PDF / Epub The Eye of the World – Albawater.co

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. Book One of my epic buddy read of the Wheel of Time world with Branwen Sedai, one of the nicest people of OUR world D From the Eye of the World, you can see just how much danger the world is really in That s not in the book, I just made that up myself Don t worry, Robert Jordan s writing isn t nearly as cheesy as mine Life in the village of Emond s Field had always been peaceful Sure, the people sometimes argued, as families do from time to time But ultimately, the village was a tight knit community, and people rarely left, since they had everything they needed at home It was a quiet life, but a fruitful one One where people felt safe enough to leave their doors open to everyone, secure in the knowledge that the greatest evil in the world, the one most people only refer to as the Dark One rather than daring to even speak its name, was safely locked up and could no longer hurt them That all changed the night the invaders came into town Vicious misshapen creatures and supernatural fiends from people s worst nightmares And their presence means something even terrifying The seals on the Dark One s prison are not as secure as they thought A great evil is spreading throughout the land, whispering in people s ears and poisoning and corrupting anyone who chooses to listen.Now, a group of youngsters from the village find themselves chased from their safe home They ve traded their quiet lives for a daring adventure, one worthy of the greatest storybooksbut only if they survive long enough to tell it And as they find themselves entwined in the ultimate war of light verses darkness, there is one burning question that haunts them throughout Is one of them destined to be the person to save the worldor to destroy it I m actually writing this review long after reading the book, and truth be told, I still haven t been able to wrap my head completely around it Robert Jordan s world building is so vast and intricate, it takes time to be able to absorb it all His lush descriptions of the environment bring his words to like so effectively, you sometimes feel like you re living the book rather than reading it But I think the book s greatest strength is its main characters, who I ll be discussing in order of my own personal preference Moiraine Whatever the Dark One wants, I oppose, so hear this and know it true Before I let the Dark One have you, I will destroy you myself Moiraine is part of a society of magic wielders called the Aes Sedai Later books get into the various factions of the Sedai and the ideological differences between them all, but mostly what we re told about the Sedai in this volume is that many people fear themand they may be right in doing so Strong in mind, spirit and ability, Moiraine is a commanding yet charming presence from the moment she arrives at Emond s Field Her magical powers and sense of authority reminded me of Tolkien s Gandalfright up until the point where Moiraine promised the boys she would murder them if it was the only way to keep the Dark One from claiming them That s when I realized Moiraine is really like Gandalf if Gandalf s contingency plan was to throw Frodo into volcano along with the Ring if he had to Of course, if anyone earned the right to throw Frodo into the fire, it was Sam Nynaeve Perrin talking about Nynaeve You think a little thing like a sunken ferry could stop her Known as The Wisdom of Emond s Field, Nynaeve mostly acted as a healer and a mediator during her time there I ll be honest, at first I found Nynaeve a little abrasive Not only does her temper cause her to hurt people with her words, sometimes she even hits them with a large stick, and what first felt like tough love starts to feel like a WrestleMania event For the record, if Nynaeve was a pro wrestler, she s so tough she would win every match, no matter who was actually scripted to win However, when a group of Two Rivers villagers leave with Moiraine, Nynaeve travels many miles and face many dangers just to bring them back While the others are mostly motivated by self preservation, Nynaeve s main concern was to protect the people of her village How could I not admire Nynaeve after that She started out one of my least favorite characters and by the book s end had become one of my favorites instead Rand A fine day for going unnoticed I might as well carry a sign Most of the book is told through Rand s POV, and it was through him that I felt Jordan pulled off his best writing trick Rand is very different from most fantasy novel heroes Whereas most fantasy protagonists tend to be swashbuckling, Rand manages to beuh, whatever the exact opposite of swashbuckling is Unswashbuckling If he s running across a 100 acre field that has only one rock in it, you can bet Rand will manage to trip over that rock If a stranger holding a warhammer asked Rand, Would you please follow me into this trap , Rand will be there right behind him At times, Rand made me