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The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan

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      01.07.2010 22:46
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      Basically wishes it was The LOTR.

      I have just finished reading this book and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it.

      On the surface it is a story about three village boys being forced into an adventure by circumstances outside their control. The boys know nothing about the world outside their village and their voyage of discovery is therefore also our voyage of discovery about the large fantasy world Robert Jordan has created. They are unavoidably caught up in a grand struggle between good and evil alongside a variety of races and creatures.

      To begin with I should mention that I had very low expectations of this book as I have read many fantasy books before and believe that they are all basically made of the same basic components rehashed. This is exactly what I got.

      This does not mean it is necessarily a bad book (unless you are speaking objectively of course) as it is still somehow entertaining to read. I knew when I opened it on the first page that I wanted to be entertained for a week by something I didn't have to think about and that would not tax my brain. In this it excels. There are no deeper meanings to anything, all can be taken at face value. The design of the world is nicely done, the physical descriptions draw excellent pictures in your head and the book appears to rumble on at a decent pace. However, the characters are two-dimensional, nothing much really happens throughout the whole book and I think what Robert Jordan is really trying to tell us, 'I like Tolkien'.

      It seems that most fantasy books post-Tolkien are unoriginal and merely seek to relive what we all enjoyed so much about The Lord of the Rings. The Eye of the World is a prime example of that, although it does have a few interesting features which differentiate it. For example, I was very pleased to find no typical 'witches' or 'wizards' and to have a more in-depth explanation of where the magical power in the world comes from than usual. I was likewise pleased with the sense of history that Jordan gave the story, but there is no escaping that what this book essentially and often blatantly does is to provide nice brain images of Middle-earth.

      Overall I would recommend this book to any fantasy lover, because most fantasy lovers are aware that it is very likely to be all filler and love it anyway. It is nicely written and whenever you get bored with it, just read a bit faster till it gets marginally exciting again.

      On a side note - some aspects of this book are laughable. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Trollocs. They sound scary when first described, purely because of their physical descriptions, but don't be afraid, you'll soon discover that they are bone-headed scaredy-cats with about as much fighting ability as a hairy spoon and never once manage to hold their own in a fight like the cannon-fodder they are.

      Also, what was Jordan thinking in the glossary at the end? You may have noticed among the names of the trolloc tribes - the 'Bhan'sheen' hmmmm, sounds like banshee, - the 'Dhai'mon', wait a minute, that's just 'deamon'!, - the 'Ghar'ghael', the 'Ghob'hlin', the 'Gho'hlem' and so on. My favourite one is the 'Kno'mon' - it's just class. Wait until you've read the book and imagine a tribe of trollocs called 'the gnomes', brilliant. I can only hope he was bored of making a pointless glossary (which reveals nothing that you don't already know from the story itself) and decided to make fun of his own book.

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      14.06.2010 14:33
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      Enjoyable fantasy

      With the imminent finish of the Wheel of Time fantasy series as written by Robert Jordan until his death last year I thought I would write a set of reviews on the various books in the series ending with the final book then final overall thoughts. The final book is being split into three books with the first part of the trilogy just being released; this is the twelfth book in the series of which the original plan was to write 6. This can be viewed as being a case for the series increasing popularity or Jordan getting a bit bogged down as he progressed.

      Anyway this isn't a review on the whole series but the very first novel "The Eye of the World" - hence forward called The Eye. The eye begins as with all classic fantasy novels with the arrival of a wizard, though in this case she's a sorceress called Moiraine, with her warder Tan. She is looking for something because in times past, a commander called Lews Therin managed to defeat the dark one, at the point of victory the dark one destroys Lews' mind, tainting the male side of the magical power and causing Thews' death.

      Moiraine is a member of the female untainted side of the power called Aes Sedai, she is a member of the blue cast who is looking for the dragon reborn, Lews is called by some the Dragon and predicted that he would return as the Dragon Reborn. Following some rather vague predictions, Moiraine has arrived at a small village in the region called The Two Rivers looking for an orphan who was left by a marauding army 20 years earlier.

