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on 19 April 2017
I'll be quick, The Eye of the World is a fantastic book. Being a huge lover of Lord of the Rings, this book and its lore has some similarities to LOTR as well as being original and fresh. The journey the characters go through in this book are amazing, there are about 7 prominent characters all of which have their own unique personality which you will either love or slightly dislike them for (all for good reasons). The story is fantastic, it makes imagine how you would act and feel if suddenly you pleasant and peaceful life suddenly changed and you had no choice but to leave a place you love. There are times however which will require you to look in the Glossary to understand particular names, places and lore about what the characters are talking about and doing (but this is something I love). Jordan's world building is simply outstanding, a book that makes you wish you were part of the journey just shows how good the book actually is.

Its the first part of a 14 book long series, if you are a lover of fantasy novels and you want to sink your teeth into something worth while than look no further than The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World.
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on 23 April 2017
Loved it. Read it within days. The story is so well written, the characterisation is fantastic and i literally couldn't wait for the next one so ordered as soon as I'd finished this one. This is a must read!!
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on 8 June 2017
Intense action, great characters, hooked from start to finish. Excellent!
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on 2 July 2009
I've read this, the first book in a series of 15 (maybe...!), under pressure. I'm not normally a fan of tolkien-esque fantasy - in fact, I rather quickly gave up on Lord of the Rings on the basis that it was awful. I would have given it 1 star if I was rating it for this website!

However this novel wasn't as bad. Yes, it was fairly slow in places, and sometimes it was hard to see where things were going. There were a couple of things that popped up halfway that I wondered why they couldn't have been told it earlier.

The storyline is complete by the end of the novel, however there are clearly a number of places to go later on, and a number of unresolved plotlines to follow up on. The characters are all very different people, each with their own skills, quirks and personalities, although some seem (so far) to be unnecessary to the storyline.

Overall, I'm not convinced that it deserves the raving that I've been surrounded by, but I suspect I will read the second book.
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on 14 June 2017
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 once again . . . so begins one of the most famous book series of all time, not just in the fantasy genre. It is a truly epic story written by one of the masters. Inspiring many modern day fantasy writers including Patrick Rothfuss and the man who would finish off Robert Jordan’s masterpiece due to the King’s untimely demise, Brandon Sanderson, it is a remarkable tale that built upon the fantasy elements that already existed within the genre, created mainly by the likes of Tolkien and his friend C S Lewis, a long with the old Viking and mythological myths that had existed for many centuries before Robert Jordan took up his pen to write his magnum opus, his masterpiece.

The first book in the series, The Eye of the World, is a splendid tale that draws the reader in right from the get go. Starting out with a history of about 3000 years, once the prologue has wet the readers appetite with the creation of Dragonmount, the fall of the last Dragon, the last male Aes Sedai, Lews Therin Telamon, at the hands of the Dark One, we fast forward to the beginning of our story which takes place in a small village called Two Rivers, where our heroes our slowly introduced: the main protagonist Rand Al Thor, his friends, the cheeky Mat Cauthon, the tall, brooding Perrin, the girl he is supposed to marry, Egwene and the Wisdom, a young woman sort of representing a medicine woman, Nynaeve. What I love so much about this series right away is how fantastic and real the characters are. When I have read fantasy in the past (barring the Lord of the Rings), I have always felt that you had the main character and the rest were just filler; Robert Jordan doesn’t treat any of the characters as if they are just there to fill in the pieces – each character is as important as the next and as we get on with the novel, you feel like you get to know them a little bit more and they then become like your friends. This is a hard task to pull off but Robert Jordan does it with such panache that you feel like you are in the hands of not just a master storyteller but also a master writer.

When the novel begins, you get from the very get go that there is a sense of something being very wrong. A mysterious figure follows the three boys, a dark figure who’s cloak does not blow in the wind. This adds a real sense of mystery to the plot, the reader not only wondering who the dark figure is, but as the figure appears to the three boys, the reader is left wondering who the main protagonist is going to be. Not only does a dark figure appear but also a Peddlar named Padan Fain, a funny little creature who goes on to be someone to watch out for, a Gleeman (a teller of stories named Thom who is one of my favourite characters) and an Aes Sedai (Moraine) and her warder (Lan). As the village prepares for Winternight, one of the most exciting nights of the year, they are attacked by hellish creatures known as Trollics, and their horrific masters the Myrdrall. This is what sets off the main story, our main characters having to leave the village and head off towards Tar Valon, the Aes Sedai’s Kingdom so they might escape the Dark One and stop him from breaking from his prison where has been trapped for centuries. Many adventures take place and things happen that not only surprise our characters, but the reader. It is a magnificent story that sets up the rest of the series very nicely.

