The Wheel of Time – The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Following my foray into Game of Thrones, I decided to pick up Wheel of Time to see what it’s all about. The all-knowing internet tells me it’s a classic fantasy franchise, and there is an upcoming TV show on Amazon Prime. So I have to jump on the bandwagon now.
1) “Aes Sedai do things for their own reasons, and those are not always the reasons you think.”
The beginning of the book was quite tough to follow. There were so many characters, each with their own history/background/motivation/secrets. Even by the end, I still wasn’t really sure how the different factions fit together.
2) “‘But the treasure. We can’t just leave it now.'” – Mat
Classic rookie move. Mat was the most annoying character, especially until it became clear why he was acting this way.
3) “‘I gave each of the boys a token. It created a bond of sorts between them and me. So long as they are alive and have those coins in their possession, I will be able to find them.'” – Moraine
I enjoyed the story the most when the whole crew was together. When they were split up (the second third of the book), the story dragged on and was noticeably more boring.
4) “‘Dapple says she smelled Halfmen and Trollocs in your minds while you were telling that fool story.'” – Elyas
Of the split-up storylines, the best was Perrin’s, where he suddenly became one with the wolves.
5) “‘The leaf lives its appointed time, and does not struggle against the wind that carries it away. The leaf does not harm, and finally falls to nourish new leaves. So it should be with all men. And women.'” – Aram
The hippie way.
6) “‘Who would I sell it to, Rand? A farmer would have to pay in chickens; we couldn’t buy a carriage with chickens. And if I even showed it in any village we’ve been through, they’d probably think we stole it.'” – Mat
This is why money was invented.
7) “‘The Wheel of Time weaves the Pattern of the Ages, and lives are the threads it weaves. No one can tell how the thread of his own life will be woven into the Pattern, or how the thread of a people will be woven.'” – Loial
The concept of the “pattern” was a nice backdrop, but it wasn’t fleshed out enough.
8) “A lone supporter of the Queen, running, could well spark a white-cockaded mob to pursuit.”
Reading this during the HK protests was a bit too real.
9) “‘Mother, often you tell me I must know our people, from the highest to the lowest, but whenever I meet any of them it is with a dozen attendants. How can I come to know anything real or true under such circumstances?”” – Elayne
By definition, an emperor does not know his subjects.
10) “‘Suspicion is smothering Caemlyn, perhaps all of Andor. Fear and black suspicion. Women denounce their neighbors for Darkfriends. Men scrawl the Dragon’s Fang on the doors of the people they have known for years.'” – Queen Morgase
Sometimes it’s hard to tell fiction from nonfiction.
After finishing the book, I immediately googled Wheel of Time. This first book was 800 pages and introduced a ton of characters, but it was clear the author had barely scratched the surface of his world. I was even more confused after watching some Youtube videos and reading wikis. It’s as if this book were 1% of the story. Given there are 14 books in total, my estimate isn’t too far off. Unfortunately, my conclusion is that the series is way too long and complex for me to invest time. The story is decent but I didn’t really find myself connecting with any of the characters.