Epeolatry Book Review: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan


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Title: The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)
Author: Robert Jordan
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 15th, 1990


Soon to be an original series starring Rosamund Pike as Moiraine!

Robert Jordan’s #1 New York Times bestselling epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time®, continues.

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.

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.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

I first came across and tried to read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series well over a decade ago. I worked as a fry cook in downtown Seattle and filled the hours to and from work on the city bus reading. I made it into book five before getting distracted and dropping the series.

That is, until the upcoming Amazon Prime series rekindled my interest. Plus, after all this time, I wanted to know what happened after book five.

On my second time around, after reading many other books and becoming a writer myself, the story reads differently for me. It’s amazing how a person’s tastes can change so much over a decade.

This book introduces a typical “chosen one” prophesy about someone who will save the world from a great evil. I know this sounds cliché but stick with me. This chosen one is one of the teenage boys from a small village in the Two Rivers. A strange woman who wields magic arrives looking for a subject of the prophesy. When a horde of monstrous humanoids arrive, Rand (one of these teenage boys) and his friends must flee with woman, and the book follows their adventures as they try and get to safety.

Yes, this sounds like half of the fantasy on the shelves today, but the simplified plot isn’t the main pull. Robert Jordan has built a complex world for this adventure to run through. Varying political interests vie for power with different ideas of how to handle those who brandish magic.

There are some problematic elements to the story. The two-sided gender-based magic system seems a little dated at this point. Also, many of the female characters are one sided. For example, Nynaeve, the village wisdom from the Two Rivers, is constantly angry and tugs on her braids when she is upset. There also many scenes where women cross their arms under their breasts when scorning a man.

Still, this is a wonderful book which has influenced the full landscape of modern fantasy writing.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars. A modern classic.

Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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