One of the things I really loved about this book was the reality of it. Yes, it is set in a fantasy world, but I felt as if everything in this novel could be really happening. It is like a story that took place a very long time ago, a lost world that we are only just discovering now. Another thing I really liked was the vastness of the world and how different each character and culture was. There is a story going round that says Robert Jordan had a room full of notes, detailing every single character that appears in the Wheel of Time, knowing their entire backstory and feelings, their world and who they really were, even if that character only appears in one line. After having read just the first novel in the series, I can very well believe that. I feel like I am in the hands of a writer who knows this world like the back of his hand, that if I were to ask him any question, he would be able to answer in great detail. Another thing I really like is that the characters have so many flaws, like real human beings. I have read a few fantasy novels and I hate it when characters are all perfect and they do everything right. That is so boring. The reason these characters are so real and you fall in love with them is that Robert Jordan has made them real people. They do things half the time where you start to think, why are you doing this? What is wrong with you? When you take the time to sit there and think about it, you start to realise that if you were in that situation, you’d probably do the same thing as well.

Another reason Robert Jordan is a genius is because rather than taking an entire novel to write from the point of view of just one character, there are different chapters that are told from the point of view of so many characters. For example, one chapter would be told from Rand’s perspective, and the next one from Perrin’s. This book was written about six years before George RR Martin did the same thing with his A Song of Ice and Fire novels. I’m glad that he just didn’t stick with one character’s perspective because if you do that, you never see the vastness and detail of the world. As Brandon Sanderson once said, “one character will look at a river that is different from how another character would look at a river which would be different from how a third character would look at a river.” This only makes the novel seem more real and enjoyable to read.

A lot of emphasis has been written on the comparisons with Tolkien. I am a major fan of the Lord of the Rings but I feel like I am reading a completely different book. Robert Jordan once said that he created Two Rivers to be like the Shire. Okay, they are both small villages where innocent, out-of-the-way people live that don’t know of the real danger that lurks out in the big world, but as far as I am concerned that’s where that comparison ends. Yes, it does include a large set of characters going on a long journey, but the characters and journey are so different that Tolkien doesn’t even come to my mind as I am reading it. There is a great quote that says “With the Wheel of Time, Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to unveil”. I take that as meaning that the themes and greatness that Tolkien began in the fantasy genre has been taken even further and modernised with Jordan’s “Wheel of Time series”

After hearing what this series was about, I was very interested in sitting down to read it, but the length of the series did, I admit, put me off just a bit. It needn’t of done. Robert Jordan doesn’t spend about two hundred pages before getting to the story – you are gripped right from the get go. You want to find out what happens next, you want to keep following your new friends and family on their travels and experience everything with them. I usually take awhile reading fantasy novels, but I flew through this one. I could not put it down and every time a chapter ended, I just thought “oh maybe one more”. What better praise can be given to a book of this scope?

I finished the “Eye of the World” last night and it blew me away. I cannot wait to start reading the next entry in the series, “The Great Hunt”. I would highly recommend this series to fantasy fans and those who want to start reading fantasy. It is an enjoyable tale that never stops and keeps you guessing at every turn. It has got the most wonderful set of characters I have ever read and it has now become one of my favourite series of all time. It will take me a while to finish the series, but it’ll be worth it and if they are just as good as this novel then I am in for a fantastic ride. The Wheel of Time will continue to turn and so will the pages of my books as I endure Robert Jordan’s great genius.
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on 21 May 2017
I bought book 4 after my final Law paper in year 2000, the book shop was closing and lots of books were on sale for a pound a two, I bought about a dozen, a mixture of classics and some of the newer ones, thrillers, crime and others I picked up a massive paper back as an after thought, it was on for 3.99 over a thousand pages and wagons and a woman wearing a blue dress in mountains were Airwolf must have been hidden.
I was new to reading English novels, I had read lots of Tom Clancy and Wilber Smith but apart from River God nothing had left much of an impression.
This book was addictive, I finished this and got my friend to buy rest of the series, which had gotten up two Winters' Heart, book ten, I think. I was had never read a series before and a quick shuffeling through opening pages of 6 books left me with the shocking and deviststing TESL station that it would be years before next instalment, and who knew how many more books would be needed to end the series?
I don't recall reading any of the other books, they were boring, soon I was given first 3 books of the song of ice and fire and I bought first 3 books of the malazan book of the fallen, written by Steven Erikson, which was the only other series which is just as addictive as wheel of time, maybe a bit better if I am honest ( if there was a god of epic fantasy, it would be Mr Erikson, dozens of brilliant characters)but wheel of time and Robert Jordan introduced me to Fantasy.
There was a lot of heartache and frustration, lots of tea drinking and braid pulling and shuffling of showls, sniffing pouting and lots of other stuff but the story was still brilliant. It was the pace of the story was slow but that's what makes it so good. I would happily read another twenty books if Mr Jordan's widow hired someone to write about what came after the last battle.
I went back and read the first 3 books after reading books 4 to 10. The first book is the weakest and the ending is anti climatic but there was more then enough things which kept me reading and Mr Jordan's death was shocking but Brandon Sanderson did a great job but I read the whole series a few times and the silky smooth prose of Mr Jordan was a joy to read even if it was POVs I disliked and whole heatedly agreed with some fans who wanted some of the female character to relocate to song of ice and fire where there were a few vacancies.
I miss all the tea drinking and would happily pay for another series or two.
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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!
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on 21 March 2017
The path you take along with the characters both good and bad is amazingly absorbing and richly descriptive.

