I can’t believe that it has taken me so long to finally start this series! I’ve known about it since before I started blogging when I started really expanding my book collection, but until recently I didn’t even think about getting any copies of the book to actually read. One of my favorite booktubers Daniel Greene does videos called WOTtalks, where he discusses everything surrounding The Wheel of Time and after watching a few of the spoiler free ones, it made me even more interested to finally read this series. And of course, Amazon producing a TV show based off the series gave me even more reason to start before the first episode is aired!
Normally at this point in my review, I would include the Goodreads synopsis of the book along with a photo of the cover. That will be a little difficult with this particular book because this is the synopsis listed on Goodreads:
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
While this short description gives you an idea of what the series as a whole is about, I feel like if you haven’t heard about this series or know what it involves it may be a little too vague. So, as a little bit more information about the first book, we start in a little village where we meet our characters Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve who are from the village, and Moiraine and Lan, who are outsiders. I know it sounds like a lot of characters, but trust me. The way that this flows from each perspective is so seamless and you can instantly tell which character you are reading from.
On a seemingly normal day, Trollocs (strange, evil, human/animal hybrids) attack their village and our group is faced with the fact that the forces of the Dark One are not just scary stories told to keep children in line. Our naïve villagers then have the (first) shock of their lives when they discover that Moiraine is an Aes Sedai and Lan is her Warder. In this world, Aes Sedai are wielders of the One Power and are seen as the reason everything goes wrong in the world, and Warders are their warrior companions. Moiraine then whisks the three boys (Rand, Mat and Perrin) away from the village to protect the village from the Trollocs as she believes that they are after the three of them. What follows is an adventure of epic proportions.
I know from listening to many videos and podcasts surrounding this world that Robert Jordan has created that he meant for this first book to be heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings, and while reading that you can clearly see the influences. For me that wasn’t a bad thing as I ADORE Lord of the Rings, but keep that in mind going into this book. I think that Jordan still added in enough original ideas that makes this such a compelling read. Don’t hold it’s similarities to LOTR against it, because this book is SO MUCH MORE than that.
However, even though there are tons of similarities between the two series, I think the way that this book was done still made it stand out and made me eager to read more. The writing style is easy to grasp and even though these are some fairly long books, they go by so quickly.
I am a HUGE fan of details and descriptions, and this book has all of that. In that aspect, I think it is similar to Game of Thrones, but in a more exciting way. Both series gives incredible detail, foreshadowing and nuances, but while some of the descriptions in GOT can be a little dry, that isn’t what happens with The Eye of the World.
And a nice thing about the book is that there is a glossary in the back of the book to help keep all the names and descriptions straight, which is super helpful but doesn’t give away anything that you don’t already know from reading.
And if you start this book and the prologue seems confusing (which it definitely can, if you aren’t expecting it) just keep going and everything is explained and you realize just how important that prologue is, and how much more important it will become in later books.
Other than everything I’ve already mentioned, the one other thing that made me want to devour this book was the way that everything is revealed over the course of the entire book. You just want to keep reading to learn more about this amazing world that Robert Jordan has created, and for once, I don’t think 14 books in a series intimidates me because I just want to know everything about this series and these characters. Like, this puts my obsession with LOTR and GOT to shame. If you are one of those people who obsessively Googles everything about either of those series, you will want to do the same with this one.
There is a reason this book and series is almost always included in the top 5 of any fantasy series list, and has sold millions of copies. It really is that good.
So basically, if you like any combination of the following, this book is definitely for you:
- complex friendships and character development
- the “Chosen One” but you don’t know which character is the Chosen One
- complex magic systems that have a specific source, and some people are born with innate abilities to use this magic
- Background and details, details, details
- Diverse races and characters
- Bonding with animals
- Epic quests (think Bilbo Baggins going on an adventure out of his element)
- Vast world building
- Game of Thrones but MORE
- Lord of the Rings but MORE
- Anything by Brandon Sanderson (who is a huge fan and wrote the last three books in this series after Robert Jordan passed away)