want to scream But I also recognized that that was due to the brilliance of Robert Jordan s writing Rand acts exactly like what he s supposed to be, a sheltered, innocent boy who is in way over his head Add to that his affable personality, and it s impossible not to like himwhich makes it even harder to watch when he manages to blunder into a life threatening situation for the 1,000th time that chapter Lan Anything can be a weapon, if the man or woman who holds it has the nerve and will to make it so Jimi HendrixSean ConnerySamuel L Jacksonsome people were just born to be cool This is NOT one of those people Strong and stoic, Lan makes an impression as soon as he arrives with Moiraine While Moiraine is really the powerful of the two, Lan is still the intimidating one What s even impressive is that Lan manages to be bad ass not in what he says, but in what he DOESN T say Lan rarely feels the need to threaten anyone, as one look into his eyes tells people you re likely to survive a 20,000 foot drop sans parachute than a fight with him Lan is so confident he never feels the need to prove himself to anyone, and as a result he never loses his cool In fact, he manages to be even cooler than Sean Connery and Samuel L Jackson combined But not Jimi Hendrixeven in a fantasy novel, someone being cooler than Hendrix is just too far fetched Perrin Leaders in stories never had to put up with this sort of thing Of the three Emond s Field boys that travel with Moiraine, Perrin is the most compassionate Physically stronger than the other two, but also kinder in nature, Perrin is very likable Awkward, but likeable In these types of novels, the characters usually have to get used to the idea of killing their enemies right away, but what makes Perrin stand out is that he NEVER gets used to it Facing so many dangerous foes, in order to survive, Perrin may have to fight, but he doesn t have to like it Egwene No one tells us how to be men We just are That is probably why you make such a bad job of it Egwene managed to charm me, even though she really has the weakest motivation in the story While the boys of Emond s Field are running for their lives, and Nynaeve is pursuing them to try to protect them, Egwene says she s tagging along because she wants adventure You would think after her village was ransacked the night before, the ol adventure meter would have been full already Of course, it s entirely possible Egwene was really just going with them because she was concerned about the boys, but that theory is somewhat weakened by the fact that she can t go 5 seconds without hurling an insult at one of them Still, her wit and feisty nature made me like her even in the moments when she was hard to like.Loial A mob chased me all the way across the city I m afraid I was beginning to get a little upset Since I said I would talk about these characters in the order in which I liked them, the fact that Loial appears second to last may seem like a swipe at him, but really it s a testament as to how great the other characters are Giving new meaning to the phrase gentle giant , Loial is a Ogier basically an ogre who would much rather have a book in his hand than a weapon Really, the only reason Loial doesn t make quite as much of an impression in the story as the others is because he is introduced much later in the book than everyone else.Mat So you re having trouble with a couple of farmboys Maybe you Darkfriends aren t as dangerous as I ve always heard Sometimes you wish book characters could come to life because they re so awesome In Mat s case, I wanted him to come to life just so I could murder him The only character I couldn t stand, Mat manages to exude 10 times the foolishness of Rand yet 0 times the charm He s obnoxious and grating The scariest part is, I get the feeling Mat was supposed to be the comic relief character, despite the fact that he rarely does anything funny Mat is to comedy what Arnold Schwarzenegger isto comedy In fairness to Mat, I m currently reading Book Three in the series, and he does show a good amount of character growth by thenbut that doesn t change the fact that all throughout this book, while Mat was being chased by the Dark One, I found myself rooting for the Dark One While I loved this book, I will say that it s not for everyone The world building is a little clunky at times, as Jordan has a tendency to make mentions of characters and places long before they actually appear in the story In some ways, this makes the later books rewarding, as things that were left a mystery in book one make much sense later on Also, there are long gaps in the action sometimes, so anyone looking for a fast paced adventure may be frustrated with this one However, if you re looking for a rich world to explore filled with compelling characters and Mat , then it s time for you to journey to the Eye of the World P.S Here was my original review, I wrote it right after a few GoodReads users got busted for plagiarism, and I addressed it in my usual subtle