      Yes, the book begins like a classic small boy with strange ancestry who has powers untapped and a prophecy unfulfilled; it's not a new concept dating back to the sands of time with the Arthurian legends but cast in a more modern setting by the novels of TS White and Raymond Faust.

      The instigation of this visit is an attack by members of the dark one, they have periodically attacked the area called Two Rivers and they are predicting the breakdown of the Dark one's prison. However, they pointedly seem to be targeting three of the young men from the village Rand Al'thor, Matt Cauthon and Perrin Aybara. We are therefore introduced to the main characters in the subsequent books; Rand, Matt and Perrin are Ta'avarrin that is they can change the paths of time by being present at a certain event.

      The trollocs and myddraal are the agents of the dark one and are cast very firmly in this novel as the enemy, they are unthinking except for the desire to kill and destroy. They as of this book have no larger beliefs or desires other than reclaiming the land for the dark one, but by their attack on the village actually spark off the set of events which will come to a conclusion in many books time.

      Against them are the classic young men with strange powers, unusual beliefs and a vague sense that something is a bit wrong and that they are special. The novel focuses heavily on the three but they aren't the same times three, Rand is the main character and has the biggest influence of events, he also has a mysterious voice in his head. This is clearly a nod to Eddings classic Belgarath fantasy novels but the voice is far from benign as with Eddings.

      Matt is the rogue and the chancer, both in the terms of games of chance and the game of relationships. He's the roguish twinkle and the man without any control over his influences on others.

      Perrin is a strange one because he has a link with animals but his precise role and powers are a bit vague in this novel, they will be extensively expanded on in future books.

      So, the village is attacked and there are by nature of all fantasy initial starts a bit of colatarel damage. The attack gives a point for the novels and a reason for the three men to move away from the village and start to influence the larger cities and the nations as a whole.

      It is at this point that the author expands the novel; he introduces a set of women who will feature as much as the three young men. They are Egwene who would have become Rand's wife, Nynaeve who is the village's wise woman and Elayne who is the heir apparent of the nation. All are pulled into the story of these three men and all will have influences and be influenced on them in the future. However, that's in the future and in fine tradition all three are young, pretty and intelligent, one day it would be nice if the female characters in these novels are a bit dim, vain or constantly wanting male attention.

      The Eye of the World of the title is a place of power which holds one of the keys to the dark ones prison. It is under threat from the minions of the enemy so the young people decide to travel there and protect the prison. Along the way they encounter a very creepy pedlar called Fain, he will return later and is one of the main antagonists in the series and the Ogiers who build the passageways between sites of power. They are also the constructors of the prison and tend to favour the powers o the light but not also. However, my favourites are the Children of Light who are a kind of strange knight's templar; they believe that they are at the front of the resistance to the minions of the dark ones. They extend this scepticism to the Aes Sedai, who they think are witches and will attack anyone they believe to be on the side of the Shadow spawn as they term the dark side. They are zealous, crazy but have impeccably white uniform and any chapter featuring them always reads better in my opinion.

      Overall thoughts

      This book is set in classic fantasy land; it introduces the characters and the setting of the novel. They have a few rather gentle adventures and start to explore the boundaries of their friendships and adversaries. You know things will get more serious but it reads well, keeps the reader engaged through plenty of battles, spells and the concept of the return of the dark one from his prison. Jordan starts the novels well and makes you want to read the next.

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      11.02.2010 21:51
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      A hollow plot with adventures bereft of consequence

      I fear I'm going against popular opinion here, but I wasn't terribly taken with the Eye of the World.
      The Eye of the World is set in a fantasy realm and follows the journey of a band of ordinary villagers with extraordinary fates, guided by a wise female mage and her warden, and hounded by the forces of the Dark One. It sounds like the recipe for a good book, but somehow it just doesn't come together.

      It's not that Robert Jordan can't write, his scenes are very good, and the characters are sturdy enough, it's just that he doesn't seem to write about anything interesting, and his characters are fairly listless and uninteresting. They seem to be swept along by the tide of events, never growing, utterly out of control and unable to affect the world around them. Whilst this might be fine at the beginning of a book, it soon becomes pretty tedious. Furthermore, the heroes seem to encounter an increasingly more mysteries and rarely any explanations. Most jarring though, is that rarely do any of the characters encounters seem to have any meaningful consequences (I would churn out a list of examples but I fear it would spoil it for anyone who did read it, as the book is woefully lacking in anything more interesting).

