the plot and sets the scene well. Ah yes; the 'plot'. It is simplistic but not unimaginative and well paced for a novel of this size. In summary, there are several elements of this book that could be improved upon but I kept coming back to it and every time I picked it up I looked forward to reading the next few chapters. In fact, I read it in less than a week - Recommended.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series, buuuut... Kindle?,
This review is from: The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time) (Kindle Edition)
I am a long time Jordan-ophile, I started it in the middle of high school, and have loved it since (I'm now a 3rd year uni student); it gets better with every read through, as there are just layers and layers to this, I've introduced this series to many people, and the vast majority are grateful for it. I made the jump to Amazon Kindle, and thought that my first book should be the first WoT book, as my copy fell apart from being read too much. Sadly it appears that every page has been photographed, and run through a text recognition program, and converted to Kindle. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect process, as words which are shaped alike can be confused, e.g. "stones" and "stories", meaning that you are sometimes left wondering what the hell its trying to say, and why noone at Amazon proof read the book. This therefore slows the flow of the book, which is sad, as you can really just sink into it. Other than that, would heartily recommend. Heres to hopimg the rest of Kindle isnt like this!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to the series!,
This book (and the whole series) was recommended to me by a friend at work, following a discussion about how good Lord of the Rings was - he said that Robert Jordan's series was better than Tolkien, so I decided to find out for myself.
I loved this book!!
So much so that before I was even halfway through Eye of the World I had already ordered books 2-9, so that I can get up to date with the events in the series. I'm not going to say whether or not it's better/worse than Lord of the Rings in my opinion, because I don't want to think about that - both are fantastic works of fiction, and I enjoyed them both so much that I don't want to demean one by classing it as inferior to the other.
The storyline of EotW is a new version of the classic 'Quest' storyline, covering the journey of a group of friends, and focusing on one in particular who is destined to be something very special (although saying that, the supporting cast is great, particularly the Warder; Lan, the blacksmith's apprentice; Perrin, and Thom the gleeman).
What makes this unique (in my eyes) is the characterisation and pure readability of the book. Considering this book introduces an entirely new world with background and people, it's very easy to read (perhaps more so than LotR was the first time).
Looking at the series as a whole is quite daunting really (thousands of pages), but if every volume is as enjoyable as this was, I'll get many weeks of pleasure going through them.
If you like to read epic stories that you can really get into, I definitely recommend this. Chance are you'll get as hooked as I've become!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate Quality and a Fun Addition to my Bookshelf,
This review is from: The Eye Of The World: Limited Edition: Wheel of Time Book 1 (Hardcover)
I have several of the editions released in North America, and I thought getting one from the UK publisher would be fun. Overall, I am satisfied that it is a fun edition to add to my bookshelf. It is a bit on the expensive side for the quality of the binding and paper. It is also a very tight fit. I would rate the materials as mediocre to adequate for those used to produce the book. Just how limited is this edition though? I couldn't find a source I consider reliable to indicate how many were produced.
I discovered my use of "mediocre" above gave readers the wrong impression. I mean the construction is average--neither especially great, nor especially poor. I call attention to this because we all know the content is exceptional; therefore the only useful critique I can provide is of the materials used. Also, it is a normal hardback-not leather. I did not expect leather, but some buyers thought that it would be. Because it is a little hard to tell in the photo, I am calling attention to it so that nobody is misinformed.
I think most fans of the Wheel of Time series would be happy to own this book. I like the book and am very glad that I purchased it.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Had potential but alas...,
Having avoided it for many years, well aware that the series carries on for another 5,000 books or so, many of them recieving very poor reviews from fans, I decided 'what the hell!' and borrowed this from the library. I suppose I wanted to see if these books were as good as the hardcore fans say or as bad as the critics reckon.
The Good: Well, the underlying story of the WoT series is engaging, an interesting mix of Celtic, Christian and Eastern philosophy, myths and legends. There is always a real sense that there is an epic battle between Good and Evil being fought behind the scenes, and it does keep you hooked. The world of the book is pretty interesting also, seeming very vibrant and with a heady mix of cultures and characters. The relative strength of females in the world of the novel is also an interesting dynamic.
The Bad: The list of plotpoints and characters lifted straight out of Lord of the Rings is just too vast to go into. Versions of Orcs, Rangers, Ringwraiths all show up, as do copies of Aragorn, Gollum, the Shire, Bree, Moria and many, many more. Its painful at times. There are also more than a barrelful of ideas robbed from Frank Herbert's 'Dune' series. When he's not ripping off Tolkien or Herbert, Jordan simply swipes names and concepts from the real world (the Aes Sidhe of Irish myth, Zoroastrian dualism and the Yin-Yang symbol for example) and just cellotapes them all together in a mish-mash.
Despite the interesting backstory to the novel, the plot of the book is very banal. Our heroes are chased from one muddy village to the next, getting into the kind of minor scuffles you might see on a Saturday night outside a pub. There is nothing very 'grand' or 'epic' going on for huge swathes of the book. Considering that most fans reckon this is one of the most action-packed of the series, with thing slowing down later, that's rather a worry.
Speaking of 'swathes', that's a good description of the amount of redundant prose you'll have to work your way through to get to any plot. There are vast amounts of text that serve no purpose whatsoever and whole chapters pass by with nothing to mark them but dull descriptions of dreary places and stock characters. I found myself skimming through a lot of it
As for characterisation; outside of two central characters pretty much everyone follows the same pattern; all women are shrewish and ill-tempered, all men are a bit dense.
