Narrator: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Series: Wheel of Time #1
Published by MacMillan Audio on December 31, 2006
Length: 29 hours, 57 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
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.
Back in 1992, my soon-to-be husband brought home what might have been the thickest paperback novel I’d ever seen, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, the first book in the Wheel of Time series. As we were both students with full schedules at the time, opportunities for ‘joy-reading’ were few and far between. After he finally finished the book (it was probably six months later), he insisted I give it a try. Being one to willingly sacrifice my sleep for a good book, it didn’t take me nearly as long to finish before I was running out to purchase the next book in the series. Other than Tolkien, it was my very first experience with Epic Fantasy and has been my benchmark for this genre ever since. Fast forward a few decades, and I decided to revisit the series in audio form.
Boiled down, The Eye of the World is a story of three young men, and two young women from a remote isolated mountain village who find themselves embroiled in the political machinations and magical prophecy of the wider world. Rand, Mat, and Perrin are best friends who only dream of leaving the Two Rivers. The three have an innate ability to influence events and opinions of the people around them, what Jordan calls Ta’Veren. When their village is invaded by sinister beasts, they depart and hope to draw the danger away from their homes and loved ones. This is just the start of their journey where each has a chance to discover their true talents and see what part they’ll play in the impending war with the Dark One.
The magical element of The Eye of the World centers on the Aes Sedai, magically gifted women who stand outside of and sometimes well above the rest of the world. They see themselves as shapers of destiny and all seem to have their own agenda. By happenstance, it is discovered that Egwene and Nynaeve, also from the Two Rivers, have the ability to wield the one power, and find themselves on the quest with Rand, Mat, and Perrin.
Despite many characters and many intersecting plots, The Eye of the World doesn’t ever feel confused or too heavy. It moves at a brisk pace, with plenty of action. Many characters have just a brief introduction in this book; it is obvious that Jordan is setting them up to play a more significant role later in the series. While there is plenty to draw in the read eager to read a multi-book series, I feel like this novel has a satisfactory ending and didn’t leave me feeling as if I HAD to continue.
The Wheel of Time series is a monster of a series, and a huge commitment no matter if you are reading or listening, but really worth the investment. The world is amazing, the characters thoroughly developed, and the plot is interesting and full of adventure. The Eye of the World is a great composite of all the series has to offer and Robert Jordan’s writing style. If you enjoy this book, you are likely to enjoy the rest.
If you are a fan of Fantasy audiobooks, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading won’t require any introduction or endorsement. They do an amazing job and are just so good at giving voice to the characters in a way that only enhances the reading experience. I like to listen at 1.25x speed, but they are such professionals that I could speed it up and not have any problems understanding.
Listen to the clip: HERE
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I’ve had this series on my ‘to read’ list forever. Seeing your enjoyment of the audio reminds me that I shouldn’t keep putting it off.
I have heard this is a wonderful series and now after reading your review I want to get to it even sooner.
This sounds like an amazing story! I’m definitely interested in reading this book and I’m sure the audiobook will be a great companion to the written version. I’m curious, what was your favorite part of this book?
2016 was the Year of the Wheel for me. I read it with a group over 14 months. As an avid Fantasy reader I felt like I needed to read it as it is iconic. But like you said this is just the set up for so much more and it is one of the shortest books in the series. Still so many great things to come in the series.
Sounds very intricate but fun!
I don’t read a ton of high fantasy, but didn’t they make a tv show out of this? I might watch the show if they did! Great review!
The show is nothing like the books. They murdered the plot and cheesy vfx makes it look like a sci-fi channel show.
Listen to the audiobooks if you don’t have time to read. Pretty much the best series I’ve ever read/listened to.