Sunday, September 6, 2009 | |

Retro Review: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan is the first book in what many consider one of the greatest epic fantasy series of all time, The Wheel of Time. Book one of a proposed fourteen books, (twelve are written thus far, the twelfth to be published this October) it doesn’t get much larger or more epic than this. Mr Jordan (real name James Rigney) passed away not too long ago, leaving an incomplete series which will be completed by Brandon Sanderson, author of the Mistborn Trilogy as well as the standalone fantasy novel Elantris and the Alcatraz series of young adult fantasy.

The one major complaint that I hear time and again about the first book of this series is that it started much too slowly. I, too, have felt this, and it makes for difficult reading up until the 50th page or so. After that, it’s quite the page turner in parts, and in no way boring for the rest of the tale. Given the broad scope fo this series, with multiple main characters, points of view, and heavy description of a foreign world, I can forgive its slow start.

Mr. Jordan has created a world that for nearly twenty years has sucked readers in and not let them go easily. As a fantasy fan, I would suggest this series for all fans of epic fantasy, with one caveat. Make sure you have plenty of time to dedicate to this, either that or don’t mind reading a fantasy series for several years. Each book weighs in at over 600 pages, the largest coming in at over 1000. Reading the new testament worth of pages 14 times, it might take some folks a while to finish this series. Also, the last two books haven’t been written by Mr. Sanderson yet, so it’ll be another few years until it’s all said and done.

That aside, this series deserves to be read. Many of the current crop of American fantasy writers grew up reading and loving Robert Jordan, so if you want to see what influenced them, or just have a great read, it’s well worth your time.

Other (somewhat) similar series that you might enjoy: George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice, Steven Erikson's Malazan series.


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