wayI, David Green, absolutely loved this book It s going right on my favorites shelf, which is named David Green s favorites , because my name is, in fact, David Green I can t wait to read the rest of the series which has already been uploaded to David Green s that s me Kindle Let s see you copy paste THAT, review thieves The first series that showed it was possible to do an uninspired rewrite of Tolkien and make a mint was Shannara After that the doors were flung wide, and the next to profit off the scheme was was Robert Jordan Of course, I m not suggesting it s bad to take inspiration from older authors all authors do this, as Virgil did from Homer, and Milton from Virgil, and Byron from Milton Tolkien himself drew on the Norse Eddas, Welsh myths, English fairy tales, and Blake s myth making.But when a skilled author takes inspiration, they expand and change what came before, combining many influences to produce their own unique voice and vision Jordan didn t have the knowledge of language, history, or culture to truly copy Tolkien s style, nor was he able to add a unique spin.The Eye of The World is a accessible version of Tolkien, but Tolkien is already a simplified version of the Norse Sagas, meaning that Jordan felt a need to dumb down the accessible, which doesn t leave his book with much personality.Jordan also takes influence from the Sword Sorcery tradition, particularly R.E Howard Jordan even wrote and published some of his own Conan stories However, unlike other authors of rollicking adventure Fantasy, like Leiber or Charles Saunders, Jordan kept Tolkien s plodding length It is difficult to comprehend how an author could take such a simple, familiar story and stretch it out over so many pages.The hero is an orphan who looks different, he gets his father s magic sword, he goes on a quest with an old, wily mentor, gets attacked by evil dark skinned mongoloids from the mysterious East, meets the princess by accident, becomes embroiled in an ancient prophecy, discovers a magic force which controls fate and the plot , c., c Stop me if you ve heard this one before Like a lot of modern fantasy, the plot and characters are nothing new If you ve seen Star Wars, then you know it by heart Every fantasy fan has read this same story again and again from countless authors some, apparently on purpose Of course, when this old story is told well, with slick pacing and vivid characters, we can forgive the cliches, or even enjoy them freshly, recognizing their universal appeal But when an author is simply trotting out an old, tired story and doing nothing to make it shine anew, then the only appeal it can lay claim to is bland nostalgia.There s no reason for this sort of repetition a new book should be than just fanfic of an older, financially successful book There are countless different influences out there, long before Tolkien or Howard ever touched pen to paper many of which can be found in the link at the end of this review , so it s disappointing to see authors continually rehashing the same tedious cliches completely unchanged half a century later.Jordan s long winded style can t even boast the wealth of meticulous details with which Tolkien filled his pages often to the detriment of his story It s clear that Jordan s trying to build a one of those massively detailed worlds so prevalent in pop fantasy, but it s not an interesting, original world it s just another generic, pseudo Medieval Europe without any of the genuinely interesting bits that made that time period unique It s just modern characters with modern psychology swinging around magic swords in a Disneyland version of history.It might not be so bad if the lengthy asides were actually interesting, in and of themselves If each little piece was amusing in its own right, we might forgive If they gave us some odd bit of defamiliarization that caused us to look at our own, modern world in a new way, that would be something Instead, we get dry, lengthy explanations of extraneous facts that we had no reason to be curious about in the first place.Some readers have pointed out that these facts show up in later books of the series, which is probably true, but then, what are they doing in this book If Mary doesn t appear until book three, it is not useful or interesting to stop in the middle of book one and tell us she has blonde hair Facts should not be evenly distributed throughout a series, they should be placed in close proximity to scenes that relate to them That way they make sense to the reader and we have a reason to care about them That s the difference between foreshadowing and a word search puzzle.If an author has to stop the story every few paragraphs to explain what s going on, then his writing is simply not working The world should be revealed to us through characters, through their interactions, through small details of verisimilitude that are lovely or interesting on their own, and through scenes designed specifically to illustrate a point without losing focus and falling into