The Eye of the World | A Book Review

The Eye of the World version I read

Title: The Eye of the World
Author: Robert Jordan
Publisher: Tor
ISBN: 978-1-250-25146-6
Copyright © 1990 by Bandersnatch Group, Inc.

The Eye of the World is the first entry of fourteen books, and a prequel, that The Wheel of Time has in the series. The book narrates in third person the story of a young man called Rand al’Thor and his friends.

The book presents itself with a lot of descriptions, a world building that I personally find fascinating. It is one of those books that, even though takes a lot of time before any action, it is enjoyable. Robert Jordan indeed took a lot of inspiration from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps A LOT.

This first entry has a lot of fantasy tropes, more specifically from Tolkien, which could be considered as an unoriginal story; from the start we meet Rand al’Thor as the normal young man that does not show anything out of the ordinary. Then there is this woman named Moiraine, known as something called the Aes Sedai, or the female Gandalf as some of the comments out there said. Also, we have her guardian, and the two Rand’s friends that join him on his adventure.

No one can deny that there are so many similarities between Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and Jordan’s The Eye of the World. The inspiration and the tropes are there. However, does this make it a bad book or a carbon copy of Tolkien’s work. I say no. The situations and tropes are there, both the characters in both series are so different among themselves that make Rand’s gang unique. Yes, at the beginning we have the “hero’s journey” with the protagonist that seems like any other person and ends up being something else. But our protagonist, his friends, the Aes Sedai (basically powerful sorceress in the story), the guardian, and other characters, are very interesting. I feel that every step they take; every town they visit, every character they met, have something substantial to add to the story and they’re not only there to be a burden or a “filler” to force us to believe the world is alive. No, the world feels very alive.

“As the Wheel of Time turns,” Moiraine said, half to herself and with a distant look in her eyes, “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.”

One of the things that interests me the most about the series is the symbol, a snake eating its own tail, and as the story goes there are many hints that the world has been through many cycles, with different names, and different forms. This, among other words within the book, make of The Eye of the World… no, The Wheel of Time as a series, one of the most impressive world buildings I’ve read in fantasy literature. The rhythm could be a little slow at the start, but as you go through the pages the gears will move faster.

This is the first book of fourteen, as I’ve mentioned above, so I guess I don’t need to say that the conclusion of The Eye of the World is the start of a long journey for our protagonists. The Aes Sedai, just as Gandalf, leaves a lot of mystery for the main characters to solve.

Do not let the similarities get you, though. The Eye of the World, with its obvious inspirations, is different enough to help you enjoy the book. The character and world building is so good you just want to know more about the world itself, and I am sure we’ll know a lot more on the following entries.

Wheel of Time New Covers

I strongly believe we should NOT judge a book by its cover. The covers should not be the first thing to look at when buying anything, a good cover could be tricky. However… have you seen the new editions of The Wheel of Time? They’re not atrocious, until the comparisons are easily available.


Spoiler alert: I am getting the new covers.

Let’s take a look to the old covers. Back in 2018, when my visits to Barnes & Noble turned out more frequent, I hesitated a lot. The Wheel of Time covers had beautiful illustrations. I have to be honest, the illustrations made me pay attention to the series (before knowing who had the series finished). Fortunately (and unfortunately, perhaps) other books had had priority. I wish I had an infinite wallet, but I’m a regular person. Ha!

Please, take a look at these beauties:

WoT old covers

I love the covers. The illustrations have a retro-vibe, they look really great; imagine the collections on your bookshelf. Just think about it. Getting home after a long day at work or school, but instead of sleep or watch television, you decide to read a book; and every time you grab a book, these beauties await for your return.

I was focused on Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaimann, and Jim Butcher. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t regret it. I love these authors, and I can tell you Brandon Sanderson is my favorite author nowadays. Also, Sanderson is another reason I wanted to get Jordan’s series. Robert Jordan passed away in 2007, before the conclusion of his books, and instead of leaving his epic fantasy series incomplete, he passed the torch to a young Sanderson. And thus, it’s got a conclusion!

Everything was normal, I continued living my life as always, and then heard about some fantasy news: A forthcoming TV show from Amazon Studios. That got me excited, but didn’t make me move a finger. Good news, yes, though I rarely watch TV, and if I do watch a movie or television show based on a book or videogame (or viceversa), I always do it after the original material, I don’t want an “interpretation” to ruin the liberty of my imagination.

WoT New Cover Announcement

When I saw the announcement of the new covers, my reaction was a “meh” of disappointment. This is when the problem had started but I couldn’t realize until it was too late. I didn’t see the point in buying the books immediately; I had books in my backlog, so I believed the best idea was to wait for the future. Months later, starting 2020, I went to Barnes & Noble, finally with a decision to buy a at least the first book set. Oh boy! The box sets were there, but not the awesome box sets with the amazing illustrations made by Darrell K. Sweet, no, I am talking about the box sets that are available today, are the ones with the new covers. Goodbye to the amazing covers with retro-vibe.

I know the old revisions are still available, but they are tricky to find, and sometimes more expensive.

I thought it would be a very good idea to wait a little more before getting the books. I missed the old illustrations, so it wouldn’t matter anymore.

REVELATIONS

One night, I was overthinking, as I usually do. It is a good exercise for the brain to traumatize it with problems from the past. IT IS SO HEALTHY… sarcasm aside, I wondered about the forthcoming Amazon Prime series, and then, a possibility scared me: a new revision of the series WITH-COVERS-FEATURING-THE-TV-SHOW-ACTORS. A chill ran through my spine. I hadn’t been scared like that since Silent Hill videogames. I had to take a rushed decision. Get the current revisions, before the series starts airing on Amazon

See the photo above, just in case you don’t believe me. The Hot Sale helped a lot to achieve this. Exploring the web, I looked for different opinions about these new covers, a lot of people hate them, and others say that the covers feel more “elegant” or “stylish”. I guess my definition for both words are different, but it’s just me.

As I mentioned, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, in the end, the most important (AND ONLY) function of a book is to be read. Although I can’t deny my disappointment. I am also excited, my journey through The Wheel of Time series is going to begin sooner than it had been planned.

Now I just have to wait for June 30th for the last box set, which includes Towers of Midnight, A Memory of Light, and the prequel, New Spring.


Have you ever had a disappoinment similar to this? What do you think of the new covers. Personally, I don’t like them, but maybe you’re fine with them. Let me know!

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