      To give the book it's due, the world in which it is set seems very interesting, and rich in detail, but it somehow felt rather like hearing a great painting being described to you rather than being able to experience I yourself, since the characters never seemed to interact in any meaningful way with the rich background.

      In short I spent most of my time thinking, "just get on with it" or "when is something going to happen?". Don't get me wrong, the charter do a lot of running and fighting, but it all seems hollow and meaningless. Now, I know that the eye of the world is the first in a series, and maybe, just maybe, all that rich background will spring to life in later books, and all those disconnected events will suddenly have consequences, but I have to say, I'm not particularly inclined to find out.

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      24.07.2009 23:58

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      Brilliant book, read slowly, it will probably take more than one read to get all of the detail

      When I first read this book I remember thinking, "This is something different." Lets just say I was right. This author of this book, Robert Jordan was either a genius, insane or a combination of the two. He manages to write a book that is so rich in detail that you can imagine standing in some of the scenes.

      When you finish the book it is hard to believe that you have only read just under 800 pages It feels like it should be a lot more. The plot is enthralling, the detail is incredible, and the characters actually feel like real people.

      This book, and the series that follow it, is one of the all time greats. In fact I would go so far a s to say that it measures up to the likes of The Lord Of The Rings.

      Beware, if you start this epic you will not be able to stop, trust me that's a good thing.

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      12.07.2009 17:36
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      A Brilliant Piece Of Fantasy Literature

      The Eye of the World is the first book in the epic series 'The Wheel of Time' from the fantasy author Robert Jordan. This is the only real series that Jordan ever did and unfortunately he died before finishing the last book. So the first eleven books were left. However his son recovered his fathers notes and writings for the final book. He has taken on the responsibility of finishing the series off. So is in the process of publishing the final book, or final three books as it turns out. So this will be a whopping forteen book series.

      The Eye of the World is for me the best book of the series. As with so many other fantasy epic it's start of at a nice slow pace. Introducing the main characters, setting the scene and describing the world in which you are about to be engulfed. This book does this very well, Jordan has a unique writing style that has a way of bringing the story to live.

      There is a prologue to the book which describes a dark time in which Lew Therin Telamon battles with his forces of the light against the evil Shai'tan. His is victorious but in the process manages to taint saidin, the male half of the one power. Then he does battle with one of the foresaken, discovers what he has done, and kills himself, creating a place called Dragonmount.

      None of this makes much sense tobe honest, but as we learn things in the main books it all pieces together and we get a good picture of what is going on and what the characters are really fighting for.

      The books starts set in a place called the Two Rivers. Kind of reminds me off the Shire! We are introduced to the three main characters, Rand, Matt, and Perrin. They are all young men living a peaceful life without many problems from the outside world. Then there is an attack on there homeland by the evil Trollocs. Suddenly Rand's life is turned upside down. He and his friends leave Edmond's Field where they grew up and embark on a magical adventure of self discovery.

      This book is a real classic for me. It has so much going on and the story moves at a relentless pace. There is always something to keep the reader intersted. I love the way Robert Jordan develops the characters throughout the story. We are always learning knew things about them and they constantly surprise the reader.

      Jordan has a wonderful way of describing the world in which his story is set. Maps and even occasional picture help bring the story to life and make it so much easier to picture what is going on, I think this is a really good idea and not something you find in all fantasy books.

      This book came out at the beginning of 1990 which really gives you an idea of the scale and time that went into writing these books. It been nearly twenty years and the story is still not finished!

      If you are into your fantasy books this is really a story you will enjoy. I love these books and as I mentioned this is probably the best of the lot. There is lots to enjoy and chances are you will be hooked after reading this one. And with the final three books just around the corner, now would be an excellent time to start the story. Or maybe if you read these a while back, maybe it would be a great time to start them over!

      The book starts off set in a place called the Three Rivers.

