I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Fantasy (classic) Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 3.5 stars Series: yes - first book
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
My apologies for the nothingness that is this blurb! As I mentioned in my review of NEW SPRING, this series comes from a time where it seems like most blurbs are like this. I haven’t found a better blurb (and that chunky paragraph is the ONLY thing passing for a blurb on all the books in the edition I have so I can’t even transcribe the back of my copy!)
The first book of the famous The Wheel of Time series is the start of what appears to be a classic “farm boy” fantasy, with an evil lord, prophecy, and a farm boy unaware of his destiny. It has all the staples of the sub-genre – mysterious magician, lots of foes hunting them, rising danger in the wider world.
I really do loves these elements, and better yet, this book was not dripping with sexism about the role women played. Yes, most background women are wives who deal with the home etc, but the inclusion of three strong-minded women in the group really helped, considering how small it was and that their abilities weren’t doubted by others – even if Rand wanted to keep the girl he was sweet on safe so kept suggesting she went back. That was rebuffed pretty quickly. It’s not perfect, but it’s a fair sight better than a lot of other big names in the field.
I’m not sure how much reading the prequel first, rather than later, affected my perception of the story. I would say that knowing the main character is the chosen one and he doesn’t is a staple of the genre, even if reading the prequel first meant I understood some of the dreams and references better. Mostly, the prequel meant I understood the Moiraine/Lan relationship better (though I am curious about what happened in the intervening years, given her relationship with her order’s leaders seems to have changed.”
It’s mostly told from Rand’s perspective, but when they get split up in the middle, there are a few chapters from Perrin and Nynaeve to explain what was happening to them. However, they are a drop in the barrel compared to the volume of Rand’s chapters.
This book is so big – the sort of length you expect for the end of a series, not the start of one! (And it’s not even the longest in the series, but I think it’s the physically thickest book as the longer ones use a different, thinner binding.) Starting this book (let alone the series) is certainly not something to do on a whim – it took a while to get through this book. And that length is a bit daunting, which didn’t help the settling in to the book, but once I was in, I really enjoyed it.
I am definitely continuing the series, because I love quest fantasies (and I’m kind of curious to see what means it had to be SO LONG! Unless it’s actually lots of smaller series, but I don’t think it is?) However, I won’t be reading the entire series in one go. It does consume a lot of time and mental energy when books are this long to recall what’s been happening and put the various hints together.
Read my reviews of other books by Robert Jordan:
The Wheel of Time (this series):
- NEW SPRING (#0)
- THE GREAT HUNT (#2)
- THE DRAGON REBORN (#3)
- THE SHADOW RISING (#4)
- THE FIRES OF HEAVEN (#5)
- LORD OF CHAOS (#6)
- A CROWN OF SWORDS (#7)
- THE PATH OF DAGGERS (#8)
- WINTER’S HEART (#9)
- CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT (#10)
- KNIFE OF DREAMS (#11)
- THE GATHERING STORM (#12)
- TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT (#13)
- A MEMORY OF LIGHT (#14)