The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Rating 8.7/10
A fantasy book that grips slowly and refuses to let go.

“The Wheel of time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.”
The Eye Of The World: Page 1

The Eye of the World is the first book of the fourteen book Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. This thrilling series begins in Emond’s Field, where we meet Rand al’Thor, Mat Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara. While preparing for Winternight, two travelers arrive to the village; a guard and a noble lady—or so it seems. The guard and noblewoman are, in fact a warder and Aes Sedai respectively. Following an attack on the village by a band of Trollocs, Rand, Mat, and Perrin must embark on a quest to find answers as to why their quiet village was attacked by beasts thought to only exist in legend. Along with them in this quest are Moiraine Sedai, Lan the Warder, the gleeman Thom Merrillin, Egwane al’Vere, as well as the village Wisdom Nynaeve al’Meara, who join the boys to fight the Dark One and prevent his plans from coming to fruition.

The journey is long and filled with peril and unforeseen obstacles. The group is tracked by Trollocks, Fades, and Darkfriends, managing to stay one-step ahead until they are forced apart at Shadar Logath. Eventually, the friends are reunited at Camelyn, where Loial the Ogier joins the group. Together, they journey onward to the Eye of the World and hopefully to thwart the Dark One’s plans.

This is my second time reading the Eye of the World, and I must say, I definitely enjoyed it more the second time around. However, both times I felt that the book got off to a very slow start. That being said, I would urge you to continue reading as it picks up the pace around a quarter of the way through. While the plot definitely has the familiar tropes of high fantasy novels, and as a result there are a few similarities that can be seen in other works within the genre, this is largely due to the huge impact The Wheel of Time series had on the genre. Jordan’s skillful writing truly brings the characters and their journey to life. My favorite character was, without a doubt Nynaeve, with Moiraine Sedai closely behind.

Robert Jordan sets the foundation for a saga filled with unforgettable characters and a world steeped in rich history and legend. If you truly love the fantasy genre, passing up a chance to read The Eye of the World would be an unbelievable mistake.
Kat Berwick, 8.7/10

Life in Emond's Field has been pretty boring for Rand Al'Thor and his friends until a strange young woman arrives in their village. Moraine is an Aes Sedai, a magician with the ability to wield the One Power, and she brings warnings of a terrible evil awakening in the world. That very night, the village is attacked by bloodthirsty Trollocs - a fearsome tribe of beast-men thought to be no more than myth. As Emond's Field burns, Moraine and her warrior-guardian help Rand and his companions to escape. But it is only the beginning of their troubles. For Moraine believes Rand Al'Thor is the Dragon Reborn, and that he is fated to unite the world against the rising darkness and lead the fight against a being so powerful and evil it is known simply as the Dark One.

The Eye of the World marks the beginning of Robert Jordan’s twelve-book epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time. This series is regarded as the finest fantasy series ever by many of Jordan’s loyal fans and many years of a reader’s life can be lost within its pages.

At a time when many authors were producing pastiche Tolkien, Jordan created entirely new races, an innovative magical system and a captivating world with its own rich history.

The Eye of the World is a multifaceted and exhilarating adventure from an accomplished writer; a fantasy book that grips slowly and refuses to let go.

Robert Jordan died on September the 16th, 2007. Eleven books had been published at the time of his death and Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, has chosen Brandon Sanderson to write the twelfth book and thereby complete the series.
Floresiensis, 8.6/10

This The Eye of the World book review was written by and Floresiensis

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All reviews for: Wheel of Time

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The Eye of the World reader reviews

from UK

8-stars

I believe whether or not you have read The Lord of the Rings has a big say in how much you enjoy this book. Jordan and his publishers were quite open about how much of an influence Tolkien had on its writing. Fantasy fans who have not read LotR will likely love it. Those who have read LotR will likely also love it but have one too many 'hold on a second, that's Moria, that#s Strider, that's Mount Doom etc...'. I was the latter, as I was with the first Shannara book. Just a little too close for my liking. But I have to admit that it's good solid epic fantasy. A little twee in my opinion and the romance a little cringe-worthy, but definitely worth a read. Fans of the series always say that things really get going in book two, so when I get the chance I will read The Great Hunt and let you know.

from Canada

10-stars

Doesn't really develop, totally predictable. Amateur writer. I think if anyone rates this as excellent they really don't know what they are saying. Good literature is like good music, most ppl wouldn't know it if it fell on their heads. The Wheel of Time spins its wheels, totally unoriginal.