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      26.05.2008 14:48
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      If you like fantasy, you can't miss this book

      The Eye of the World is the first book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga and it is one of the best fantasy books every written.

      The Wheel of Time series is set in a fantastical world with its own secrets, cultures. myths and legends. The main concept of the story is that time repeats itself but each time with different characters. It tells you about the journey of a boy who goes on to become a figure known as the Dragon who is fated to fight the Dark One and seal him away but after that he is destined to go mad and cause massive destruction in his madness. But his way is not clear, he has to create an army of magicians called Aes Sedai, defeat the Dreadlords and escape the traps of those who think he can be used or led for their benefit.

      The eye of the world tells the story of a boy called Rand whose quiet and content village is one day attacked by mythical creatures upon the arrival of an Aes Sedai. It appeared that these creatures were after Rand and two of his friends, Matt and Perrin. Matt, Perrin and Rand go on a journey along with the Aes Sedai to save their village from further harm and to find out why they are being hunted down by the servants of the Dark One.

      Robert Jordan's writing style is eloquent and he uses a plethora of interesting metaphors and similes in his writing. He is an outstanding storyteller and brings to life the world of the wheel of time in your mind.

      I would highly recommend reading the eye of the world to anyone who likes Fantasy but beware it's not for the faint-hearted!

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      05.01.2004 01:36
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      The Eye of the World is quite possibly the beginning of one of the best series ever written. The author, Robert Jordan, is an extremely intelligent individual with insights and opinions that show in his writing. His series, The Wheel of Time, is based on a different world in the third age. As he describes "An age yet to come, an age long past." Contrary to most male dominated books, men and women have equal respect. In fact the most powerful peoples in these books are the women. There are people called aes sedai's. They weild the one power, that is the source of all power in this universe. Now, men shouldnt be turned off to read this book just because the women have an important role. Men also play a huge part. The whole story is packed around the fact that three boys, around the same age from the same insignifigant town of Emond's Field are wanted by an evil being called Ba'alzamon. No one quite knows why he wants them at first. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills.The wheel of time refers to a powerful wheel that weaves everything in the world. The eye of the world is very expanse and has a wide variety of characters that everyone can relate to. With all the vast characters, each on stays distinct and has their own part to play. There is a magic to this story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The distinct cultures and environments that have an awe-inspiring feel keep you entranced in this book till the very last page and leave you with a hunger for more. If you enjoy other authors such as Terry Goodkind and J.R.R. Tolkien, you will enjoy The Wheel of Time Other books in this series The Eye of the World The Great Hunt The Dragon Reborn The Shadow Rising The Fires of Heaven Lord of Chaos A Crown of Swords The Path of Daggers Winters Heart Crossroads of Twilight (and theres more to come!)

