There will definitely be spoilers and not just for this book but for any of my faulty memories of the entirety of the Wheel of Time. This is not a review, more me revisiting my favorite book series a decade later. I absolutely recommend reading The Wheel of Time series and it was the best book series I read growing up, so anything critical I say is just for love.
The first time I read The Eye of the World I read it as 2 books: From The Two Rivers and To The Blight. I had both of them and I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t have immediately read the full story. It is not a good book to split into 2 pieces and it sews everything up into a decent ending. Luckily I didn’t have to worry about that.
Robert Jordan is known for his love of using many many many many many character point of views. But for the start of this monstrous series he starts out with only 1 character point of view, Rand, for 300 pages before he switches to Perrin’s point of view. The character point of views switch around as the characters are separated but return to Rand’s POV after they meet up again. He eases us into the constant switching he is known for later. You are introduced to many of the aspects of the characters long before you have to inhabit their bodies. Basically all of the initial group of characters will be view point characters, you don't have to be thrust into their view point right away.
Many people I know that have tried to read The Wheel of Time think it is slow and boring, but I was surprised how much closer to a thriller pacing the first book can be. It has a relatively slow intro, but then the initial leaving on the adventure is fast paced, frenetic, and each chapter ends on a cliffhanger. You just have to keep reading late into the night (true story). Once the characters split up the pace slows down because every single chapter is a different POV character for a while.
It takes forever to get to Elayne in the story which is a shame, she doesn't feature much in this one. Not a fault of Robert Jordan just she is my favorite character and I am excited to re-read her awesome character development.
I didn't remember that Min had the initial vision of 3 women standing around Rand’s funeral pyre so early in the story. I believe this also happens in Salidar if I'm not mistaken and I'm not looking it up to check, I'll get there whenever the story gets me there.
Speaking of Min, just like Elayne, it is disappointing that she features so little in this book. But that’s what happens when you have such a long series.
Egwene also is a good character in this one but doesn't turn into her badass self until later books. I am always excited to read the parts when she is captured and kept from channeling her full power but is still amazing and just totally rules.
I forgot how much Mat with a dagger from Shadar Logoth annoys me. I understand why he is that way but I just want Mat, the brilliant ancient general who finds trouble even though he just wants to leave and go gamble somewhere. Dang character development, making me wait so long. But I do like how Mat does take care of Rand when he is sick, Mat’s true self is still fighting through the taint of the dagger.
Robert Jordan is usually very good about showing suffering and making us feel how the characters are feeling, like when Rand captured and stuck in a box in later books. But in the first one the various characters go hungry for many days and it doesn’t come through as well how much they are suffering.
Accidentally stayed up a little too late reading which brings me back to my childhood, with a flashlight, pretending to be asleep if I heard my parents in the hallway or coming up the stairs. This time I was just trying to be quiet so my wife didn’t wake up and also feeling the affects of staying up an hour or so later at work the next day.
I had forgotten Perrin talking to wolves and Elyas’ introduction was so early in the series, it's always nice to be delighted by something again. I always hear Of Wolf and Man by Metallica because I listened to it on repeat sometimes while reading later parts with Perrin doing his wolf things.
All 3 boys always think one of the other boys is better with girls than they are. It can be pretty entertaining as a running joke that builds on itself throughout the series as they have actual relationships and not just difficulty talking to a girl.
The end of the story is always confusing to me, which is always the case because it is written in a way that Rand is not supposed to know what is going on exactly. But it is not my favorite of endings as endings go but it is one of the more complete endings in the series, which is nice. Later books sometimes feel like some characters don’t get any satisfying ending to an arc, but this first one ties up nicely. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the publishing schedule and not actually knowing if a second would be written. I will report again in my next few posts if books 2 and 3 have satisfying endings, which I’m pretty sure they do as well.