The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan – An Audio Book Review

Eye of the World

Blurb:

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Moiraine Damodred arrives in Emond’s Field on a quest to find the one prophesized to stand against The Dark One, a malicious entity sowing the seeds of chaos and destruction. When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the village seeking their master’s enemy, Moiraine persuades Rand al’Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

Author: Robert Jordan

Narrator: Rosamund Pike

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Audio Release Date:16/11/2021

Genre: Fantasy

Running Time: 32hrs 55mins

Series: The Wheel of Time #1

My Rating of ‘The Eye of the World’: 3 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon, Audible

Review:

Like many people, I picked this up after watching the TV series. I read this, and several others in the series, about twenty years or so ago, but decided to revisit it. It wasn’t as great as I remembered, but I enjoyed it. I would have liked to enjoy it more than I did, but it is what it is.

What Robert Jordan did well was world build. I really enjoyed the slower pacing (for the most part) as I got to take in the world he was creating and the people he was populating it with. I enjoyed the effort that went into the whole building process, and just wished he could have put more effort into character building. The ones he has appear interesting, until you get to meet them proper. Then they are shown as what they are: one dimensional with a glimmer of hope at being something more.

In all fairness, that tends to be mostly a main character flaw. The people they meet in passing seem interesting, but that could only be because we don’t get to meet them for too long. I started off thinking ‘oooh, bit rude’ when Lan would call Rand ‘Sheepherder’ or Perrin ‘Blacksmith’ when he clearly could have just used their names. But, to be fair to the chap, they didn’t have much else going for them. He could have called Rand ‘Selfish, self-obsessed brat’ … but Sheepherder is probably a tad more diplomatic.

As main characters I struggled to like anyone other than Tom. Lan and Moiraine were close seconds. He had some flare to him whereas the rest had their one thing and precious little else to call their own or cling to. Or were just selfish, annoying and unlikeable as far as main characters went (in all fairness, this is more of a ‘people from the Two Rivers’ trait than a general thing). It didn’t make the story bad to read, just made me feel a bit ‘meh’ as far as character depth went.

The story itself was fairly straight forward. Three lads may just be the one person who can destroy the dark one, but they aren’t sure which so all of them have to go along for the ride. The actual main plot was good, but everything else felt a little like Jordan was desperate to make it an ‘epic fantasy’ rather than just a ‘fantasy’. The same formula of ‘go to place, meet random person who just happens to be important and can tell you more about the world’ is repeated constantly. So much so that, whenever characters approach a new place, you’re not so much thinking ‘what will happen next’ as you are ‘well, which of these people will be the next font of information’.

I’ll no doubt carry on with the series, but it’ll be a ‘when the next tv series comes out’ kind of thing rather than rushing out to get it now.

The narration was fantastic. Rosamund plays Moiraine in the TV series, so having her voice this was a great touch. Top marks as far as narration is concerned. She really gives it some oomph when a character has to shout. Proper caught me off guard. But that’s what you get when you ask an actress to act 🙂 Hopefully she voices the rest!

The TLDR is basically: good world building, meh characters, repetitive plot devices, awesome narration.

18 thoughts on “The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan – An Audio Book Review

      1. The problem here is that Eye of the World was the first thing I read that got me back into reading. From there I read the whole series (or all that had been released at the time), twice. Three of the first four (not Dragon Reborn) I read at least four times. Eye of the World itself I think I’ve read 7-8. It’s a comfort read for me, and I’ve trouble looking at it with anything less than pure nostalgia. It’s not perfect, but I have a hard time analyzing it like I do every other book. One reason why I don’t want to watch the WoT series—I don’t want anything to conflict with the way I imagined that world. And that’s why it’s hard for me to say anything bad about it, because I can overlook everything about this one book (also maybe the Great Hunt).

        But I’ve read it so much that I’ve built it up more in my imagination than just what’s written. Your problems with it make perfect sense, but I’ll never really share them. For this. It’s hard, and stuff. Feel free to ask me about how the Metro games are waaaay better than the books though—that’d be more of a two-sided conversation 😉😂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I decided to try a re-read after watching the show too! It’s been about 6 years since I read it the first time and I remember it being so much better! I put it down about 200 pages in because I was SO BORED.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol, the comments are cracking me up. I have a love-hate relationship with the WOT series. I actually liked this book, probably the first three, although some things are dragged out too much and I agree with you about the characters, but I’m stuck at the sixth book. Can’t seem to progress much through it. Thought the TV show was okay.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! I actually didn’t like the show at first and then tried to just watch it with an open mind. By the end, I just thought it was okay but needs a lot of improvement in the second season.

        Liked by 1 person

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