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        04.03.2002 18:48
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        "Epic" usually means that a book is about five times longer than it should be, and has a fight between good and evil in it.... usually. Sometimes books are actually epic in a good way. "The Eye of the World" is the first enormous novel in a serious of huge books dealing with a fantasy world and its various troubles. Unfortunatly, it is so plot heavy, that it will be very difficult to tell you anything useful without giving too much away. Ok, the backdrop. Emond's Field is a small village in the back of beyond, where life potters on and only the weather changes. Rand, Mat and Perrin are three young friends - hearty lads who still get tongue tied talking to girls, and who see before them lives as simple country folk. However, during the Spring festival, some strange folks turn up - a mysterious pedlar, a gleeman (bard) a finely dressed woman and a soldier. There's also a dark man whose cloak doesn't move in the wind. When violence comes out of the night, it is clear that life in the village will never be the same again. The strange woman convinces Mat, Rand and Perrin that they have to leave. The inkeeper's daughter, and the gleeman set off with them. The village mystic is not far behind. Curiously, we start the tale with no significant sign of a quest, just a place the lads are travelling to where their questions should be answered. One of them might be destined to be a hero, or to destroy the world, all of them are having nightmares and nothing makes much sense to any of them. With evil beasties on their heels, dangeorus witches ahead of them and doubt in their hearts, the ride into the world. What happens after that? A great deal, and you will just have to read it for yourself. A bit about he world - I've worked out that I should be able to tell you something about this without giving too much away. Aes Sedia - witches who weild the one true power. Men who try to use it go mad and destroy
        everything around them, but it hasn't always been like that. The Dragon - a man who supposedly will be born again to fight the dark one and to save the world. False dragons abound, and the true one will not be welcomed if he ever does show up. The Dark Lord - has many names, but basically appears to be your standard 'ultimate evil force' although I suspect there's going to be more to it than that. Trollocs - a mix of human and animal, they live to kill and like to feed on human flesh. Fade - eyeless wraithlike and terrifying, they lead out the trolloc armies and serve the dark one. Children of the light - something like the knight's templar or the Spanish inquisition. Zealots who use force and claim to fight the dark one. Darkfriends - humans who have given themselves in service to the dark one. Starting to get a flavour? The interesting thing I found reading this book, is the way in which it is littered with often very subtle references to our own earth cultures. Artur Paendragon isn't subtle, by any stretch, and the surname Merrilin might get you thinking, but many concepts are a lot more subtle. There's references to things eastern, and often the book seems to be echoing older, familiar tales even if you can't put a finger on where you have heard it before. On the whole, this is an excellent read - the plot does manage to keep you guesing and has plenty of surprises along the way. The characters are reasonably well developped, although you don't get close to really knowing any of them, and most of them change or grow over the course of the tale. The descriptions are excellent and vivid. The book manages to reference mythology without falling into cliche all the time - a rare balance. The ending is a bit odd, and leaves you with the distinct impression that it ins't over yet. Not a shock then to learn that there are many more books in the serie
        s. You need to be an avid reader and able to cope with acres of detail and information to get the most out of this book - if you tend to skim read and like light plots, it willd rive you mad. if you like puzzles and brain teasers, it may well delight you.

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          22.02.2002 00:58
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          Imagine if you will......you're a young man, working on yer pa's farm fully expecting this to be your lot in life. Of course theres the lass in the village you want to marry (and probably will!), but till then the odd 'tumble' with some of the other maidens will suffice, along with a couple of tankards of apple cider with your good friends. But then a mysterious woman, accompanied by a rather large soldier comes along and tells you...Rand Al'Thor...is in fact the mythical 'Dragon Reborn'!. Not only are you going to save the world from the 'Dark Forces', but then you are going to destroy it! What do you do? Burn her as a witch? Stone her out of the village followed by barking dogs and small children throwing stones? Lock her up for her own safety? Of course not, you agree to go to a city you have never seen, maybe saving a few folks along the way! Thus the huge story of Rand Al'Thor begins......... I wish it was as simple as that, of course it isnt, this book is 879 pages long and there are currently 9 books in the series! (Only 3 to go!) In this mythical world Jordan has created, there is the age old fight of good and evil, fueled by magic and sorcery. The world is controlled by the Wheel of Time, a wheel with seven spokes, each is an Age, its pattern changes each time an Age comes around. Anyway, the force that turns the Wheel is the True Source. It consists of a male half (saidin) and female half (saidar). Each sex can only use their respective power. But saidin in Rands Age leads to madness, therefore any man who used it is dangerous. The power from the Source is the One Power, most people cannot 'channel' it. The Aes Sedai who wield this power are now all women, as men who can channel are stripped of their power. You can see where this is going, right?... Phew! Thats quite enough of that! So as you may have guessed Rand can channel the Sourc
          e and the mad bird is, in fact, Moiraine an Aes Sedai, her 'soldier' is Lan, a Warder sworn to protect her. Moiraine has also come to Two Rivers to seek those who can channel, she doesnt just find Rand but a number of more important people as well. Perrin Aybara(who is actually my favourite character) and Matrim Cauthon, Rands closest friends who are also important players in the 'Web of Destiny'. Egwene, Rands intended and Nynaeve, the village Wisdom are also found to have the power and are taken off to Tar Valon to train as Aes Sedai. The story is then woven around these 5 main characters, their interplay with each other and the world around them. Along the way hey encounter friends are foe alike, Constantly snapping at their heels are the Trollocs, Forsaken and Myddraal but willingly helped by Thom the gleeman (who I think is not all he seems) and Loial, an Ogier. Jordans characters have that richness and depth that only a master writer can create, their adventures truly draw you in. You actually give a stuff what happens to them, now how often can you say that? Their adventures are believable, not a weak character amongst them, every person you meet, no matter how brief, you get a real insight into them. The world around them is described in magnificent detail, you can almost picture it, the description of Tar Valon, home of the Aes Sedai in particular. His writing may come across as long-winded sometimes, but this is entirely in keeping with the tone and nature of the book. I read in a recent opinion that some people prefer books to be written in 'sensible' English, but I like a book to be fantasy, completely fantasy, names, languages, places and all. Jordan definately does not disappoint in this respect, Aes Sedai, Myrddraal, ta'veren, saidir, the lot! This is too big a story to get into a little(ish) opinion like this. I can only give you a brief outline, but as
          I review each book it should get easier. A word of warning, each book cannot really be read as a story on its own, but once you read the first, you'll be hooked. I recommend everyone give it a try, even those who dont usually enjoy fantasy. Thank you for reading this extremely long opinion, the rest will be shorter! Robert Jordan. The Eye of the World. Orbit 1990 ISBN 1-85723-076-0

