It seems so many years ago that I got caught up in this larger than life series. I discovered it during my college years, nearly 15 years ago, and read the books faithfully through book 9. And though I had complaints, I didn’t give up on it even then, I simply could not remember enough of the intricate details to proceed to book 10 when it finally came to print! The books are looonnnngggg, and I could not bring myself to reread the series in anticipation of each new title, as I easily did for the Harry Potter series. So I waited.
I was still waiting when news or Robert Jordan’s death came. I have been saddened by the death of a few favorite authors over the years, but never quite like this. He had begun something wonderful, and never had the chance to finish it. Yet he had made arrangements for someone else to finish. When I get to the final three books, I will find out for myself if Brandon Sanderson did them justice. He had his work cut out for him. 🙂
Last month, the final book in the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, was released. I have 5 new books to read, and 9 old books to reread, so for the next 3-4 months, these will be the focus of my review blog. I doubt I will have time to read anything else!
To those who have never read the series but who read epic fantasy, The Eye of the World may not stand out much from the crowd. Going back to the beginning, when Rand and his friends were simple country folk, was nostalgic for me. There are so many details in this series that I was surprised how many I had forgotten, but I had not forgotten that the world was about to get much, much bigger for Rand than the Two Rivers, and that his innocence would not last long.
The first book is a quest — or more of a flight, really. They spend much of the time fleeing bad guys rather than seeking anything. It is well-written, richly described, and the stakes are high.
The seeds of what will come are already being laid out, but that is something best appreciated in a reread. It might be better appreciated in a reread that takes place within a decade of the first read, because so many of the details slipped through my fingers.
One of the things I like about this series is that as big as the story becomes, it does begin with a simple shepherd boy fleeing dark creatures to try to save his own life, and to lead them away from the friends and family he loved. My recollections have me liking some of the subsequent books better, but they do rely on this foundation, and it supports them well.
I don’t read much epic fantasy. I read more when I was younger, but these days my interests have shifted. Yet I enjoyed rereading this book. The series is a huge undertaking, but I remember it fondly enough, and am currently enjoying it enough, to willingly set aside my normal reading for months in order to tackle 14 700+ page novels. If that doesn’t tell you what I think of these books, nothing will. 🙂
I recommend them. I don’t know to who, exactly — certainly anyone who likes epic fantasy, but if you’ve never given the genre a try, this is the best of it.
Title: The Eye of the World
Author: Robert Jordan
Published November 15, 1990