The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time (Book 1) – Robert Jordan
As a child, a fantasy child, I shied away from the likes of Jordan. I thought to myself, “that’s a book for boys, not girls.” I truly believed that I would not like it, perhaps because I only knew boys who had read it. I had heard of it, of course! Who hasn’t? But some seed had been planted that it wasn’t a book for a female audience.
I don’t know what changed my mind. Maybe, just growing up. But suddenly now, while in my early-ish thirties, I realized that it was time to check it out. I still half expected to hate the story, but I clicked buy on the Kindle version anyways. I told myself that I needed to make sure I wouldn’t like it, instead of just always assuming.
When a book is as popular and legendary as the The Wheel of Time series, one would expect that it should be wonderful, but I had my doubts.
I can tell you all that I loved it! There were some issues, to be sure. But overall, what an amazing story! I’m hooked. If only I have more time, I would be tearing through book 2 right now. I’ll admit I have been checked out for an entire month, while completely absorbed in this story. When you go back and read the great writers of fantasy, it makes all others pale in comparison. You wonder to yourself, how could I have enjoyed such and such, when something like the Wheel of Time exists?
The world building, the history, the character development were all fantastical!
The female characters not so much. Specifically, Egwene and Nynaeve. What horrible representations of women they were. Stubborn and whiny they both made my skin prickle. Nynaeve, a shrill creature who I felt was controlling and disagreeable. Egwene, largely just annoying and foolish. Jordan tried to make them strong female role models, but instead he just made me wish they would succumb to death or move off the main story. Jordan’s saving grace was the Aes Sedai, Moiraine, a true female leader that did not make me want to run for the hills.
And there was some random comparison to a treadmill that got through, which was just not quite right.
The rest of it was wonderful! I was sucked in and will never, ever, look at another book and genderize it again. How silly I have been.
If you are like me and never read this series because of foolish gender stereotype, stop it right now. Go read it.
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.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs―a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts― five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.