WHEEL OF TIME – THE EYE OF THE WORLD
Starting 3000 years in the past, we are introduced to the character of Lews Therin Telamon (The Dragon). During the struggle to seal the Dark One into his prison, a backlash infected the One Power and all Male Channelers were driven insane. Lews Therin is the most powerful of them all and one of the last ones still surviving at that time. Completely insane now, he is searching for his wife and family, not realizing that he has already killed them all. Lews Therin is then approached by one of the forsaken (Elan Morin Tedronai – The Betrayer of Hope) who proceeds to heal Lews Therin so that he regains his sanity. Realizing what he has done to his family and everyone close to him, Lews Therin uses the power to travel to an open area with a river nearby. Calling upon the power, he pulls so much into himself that a solid bar of light joins him to the sky obliterating him and all that is left is jagged mountain (Dragonmount).
This is the introduction to Robert Jordan‘s world of the Wheel of Time and it serves to introduce us to this world through some pretty intense action and really powerful & heartrending moments!
We go from this introduction to a time almost 3000 years later, when the world and its peoples are completely different. When the fact of Lews Therins times have only become myths and fairytales. From this beginning, we are introduced to the key characters in the book all from the same village known as the Two Rivers.
In addition to the villagers we are also introduced to the mysterious strangers (Aes Sedai & Warder) who just happen to be there on the fateful night that the Trollocs attack! Persuaded by Morraine and a’Lan that they have a greater destiny to play and that their family and friends would be in jeopardy if they were to remain, they set off on a journey that will see them all change in many and varied ways.
They leave their village and meet some other characters (Min, Loial & Padan Fain) that will play a recurring role throughout the books to follow. On their journey they are split apart and forced to go in separate directions due to the monsters chasing them and are only able to rejoin together after a significant period of time. Once again joined up they determine that they must travel to the Eye of the World where they are accosted by two Forsaken. To defeat them, Rand must channel the One Power and in doing so he reveals the fact that he is in fact the Dragon Reborn!
The Eye of the World and its sequels show the depth of forethought and planning that Robert Jordan had. Taking a traditional swords and sorcery fantasy idea, he has managed to infuse it with a life of its own. You have the typical reluctant hero (in this case a whole village full of them!) and an omni-potent dark evil power with … of course … they end of the world in the offing! He has taken elements from many of the other great works already published – you have of course the obvious correlations to the Lord of the Rings. Added to this is the mysterious sisterhood – vis a vis the Dune Series by Frank Herbert … however with that being said … he has not simply copied and pasted stock elements here … this story is wonderfully unique in its own right and I’m sure that you will love it!
Character Growth & Development –
The Villagers definitely grow and progress in this one, with some significant plot points realized and addressed.
Story Progression –
Introduction of the story as a whole and good development also. Really good but only fault might be that it is too similar to LOTR – although by that token, everything in this genre is!
I’m midway through the very first book in the series. Frankly it was a little hard to like, hard to say exactly why, I guess due to the oddness of the plot: there’s some spirituality mixed in with the Lord of the Rings elements. Still a good read.
The early books are probably the best … I especially loved #4 & I think that one is my favorite. After that it drags a bit but picks up near the end – especially the first book by Sanderson.