The mythology that the people have is believed and disbelieved in equal measure which makes for some good turns of events.

The leading characters thread their way through the series in a believable way, and there is a huge range of extra people each with their own story and affiliations, which gradually make you aware of the vast scope of the landscape and the seismic changes that are about to unfold.

People deal with each other in the way of people everywhere - it's never entirely straightforward, sometimes even friends turn hostile, but strong bonds are formed too and small touches of humour (sometimes very dark) make the characters crackle with life in a way that makes you keep reading even if you don't like them that much.

The Magic element is very interesting, especially the female good/male bad aspect that pervades the entire belief system of the people. There is not much said about religion, but there is a strong set of superstitions concerning 'The Dark One' which reflects in our world.

The manipulation of events behind the scenes as well as the more up-front battles, make this part spy-thriller as well as an escape and evasion story - there is also a love quadrangle in a later book as well invasion, war, and politics.

This book is the taster at the supermarket which leads to a 14 course banquet of goodness.
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on 11 April 2017
I was on a sci-fi binge and, having run out of C.J. Cherryh, I thought the Eye of the World looked interesting. Unfortunately its first few pages brought me back to a sci-fi genre that just trots out platitudes and same-old-same-old themes. The book may improve - but I don't suppose I'll ever find out as I can't be arsed to read more. Pity I bought it on Kindle or I'd take it down to the nearest charity shop.
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on 25 October 2016
Well that was epic. I’d obviously heard of the Robert Jordan classic, but for some reason I'd never got around to reading it. Maybe it was the daunting size of the thing (because it certainly is daunting) or maybe there was no reason at all; I'm not sure. But I got stuck in this year, and boy am I glad I did.

Now, when I first started reading this book, my first thought was 'Tolkien'. It just has that feel about it, the same sensation of being in that classic world. It was comforting in many ways, but also concerning – Tolkien is a high bar! So, what is it that makes this comparison so natural? These are my top three comparisons:
- The predicament is decidedly LotR, with a Dark One who was believed to be 'absent', and wizards roaming around with a distinct aura about them;
- The story follows three friends as they are dragged off on an adventure against the Dark One by one of these wandering magicians; and
- The writing has a slightly distant quality about it, which is quite akin to the LotR (most modern novels seem to adopt a much closer style).

So, on that basis, if you liked LotR, then… And who doesn’t like LotR? Easiest review ever.

But hang on a minute! Although calling this a bit ‘similar’ to Tolkien is hardly a criticism, it is absolutely its own novel with its own qualities and a big slug of individualism. This is a fantasy classic in its own right, so let’s get down to business.

The world of Robert Jordan is huge, detailed and complex – a masterpiece. The history is extensive, but the current politics are well considered too.
There is actually a sense of a far more coherent world, something that is tangible when compared to our own world (or at least our history), but with fantasy richness woven expertly in. It’s very well done.

And related to this, this novel actually felt distinctly more adult-focussed. It is targeted at a more ‘worldly-wise’ readership, and this is evidenced by the finer political barbs woven in, but also by the nature of the ‘darkness’ and the more adolescent inclinations of our protagonists. It’s certainly not in the same arena as another rather successful fantasy franchise, but it actually seems to sit in a middle ground, which makes it stand out on its own. Great!

And there certainly seems to be enough depth here to engage for the long-term. Our protagonists are only just discovering what’s in store for them, and exciting times lay ahead. There is also a lot of world still lying undiscovered, and indeed a lot of history. Will it be enough to fill fourteen heavy volumes? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

And weaving all of this complexity and depth together is the Wheel of Time – and what a fabulous concept that is. Of course, the idea of threads and (by extension) destinies is hardly ‘unique’, but I really like the way that it is done here – I have an image of a great water-wheel weaving away at the heart of the planet. It also makes for an intriguing plot-driver, and I look forward to seeing how the Wheel struts its stuff.

So, was there anything that I was less keen in? Perhaps a few things.

This surprised me, but I found the writing style a touch too distant. I don’t think of myself as someone who needs close POV in a novel, but coming back to something with this slightly more traditional style did hit me somewhat. I found myself skipping the text in places, my mind wandering, and the sense of 'description' was a bit heavy for personal taste. This quality was most noticeable early on, but once invested it fades away – until you think back on it that is. It’s certainly not a criticism – this was published in the early ‘90s – but a note for the modern reader nonetheless.

And then there are the dreams. I didn't realise how annoying dreams could be, but apparently they are. I understand that this is fantasy and they are kind of essential to the plot, but I found myself sighing when we dipped into one. I wonder whether the dreams will fade as the series continues. Hopefully.

The glossary! Goodness. I didn't even reference it. I certainly don't begrudge it – it fits with style and age of the novel – but I do think it's actually unnecessary given that I didn’t even look at it!

And finally (in both senses of the word) the ending had a touch of 2001: A Space Odyssey about it – all a bit sudden and a touch abstract. Not unexpected perhaps, and certainly within the rules that have been laid down, but it is a bit of a leap. Having said that, it does set up the series nicely.

So, there we have it. A classic, and it is a classic. Another lengthy series I can add to my reading list – I’m licking my lips already!
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