Even though I’m a big ol’ nerd, I have never been interested in The Wheel of Time series until recently. The new Wheel of Time show on Amazon Prime did it (all hail Rosamund Pike). My family watched it together, and once season one ended I picked up the first book of the very long series. So, I’m coming at this review from the show first and then the books.
My review of the show is that it’s not for me. I’m not really sure who it is for and maybe that’s the biggest problem with it. Amazon sexed it up but not with the glee of early Games of Thrones or Spartacus, etc. They added lots of teen/YA drama a la CW but it’s not as interesting as Reign or this show’s contemporary, Yellowjackets. And it’s definitely not faithful to the book so I imagine many readers don’t love the compression of story or character changes. Oh, well. Not everything is for everyone.
My review of the book is that it is for me.
Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World is a sprawling fantasy story with plenty of lore, lived-in villages and cities, interesting characters, and at times, horror. As the reader I felt I was thrust into an uncertain and terrifying situation just like the affable protagonists were. Even though it took me over two months to get through this 750-page journey, I made it with a happy heart. In particular I liked the sweet naivete of the small-village protagonists. The simultaneous innocence of kids protagonists seeing cities and meeting different kinds of people contrasted with the horror of the Big Picture story made both better. I know Jordan fought in Vietnam, and I wonder whether that experience shaped him how the Inklings’ fantasy authors were shaped by World War 1.
Another thing that I liked in this one is that some of the more wordly characters the protagonists meet along the way have some throwaway lines hinting about what else is going on in the world at the time. Those other events made me want to keep reading the series, which I will definitely do. Look out for a book two review in…April?
That was kind of a meta-review of the show and book together. But that was my experience so I suppose that was the best way to go!