I’ve got to say, when I first read the Eye of the World (commonly abbreviated tEotW), I wasn’t exactly overawed. Now before you all jump on me, I did think it was a decent book, and there definitely were parts that I enjoyed and intrigued me. Additionally, at the time I am writing this review, I am currently reading Knife of Dreams (book 11 of the Wheel of Time), and I can easily say my rating of The Eye of the World has risen as I’ve made my way through the series. Obviously I won’t say anything particular for spoiler reasons, but the amount of foreshadowing shown even WAY back in book 1 and the character development our cast goes through is so dramatic that even at this point in the series I almost fancy digging into the Eye of the World again.
Speaking of duty, I should mention the obvious.
Do not read the Eye of the World if you are looking for a completely original and modern fantasy series…with absolutely no similarity to the Lord of the Rings. You won’t find that book here. From the hooded Myrdraal, the flight from the Two Rivers, to an encounter with an object of evil corruption that twists the mind of the holder, and the ‘Wizard’ Moiraine. Whether you shout homage or flat-out stealing, everyone must agree that the two are VERY similar in certain ways.
Saying that, I should mention that I hate it when people use the term ‘trope’ in a derogatory way. In my opinion, If a thing/trope is enjoyable or done well, I see absolutely no problem with it. In fact, some of my favourite aspects of books I read come from certain tropes that are often slated. Maybe that’s partly because I’m not as widely read as some of you others out there, who’ve read HUNDREDS of series and start to see the same patterns over and over again.
That being said, for those of you out there who are sick of tropes you feel are overused, Robert Jordan does a great job of handling them. The man can clearly write. He has a distinct style and a flowing prose that feels similar to what we as a community are used to, but also plainly separate from that of other writers.
Speaking of writing style, if you aren’t a fan of overly descriptive writers, you may find this book (and series) a . . . grueling read, to say the least. There is no competition for THAT title. For example, you want to know what the pattern on the scarf of that woman in the corner of the room is? Never fear, Jordan will let you know, along with that of every other person in the room, and the rug, the curtains, the teacups, the . . . Sorry, I got a little sidetracked. Jokes aside, I personally didn’t mind it, but it did make some slow moments drag even longer than were needed.
Anyhow . . .
Despite all it’s flaws…
Should you read it?
If you love lengthy, epic fantasies, rich with foreshadowing and in-depth magic systems then this series is a must-read!
Still not sure?