21 January 2016

The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan

Image from Goodreads
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.

Robert Jordan has long been hailed as one of the world's fantasy greats and central to that is his Wheel of Time Series. It's a firm favourite with many fantasy fans and has been recommended to me many times over, I can see why.

The book for the most part flows smoothly, however I found myself jolted slightly moving from the prologue to the first chapter. When I tried to read this in paperback that transition put me off, however when I listened to it with audible it didn't seem sand.

I think part of the reason this story feels so good is the exceptional world building. Rand and his friends travel through a number of places over the course of the novel and each one has numerous stories to create a history. There are similarities between places throughout the story with a heavy focus on attitudes to the dark one, but no two places are the same and there is a shift in attitude or focus as they move closer to the Netherlands.

I like the fact that despite the wonderful world building that has gone into this novel none of the characters are totally defined by where they came from, and that's including the minor ones.

My favourite thread of the story was definitely Perrin's and when the story switched back to the other characters I would find myself anxiously waiting to see whether he had accepted himself. I really can't wait to see how his gift progresses in later books.

As I listened to this book rather than reading it as such I feel I need to mention the narration. This book is narrated by both Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. I read quite a few reviews on audible which described Michael Kramer's voice as tedious, I think it could be a bit in the style of marmite because I actually quite like it. I found that he could convince me of a range of characters and perhaps I'm biased because of the mistborn books.

The first time Kate Reading spoke it jarred me. There's nothing wrong with her narration, although I prefer Kramer, but it came as a shock. Somehow I missed that it was read by more than one person and you're approximately halfway through before she first speaks. All in all the narration works well in this balance and it does draw some distinction between the male and female viewpoints.

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