Sunday, November 14, 2010
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Usually, I like to start my reviews with a synopsis. But this is a long book (and the beginning of an even longer series)-- and even the summaries were too long to post. Essentially, if you like Lord of the Rings, you'll most likely enjoy this. In fact, it's probably the most popular epic fantasy series next to Tolkien's. It's essentially about three young men who are forced to go up against an evil power that is threatening to destroy the world. There's intrigue, magic, battles, mythical creatures, a little romance-- pretty much everything that an epic fantasy should have.
It's a little difficult to review a book that is so old and well-known because, frankly, my opinion doesn't matter all that much. The book stands for itself and most people who would like it have already heard about it and read it. So take my review for what is worth...
I've never been a huge follower of this genre, but I decided to read this book when I heard that Brandon Sanderson, an epic fantasy author whose books I enjoy, was selected to write the final installment of the Wheel of Time series due to the passing of Robert Jordan. The whole thing intrigued me. How would you feel if you'd been asked to write the closing chapters of a HUGE series with a HUGE following that had been written by another author? Talk about a daunting task!
So I picked up this book to see what it's about. I really enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I'm going to make it through the whole series. The story was extremely well-written and compelling, but it was also LONG. I'm usually a reader who's driven by characters, and while the characters in Jordan's book are rounded and complex, they are only part of the story. Robert Jordan has set them in an amazingly detailed world full of history, folklore, language, differing cultures, etc. How he managed to do this so well is beyond me-- but in truth, it made reading it (at times) beyond me as well. I found myself skimming a lot to get to the action with the characters. But all this detail is not a weakness in the novel, it just isn't my personal preference.
Somebody who enjoys rich, elaborate settings and detailed folklore and history (i.e. epic fantasy) will really like this series.