lengthy digressions.But Jordan s characters are dull and shallow, his dialogue bland, and his plot though it possesses many parts lacks twists or turns We are given an unending parade of new characters and lengthy asides, which masterfully suck all the drive, purpose, and life from an otherwise simplistic story At half this length, the book would have been merely another two star fantasy rehash At a third the length, it might have started to show some pep but Jordan had to stretch out his all to familiar story to doorstop proportions.In Tolkien, the first hundred pages takes place in quaint Hobbiton This prelude prepares us for the rest of the book, allowing us to understand the strange world and characters and setting a mood When the action takes us away, we find we have formed a certain attachment to the bucolic charm of Hobbiton sickly sweet as it may be Finally, when we do depart, the world we meet is much grander in comparison In Eye of the World, you spend the first hundred and fifty pages in a drab farming community, so that when the characters finally leave, it will seem like something is happening This is only an illusion.Some of Jordan s fans have pointed to the Wheel of Time aspect as his unique contribution to the genre mixing Eastern philosophy and the idea of eternal recurrence in with his mock feudal world, but it s the same thing that E.R Eddison was doing in the 1920s, and which Michael Moorcock has been exploring and expanding on since the sixties As such, I don t see it as some new twist that Jordan has added to fantasy, but as another bland rehash of an interesting idea some other author had decades before.Also, like most fantasy authors, Jordan seems to have a problem writing female characters They are either whiny and snotty, or emasculating ice queens They all speak in the exact same voice and the joke in the writing community is that anyone who has met his wife know exactly where every one of his female characters comes from I couldn t count on both hands the fantasy authors who seem to think strong woman means insufferable, unapologetic shrew Then again, it isn t as if his male characters aren t any interesting or fleshed out, even if they do get a flattering depiction.I ve also been led to understand that later on in the series, we get a magical band of lipstick lesbians who go straight when they grow up and meet real men , like our heroes , plus a bunch of sex fetish weirdness about punishment by naked public spanking But I suppose that if Jordan resembles other genre writers in terms of plot, length, setting, and character, he might as well go all the way and throw in some of his own unprocessed sexual hangups.And as the series goes on, the many problems with pacing, plotting, and unfocused asides only grow worse If Jordan can t keep everything straight in his opening book, how will he possibly deal when the story starts branching out as stories inevitably do It is hardly surprising that such a tenuous grasp will inevitably slip away as it has for so many other authors in pop fantasy, from Martin to Goodkind, who start off intending to write a trilogy and end up with ten books, each of which takes five years to write, and none of which even manage to finish the plot started in book I.So, take the plot of Star Wars, add the long windedness of Tolkien, the piecemeal structure of Howard, the cosmology of Moorcock, add in a pinch of awkward sexual hangups, and you have yet another crap pop fantasy, ready to sell a million copies to folks who want nothing than to read the same story over and over as written by a succession of chubby, bearded, awkward dudes I m sure a violent, breast baring miniseries is already in preproduction.UPDATE one might point to the endless repetition in modern literature as a sure sign that there is no God, no grand plan, and no purpose to the universe A benevolent power would surely spare us the pain of such unending mediocrity.However, if there were some deity, and he had a sense of humor, then he would allow the uncreative authors to publish, to gain fame, win awards, and rake in the cash, until their series piled self indulgently to the length of a minor encyclopedia Then our clownish deity would let the author announce that he is finally approaching The End for real this time , only to perish on the cusp Since this is precisely what happened to Jordan, I will have to keep an eye out for other signs of this humorous demiurge, possibly in the form of leper curing banana peels and hagiographic fright wigs.My Fantasy Book Suggestions Paternity leave reading for 3 a.m crying jags Mine and hers There, Brian I read it Are you happy My friend Brian has been telling me to read The Wheel of Time for years It always went like this Brian You should read The Wheel of Time It s really good.Me I ve heard that it gets really, really bad B The first seven books are really outstanding.M Yeah, I m not going to read seven books without an ending.B The first one is good but the second one is better.M