The Wheel of Time Book 1: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.
|James Oliver Rigney Jr. Otherwise Known as Robert Jordan.|
I've recently finished the first book in The Wheel of Time, series called The Eye of the World and I'd like to talk about it.
Depending upon whom you ask, The Wheel of Time series is either one of the greatest fantasy series ever written---comparable only to A Song of Ice and Fire or The Lord of the Rings---or one of the longest and most overblown series ever written. Personally, while I don't believe that Mr Jordan was the reincarnation of J. R. R. Tolkien, that doesn't mean I hate his books.
I in fact loved the book which I read. It was plainly, yet interestingly written. The characters were some of the most enjoyable ones I've seen in a very long time. And, while it did have the same "dark lord, end of the world" motif as well as the "farm-boy" cliche which Tolkien used in his Lord of the Rings and Alexander Lloyd in his The Chronicles of Prydain. The way in which he presented it, making the Dark One, as he's called, the central and active antagonist and not a shadowy eye in the dark land of Mordor, made it feel much more real and much more of a threat to the world.
And talking about the world. This land---whatever it's called---is one of the most interesting fantasy realms I've ever been in. Not only is it a very magical and ancient world full of history and culture, but it feels so alive. As if you're reading a much more entertaining history book. Every character you see, weather it be a tavern keeper---which, let me tell you, there are a lot of---a farmer or just someone the main characters pass by on the road; they all feel so much more real than any I've seen before.
Quite obviously Mr Jordan was very concerned and interested in representing people as they are in the real world. Which is something I, among many other writers, respect and admire about him.
Fans of fantasy will be either pleased or annoyed at the return of several fantasy tropes in this book. Namely wolves, demons, orc-like things called Trollocs. And of course, the ever prevalent magic using, exposition spewing person who seems to have an answer for any question anyone might want to ask, but who holds these answers until they encounter something which probably would have been voided if that person were more outright. Oh, and an heir to a destroyed kingdom who now serves the a fore magic user as a guardian.
But despite these cliches and those that I've mentioned before---which, in truth are in most fantasy series in one way or another---this book still succeeds in being a great book, a good beginning to a long series and a great introduction to a vast and beautifully detailed world. I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the day when I can buy the second.
Well, that's about all I can say about that book. What do you think? Have you read any of The Wheel of Time? Do you enjoy Robert Jordan's writing? Let me know. And let me know if you enjoyed this little talk. I'll probably be doing some more latter on.
Thanks for reading.
Seth X. C. Solmes