The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)
By: Robert Jordan
My Rating: Four out of five stars
Best For: 14 and up
FINE! I’ll read The Wheel of Time!
I’ve been desperately avoiding The Wheel of Time series for years now. Even I, book nerd extraordinaire, am put off by the 14 book, 12,000 page commitment. It simply doesn’t fit with my reading habits, and it certainly isn’t compatible with my need to publish new and exciting content for http://www.onemanbook.com (hold on, give me one sec to remove my tongue from my cheek). Seriously though, reading it straight through would be something like 5 months of reading nothing but The Wheel of Time!
On the other hand…
The Wheel of Time is a fantasy tent pole, and legions of fans swear by it. I know some who’ve re-read it multiple times, and they’re less nerdy than me! It’s been on my radar since the mid-nineties, and it’s been a black mark on my reading scorecard for years. Plus I’d like to watch the Amazon series, but there’s no way I’d watch it until I’ve read the books.
I can’t promise how quickly I’m going to finish. I plan on multitasking–I’ll probably listen to one book while reading another (but not at the same time!). And I’m not going to read all 14 books back to back. I’ll stretch them out over the course of the year…maybe a couple years. But I will finish, and then I’ll have a party.
So then, Book 1, The Eye of the World. I finished it last month. Did it live up to the crushing weight of expectation? Let’s say…it’s complicated.
The story is great, and I loved it. A tiny, rural village is attacked by dark creatures of legend, known only from stories used to scare children. They’re saved by a mysterious woman and her sword-wielding traveling companion. The attacks were targeted at 3 young men, all the same age, who fit the description in a prophesy that identifies the one who will save the world during the great last battle against the forces of evil (or something along those lines…). To preserve the village–and the prophesy–the three country boys and a few bumpkin tag-alongs are escorted across the land, from city to city and inn to inn, by that woman and her sword guy. Turns out, she’s a fabled magic user and he’s her oath-bound protector, and they’ve been traveling the countryside trying to find prophesy boy before the bad guys do. The goal: Save the day by keeping the boys alive long enough to get them to the magic lady’s home city so they can figure out what to do with them.
That’s the story. Basically. See? Fun!
But man, this is a complicated plot! So complicated it’s going to take 14 really long books to sort it all out! And the detail…Robert Jordan was really into the details. I appreciate some good world building, and I love to have brain-pictures painted for me. But–there’s just a lot. So many descriptions to wade through. So much world to build. As much as I enjoyed the story, it took a really long time to get into The Eye of the World. I wasn’t even sure who I was supposed to be cheering for until the last 10 pages.
So, did I enjoy it? Yah, I guess I did. Was it a cozy, relaxing, popcorn read that didn’t require much effort? Nope. Will I keep going? Yep. Am I convinced I’m going to NEED to finish all 14 books to feel satisfied? Not yet. We’ll see. Stay tuned. Book 2 is next.
One thing I did appreciate was the teen-friendly content. No language or sex, and only mild fantasy violence. Best for fantasy lovers, 14 and up.