Mmm I don t know.B The first one stands alone really well Retrospective commentary NO IT DOESN T M OK, lemee borrow it Several months pass M Here is your book back.B Oh, you read it M No.I really thought I was never, ever going to start this series Everything I read about it screamed at me to run away Tolkien pastiche Incredibly long Characters with stupid names Lots of world building The main villain is called The Dark One WTF, trollocs I have nothing against multi volume, word bloated epic fantasy Not really Well, kind of, but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt George R.R Martin, that one Brandon Sanderson book I liked But even the people who like The Wheel of Time also seem to apologize for doing so or outright resent it for what it became in the draggy middle So why do I want to start reading it If someone told me a show about a mysterious island was really entertaining and interesting for a while there, but then totally peed the ending down its leg, and really, that s a PRETTY BIG DEAL for a mystery show, even one that is purportedly focused on a bunch of unlikeable assholes characters first, would I immediately run home and start watching that show on Netflix streaming No, because I m the idiot who watched it all along, assuming I wasn t wasting my time I think I am getting off track.So, I wasn t going to read this But then I was off work for a few weeks on paternity leave, and my daughter was waking up five times a night, and I was unable to sleep even though, at that point, I didn t really have much to offer that she was interested in, and I had a copy of The Eye of the World that I absorbed for a quarter somewhere, and I ve always had a thing for the goofy cover art So I picked it up at 2 a.m and read the prologue And it was pretty much what I expected, what with the stupid names and bad dialogue But it was also kind of fun Of course, I also knew based on reading a bunch of reviews and blogs about this book series I never planned to read that the next 150 pages were going to be, in the tradition of Hobbiton Chapter One Concerning Ensuring Joel Will Never Read Past the First Section of This Book horrifically boring So I almost put it back down.Then I remembered that my brother had the book in his Audible account, and that my phone lets you listen to books at double speed, meaning I d get through the 30 hour production in roughly 15 That sounded about right the auditory equivalent of skimming except I actually got really good at listening that quickly you just kind of have to get in the zone.And it was exactly as I d been led to believe clumsy, repetitious prose a few times I had to make sure the audio track wasn t repeating as the same dialogue and phrasing was repeated over and over Meandering pacing and haphazard plotting nothing happens nothing happens SOMETHING HAPPENS same thing happens five times nothing happens rushed climax cliffhanger Bland heroes though in their defense, they are stupid teenagers Blatant Tolkien rip offery OH MY GOD THE DAGGER IS OBVIOUSLY CURSED YOU IDIOTS And my favorite, the pauses for self indulgent infodumps the best one comes in one of the last chapters and throws in so many weird names and covers so much time I have absolutely no idea what happened and why it mattered enough to put the climax on hold The unsatisfying ending the last chapters are rushed, drop in a few villains out of the blue only to defeat them a few pages later via a magical object that isn t mentioned until page 650 even though it s the freaking title.But Um I kind of liked it The world is pretty interesting I like the way Robert Jordan sketches out the history even some of the infodumps are fun I like his magic system, and the powerful women who are feared and respected for tapping into it I don t strictly care about the hero s journey at its core, but the weight the epicness of it all Once the big, lumbering thing gets moving, it really has momentum.So here s where the real test comes Do I read the second book No, I do not.Do I listen to the second book at chipmunk speed I really kind of want to But doing that will only make me want to read book three, and, like poor Rand al Thor accidentally touching the tainted power of saidin dammit, Brian, see what you did , that way lies madness and death.Maybe if Josh has an extra Audible credit. 