Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Dragon Reborn Audiobook Update 4: All roads lead to Tear

Today is Friday and everyone knows Fridays are for updating the world on an audiobook I exclusively listen to while exercising. The journey around the Wheel of Time has been quite the thrill, the sweet sounds of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading have blessed my eardrums with nothing but the highest quality fantasy this forlorn world has to offer.

That opening paragraph was the blogging version of repeating the question to stall for time. The problem with doing all those Mat quotes last week was I kind of forgot where I left off so this recap is without a doubt going to be out-of-order with a heavy focus on recency.

Lets start with ya boy Perrin. Perrin is not what we would call your traditional ladies man. Sure the boy is a good looking meat monster, but his soft ass beta attitude directly impacts his ability to capitalize. He rolls in on Moraine half dressed and the dude just wants to talk. She even goes so far as to drop a hint, saying something along the lines of “you are a good looking man” or some other coy Aes Sedai flirting technique and the dude is just stuck in his own head. O well Zarine Bashere enters the picture, so Perrin’s non-player days are pretty much over at this point anyway.

I would like to talk about Perrin’s clear highlight of the book. Look Perrin puts in that fucking work, no one would ever call the guy a bitch, and there are a few times in this book in particular when he goes green-eggs-and-ham on some fucking clowns. The first was when he smoked that Myrddraal with the ax, sure the woman he was trying to protect died but that is irrelevant, the actual fight was hardddddd.

So in Remen two hunters of the horn have captured an Aiel man, later revealed as Gaul, and left him in a cage in the town square. Perrin springs the dude from the trap when they encounter a group of whitecloaks. I fucking love the Aiel sometimes, that whole wrapping the black cloth around their faces thing and dropping dope one-liners gets me every time. True to form Gaul drops an all timer “Do you like to dance, Perrin Aybara” and then the two of them absolutely slaughter the whitecloaks. I know Perrin hates killing but damn that is a fun read.

This is getting long so I guess I will have to do some highlights. Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene meet the maidens of the spear and we get introduced to Aviendha (no way I will ever remember how to spell that). Unsurprisingly get nabbed again and are being sold to a couple of Myrddraal when the Aiel come and save them. At this point the Aiel have completely massacred all the dark friends, and they have the two Myrddraal surrounded. Now it’s mentioned 9,000,000 times how Myrddraal scare the shit out of everyone, but the Aiel are taunting them with classic barbs and completely humiliating these evil ghost ghoul things.

As they circled, the Aiel drummed their spears against their small hide bucklers. Thrum-thrum-THRUM-thrum . . . thrum-thrum-THRUM-thrum . . . thrum-thrum-THRUM-thrum. The Myrddraal turned with them, and their eyeless faces seemed uncertain, uneasy that the fear their gaze struck into every human heart did not seem to touch these.
“Dance with me, Shadowman,” one of the Aiel called suddenly, tauntingly. He sounded like a young man.

So fucking badass. Aiel are awesome.

I want to close this with an update on the hero of the story. Mat delivers a letter to Morgase, who he thinks about dancing with just thought it was important to add that the man has the confidence to try and get with the Queen, and is mad at Gaebril for kind of demeaning him and planning to kill Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve and drops a classic.

“What’s this, lad? Coin?” “Stakes.”Gaebril doesn’t know it, but he and I have a wager.” The cat jumped down as Mat picked up the wooden dive cup and spun the dice out on the table. Five sixes. “And I always win.”

Happy Friday!

Final Notes: This is going to seem like bullshit, but I actually bet the Rams at +1.5 last night and of course didn’t write about it. Proof is here:

Journey around the Wheel of Time

Eye of the World Audiobook Wrap-up

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.