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The Eye of the World

by Robert Jordan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wheel of Time (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,571289269 (4.02)3 / 387
In the Third Age, an age of prophecy when the world and time themselves hang in the balance, the Dark One, imprisoned by the Creator, is stirring in Shayol Ghul.
Recently added byprivate library, bookhoernchen, Arina40, crosbyp, carmsoc, MarkSummers, light-weaver, Rvcaywood
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    The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (chaos012)
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    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Anonymous user)
  3. 50
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (RickyHaas)
  4. 30
    Dune by Frank Herbert (LaPhenix)
    LaPhenix: Another messiah story drawing inspiration from similar sources.
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    Magician by Raymond E. Feist (scribeswindow)
  6. 10
    Hunter's Oath by Michelle West (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Epic fantasy that breaks out of the Tolkien mold more than the Wheel of Time, but retains the large cast, the mythic overtones, and the vast worldbuilding.
  7. 10
    The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Epic fantasy with plenty of twisty prophecies and depth to speculate on, for those who enjoyed that in the Wheel of Time series.
  8. 13
    Shadowmarch by Tad Williams (alcc)

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English (279)  Dutch (4)  Italian (2)  French (2)  German (1)  All languages (288)
Showing 1-5 of 279 (next | show all)
A classic of the genre. I've read this book multiple times and it gets better each time. Any time someone asks for a recommendation of a fantasy book to read, this is my recommendation (right after Lord of the Rings, of course). ( )
  Sanguinius8991 | Jun 21, 2020 |
Good read, but has some flaws. It feels too much like LOTR at first in kind of a bad way, then it seems to find its own way. When things do get interesting the ending comes and feels rushed in comparison to the pacing of the rest of the book. Parts of the final chapters are mostly unintelligible and won’t be truly understood until much later in the series. ( )
  Miguel.Arvelo | Jun 9, 2020 |
I read “The Eye of the World” for my first time over Christmas break in middle school. My mom had gotten me a mass-market paperback copy that was split into two volumes (both quite large). I remember laying on the run in front of the wood stove, reading long hours each day.

The Wheel of Time takes a decided bent towards prioritizing hundred-page scenes of people bickering, as though it has become some kind of soap opera. In order to get through that era, I listened to them on CD while I was driving the hour-long trip back and forth to high school.

And then, in my later high school years, Robert Jordan died. The series was taken over by Brandon Sanderson—an author my friends already admired. In a way, we’re lucky Sanderson took over the series. Jordan likely never would have finished it, drawing things out into volume after volume after volume (although he claimed he was going to put out one final wheel-barrow-sized tome to wrap things up). I, actually, have not yet finished the series. For the last few books, I and a few friends have been reading them aloud, and we haven’t had a chance to wrap things up yet.

Regardless, I thought now a good time to reread the first book (although I don’t intend to continue deeper into the series).

There are certain iconic scenes that have stuck with me since reading the book all those years ago—Thom’s tussle with the Fade; Rand falling over the wall into the royal gardens; sitting in the library of the Queen’s Blessing with Loial. Notably, the final scenes at the eye of the world had completely slipped my memory.

And, at the same time, I notice plenty of mistakes that I wouldn’t have as an early teenager—the way they wash the sheep before shearing (the wool would rot), and the way the Winespring flows out into Waterwood into a delta, to be met on the far side by the River Taren (a hydrological impossibility). As with most things, it also doesn’t stand up well in the MeToo era. Women are portrayed as incomprehensible, and secondary to men.

The magic of the Wheel of Time is what makes it so special for me; the way that Min can see auras; the way that Perrin is a wolfbrother; the way the Green Man can make things grow. These parts of the book are enchanting and meaningful.

There is something different about rereading a series. The characters have become old friends; we know them better than they know themselves. We chuckle to ourselves as they mature, in ways that have been foreshadowed by our memories of them.

One of the reasons I chose to reread the first book (and just the first book) is because it portrays an era of innocence and low expectations. Where as later in the series our main characters have become world leaders, at this stage, they’re just young men with some eccentricities. As I approach my forth decade, I feel the need to do something of significance with my life; it is a relaxing respite to read of people taking things a day at a time, who don’t yet know their importance.

Apparently when Jordan first proposed the Wheel of Time concept to Tom Doherty of Tor, he proposed a trilogy about an older man. They decided to make it about young men instead, to be more like the Lord of the Rings. I regret this decision. The entirety of the series tracks the lives of these young people over three years—in Rand's case, from the time he is seventeen to the time he is twenty. This is just too young to be ruling the world. It also doesn't leave enough time for the realistic development of skills and abilities.