3.5 5 starsHere it is, I m riding the winds of time Wheeeeeeeeeee Another massive fantasy series to finish, a new epic adventure to undertake Like many modern fantasy readers, the last three books finished by Brandon Sanderson played a huge motivational drive in my attempt to start and finish The Wheel of Time I honestly find this series to be even intimidating than Malazan Book of the Fallen due to the sheer number of word counts in it To give a bit of information on how intimidating this series is, the last two massive series I began and finished last year was The Realm of Elderlings 4.1 million words by Robin Hobb and Malazan Book of the Fallen 3.3 million words by Steven Erikson the entirety of The Wheel of Time consists of 4.4 million words That s how gigantic this series is If it weren t because Sanderson is one of my top favorite authors of all time and the fact that I ve completely run out of his adult fantasy books to read, I probably wouldn t have started this series at all That being said, no matter what the initial reason is, I m really glad that I ve taken the important first step towards conquering The Wheel of Time.Picture The Eye of the World by David Grove The Eye of the World is the first book in Robert Jordan s highly acclaimed series, The Wheel of Time The story begins with our main character, Rand al Thor and his friends escaping their home after a group of Trollocs attacked their home I can t recall whether I ve mentioned this before, but I actually don t mind The Chosen One trope Let s get this straight immediately, this is a very tropey start to a massive series it s a foundational book that seems to borrow a lot of elements from Tolkien and our real world religions and mythologies Although I do understand the reasons why a lot of readers dislike and even hate an epic fantasy that starts with a farm boy growing up to become the hero that eventually fight the dark lord to save the world, I tend to find this kind of premise as long that they re well executed to be comfortable and enjoyable to read A tale of good versus evil is something I never get tired of, and The Eye of the World sets out to lay a lot of groundwork for an epic tale of light versus darkness As the Wheel of Time turns, places wear many names Men wear many names, many faces Different faces, but always the same man Yet no one knows the Great Pattern the Wheel weaves, or even the Pattern of an Age We can only watch, and study, and hope It is an odd feeling reading this series for the first time in 2019 I enjoyed reading this book but if I were to read this, let s say, a decade ago I probably would ve loved it even Robert Jordan s writing is well known for being extremely detailed in his world building each locale, houses, and places were described intricately Not a lot of modern epic fantasy goes to the length that Jordan did when it comes to being descriptive and sometimes repetitive about his world building it can be quite an overkill Because of all this, the pacing did suffer, especially in the middle section of the book where the story progression follows a repetitive story progression and characters making stupid remarks and actions I m usually very receptive to characters continuously making stupid decisions and characters thoughts, but I found the characters behavior here to be understandable Excluding Moiraine and Lan, the main characters from The Two Rivers are young and secluded people who live in their village all the time like Frodo and Sam who never left the shire The things that happened to Rand and his friends were sudden and dangerous, I feel like their actions were warranted and definitely better than I would ve reacted.This is a foundational book, almost everything about it felt, understandably, like an introductory guide to the world of this series World building takes priority I truly loved every moment of reading the lore and history regarding this world Just from the first book alone, we can already judge that Jordan knows his world inside out By adapting some of our real world religions, language, histories, and deities, Jordan was able to create a world full of extraordinary lore The reincarnation concept surrounding The Dragon Reborn and Shai tan, The Breaking of the World and how it affects the current society and stigma, and many I simply enjoyed reading them all The fact that the price must be paid is proof it is worth paying And that s exactly it, time, money, and investment will be the biggest price we ll have to pay in order to finish this series Although the prologue starts immensely strong and I enjoyed despite the pacing issue most of the journey, I became fully engrossed only after I reached the 70% section Revelations start being unraveled, the setup for the super detailed world building starts paying off immensely, and most importantly, I m finally acquainted with the characters and understand their personality upon reaching this section You can t rush through this series, I m a binge reader and just from my experience of reading this first installment, I already know that I have to pace myself going through it I can t binge this series the way I did The Realm of the Elderlings and Malazan Book of the Fallen Take your time and be prepared for a long, and hopefully, satisfying journey The Eye of the World may not be the most original start to an epic fantasy series, but it signaled a beginning for an incredibly grand adventure one that I m glad to partake and hopefully finish Will I be able to do that How rewarding will it all be The wheel weaves as the wheel wills You can order the book from Book Depository Free shipping You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions