A Book Review
Tells you never to judge a book by its cover
If you never listen to anything I ever write, at least read this book. The Wheel of Time series first book; The Eye of the World was of course the first book I read out of this spectacular series and honestly speaking, the only reason why I actually started reading it was because of my ‘highly encouraging’ brother (LewsTherin) telling me that if I read it I would stop being such a hypocrite (which, in truth, is a very accurate display of my behaviour to these sorts of things) and soon be adoring the book, just like how I did it with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The first hundred pages or so were quite slow-going and paced, making me wonder if this really was the high standard that my brother had suggested and spoken of. After those hundred pages though, things really start to pick up, with monsters, battles and frightening encounters occurring left and right. And with so many storylines going on at the same time, you’ll never get bored, as you want to find out what happens to them.
I can’t really hint too much of the book, but I can sum it up like this:
There is a Wheel of Time that spins round and round, with equally spaced spokes on it, thus everything eventually comes back to the same thing-the same people, with possibly slightly altered abilities and personalities, do the same thing they did thousands of years ago in the same ‘Age’ (a spoke); each time it slowly revolves onto a new spoke marks a new age and is represented by a big thing happening. In a time called the Third Age…
An ordinary young shepherd called Rand al’Thor thinks he’s just a normal person in a big world, until a mysterious woman clothed in blue and a man arrive at his little village in Andor (the country he lives in). They proclaim him as the Dragon Reborn, the only man able to defeat The Dark One at his base in Shayol Ghul and the first person to be able to channel saidin in over two ages ever since The Breaking of the World where the last Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon, went mad along with all other saidin channelers because of the taint The Dark One placed on saidin as he battled him. The world he has grown up in, his family, friends, and even time itself are held in the balance by Rand-but will he save or destroy this world he knows so well?
Bit cheesy, yes, I know, but still, I hope that gives you an insight into what happens in The Eye of the World. And before you shrug your shoulders and walk away from the computer, know that this particular novel is in no way alike to any other fantasy book ever written-filled with an intricate spider web pattern of its own and filled with tense plot twists, shocking decisions, tearful scenes and so many confusing and complex character names you’ll need a wiki page just for them.
The only negatives I have with this book are firstly that it has a very slow story. True, once you get to around Book 3: The Dragon Reborn and onwards (especially towards The Last Battle at the end of the book, find out what happens then) things really start to pick up and you’ll mainly left hanging at most chapters. However, books one and two are very slow-going and there were some parts where I just dropped the book and left the bookmark at that particular spot for two months or so (I started reading last October approx., I am now on the last book so you can see how addicted I was to the book as most of the books range from about 600-1000 pages of miniscule handwriting) as Jordan liked to describe things in clever, almost too clever detail-there were usually half a dozen paragraphs describing nothing in particular with no hint of story apart from some smatters of tales about talking trees and clearings in forests (not very interesting, I admit, that part was weird) and about two pages about what type of shoes people wear and why (I mean, as long as they’re not wearing two-feet tall stiletto’s nobody honestly cares). But because of Jordan’s spectacular; almost worrying attention to detail we manage to explore greatly the world of The Wheel of Time, and it all almost becomes real (I have been trying to imitate the ‘gliding’ technique of the Aes Sedai and the silent footfalls of the Warders and then trying to combine together in one smooth and slow walk. It isn’t going wonderfully but I have made some progress on the silent footfalls part) in your everyday life.
As well as the matters talked of above, I found that, especially around this first book, that the relation between the Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings (oh my beloved LOTR) was very close. Prestigious main character that knows nothing and is quite timid until they have the worlds-and possibly eternity itself- fate resting on their shoulders, the ‘cheeky’ one who causes mischief, the lovesick girl, the sensible one, the unknown king etc. I thought, as far as my one-sided mind would allow it, that it was just another rip-off of the original fantasy book that created a whole new genre in the libraries, and that I was revealing nothing productive in reading the whole series. Alas how wrong I was of that; even know I still look back and think of my many wrongdoings to this excellent tale of a book.
Ratings-not generally advised for particularly young kids or immature (aka all) teenagers as they will probably squeal and squirm like little babies when it gets to the gore and sex. You may not really see this kind of content until the last couple of books which could really ruin the child who would have already been reading most of the books and completely idolising and doting on them. I read a lot of these kind of books-imagine The White Princess but with lots more blood and violence. (Basically the Woodvilles but as men with very sharp swords and the ability to channel) And Game of Thrones, well-don’t even go there (will have a book review on it up soon! And by soon I mean in a couple of monthsL)
So there you go. The Eye of the World in a very big nutshell. I hope you do take this seriously and actually read the book; that wasn’t something I want you to read unconditionally, it takes quite a bit of time and thought to go through. Some of the sentences are quite complex and weirdly structured, so you might want to spend some time going over sentences that you don’t quite understand in order to thoroughly ‘get’ the storyline and make sure you don’t lose sense of where you are later on in the books (for example, one line in the chapter ‘Whitebridge’ states a glistening cylindrical glass tower-this place becomes of high importance during the later books, especially in Book 13: Towers of Midnight; hence the name).
Praise for The Eye of the World:
“I began reading The Wheel of Time in 1995, and it was the first fantasy series that I really fell in love with” –Alison, Goodreads
“You should try that one. It’s really good.” –Leigh Butler, Tor Books
The ‘Ol Little News Corner:
Hi bloggies. Just had my end of year examinations so I’ve been reasonably busy these past few weeks but I do hope to write some more over the coming days and months. As the summer holidays draw near I should have more time on my hands to compose and write some more blogs, as well as book reviews on this series (Wheel of Time, you’re reading it right now), Game of Thrones, game reviews on Skyrim and the bestselling blocky Minecraft world as well as some vague film reviews on LOTR, Shawshank Redemption and Titanic etc. I am also thinking of adding a TV Review section for things like Game of Thrones and other related dramas and adventure series cut down into bite size TV-ness. I may also be starting a debate section for things like, ‘Are the books better than the movies?’ and ‘Would Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and the like be better off as a TV series (un-relating to the producer’s actual decisions) or a movie?’ That’s all, chaps. Stay tuned! (Or inclined, or whatever you’re doing right now. I don’t know, eating an ice cream or something weird.)