Title: THE EYE OF THE WORLD
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: The Wheel of Time, #1
Genre: Adult – Epic Fantasy
Publication Information: Tor Books, 1990
Rating: 5 Stars
Recommended For: Fantasy fans willing to make a long-term time investment.
Watch Out For: Violence – probably appropriate for mature middle schoolers.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
(Summary from Goodreads)
I started reading The Wheel of Time series in high school, read the first five or six books, and stopped. Now I’m ready to give it another try, but it’s been so long, and there’s so much going on, that I decided to start back over at the beginning. As such, reading THE EYE OF THE WORLD was a nostalgic experience.
One thing I always appreciated about these books is the world building. As someone who writes high fantasy, it honestly exhausts me to think about how much work went into building a world with so many different layers – especially in the later books, when it expands. (This one, for all its questing, is relatively small-scale compared to what I’ve read of the series so far.) The world building is extremely detailed and while this does have a tendency to make the story drag sometimes, nerds like me will probably enjoy that aspect.
I have a complicated relationship with the characters, particularly the female characters. They have a lot of power in this world, which is fantastic because that’s not always the case in fantasy novels. On the other hand, they spend a very large portion of their time talking about the men around them. I wanted to see a lot more of Nynaeve and Egwene figuring out how to navigate their newfound Ayes Sedai powers than we actually did, for example.
I think this one would be good for people who are already fantasy fans, because there are a lot of names and terminology to sift through that can get confusing for people who are used to books like this – I referenced the glossary in the back multiple times throughout the book. (Glossaries: another thing that makes my nerdy heart sing.)
TL;DR: The most critical 5 Star review I’ve ever written.