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            30.08.2001 00:07
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            I’m always wary of anything with a huge cloud of hype surrounding it, and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time certainly has that. A friend of mine, however, was given the currently available nine books (out of a planned twelve, I hear) for Christmas, and is currently finishing his second reading. “Read it,” he says. “But I have a shelf full of…” I start – “Read this next.” Every phone call and conversation: “You HAVE to read it.” Well, I’ve yet to know him be wrong (with books, at least!), so I finally succumbed. In fact, I bought all nine books in a special offer. But just ‘cos I’m like that, I made sure I read something else first! ;) One book in, and at the very least I’ll say it’s a very good addition to the fantasy genre. I’ll withhold the ‘best ever’ tag for now, if you don’t mind – I don’t like throwing these things out lightly (besides, isn’t that space reserved for Lord of the Rings?!). Nonetheless, this is a great read, and it looks very promising for the rest of the series. I’m writing this op now, after just the first book, quite deliberately. I’ve read quite a few series before, and going back to form an opinion on any instalment can be hard once you’ve gone beyond it. There’s a lot to be said about reviews of a book as part of a series, but I also think this way can be useful. It’s a great thing about DooYoo, actually, that you have access to both kinds of opinion. So, here’s the impression of Eye of the World from someone without knowledge of the what’s still to come. (I want to point out here that it’s next to impossible to talk about the book without mentioning a few plot points. Not huge spoilers, but if you like to go into a book ‘cold’, don’t read on! On the other hand, a little background information about what’s
            going on might help some people get into the narrative a little better… the choice is yours.) “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel will.” One of the best ways to understand something of the world in an epic series like this is to look at the underlying belief system, be it religious or otherwise. Unsurprisingly in a series called the Wheel of Time, that role is filled by – the Wheel of Time. It’s not a hugely complicated quasi-religious structure; rather it’s the concept of history repeating itself. Think of the spokes of the Wheel (or the gaps between spokes – I’m making this metaphor up, so bear with me!) as ‘Ages’. As the Wheel turns, the Ages pass and eventually come around again. By the time this happens, the previous occurrence of that Age has become myth. Along with this, there’s the concept of the Pattern. This is the tapestry of lives woven by the turning of the Wheel. In the Eye of the World, we are told that sometimes webs are woven into the Pattern, and this is what is happening now. Also, webs are woven around particular individuals, people with special significance, who distort the threads (i.e. lives) around them. We follow the adventures of such a group of individuals in this book. The three main characters – Rand, Mat and Perrin – start off as farm boys in a sleepy village, who are dragged into this big adventure. Strange events coincide with the separate arrivals of a gleeman (travelling entertainer), Thom Merrilin, and two well-dressed strangers, Moiraine and Lan. It soon turns out that Moiraine is a member of the feared Aes Sedai, a group of women with magical powers. Just as well, as the village is soon under attack from evil creatures, the Trollocs and Myrddraal. Deducing that they are after one of the three boys, Moiraine persuades them to leave the village and travel with her to Tar Valon, home of the Aes Sedai. With me so far
            ? Eye of the World starts slowly, and for this reason can be a little difficult to get into. Trust me, though – it’s worth persevering. Jordan does well in creating well-rounded, believable characters, but he starts off by going into a great deal of detail of their lives. This can make for slow reading: the first several chapters cover a very short space of time in great depth. No wonder it’s such a long series, I thought – the 800 pages of this one book must cover only a week! Things do pick up pace as the story progresses, however, don’t worry! By the time the quest is under way, and in my opinion particularly when the group splits up, there’s plenty of excitement and tension. Jordan has created a very complete world with a full and rich history, so it’s easy to submerge yourself into the story. It’s rare to come across any work in this genre where you can’t make a comparison to Lord of the Rings, and this is no exception. I’m not saying that in a bad way – this is by no means a copy, but there are a few moments... the Ogier, for instance, shares a few Ent-ish traits (although I couldn’t help myself picturing Shrek for some reason – perhaps ‘Ogier’ is too close to ‘Ogre’!). The journey through the mines of Moria appears in so many different forms in so many different books, and here it’s the journey through the Way. And of course there’s the group itself... Rand, Perrin and Mat – Frodo, Pippin and Merry, anyone? Ran is a Ranger – I mean Warder – and Gandalf’s leadership is replaced by that of Moiraine. As for the eyeless Fades – well, I’m sure we all know about the dark, hooded and downright evil beings that chase the heroes. Having said all that, being able to draw comparisons to Lord of the Rings is a fairly standard occurrence in fantasy. Eye of the World is not a carbon copy of
            Tolkien’s work, thankfully, despite a few similar devices. What matters, then, are the story and the writing, and I have no complaint on either front. Despite the previous paragraph, I wasn’t sitting thinking ‘Oh, that’s so Tolkien’ throughout the entire book – instead, I found myself caught up in the story, which is exactly how fantasy fiction should be, I feel. Knowing that this is just the first book in a long series, I was expecting quite an open-ended finish. I was pleasantly surprised that the novel does come to a definite conclusion, while still leaving events very much open to continue. This has obviously been planned as a long series from the outset, and not just a succession of sequels. I’m told that once you’ve read the rest of the series, this book can be seen very much as an introduction, merely setting the scene for later events. If this is true (and I’ll update this op when I’ve read more!), then the hype surrounding the series is probably fairly well deserved, as this book certainly doesn’t read as a mere introduction. The story is not entirely unpredictable in the long run, but there was definitely enough going on with a few twists and turns along the way to keep me completely engrossed. Be warned, though: the further you get into the story, the harder it is to put down. So be prepared for a few late nights! I’m very glad there are another eight books (so far) to read, and I started the second one immediately on finishing Eye of the World. My only complaint? That I have to tell my friend that he was right!! :)