Why does fantasy love Armageddon? From the Lord of the Rings, to the Wheel of Time, to the Stormlight Archive—they're all about the end of the world, the need for "unity," and war. Can't we have epic and magic tales in a setting that is a little more humble, a little more peaceful? Maybe it reflects our collective unconscious; the Western World feels as though we're on the brink of collapse (and there are plenty of pundits that would argue such a claim). Regardless, words have power, and by writing about the end of the world through violence, we invite it in. ( )
  willszal | Jun 1, 2020 |
Man, this was a beast of a book. I really liked the story, but felt there were parts that were needlessly long. I think that may just be the writing style. Would have liked more of a hook, but this is definitely a great book. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
Doesn't hold up to modern Fantasy novels or the glowing reviews, I do not recommend.
First, a disclaimer. This was a DNF for me, although I read maybe a fifth of the book. Also this review contains spoilers in as much as it's possible to spoil any classic 'chosen one' adventure story.

Tropes in fantasy:
Using tropes in a story is not a bad thing. Tropes exist for a reason, and that's because they work or bring a certain element to the story that many authors desire. However, it's difficult to use tropes well. Oftentimes an author can create a far better story by subverting tropes and the readers expectations, or if they do use tropes, using them in a way that's humorous or builds on the story. This book is nothing but classic tropes glued together. A learning algorithm that is fed a couple hundred cookie-cutter stories like this one would easily be able to write this.

Seriously, the story starts of with our main character, 'backwoods farmer-boy bumpkin', who has a 'mysteriously dead mother' and a father who's just a 'regular old boring farmer and absolutely not a veteran warrior'. The 'regular old farmer father' also has a 'mysterious past which he never talks about' and a 'magical sword' which, although it doesn't declare the main character the chosen one right away, might as well. The main character is also 'surprisingly fit and super tall' and lives separately from the village with his father, alone. Then it's revealed that *gasp* the main character's father isn't actually his biological father! Not that there were any hints or anything as they look nothing alike. Then, a 'mysterious sexy and powerful woman' appears who is so painfully obviously a sorceress or a witch that it physically hurts to read them all bumbling about not realizing it. Then when it's outed that she's a member of some 'reclusive order of powerful sorceresses' which secretly 'pulls strings behind empires' everyone is shocked and nobody trusts her, even though the village folk are all portrayed as extremely trusting and open. Then, the main character's love interest, *gasp* has the capability to be a sorceress too! But no, the main character can't have his precious not-even-his-girlfriend have any dreams or desires of her own. This is smoothly accompanied by rampant sexism by most of the males in the story who all are tripping over their swords to tell women what to do and what not to do--and are then surprised when the women don't like them. Honestly, I don't have a problem with sexism in stories as a theme, but here it was just so painful to read and made me hate the main character who's supposed to be the hero. (There's a part where the main character admonishes his crush for wearing her hair down because 'wearing her hair up is something she's wanted her whole life' and that 'if the village women saw her now' they'd beat her or something).

Honestly, it would be hard to write a character more two dimensional, stubborn, and unlikable than the main character, which basically kills the story for me. I don't need the main characters in the stories I read to be good; some authors can make evil or villainous antihero main characters work very well. It's just that even the most evil villain usually has redeeming qualities which make the reader be able to empathize with them. Same with all the bad guys and creatures in the story. They're all 'troll-orcs' or 'dark ones' which are just irredeemably evil and that makes it justified to kill them without feeling bad.

I could go on but honestly, I don't want to think about this book anymore. ( )
  marmoset_threat | May 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 279 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jordan, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canty, ThomasCartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciocci, ValeriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grove, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, EllisaCartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, Matthew C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staffilano, Gaetano LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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And the shadow fell upon the Land, and the World was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.

(from Aleth nin Taerin alta Camora,
The Breaking of the World.

Author unknown, the Fourth Age)
And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
(from Charal Drianaan te Calamon,
The Cycle of the Dragon.

Author unknown, the Fourth Age)
To Harriet
Heart of my heart,
Light of my life,
First words
The palace still shook occasionally as the earth rumbled in memory, groaned as if it would deny what had happened. (Prologue)
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of the Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginning nor endings to turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning. (Chapter One)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Колелото на времето се върти и вековете идват и си отиват, оставяйки спомени, които се превръщат в легенди. Легендите заглъхват в мит и дори митът отдавна е забравен, когато породилият го век се върне отново. В Третия век, Века на Пророчеството, на косъм висят самият Свят и самото Време. Онова, което е било, което ще бъде и което е, може да падне под властта на Сянката.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs--a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts-- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
Haiku summary
The Fade on his horse /
The trollocs crash winternight /
Ba'alzamon‎'s eyes (davidwil)

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