As the first stop on the journey around The Wheel of Time series has come to it’s conclusion, I thought it would be worth the time to review the audiobook as a whole. As I mentioned in the beginning of this, I had zero prior experience with audiobooks. This desire to start one stemmed from me getting bored as fuck with all the other stuff I was listening too while running, as well as being convinced by Amazon’s Audible marketing campaign. That last part is kind of embarrassing to say, but whatever just being honest. The audiobook has accompanied my marathon training, and since the New York City Marathon is like 17 weeks away, I think that I am going to continue to fly through the series.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan is the first book in a 12 part series known as the Wheel of Time, widely considered a classic series in the fantasy genre. If you are a fan of Tolkein, epic fantasy, or high fantasy this is an excellent series. While there are some adult aspects, this is a series that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. Having originally read the series about 5 years ago, my first impression of it was the length was a little excessive, though the payoff is worth it. It is longggggg as hell and because of this, the series has a tendency to meander and get bogged down in a lot of not entertaining chapters. I actually remember getting pretty bored with it at points and not enjoying it as much as some of the other stuff I had read at that point, but after listening to the audiobook I am not sure that this was an entirely fair opinion.
I think it is important to point out that I did listen to this, and as an audiobook it was a lot more interesting. When the book kind of slowed down I was able to just zone out a little and focus on the running. It was easy to follow along with the story while running, but I also remember the general gist of the plot. I would highly recommend listening to an audiobook of some fantasy series you keep promising yourself you are going to re-read knowing full well you are never going to get around to it. Gave me an entirely different perspective of the book
The Eye of the World as a singular story at its core is your run-of-the-mill chosen one tale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want something that differs from the norm, this might not be for you. If you look at the characters, creatures and plot, the first book especially is eerily similar to LOTR. Their are Orcs, Ents, chosen one and accompanying friends from his village, an ambiguous evil power, and magic (trolocs, Ogier, Rand and friends, Balzamon and the one power). The differences are what make this a special book.
With a more modern writing style and less focus on the way the trees hit the wind, this book is fantastic. The scope of the world is enormous, it feels like every chapter we are introduced to a new element of magic, abilities and creatures. The plot itself is solid, three villagers are chosen by The Pattern which is some weird universal power that seeks to balance out the world, to fight the dark one who seeks to finally take over the world. Rand is an absolute loser and as a main character he is annoying as shit, but his storyline is cool enough to make up for it.
The book has the inevitable ending where the good guys win, but because this thing is 12 books long, it sets the scene nicely for the next book. I can’t wait to dive into the Great Hunt. Wow this was almost like a real review. Props to me for being able to write something mature. Fuck Rand. Had to throw in something immature.