And yet....there is something in all of this that keeps you reading. It's rather like heroin or MacDonalds; you know its awful, you know it has ruined the lives of countless others...and yet you still come back for more. I read this during long nightshifts at work where I wanted to read something without having to think too much. So if you find yourself in that situation this might be worth a read.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems harsh to give it only 3 stars but...,
I've got mixed opinions about this book.
It's well written, got good characters, good plot / story and has obviously been well thought out. I enjoyed reading the majority of it and would recommend it to any fan of the genre. It's one of the better books i've read of this type for a while. In fact when I was getting near to the end of the book I was worried i'd finish it and want more so went out and bought the second book in the series (which I haven't read yet).
One of the things I like most is that when you read it, you feel like there's a real history behind the story. You can imagine other books telling of events before this as there are many references to times past and legends of old. You always get a taste of what was that leaves you wanting more.
So why only the 3 stars?
Well for a start it has taken a bit too much from Lord of the Rings. Many books of this type will have something similar to ogres, orcs, trolls, elves, wizards, etc, which I actually usually like. But this takes it further than that. The completely out of the way village where our heroes start out from, the "wizard" (for lack of a better word) who visits, the fact that they suddenly have to leave, the dark riders chasing said farmers, the dark one employing all manner of beasts as spies to track them, the race to reach the ferry to cross the river to mention a few.
Secondly there are several times when you end up skimming pages. Whilst its nice to have a good description of the surroundings, it does at times seem to go on a bit too much to the point of breaking up the story. This is probably more of a personal thing as i'm sure some readers will like it, but for me it did seem to bring the book down a bit.
Thirdly the action / fight scenes are not the best i've read. Don't get me wrong on this, the idea behind them, the setting and the build up is always great and if you can fill in the blanks you'll be loving it. But they always seem to be over too quickly or seem to jump ahead of themselves. There is just something missing.
Despite all this I still would have given this book 4 maybe even 5 stars, but then comes the ending.
Don't worry, I won't ruin it for anyone by saying what happens. It's just that after such a long but enjoyable build up, after everything that gets thrown in, all the twists and turns, it just seems like the writer got fed up of writing, abandoned the imaginative thought and crammed everything into 2 pages. After enjoying so much of the book, i'm now not sure if i want to read the second.
To be honest it is a good book. Just don't be suprised if your left wanting more for all the wrong reasons by the end of it.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of the series,
By A Customer
Arguably the best (I certainly think so) of Robert Jordan's novels. This is why we all appreciate Jordan's writing. It is undoubtedly one of the best novel since J.R. Tolkein and far outstrips and out paces all other contemporary fantasy novelist. Eye Of The World is what made us jump (more like grabbed and pulled in) headlong into a world that seems so real that we can picture the world in our imagination in detail, really few authors can simulate this kind of realism.It has all the perfect magical ingredients a fantasy book needs to make it successfull and thoroughly engaging. It has the traditional fantasy plot, good Vs evil, light and dark. It may not be unique but Jordan expands on this,and adds his own touch and detail to it. But the main thing (and what sets Jordan apart) is the sense of epic ness, the grand adventure it inspires to his readers.The depth and realism of the characters are outstanding. Each character is written in precise detail and Jordan adds a bit of mystery into them (a ploy which Jordan intelligently uses to keep us absorbed, wondering what the character will reveal next).The pace and action is all there ( EoTW has more action than the last two novel, PoD and WH combined). From the start to finish it is all action and adventure with the perfect amount of intrigue, magic and unsolved mystery to it.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Fantasy Classic,
By A Customer
Serious fantasy authors tend to be like buses. You wait 35 years for someone to replicate the quality and appeal of Lord of the Rings and three of them turn up at once: Tad Williams with his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy, George R.R. Martin with his Song of Ice and Fire sextet and Jordan with his Wheel of Time, er, dodechology (or whatever you call a series with at least 12 volumes). The Eye of the World gets the ball rolling in style, with Jordan aware that some fantasy conventions are just too ingrained to ignore but also knowing when to move into non-cliched areas. Yes, the opening in the Two Rivers is basically the Shire with humans, but this was deliberate and it works, more or less. Like Tolkien, Jordan only lets you know what is important at the time and then keeps up the drip-feeding of important background info as the book progresses, meaning you are never swamped with data. The story itself is a rather traditional tale of heroes on the run, but then regrouping at the end for a final confrontation with the bad guys, and this works well, with all of the characters getting moments in the limelight. Description is extremely strong: Martin may have surpassed Jordan in terms of character motive and ruthlessness in killing off characters, but Jordan remains unmatched for his descriptive powers of locations, buildings, towns etc. It isn't at the level of Tolkien or Ian Irving's recent View from the Mirror series, but it's strong nevertheless. The ending is a bit confusing (is that the Creator talking to Rand at the end? Or not? What the hell is going on there anyway?) the first time you read it, but later volumes do a good job of explaining these events. Eye of the World even rewards re-reading at a later date: Rand's later rise to power is foreshadowed by Min's viewing of him in Baerlon, with references to a crystal sword (a reference to Book 3) and a laurel crown (a reference to Book 7). Some people think that EOTW is too heavily cliched and formulaic and although I disagree, I can see why they might think that. The book has a familiar, welcome feel to it that draws in fantasy fans easily into a new world before delivering the surprise blows in later books that alter the way you think of heroic fantasy. No, EOTW isn't better than Lord of the Rings, but it paves the way for the several later books in the series which are.
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The Eye Of The World: Limited Edition: Wheel of Time Book 1 by Robert Jordan (Hardcover - 3 Nov 2011)
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