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The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #1)

[A quick note: As a fantasy lover, this series has been recommended to me over and over. I’ve always been interested in it, because who doesn’t love a 14 book series? But I’ve been hesitant to start it because it is sooooo long. There’s tons of hype around The Wheel of Time, so I have also been nervous about being let down. I finally decided to embark on this journey, at a slow pace of 1-2 chapters per night. I will read the books continuously at that pace. So it will probably take me 1 year to get through the first 6 books. That’s okay. I think I can get through the full series in 2 years at that pace.]

“𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐫, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐬.” —Robert Jordan

When Trollocs attack their small village, three young men flee their home of Two Rivers to embark on an epic journey. They are led by a woman of great power and her fierce warrior guardian. It is clear that these young men will play an important role...but what? The Dark One knows this, sending his minions to hunt them. Their journey becomes a race against time, and if they don’t reach the Eye of the World before it is too late, the Dark One will destroy them all.

Wheel of Time is one of the most widely known epic fantasy series of all time. Amazon is making it into a show, too! Filming has almost wrapped up. It’s got a release of late 2021. Woot woot!!

This first installment felt so much like Lord of the Rings, but in a good way. It was packed with adventure, a host of characters, magic, incredible world building, and self discovery. While it did move slow at times, reading it always felt like slipping into a magical world. The perfect escape after a long day. And because of its size, I treated this as a slow read and only allowed myself 1-2 chapters per night. It took nearly two months to finish it. Given that it’s a super huge series, at 14 books, I have a feeling each book is going to be better than the last. While this one didn’t WOW me, I did enjoy it enough to continue the series. I’ve grown attached to the characters and I’m eager to see what the Pattern has in store for them.

This fantasy story was written back in the early 90s so it’s a little old fashioned. But I love the feminist feel it has, where women and not men wield the power as Aes Sedai. In terms of style, the writing felt more “macro” than “micro” in descriptions, characters, and events. I didn’t feel like we got into the depth of each character quite how stories today are written. This gave it more of a LOTR feel.

Speaking of LOTR...there were plenty of other noticeable parallels. Good vs Evil. Light vs. Dark. A band of friends racing against time on an epic adventure through the wilderness being led by a warrior and strong magic wielder. Trollocs as the hunters vs LOTR equivalent of Orcs. I’ve heard said that WoT is supposed to be a “darker version” of LOTR. This excites me.

The characters are all very different. We’ve got three farm boys from a small village: Rand, Mat, and Perrin. Two of the village women who accompany them on their adventure: Nynaeve and Egwene. A storyteller who comes along: Thom. Then we’ve got our two leaders of the pack: the Aes Sedai named Moiraine, and her bound Warder named Lan. As far as favorites are concerned, Lan is by far my favorite. He’s got an Aragorn feel to him. His character is mysterious. He’s every bit the warrior. I can easily see myself developing a book crush on him.

Now to the negatives. One thing left me a little salty. The plot tends to feel a little jumpy at times. During the middle of the book, a romance takes place off scene, and while there are subtle clues, we don’t see the confirmation of this until one of the final chapters in the book. It left me scratching my head. Wait, what?! I would have LOVED to see this romance more in the open, as romance is one of the things I look for most in my fantasy stories. But given this book is a bit old fashioned, I can’t say I’m surprised. Romance tends to take more of a front-center role in fantasies today, whereas it didn’t in older fantasy books.

Overall, if you are a lover of epic fantasy, adventure, and LOTR, then I think you’re going to really enjoy this book. And hopefully the series too. 𝗠𝗬 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝟯.𝟱/𝟱⭐️


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