from Italy

10-stars

Best Fantasy Series after Tolkien and before Erikson.

from US

1-stars

OMG. The combined reviews of this book average 8.9 out of ten. The book is over 700 pages of the slowest moving predictable story. I keep wanting to like it but after 500 pages am not drawn into any of the boring characters and plot and can't take it any more. Not to mention I would have to read the next 6 or 7 books. Sorry but there are much better epics to waste my time on.

from Sweden

8-stars

Other readers have sung enough praises for this series, and for the most part, I agree. My problem with it is for one how the author overgeneralizes his cultures (f.e. the fashion is always unique to a country as dresses cut this way are only worn in that country and that cut is worn somewhere else). This continues into his characterization of said nations (f.e. the Atha'an Miere are described as extremely graceful due to their whole lives spend on ships - in reality, being used to a life on a ship can make you more clumsy on land because you try to compensate for waves that aren't there; or the Arad Domani are all said to be excellent merchants - I wonder how Arad Doman survives, aren't there other jobs: craftsmen, warriors, farmers or who produces all the goods the merchants sell? They hardly materialize from thin air... And so on throughout the complete series!) The second thing I disliked were all the abandoned subplots and characters who's appeared once and seemed to play an important part, and then were completely forgotten by the author. And does Rand really need three beautiful, talented women falling in love with him? And not be jealous of each other? Lots of wish fulfillment on the author's part here... And what do we readers dislike most? - Right, author's wish fulfillment! On the whole this is a very good series with elaborate worldbuilding and great magic system. Many things, though, repeat themselves and more character development would've done the series lots of good. As it is, it gets 8 points from me.

from India

10-stars

One of the best fantasy books ever written... far better than any of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books.

from England

10-stars

DIABOLIC!!! How this series (even this book alone) is outside of the top 5 in fantasy series is beyond belief (especially when you have the ludicrously shallow money maker that is Harry Potter some 20+ places above it !!!! ) I think the list needs an update (same sentiment goes for Stormlight Archives #1 by Brandon Sanderson which is just about the most perfect opener to a fantasy series written to date!)

from UK

10-stars

No other world can be so rich and feel so real. No other characters can be so entertaining. Enjoy the entire series, definitely starting with this one. The Wheel of Time is the best thing that happened in my life.

from Croatia

2-stars

I can't belive this book has better reviews than Martin's Game of Thrones.

from Cambridge, UK

8-stars

These books have been the definition of good, epic fantasy for me for the best part of 10 years. As I've grown up, I've come to realise some of their flaws - overly meandering sub-plots, slow pacing (esp. in books 7-10) and endless descriptions of clothing - but these take nothing away from how much I love the series as a whole. The slightly samey characters and idiosyncratic descriptions become like old friends after a while. Brandon Sanderson has finished the series brilliantly, and it is well worth labouring through the slower books to get to his ending. For all its flaws, the WOT remains one of the greatest fantasy series' ever written.

from USA

10-stars

I echo that how you have this as low as you do is astounding. This series is by far the greatest fantasy series I have ever read and I've read a ton of fantasy over the years. I'm 58. Laugh at most of the books series you have over it. What happened, did they pay you more or something?

from UK

10-stars

How this series is at number 80 I have no idea. I've read about 50% of the books listed here, and I would say that the Wheel of Time tops them all. Incredible series. Incredible depth and complexity. In fact, credulity is more of a theoretical concept when considering just how intricate this series is. I've never spent time on forums researching books and discussing plot lines with other readers for any other series. If you're new to fantasy and you're looking for a great story with some great characters, look no further than this.

from Adelaide

10-stars

Strange Top 100 ratings overall. The Wheel of Time Series is the best high fantasy series I have read. It's easy to see Tolkein being rated number one due to its overall impact on the genre, but the entire Wheel of Time series is immense and complex. It was also hard to reconcile the low rating of the Riftwar series as this shoulfd have been higher up the list. The first book is slow comparatively and the tale ebbs and flows but when it kicks into gears it is truly spectacular. I thought the characterisation and strong gender balanced mix of heroes was strong unlike a number of other coommentators. Some of the books had interrupted flows which did not fully serve the story and I was underwhelmed on initial readings of books 7-9. There series has recovered strongly with books 10-13 fantastic. I haven't read Erikson but the balance of the top 10 do not measure up to the scale of the Wheel of Time Series which hasn't diminished as yet. My 12 year old son is equally impressed with Wheel of Time, so it is a sereies that resonates across age groups as well.

