The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The wheel turns...
And this must have been my fifth time reading this book, and each time I read it, I love it more.
Full disclosure: I was told that this was a great series back in the early 2000s and I sniffed, being an SF fanatic and practically all other fantasies I had read up to that point (LotR excepting) were merely "okay". I admit I hadn't read much up to that point compared to now.
Shortly after I picked up the book at the library, I may have had to call in sick to work for approximately a week with a nasty illness that I just couldn't shake. And despite that, I had to go back to the library one more time to pick up the other seven books.
Mind you, I'm not lazy and I have a great work ethic. Really. But sometimes the pattern weaves what it weaves, and from that time forward, I've been one of those slathering fanboys who are utterly SHOCKED when others profess not to have read it or finished the series.
Yes, I really am that insufferable.
That being said, OMG OMG OMG this is a great read, ya'll. :)
The pacing is perfect.
I don't care what anyone else says.
It's a slow burn, full of fantastic details and worldbuilding, offering up a great adventure with characters who change so inexorably under the grindstone of fate and become so... fantastic.
Comparing it to the tv show, for example, is the difference between comparing visually pretty cliff-notes hastily scribbled down, streamlined, and altered nonsensically -- with a lush, luxurious adventure full of discovery and peril and a mind-blowing (really tragic), thoroughly hardcore end.
If anyone asked me, I would have said that they should have had at least 26 full-hour eps to do this book justice, giving everyone time to grow and keeping the source material sacrosanct... especially because the author carefully considered all his conflicts and pulled off some pretty amazing social-stuff, too.
But that's just me. It's impossible to judge this by just the first book for the full turning of the wheel. This was merely the beginning, but damn, what a great beginning. :)
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