Friday, 25 July 2014

Book Review: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

We have finally read cult classic The Eye of the World, book one in the epic Wheel of Time series. First published in 1990 and written by Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World is the first in a 14 book series, the last three books of which were completed after Jordan's death, by fellow fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson. 

Before delving into The Eye of the World we honestly had no idea exactly what to expect, and the fact that the book featured the most ambiguous blurb ever didn't help.

Book blurb:
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.

The Eye of the World definitely took a few chapters to hook us completely, but after that we couldn't put it down. It's the kind of book that you'll read in every spare moment of your day. From very humble beginnings the main story slowly but surely builds, whilst Jordan intricately weaves in new characters and plot points to the overarching scheme. 

As the book progresses, it introduces a number of intriguing characters, each with unique stories, heritages and in some cases very special talents. We can't wait to see how these characters play into the long term story line of the series. 

The book has a 4.15 rating on Goodreads and counts War and Peace and The Fellowship of the Ring amongst it's inspirations. Often criticised for being too similar to the latter in style, theme and content, we feel that the books are substantially different. Both do feature a group of younglings from a rural village unwillingly caught in up the middle of a war between good and evil but.... there are more than enough differences for The Eye of the World to be original and exciting. 

Mixing magic, swords, prophecies, destiny, a little romance and a classic battle of good vs evil, this book ticks all our boxes.  If it seems an overwhelming task to commit to the full series, the first book actually stands alone quite nicely and has a satisfying plot conclusion but we'll definitely be reading all fourteen. We're fixated!

Have you read The Wheel of Time series? What were your thoughts?

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