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              11.07.2001 01:29
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              A masterful book, that is written with great care and attention to detail. Beware if you dislike epics that have no end in sight, the Wheel of Time Series tally stands at 9 books and counting, all approximately the same size as Lord of the Rings. Jordan's writing style is long winded almost to the extreme and it can be frustrating when he describes everything in the minutest detail. Once you are used to it however, you can relax inside his world and appreciate his biggest strength, his story telling ability. It may be the basic requirement for a fantasy writer, but Jordan is one of the best in the business. In The Wheel of Time series he has written a fast paced adventure that encompasses virtually every legend and myth ever created and in his own words: `reverse engineered` them. Three young men, Rand, Mat and Perrin, living in a sleepy village suddenly find their whole lives upside down. For some reason the forces of the Dark One are after them and they must race to Tar Valon where perhaps they may find safety and answers. Accompanying them in their journey are a mysterious Aes Sedai who can protect them by channeling the one power, her Warder Lan, Egwene (Rand's love interest) and a strange entertainer, Thom. There are some downsides however. RJ doesn't appear to be totally original, re-reading The Lord of the Rings recently I found many familiar characters and settings. Ents are very much like Ogiers (don't be hasty), Gollum and Wormtongue are joined one character -Padan Fain and the Ways look suspiciously like the mines of Moria. This may be deliberate however, Jordan has admitted that he wrote the first hundred pages in the style of LotR in order to keep the reader interested, the introduction of familiar characters could be another way of maintaining attention. There is a massive following of the Wheel of Time series on the internet, if you ever mis-understand something there are huge resources to
              help you. Even if you don't fancy swallowing the whole series, this is a very satisfying read, it took RJ many years to write, unlike its sequels and it does show. Prepare to be engulfed. If you are, resign yourself to long enjoyable nights ahead, I showed it to my girlfriend and she has just finished the ninth book 8 months later.

