Y’all, I did it. I finally made it through the first book in the Wheel of Time series. It is a tome and it took me multiple weeks to finish, but I did it. Will I read anymore books in this series? No. Did I enjoy the book? To an extent. Let’s talk about The Eye of the World.
In the sleepy village of Emond’s Field three boys live: Rand the sheepherder, Perrin the blacksmith’s apprentice, and Mat the troublemaker. When their village is attacked by vicious beasts called Trollocs, the boys learn that things they thought were myths are real and that something is hunting them as one of them is fated to become the Dragon, the world’s only hope against the Dark One. Accompanied by Moraine, an Aes Sedaiwho can wield magic, a warrior named Lan, as well as the town’s healer Nynaeve and her apprentice Egwene, the boys begin a journey to the magically protected city of Tar Valon. Along the way, they face a series of trials that will separate them, test their strength and resiliency, and possibly take theirlives.
This is a richly detailed fantasy. And when I say richly detailed I mean, painfully, meticulously detailed. The world building is fantastic, but there’s also a huge amount of fluff and description that don’t progress the story and make it read incredibly slow. The action scenes, however, are very well done and exciting. I thought there was an imbalance in the story between action and description, but there were enough exciting scenes to make me keep reading.
I did enjoy all of the main characters, and there’s quite a large cast of them. Because the book is so detailed, we get to know the characters, their personalities, and their motivations really well. I personally liked the chapters following Perrin and Nynaeve quite a bit, and I did like Rand, who is the main perspective for much of the book. I wish there had been more fleshing out of Egwene and Moraine, but I think it’s quite possible that they’ll get more attention in future books.
The Eye of the World reminds me a lot of The Lord of the Rings. We have the sleepy village, we have the group of boys on a dangerous quest, we have the dark creatures who track them, we have the magic wielder and warrior assisting them, we have the dark lord. It was deeply reminiscent of Tolkien to me in terms of story and writing style. It also included many fantasy tropes that I think will divide readers. If you’re looking for a really classic fantasy story, this is it! If you want any inventiveness, there’s not much to be found in this book. But, there very well could be more in the next books, I will just never know, unless you tell me and please do tell me if you love this series!
This just wasn’t the series for me, though I understand why it has such a devoted following. I am looking forward to trying the Amazon series and seeing if I like seeing it on TV more than reading it. If you’ve read the books or watched the show, please tell me what you thought!