from Oneonta

9-stars

Anyone ever read E.R. Eddison "The Worm Ouroboros"? From 1919, an old myth (from BCE) I believe. Recognized it straight away. Decent book for its time, if you can accept the science of the time, dropped char's, and prose of 1919. Of course, same to be said for Wells, Burroughs, etc. I give 7 for Worm. Just wanting to say icon and premise of book isn't original, reminds me of Homer. Then again, have there been any truly original stories lately in almost every genre. Still, series is great!!!

from Oneonta

9-stars

Was turned on by good friend after turning him to Mabinigion (Evangeline Walton). I thought bk1-7 were great. Next 2 bk => bk 8. Bk10-11 => bk9. Thankfully BWS doesn't spend pages descibing coutuere, coiffure, and room settings. Remember RJ was an opera critic. Agree w/ many opinions above. BWS comes to point. Would give 10 if not for bks 8-11. Thanx TTFN.

from Emonds Field

10-stars

By far my favourite out of the ones I've read. Gripping, a masterpiece.

from UK

10-stars

A masterpiece.

from Reading

9-stars

I think that the Wheel of Time series is brilliant, and whilst the books do appear to drop off they pick up again on book 11. It is certainly true that Brandon Sanderson has appeared to breathe new life into this series, Jordan weaved an in depth multi faceted world which pulls you in. Fortunately Robert Jordan left Brandon Sanderson a plethra of notes and plans so we will be able to read the culmination of Jordan's world. I think to read the whole series of these books you do require a lot of will power at times although compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy (which I believe was woefully written, but a fantastic story) this is an easy read.

from scotland

3-stars

I have read a lot fantasy and sci-fi over the years, I enjoy that kind of escapism but most fantasy authors do not have the writing skills to express their idea. Robert Jordan epitomises an author with a good idea but he cocoons the concept in a wave tangent stories that have nothing to do with anything. Pace he just doesn’t understand; he is an amateur writer who writes too much, you certainly couldn’t compare the likes of Robert Jordan to Leon Tolstoy.

from Herts

9-stars

There is such a scope of detail and imagination within the books I was easily hooked. Although at times perhaps too extensive and repeative with the detail the story develops on a vast scale I found myself skipping through the book to discover what was happened before it did. The characterisation develops quickly in the first 4 books before slowing down and more sub-plots enter thr fray which can be confusion so that by the 6th book you're following about 7 storylines, which in any book is hard to develop on a large scale and is no different with Jordan. As more characters are introduced Jordan/Sanderson does not provide quite enough backround and the storylines do become a bit hurried and short which left me growing a little disapointed with the series from the 5th book onwards, however still a fantastic read. A bit challenging for someone who is just trying fantasy fiction but definitely worth the go.

from London

6-stars

1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 - simply immense. From there things went down hill.

from California

8-stars

I loved this series the first 2-3 books are amazing and compelling. However after this the next 5 or so are pretty redundant. As sorry as I was for Jordan to leave this world, I am elated that Brandon Sanderson has picked up the pieces to finish the series. He has given this epic fantasy new life, the last two books are by far my favourite as he is a much better writer than R. Jordan was. He has grabbed all the loose ends that Jordan left behind and forged a masterpiece bringing closure to so many parts of the book that have gone unattended. I have read the 2 books he wrote 3 times each already they are great. Stick with it skim do whatever you have to do to get to the books he has written they are worth it.

from Mississippi

10-stars

The first book is so compelling! It is a must read for any fantasy reader. It is said that the series goes down hill later on in the books but that is for you to determine for yourself.

from Australia

10-stars

The BEST series ever. Brilliant storytelling, relatable and complex characters, impressive worldbuilding, complex and compelling plotlines and subplotlines (and excellent foreshadowing). Virtually flawless - a must read!

from New York

10-stars

Epic fantasy at its best. The world Mr. Jordan creates is FULL of depth and detail. Which is nice because too often in fantasy novels the world seems empty aside from the main characters.

from New Jersey

10-stars

No one creates a more detailed and vibrant world than Robert Jordan. The amount of detail in every page can be overwhelming at times but well worth it. The way he writes you would think that in his life Mr. Jordan has been a sailor, horse trader, farmer, blacksmith, etc. every person you meet every trade they do is presented with the detail of someone who has been that craftsman. For those who enjoy bubble gum fantasy where everything is resolved in 350 pages this is not the series for you. But if you enjoy intelligent well written EPIC fantasy then there is no better than the Wheel of Time.