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                07.05.2001 00:31
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                • "Not to be read in one afternoon"

                I enjoy nothing more than a great fantasy book from some of this genres great authors: Tolkien, Feist and Magaret Weis to name a few. So when I got recommended The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan by someone on Dooyoo, I couldn’t wait to give it a go. The series that is at this moment 9 books long starts with what is dubbed an all time classic- ‘The Eye of the World’. So it was with this book that I entered another realm in entirety. The story line starts us in the little Hamlet of Emonds Field, home to three friends who are the focus of all the series, namely Rand al’Thor, Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara. After one night of destruction at the hands of an untold evil the three friends become entwined in a journey with two strange travellers Moraine and Lan. Also the characters of Thom Merrilin; a gleeman (Travelling showman), Egwene al’Vere and Nynaeve al’Meara; the village Wisdom (kind of a witchdoctor) become involved in what Moraine excuses as ‘ the way the wheel turns’. Their journey is to end in the ‘Blight’- home to the evil that has taken an interest in the three boys, but the journey throws up endless amounts of problems, questions and adventure. This book is huge and that isn’t only in the one thousand pages or so but in the story line and the setting of the novel. It has to be said first that this isn’t a book for the afternoon but for a couple of weeks. I read it almost continuously for days and it still took me a whole week to finish. I felt physically exhausted but completely enriched when the ending came only wishing that there were more pages so I’m glad there are eight other books of the same length. Robert Jordan’s style is probably the best aspect of the novel, his descriptiveness rivals anything that Tolkien and Feist produce. The book therefore showers you in many images of characters, locations, objects etc. but he never goes over
                the top trying to explain the relevance of anything to the whole world the book is set in. This doesn’t mean, however, that Jordan could write anything and it would be relevant, the reader knows that the author doesn’t need to explain anything totally but that later books will answer the questions the previous book throw up. It is this that keeps me addictively reading the book. The world in which Jordan sets his book is so complicated one would have felt that he has spent most of his life conjuring this land and defining it’s politics, religion, social status among everything. He doesn’t try to impose this on you though, knowing that too much would be overkill. He just assumes that the world has always existed and that he is writing the book set in the land. It is a very unique and exciting style that makes the book so special. Also Jordan uses many characters and their relationships to the world instead of concentrating on one or two main heroes. This gives the book a more universal appeal and keeps the journey bouncing around with various points of view that mean the story never stagnates if one character’s potential in a certain situation is lacking. Overall Robert Jordan has written a very solid book in a world where every book in the series will contain something new. The Eye of the World is the strongest base I have read for any series and really epitomises what a great and imaginative author Robert Jordan is.

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                  21.04.2001 20:47
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                  The first of Jordan's now epic Wheel of Time series this book is a self contained adventure that doesn't read as the first of a huge series. A well paced fantasy adventure in a beautifully crafted and not yet over complex world that makes you feel part of the characters group. The world has lots of depth that Jordan doesn't need to explain here, he leaves most things unexplored and unexplained but says just enough that you feel that there is a real world behind the events he describes. A group of three boys from a farming village in a typically 'medieval' fantasy world are caught up in an adventure that takes them the length of their world to right wrongs and discover that theya re more than they thought they were. Jordan's world has so much history and depth that the whole story is hung on these details, totally different from the rest of the series a very good read nontheless. A nice way for people to be introduced to the series.

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                • Product Details

                  First volume in the 'Wheel of Time' series.