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The Eye of the Tiger!
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
Member Name: Dakarkon
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
Advantages: Good imagery, kind of fun to read
Disadvantages: Shallow, 2D characters.
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.
Summary: Basically wishes it was The LOTR.