from Toronto

5-stars

The first several books were compelling. High fantasy is my favorite genre and Jordan was masterful at creating a world that draws you in. However, as it progressed I struggled to remain interested. Finally, after more than 15 years of reading the series I gave up. The story became so complicated and repetitive I no longer cared what the outcome of the series would be. I stopped reading at book ten.

from Colorado

9-stars

This book is a masterpiece and certainly one of the best first books in a fantasy series I've ever read. Robert Jordan's writing is unbelievably detailed and his characters are so realistic that you'll feel you know them personally by the end of the first book. While it feels a little much like Lord of the Rings in the beginning, it quickly becomes a much grander, more interesting adventure and a story that is purely Jordan's invention. Would definitely recommend it. My only warning is that you better have plenty of spare time to devote to the series!

from Glasgow

10-stars

The Wheel of Time series has been in my life since early 2006 when I accidently came across The Eye of the World gathering dust on my partner's bookshelf. Since then I have been dipping in and out of the world RJ created with each book, terrified at the prospect of reaching the end of the series. It is simply superb and I have so much love for this series. I couldn't have hoped for more. My only word of caution - there are a lot of books!

from Winchester

10-stars

Robert Jordan's series is second to none - the complete series [including the final books that are being edited and compiled by Brandon Sanderson] and his prequels contain a whole new universe that resonates with our own - thought provoking and philosophical concepts that go beyond simple fantasy - a true master series.

from Ohio

2-stars

I only made it through the first book but it was too slow for me to continue the series.

from Canada

8-stars

Epic story, Detailed world, plot holes, shitty characters and crappy side stories, strong characters and exciting storyline. I feel its like a constant build of a lame plot for one character which becomes a real page turner then right when it gets good, a switch to another lame plot line which does the same thing. A vicious cycle, but... I can't put the books down. I love em... except that what I described can get really frustrating. It can take over your life x0

from Cali

10-stars

The best series I have read.

from Canberra, Australia

8-stars

I had very fond memories of this book, it was the first "really really big" fantasy book that I ever read with Rand, Mat and Perrin becoming instant heroes to me. Its been 12 years now and I have started reading the books again and while the enjoyment is still there, the hero worship is completely gone. I'm finding it hard to come to grips with just how immature these three boys really were in the first couple of books (and Egwene). Another factor that brought this book down slightly is that I now find the book too descriptive to become completely immersed, everything just seems to rigid and specific. The story is still a great story and I highly recommend the series

from Orlando

10-stars

The Eye of World is Book 1 of the Wheel of Time series, which in my opinion is the best ongoing series written in the English language. Finally a book comes along that truly captures the human nature. People don't change as quickly as other fantasy books suggest. The simple truth is fear is a powerful emotion and it take time to get over such fear. This is the most accurate portrayal of true human reactions to change as I've ever seen in a fantasy novel.

3-stars

The first book of the series was interesting and worth reading. The second book too was a good read. However, by book 3 it was clear that Jordan was dialing it in. Repetitive, redundant - over and over again. Jordan never develops his characters - and they never grow out of the same childish reactions to each other. Pass on this series.

from Melbourne

7-stars

I am slightly disappointed with this book as I heard a lot of good things about it. The thing I thought was lousey was the characterization. I thought Rand was boring and was 2D while the rest of the major male characters where similar. Although I would still like to read the next books, I felt at times that it was slow and boring. I still do think you should check it out but be warned... it is not as good as some say.

from London

10-stars

I am often asked what fantasy books someone should read if they are looking for new material, and I am astonished at how many people haven't read this series yet. It's the first book I recommend if I know someone likes fantasy, and it's the series that I always turn back to when I'm looking for reading material for the next couple of months. Currently spanning 12 main books and one prequel, with two more due to close the story arc, the series has for the most part leapt from strength to strength, developing an impressive array of both main and bit characters. The first three or four books read like fairly typical high fantasy in places, albeit very well written high fantasy, but after that everything starts to develop further, with everything from tense political situations through breathtaking action scenes to the simple love stories working in the background, this series has something for anyone who loves fantasy. I honestly cannot recommend this series enough.

8.2/10 from 39 reviews

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