on 24 March 2001
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.
on 9 June 2013
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!
on 1 October 2014
This review won't be about the actual story of the book itself. 'The Eye of the World' (and, by extension, The Wheel of Time saga) has been written about by people copiously over the last 24 years, and all you need to know is that, in picking this book up, you're taking the first step into one of the most richly detailed, awe-inspiring worlds that fiction has ever known.
The last UK editions of the WoT from Orbit had great covers, but I've never been a fan of the smaller A-format mass-market format, which makes colossal books such as this, with its copious page count and minute font size, a royal pain to read (they also often feel quite cheap too with regards to paper quality). These new editions, however, are the larger B-format size, which makes reading a much more pleasant experience on both the hands and eyes. The new covers are also growing on me, and have a nice matte finish.
All in all, a superb price for one of the genre's masterworks. Unavoidable.
on 28 May 2002
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.
I picked the first of this book up at the start of July 2016. I finished the whole series on the 20th of July :/ My eyes were sore, but wow it was worth it.
This simply put is an epic fantasy series and is one of those titles that becomes an addition very quickly, sadly at least it did for myself. The characters, relationship world become very well developed over the course of the series as expected but this first title starts the grand adventure off.
The details are meticulous, now this can be good and bad as everything is explained in such intricate detail it does fill the pages with content that could really be condensed down, but its a marmite type situation and you will love it or hate it, me personally I quiet like it.
The story will suck you in and keep you in and its no wonder why people takl about this series as one of the must reads, as a whole its an epic read and you will always be wanting to see what happens next.
This first book does sort of have a Lord Of the Rings vibe to it and does start off abit slow, but to be honest, the idea is to lay out the grounding for a series that will eventually become massive in its own right.
If your a fan of fantasy novels, this is a great place to start. With the whole series out now, no need to wait years for the next book, highly recommend.
on 16 June 2001
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.
on 7 September 2015
Goodness this took me so long to finish. Well worth the time it took though.
I love epic fantasy. I love it, but I can only read it in small doses. It seems to take everything out of me every time I finish a book like this. I don't know if it's because of how long it takes, the complexity of the writing or just the fact that so much can happen in one book that it feels like I've read five in one sitting. I have to just put everything down afterwards and do nothing.
I think what got me most about this read was the writing. I mean, just read the summary of the book - the writing is just something else. Sometimes Jordan gets all philosophical and it just blew my mind how his words got sucked into my soul to be reflected for hours until I just shake it off and get back to the story. His writing is just…I can't even.
The characters are also extremely loveable. I did have a hard time with Mat for a while but that was understandable. Rand and Perrin have to be the most loveable characters I've ever come across in epic fantasy. They were honourable and the were sweet. I don't think they have a bad bone in their body.
But Lan and Nynaeve just took my heart. It's strange because their relationship is only mentioned a couple of times - just a couple of hints here and there. Nothing actually happens between them but there is a couple of lines towards the end that just made me start bawling. It was one of the most heartfelt conversations I've ever read between characters. I'm pretty sure there are quotes of this conversation all over the place because it's just too amazing but I won't say anymore for those of you that want to actually read the book.
The one thing I would have liked for this book would be a longer battle at the end. I understand that it's not over and there's so many more books in the series for epic battles but for such a long journey, I wanted it to come to this amazing battle that lasted for more than a couple of pages.
All in all I loved this book. I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series and get to know the characters more. Especially Lan and Nynaeve - those two are killing me inside…my heart is turning to mush.
on 7 October 2009
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.
on 1 December 2010
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!
on 14 February 2016
This is the best fantasy saga ever written mainly because of its epic length (there are other great ones out there - Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive) but this is long and draws you in for 14 mammoth books. I always feel a sense of loss when I discover a great read and it finishes - this series postpones that moment for months. If you want a book to read for escapism this is a series for you, you will not regret the investment of time.
The story is well crafted and the characters well developed - some really grow on you in a way that surprises you others change throughout the story in a very believable and realistic way.
I've written a review of both the first and last books in this series all the others are just great and to review them in detail would risk spoiling some of the story; if you're hooked from book one nothing will stop you reading until the end anyway.