This is neither the beginning of the ending to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it is a beginning.
Robert Jordan’s magnum opus, a fourteen book epic collectively known as The Wheel of Time, begins with a world being ripped apart by madmen, driven insane by one man’s pride and arrogance. The reader gets to see that man as he is given the realization of his hubris and destroys himself, creating a mountain in the process.
The Eye of the World opens with a bang and, while it has a few lulls through its pages, holds the reader with its fantastical world and character building. You are introduced to major characters and given a threat that sees them set out into the world. These characters are all ‘main’ characters, as Jordan uses a great many people to fully tell his tale.
But that tale does not hand you every detail on a silver platter. Small comments and notations made in this book are clues to things that happen in later books. There are events in the series that people debated for years as they waited for more books and more information. The Eye of the World was often referenced in those arguments as Jordan laced even his first book with small details that can easily be overlooked.
The Eye of the World follows three country boys and two women as they are shepherded along by an Aes Sedai for reasons she will never quite come out and tell the five. But fear and lack of options are good motivation in the end and, despite several adventures, sees the group to their goal.
While all that sounds like a fairly typical fantasy adventure novel, Jordan uses his superb grasp of the world he wants to build and an awesome writing ability to keep readers engaged. The Wheel of Time books are small stories that contribute to the overall whole, but The Eye of the World is more-so than the rest. At the end, you could see this spinning into thirteen more books on the adventures of the Dragon, but that is far from what Jordan does. His epic is one large story, continuous and whole; The Eye of the World is just the jumping off point for the journey. And it truly is a journey worth jumping into.
The Eye of the World by: Robert Jordan
Book 1 of The Wheel of Time
782 pages (US Hardcover)