Tag Archives: Epic Fantasy

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan : Review (Or the Ravings of a Fanboy)

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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. 

 

It has proven surprisingly difficult for me to write any sort of review for any book in the Wheel of Time series over the last few years. I seem to make it a few short sentences in before my review becomes the incoherent ramblings of a rabid fanboy. This time around I have given up on even trying to be unbiased in any sort of way. I consider The Eye of the World to be one of the greatest pieces of Epic Fantasy I have ever read. It has become the standard to which I hold every other book I now read, which is a bit funny considering it took me weeks to even make it past the first chapter.

I remember picking up a copy of The Eye of the World from my local library around 10 years ago only to return it the next day after I couldn’t even get through the first chapter. I proceeded to do this at least twice a week for the next few weeks, picking the book up over and over again because the story just sounded so good. All that it took was for me to get through that first chapter and then I was hooked, unable to put it down until the very end. I still consider the day The Eye of the World‘s cover caught my eye as one of the luckiest days of my life, who knows how long it would have taken to discover it otherwise.

I’ve never been able to really decide what kind of story this really is — whether its a coming of age story, an adventure story, or something else entirely. It’s probably a little bit of them all — Robert Jordan did an amazing job taking inspiration from so other cultures, religions and even other authors and turning it into something EPIC. I can seriously read the Eye of the World and then turn around and reread it again just a few days later, that is how much I enjoy the story and the rest of the series is just as good.

I can’t honestly believe that there are people out there who haven’t heard of or read the Wheel of Time but If there is I would strongly suggest they drop whatever they are doing and go out and buy a copy. Buy two copies even, I myself tend to go through about two a year from all of my rereads.

 

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The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke : Review

Water is life.

In the desert lands of the Quatern, water is both life and currency. The Stormlords — men and women with the power to manipulate water — provide rain to all, but as the population of Stormlords dwindle, the one last stormlord must protect and serve the cities of the Quatern. With his health beginning to fail, and his life slipping away, Starvation, death, and chaos are imminent, and the cities will become to wither and die, with no one to take his place.

Shale, an outcast from his poor desert village holds a secret which could save the entire Quatern; a power that would shape the future for himself, and for all the great cities. That is, if it doesn’t kill him first.

Terelle, a girl on the brink of womanhood, being forced into a life of slavery at one of the city’s brothels must find a way to escape the life of a courtesan before it’s too late — though, when she meets a mysterious painter, she must decide whether the price of escaping was too high to pay; and fight against a force stronger than fate.

Together, Shale and Terelle must find a way to save the people of the Quatern — but time is running out, and they must first save themselves.

The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke is a great book; with an enthralling story line that drags you in and leaves you thirsting for more. Following the tale of Shale, Terelle and the desert Quartern as they struggle on the brink of destruction. The pacing, flow and dialogue could have been a bit better, and at times the story seems too wordy. The Last Stormlord could have easily been 50-100 pages shorter. However, with an action-packed plot it rarely gets boring or extraneous.

With a touch of the dialogue seeming cliche,a few of the major revelations don’t have quite the impact they should, however there was some fantastic world-building, highlighted with magic which helped to enrich the plot.

This is a book which held a lot of potential, however it should be seen mainly as a lead-up to the sequel, Stormlord Rising, as most of The Last Stormlord concentrated on the world-building aspects and with no real conclusion; it in itself was mainly a cliffhanger. It was an enjoyable read, I wouldn’t say it was great — but in no way was this a bad book.

I do recommend picking up Stormlord Rising, and Stormlord Exile, the cliffhangers and world building do create fantastic stories in the sequels, once you get past them in this novel. This is a great series, and it does pull through in the other books of the trilogy.

Overall rating would be 3/5

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Follow Glenda on Twitter : @glendalarke


Eye of the World by Robert Jordan : Review

 

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, and Age of Prophesy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon Ride again on the winds of time.

Undisturbed by news and war; life in the Two Rivers is both peaceful and quaint. With no great troubles to speak of, except for the lack of crops and wolf attacks in the night, preparations are underway for the Bel Tine festivities. Though, In the deep of Winternight; Dark forces – bestial Trollocs and Myrddral – attack the village of Emond’s Field, seeming to specifically target three young men – Rand, Mat and Perrin. The three youths, and the innkeeper’s daughter, Egwene flee the village in hopes to save their village from further harm, accompanied by Moraine – an Aes Sedai; a magician with the ability to wield the One Power, and her Warder, Lan. The two strangers brings warnings of a terrible evil awakening in the world.

Unbeknowest to the boys; one of the them is destined to unite the world against the rising darkness and lead the fight against a being so powerful and evil it is known simply as the Dark One. Destined to wield the tainted power of Saidin. Destined to go mad.

Robert Jordan has recreated the familiar and well-loved Tolkienesque world that fantasy readers have come to love (or detest) with this seemingly-classical coming of age story. With mythological allusions, innovative magic systems, full and lengthy details, and exhilarating adventures, readers of epic-fantasy are sure to love the series.

Some readers may be put off by the length, and yes – the repetitive and long descriptions, and the Tolkenesque features of the book – those that are able to get into it, and read on will find a creative and unique world which branches away from the Tolkien-like themes in the sequels.

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the pacing simply being too slow – though, I didn’t find it to be that way at all. The Eye of The World reads as the first part in a trilogy, as it was originally intended. However, the series is now 13 books long (14 if you include the prequel – New Spring, my review for that is here). The last book (#14/15) – A Memory of Light, co-written by Brandon Sanderson is set to be released Spring 2012.

Out of the Wheel of Time books written wholly by Robert Jordan (books 0-11) this tied with The Shadow Rising (book 4) as my favorite. The characters react believably to their situations, and are  at this point are ignorant and innocent. With Jordan’s great worldbuilding and expertise with character development, you really get to feel that alongside them; the weariness of long travel, the fear of pursuit, the lust for knowledge and so much more. Each of the main characters (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve – the Wisdom from the Two Rivers -) learn things that are part of their defining roles which set them apart from the others throughout the course of the series.  This is truly the beginning of an epic tale, and it is one of the greatest fantasy novels of all time.

I’m having trouble doing this book justice, the Wheel of Time is by far my favorite series, but to describe a 688 paged fantasy book with the beginning of intricate plots and developing characters may well be beyond me.

 


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