(Author: Robert Jordan) + (Year: 1990) + (Goodreads)
Where do I even begin with this?
I met a friend of a friend and we got talking about Game of Thrones, the show. Then about the books. And then he was all “But have you read “The Wheel of Time” series?” Which I had not. So he gave me the first book, telling me that it was “the best fantasy ever!” I was not that excited, to be honest. I expected major disappointment. Which was great, because therefore the book could not have let me down in any way.
But it went further, I actually loved it!
I can’t call this the best fantasy ever simply because I don’t find it that original. That, however, does not mean that it was not exciting and interesting. I didn’t know this about myself, but I seem to be a fan of the fantasy genre. Again, that might be the result of the fact that I haven’t read a disappointing fantasy book to this moment.
The Wheel of Time for me is the lovechild of one of my favourite books ever,Lord of the Rings, and The Sword of Truth series(although that is not completely true, considering that The Sword of Truth started in 1994 and The Wheel of Time in 1990. I just didn’t read them in the order they were published, so I can’t help but feel that The Wheel of Time reminds me of The Sword of Truth and not the other way around). Anyone who’s read both of those could make a parallel with The Wheel of Time and they would not be wrong. Therefore excuse the comparisons in the review, they are going to be very helpful, in my opinion.
The Eye of the World depicts a world of magic which exists on the balance between the forces of good and evil. Three young men, Rand, Mat and Perrin, are forced to leave their hometown and journey across their country, ridden with the forces of evil, to find shelter in the city of Tar Valon. They are accompanied by Aes Sedai Moiraine, her Warder Lan, Rand’s love interest Egwene, Gleeman Tom Merrilin and later another girl from their village, Nynaeve. They encounter many threats, meet friends and foes and fight darkness every step of the way.
First of all, without trying to spoil, the fact that the book from the beginning revolves around one of the boys more than the other two points to his significance, so I wouldn’t believe anyone was fooled about who the Trollocks and Shai’tan were after.
Second, the author claims that he intentionally created the village of Elmond’s Field in the image of the Shire. OK. But the entire world in the book is eerily like the one in LoTR:
– The Mountains of Dhoom/Mount Doom
– Myrddraal/Uruk Hai
etc. etc. etc.
If you loved The Lord of the Rings, I think you would appreciate the atmosphere.
Third: The Sword of Truth.
Richard [Rand, Mat and Perrin], in turn of events, meets a mystery woman, Kahlan [Moiraine], who takes him from the town he has always lived in and drags him to the world of magic, where he is in a constant battle with the servants of darkness, in the face of rulers, emperors, Sisters of the Dark[Black Ajah], evil’s puppets [Darkfriends] and so on.
Kahlan [Moiraine], also turns out to be part of an ancient order, the Confessors [Aes Sedai], and is both loved and feared across the land.
*yep, BAMF right there*
Later on Richard [our three friends] meets Cara [also Moiraine], who is a part of the Mord-Sith [also Aes Sedai], and is at first cruel and vicious, but then becomes a friend of Richard’s and also his protector. Richard[one of the three boys] later learns that he is not actually the son of the man who raised him, but the reincarnation of sorts, of the Seeker of Truth[keeping this spoiler-free, I’m not going to say what the said boy is in the Wheel of Time, except that he is special]. There is also the grandfatherly figure, in LotS he is an actual grandfather, not so in The Wheel of Time, Zedd[Tom].
We also have the villain of our story, I’m going to use Darken Rahl here, even though he isn’t alive for long in the books, and his counterpart in The Wheel of Time, Shai’tan.
I could go on and on.
I guess, knowing that The Wheel of Time came out first, Goodkind was a big fan of Jordan’s books.
It seems to me this book was heavily influenced by both Buddhism and Christianity. There is the one Creator, and then there is evil incarnate. The wheel of time itself is a popular concept in some religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Jordan seems to rely on that type of eastern religions to create the concept of right and wrong in the book.
On the other side, The Children of the Light remind me of religious fanatics, notably the ones that we can find in the history of Christianity: crazed enough to burn people at the stake, create the Inquisition and so on.
On the whole this is a very enjoyable book. That’s the bit I love the most about fantasy and YA books, they try to define good and evil in a way which is both smart and interesting. They create fictional worlds in which people possess strong spirit and will to fight for their cause and while saving the world, they show us the values which we should strive to achieve.