Sunday, December 16, 2012

Eye of the World Read-Along, Part 1

Welcome to first part of The Eye of the World read along, put on by Anya of On Starships and Dragonwings and, this week, over at  Dab of Darkness.

So I've decided to participate in the Wheel of Time Read-Along. This is my all-time favorite fantasy series! Seriously. The final book will be out in January, so I thought it'd be fun to read the first one again just prior to that. It's been years since I read the earlier books, and I'm looking forward to reading them again. :D

So, here goes: I totally love the beginning of book 1. Because this is an epic series, the characters change and grow A LOT throughout the course of the story. To go back and read their beginnings is fun, sweet, and even a little bit sad. I think Jordan is a master at the beginning of this story. He immediately gets us invested in these characters. They're all 1) likable, funny, human or 2) mysterious, intriguing, somewhat hot (totally thinking of Lan there).
Now for the questions.

1) The prologue is a pretty bleak and dark place. Then we enter Two Rivers and meet the young folk, mostly farmers. Do you think these two very different scenes show the bookends of the spectrum we can expect for the book?

I think that's exactly what Jordan was doing. Obviously the story has to tie into the Prologue at some point. Otherwise what would be the point in having it? So there's these epic world events and then there are these farm kids from Hickville. The two worlds are going to have to collide at some point. (Ah, epic story-telling.) :D
2) Overall are you enjoying the level of description and the portent telling (the crow, the black-robed man on horseback, etc.)?

Yes! The portents are one of the (many) things I love about this story. The description is great, too. Description is something I struggle with as a writer, so I love to try and emulate Jordan. I think some readers will find his description over-the-top as the story goes on. There's not tons of description in Emonds's Field because everything is relatively plain (earthy tones for the clothes, good stout wool, etc.) but just wait until we run into richer clothing--uh, people. :D

3) What do you think the story is for Rand and Egwene up to this point?

I think their the kind of people that grew up together, were always close, and as they reach maturity, the natural thing is for them to start dating. They're at a point when it's all kinds of awkward because they're both having feelings for one another but don't know what to do about it. It's the kind of thing where, if they could just get the first kiss out of the way, things would be a lot less awkward. Hmmm...
4) The story takes a most serious turn once the trollocs attack the al’Thor farmstead. It also raises plenty of questions about Tam’s past. Care to guess on what some of that past is?

I'm not going to say much about this because I've read the series and know what Tam's past consists of. I will tell you that it's way awesome-sauce! I tried to get my mom to read this series years ago. She's not a huge reader and she's not big on fantasy either, so she never got through book 1. Just not enough interest. However, I remember her freaking out when the trollocs attacked. She was like, 'Geez! It was just a nice story about these farm kids and then these snarling monsters show up!' And I was like, 'I know!' :D

5) Chapter 7 leaves us with many questions, like Rand has many questions: Why trollocs? What was his father going on about in his fever? Who are Moraine and Lan and why are they really in Two Rivers? Will Tam survive? Which of these (or other) questions are you most anxious to see answered in the coming chapters?
Again, I'm not going to say much because I already know the answers to these questions, but I will say this: One thing I love about this story are the nuances. Sometimes the side characters and details are even juicier than the main story line--which all by itself is fantastic!--so pay attention to the details. Thom Merrilin is especially interesting to read about in these early chapters. The fact that he seems to know a thing or two about Moiraine and Lan is important. The fact that most gleeman have patched cloaks and his only looks patched is interesting. Ask yourself why me might be different than other gleemen. Also pay attention to the details surrounding the trolloc attack, like when Lan says there are many tribes acting together, which never happens. Great stuff!

What is everyone else--especially those reading it for the first time--thinking of it? Hope you're loving it. It only gets better! :D


  1. I am so glad to hear that we will get to know more about Tam's past. I am so intrigued by the little bit that has been divulged so far. I am also curious about that gleeman.

  2. I also was really interested in Thom's reaction to Moraine and Lan when they showed up and their reaction to him! It definitely hinted that there were interesting things going on with those three that they didn't want the little farmers knowing about ;-)

    I completely understand your mom's reaction to the Trollocs, my heart literally was pounding! I was all wtf is going on?? I wanted to read about the fun festival, gah! But this was good too, the action had to start at some point I suppose haha!

    Now I get to go read the next chunk while riding to the holiday parties, woot!

  3. I find the description of Thom's cloak rather confusing. When I first read the books I got the impression that it was like what I call a rag rug: lots of odd bits of fabric attached to his cloak by one end only (like the rug here: Then I read the description and it sounded like they are more like patches . . . but then it mentions him trimming the burnt sections off after the fire, which suggests loose ends to me! :D

    I do remember that Thom is yet another person who is not quite who he seems to be, which is a bit off a recurrent theme throughout the series. I just wish I could remember more from my previous readings so that I could enjoy the nostalgia that you are experiencing . . .

  4. With this series, Jordan became immortal. A writer can ask for nothing greater.