Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Epic Beginning

Title: The Eye of the World (find in a library)
Author: Robert Jordan

I have been talked into a second attempt at Robert Jordan's monstrous Wheel of Time series. Many years ago, I started reading it and got stuck halfway through book six. I found myself taking notes on the characters because there were so many and decided enough was enough. Plus, the series wasn't finished, and there was no end in sight.

But now the end is in sight. The fourteenth and final book will be published in March 2012. The series is being finished by Brandon Sanderson, whom I adore and who is very good at crunching out books on time. Robert Jordan passed away before he could complete it himself. However, he revealed the ending to a select few, who then chose Sanderson as the one to finish it. In all reality, I like Sanderson's writing better, so that's another motivator. I also really do want to know how the story ends. Plus, I told a friend that I might be willing to read the series again if there was a (support) group reading it at the same time, and he made that happen. So now I'm committed.

Book one - and frankly, probably the entire series - is so epic that I am having trouble figuring out how to summarize it.

The story opens in a town called Emond's field (well, after the prologue anyway) with the main character, Rand, accompanying his father from their outlying farm into the town proper with apple cider for an upcoming feast and celebration. Then, Rand sees a mysterious and terrifying stranger on horseback, but his father does not. Rand thinks he is crazy until he discovers that his two closest friends, Mat and Perrin, have also seen the this horseman.

Then Moiraine, an Aes Sedai (female who can wield The One Power - a magic-wielder, essentially) and Lan, her Warder come to town. Next Trollocs (nasty troll-like creatures) raid Rand's farm and the village, and it soon becomes clear to the Aes Sedai that they were searching for Rand, Mat, and Perrin. The three need to leave town or risk having their village destroyed. Egwene, Rand's flame, follows, looking for adventure.

The rest of the story is filled with colorful characters, tons of bad guys of many flavors, long journeys, an epic quest, and more. We learn that while females can wield The One Power, men cannot. The male version has been tainted by The Dark One, and any man who wields it ends up insane and extremely dangerous to those around him. We also learn that The Dark One has been imprisoned for a long time, but is slowly breaking free. And finally, there is a man, The Dragon Reborn, who is prophesied to be the only one who can really fight The Dark One. In this world, the ages cycle, and there have been many past Dragons, both false and real, who have attempted to fight The Dark One, but have not really succeeded. The number of false dragons is on the rise, and it seems likely that The Dragon Reborn will soon emerge.

I am eagerly looking forward to book 2, and hopeful that I can keep up the momentum. The reading schedule is a book a month, with one free month before the final book comes out.

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posted by Kate at 8:59 PM


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Ha! I too gave up on this series sometime around Book 6. I don't remember exactly when, but it was somewhere around the time the main character was gathering his three wives about him...

Can't say I'm dying to give it another shot myself, but I'm curious about reading your reviews as your support group progresses! Keep us posted!

2/02/2011 9:39 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Yeah, I do seem to call being somewhat annoyed about the three wives. Or three ladies. Or whatever they were. I mean, really.

I will continue to write reviews, although I have no idea how to review each book without including tons of spoilers. I think they'll all have to be labeled "spoiler alert" or something.

2/03/2011 9:34 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Personally, I rather hope you include TONS of spoilers! I could find out what happens, without actually having to read 10,000+ pages...

2/03/2011 6:26 PM  

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