Eye of the World

Jordan, Robert. Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time. New York: Tom Doherty Associations, 1990.

I will be the first to admit I am not a big fan of fantasy. I can’t suspend my belief for long enough, my kisa says. He also says I have a sense of humor, so really what does he know? Half the time I think fantasy is someone’s excuse to not make any sense. Everything from people’s names (Nynaeve al’Meara) to the places they live (Cairhien) are gobbledegook to me. Everything is so over the top grandiose. Elan Morin Tedronai is the Betrayer of Hope. See what I mean? Cue evil music. Then, there are the trillion difficult weird names to remember. In the first chapter alone there are 14 different such oddball names. The only normal one is Bela, and she’s a horse.
So, anyway – onto my review, such as it is. Eye of the World opens with a whole slew of firsts. Strangers come to the village of Two Rivers for the first time in five years. The entire town is on edge because the youth of the community are the only ones who get the feeling they are being watched. They are also the only ones to catch glimpses of an ominous figure on a black horse. Soon after, a pedlar and a gleeman both come to town with news of a war raging across a nearby land. Suddenly, their peaceful little village is ravaged by these half human, half animal creature looking for three young farmers. They are the chosen ones so of course, in order to protect their community they must leave. What follows is a journey through many different kinds of hell. Spoiler alert: they all survive every single ordeal. In the end, some fare better than others but Jordan definitely leaves the door open for his 13 subsequent sequels.
In the end, I enjoyed Eye of the World. You know how I can tell? I was thinking about the characters the next day and when I saw a fairy house in Cathedral Woods with at least six different rat skulls, I shivered.

Jordan draws from Tolkien in that his Two Rivers is a lot like the Shire in Middle Earth. I also see hints of Star Wars with Evil being after one particular boy, like Anikin Skywalker in Star Wars.
I think the first sentence sums up Eye of the World nicely, “The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend” (p 1). Other quotes I took a fancy to: “There must be a difference in what you saw…depending on whether you sought adventure or had it forced on you” (p 159), and “Keep your trust small” (p 196).

Reason read: October is National Fantasy Month.

Author fact: Robert Jordan is actually James Oliver Rigney and he passed away in 2007.

Book trivia: This is the first book in the Wheel of Time series – the massive Wheel of Time series. I have 11 on my list. Gawd help me. Another book trivia: Eye of the World was made into a comic book series.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror” (p 213).

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