Review: The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan

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I finished reading The Eye of the World on Sunday and realized that it’s now Thursday with no review written.  You see the problem is work.  Busy, you know.  And any free time must be spent reading book two.  Yes, as soon as I finished this one, I immediately picked up book two.  Does that give you a clue as to what I thought of TEOTW?  That’s right.  5/5 stars.

Published in 1990, TEOTW has many, many well written reviews.  So I’m not going to spend a lot of time actually reviewing it.  It’s a great book.  That’s my review.  Instead, I’m going to talk a little about the fantasy genre.  One of the negative reviews I read called this series derivative.  Readers are entitled to their opinions.  But, I believe that if you call this derivative, you have to then say that about almost all modern fantasy series.  Here are a few elements found in TEOTW – tell me if they sound familiar?

  • Towers – seriously every fantasy series has towers in it.  I don’t need to give examples.
  • Fight between good versus evil.
  • The big evil must not be called by his name.  Youngsters, keep in mind that this was written well before Harry Potter.
  • A young man with special powers he hasn’t yet realized.
  • Main characters must go on a trek.
  • Reference to a hero of ages.
  • Magical swords.
  • Fae mythology.
  • Ways or secret portals that allow someone to travel long distances outside of normal space.
  • Followers of the big bad are hidden in normal society and have a special name.

I could go on and on but do you see what I’m saying?  I could choose any of these elements and name series after series that includes it in some form or fashion.  For me, the strength of a fantasy is how well they incorporate these standard ideas and make them their own.

And, Jordan was a master.

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