Review – Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

I don’t like fantasy. Or rather, I didn’t. Back in the 90s, I read Dragonlance and I enjoyed it. But that was really my last foray in terms of fantasy books because I was more into superheroes. Still am. But the prodding of my friend and a rekindled interest in the genre from  the Lord of the Rings movies had me looking to read some fantasy. Enter Robert Jordan and his epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time.

Before I began the first of fourteen books, The Eye of the World, I knew that I was in for the long haul. Seven hundred pages and then some (every book in the series is that long or longer which is just crazy to me). I decided to take on the challenge.

Oh boy.

Well, after about seven months on and off into the book, I finally finished that tome this past Sunday. Instead of just posting my review on my Goodreads page, I’ve decided to write it here.

One thing I noticed right away when I began the book was that I liked the way Jordan described things. I liked his style of writing. It was in depth and you could see the shape of the characters come to life as the book progressed. However, as the book rolled on, I started seeing whole sections that just didn’t need to be there. They were written well so I tolerated them. You could have cut out huge sections of the book and it wouldn’t have changed too much of anything. That’s when you know you have some extraneous material. That’s not to say you can’t have some here or there. I don’t think that it’s a sin to go a little off path a bit. But we’re talking lengthy forays that could and should have been shortened. It would have been better if those trips would have been necessary to the premise. This made the book trudge along instead of move along.

Many times, there was simply too much going on. The book could have easily been two. I know it’s epic fantasy but it must move along steadily. The pacing was just extremely slow even for this genre.

The thing that was odd was how the hero of the story, Rand, wasn’t much of anything during the about 15/16ths of the book. There wasn’t much growth of character. Secondary characters Perrin and Mat had more development than he did. I’d actually look forward to stories about those two than Rand.

The biggest disappoint of the book was Rand’s moment to shine. The climax. First, two characters from out of no where who had never been mentioned in the book at all show up as major antagonists. They are presented as if the reader is supposed to know and accept it. What? That is just ridiculous. Then for Rand to perform something that wasn’t hinted at, no foreshadowing, no clue and have it thrust into the story was just lame. It was totally unexpected, totally unexplained, and totally unbelievable within the context of the story. It was horrid . To build up for hundred of pages to be let down like that and then not have anything explained…that’s bad plot structuring, no matter how well you write.

Overall, I give it a two and a half out of five stars. I would have liked to have given it a better rating but I couldn’t do it in good conscience for those thinking about embarking on the journey of picking up the book to begin the series. It has some good moments in it but it ends up being lackluster from simply saying too much in the places where it doesn’ matter and not saying enough in the places that it does.

6 thoughts on “Review – Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

  1. I appreciate your review. I don’t indulge in fantasy novels as much as I used to, and lately I find myself missing the zen of getting into that genre. Michel Faber is author of an amazing fantasy novel, “Under the Skin.” I highly recommend it.

    I do believe my next read will be “The Dark Corner.”

    Thanks again. Blessings.

  2. Thanks Ericka. I’ll check him out. I’m about to read the second book in a trilogy featuring the X-Men by Christopher Golden. Gotta go back to my first love.

    Thanks for your support as well. I think you just increased my fan base by 25% (from three to four) so that’s a good thing. :o) Start with The Visitor, go to The Forest then The Gift. The next in the series, The Basement, should be out this weekend but you’ll only be able to get it by joining the RIU Citizenship as well as the last book in the series, You Have the Wrong Man.

  3. This is a series I have always been curious about – it was really popular when I worked at the library eons ago. It sounds like it would feel a lot like how Game of Thrones was for me – lots going on, lots of characters, and after a while, seeming like a catalog of people missing body parts.

  4. The way it is written is done rather well. It’s not with all of the smut and grime that comes with Game of Thrones. You’ll enjoy the ride but the ride just seems way too long for no good reason. And for the main character not to grab me like I was expecting (actually being a little weak), I will have a hard time picking up Book II. I will but it will be a while, especially since I am thoroughly enjoying a foray through an old school X-Men novel currently.

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