Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Book One of the Wheel of Time Series
Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1 edition (November 15, 1990), Paperback: 832 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0812511816, ISBN-13: 978-0812511819
Are you in for an exciting and wild ride reading about magic in the form of the one power, evil creatures and the fight of the Creator (good) against The Dark One (evil) plus plenty of human interactions? The Eye of the World is the start of an astounding series which centres on the Dragon Reborn as he approaches the last battle against The Dark One. It starts with the introduction of Lews Therin Telamon, the original Dragon (The name of the leader in the first battle with Shai’tan (The Dark One) over 3 and half thousand years ago.) He won the battle, but at a great cost. Now there is great need for the Dragon and many are searching for a young man who is the Dragon (Lews Therin Telamon) Reborn.
This book does a good job of setting up the premise of the world and acquainting us with all the various players. The main protagonists are innocent young people living in the Two Rivers, a small village in the county. Mat is mischievous and likes to have fun, Rand is sensible and stubborn, Perrin in quiet but intelligent and very strong. Some of the antagonists are the Forsaken, those Aei Sedai (people who can wield the one power) who were around during the first battle and not only assisted the Dark One, but also became his servants and thus gained immortality and power.
The Eye of the World is the first of fourteen books plus a prequel in The Wheel of Time Series. James Oliver Rigney, Jr., (Pen name Robert Jordon) is the sole author of the prequel through to book eleven. Unfortunately he passed away in 2007 before completing the series but he did leave copious notes. Brandon Sanderson, an accomplished author, agreed to complete The Wheel of Time (WoT) using these notes, outlines, completed scenes and dictated explanations. This book falls under the epic fantasy genre since it has magic in the form of the one power, which is only available to a very limited number of people, primarily known as Aei Sedai. There are no elves, dwarfs, goblins, but there are evil people, Trollocs (similar to Orcs,) Myrddraal (similar to Nazgûl,) and the Dark One (the antithesis of the Creator, Similar to the Dark Lord in Lord of the Rings.) The story is told in a third person narrative from many different characters, although most frequently from the Two River’s gang. Most of the books also have a prologue and some have an epilogue.
The book hooks our interest from the first page, first we get to know our Two Rivers boys and then the village is attacked by Tollocs and Myrddraal. Soon the boys realize their village was targeted by the Dark One who is looking for them. In order to save any further damage to their families or town they leave with an Aes Sedai, her warder and a gleeman. Egwene, a girl from the village and Nynaeve, the young, pretty and stern Wisdom insist on joining the group.
The adventure begins with plenty of non-stop action and suspense. I like the way the characters refer to their friends, the commentary of each other’s strengths and weaknesses is endearing. The book is thrilling and hard to put down. Each member of the Two Rivers gang grows in many ways including developing new abilities. This book built up with a wonderful and complex story and then came to an exciting conclusion, yet it left room for the story to continue, which it does in The Hunt for the Horn. I am looking forward to reading the continued adventures of all the various players.
This book is a must read, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a complex and intense epic fantasy. Once you read the first book you will be quickly going onto all the other books as it is a fascinating tale. To read the whole series is a big time commitment but well worth the effort.
***Spoiler alert*** The rest of my blog goes into details about the book, so if you haven’t read the book, do not read any more!
The gang leaves the Two Rivers with The Dark One’s minions chasing them. They have many exciting escapes as they are forced to flee from capture. Eventually they go to an abandoned town which is haunted by evil to escape the Trollocs and Myrddrall. Once there Mat, being the mischievous one, gets the three boys into trouble which they barely escape. Soon they are followed and in order to avoid a confrontation they split up. The plan was to meet later by the river, but unfortunately they all get separated into smaller groups. Mat, Rand and Thom (The gleeman) find each other and are able to escape until a Myrddraal discovers them. Thom appears to risk his life to save the boys who manage to evade the evil. Once on their own Mat starts to act strange (due to events that occurred in the evil town,) and the boys continually escape dark friends who are trying to kill them.
Perrin and Egwene end up traveling together and they meet up with a man who can commune with wolves. It turns out Perrin also has this ability. As Perrin travels with this man and his wolf pack, Perrin’s ability becomes much stronger and he physically changes, his eyes become yellow wolf eyes and his sight and smell are greatly improved. Eventually they fall in with the tinkers (People who do not believe in doing any violence for any reason.) Once they separate from the Tinkers they are captured by the Children of the Light. These are fanatics that claim they are working for the light, by searching out and destroying dark friends, but their methods are evil and they believe Perrin is a dark friend due to his affiliation with the wolves.
The Aes Sedai (Moiraine), her warder (Lan) and the Wisdom (Nynaeve), find each other and travel together. Moiraine is able to track down Perrin and help him and Egwene escape the Children of the Light. Eventually, they are able to locate Rand and Mat, but in the meanwhile Rand has befriended an Oglier (a gentle but large creature who lives in a Stedding, a place where there is no access to the one power,) named Loial. Once they are all reunited they discover that a great horde of Trollocs are outside the city and they know they must leave to keep the place safe from an attack. At the same time they come to realize that the Eye of the World is at risk, so they decide to find and protect it. However, the only way to get there is through the ways, which are now corrupted.
The ways were created after the breaking of the world and they were created by the corrupted male side of the One Power. Consequently, they are now corrupted and you risk not only your life, but your sanity to travel them. However due to great need, the gang decides to travel the ways, and they barely escape with their lives. In the process they discover that the Trollocs are also using them to travel and that is how they are able to gather so many every time they turn around.
In order to reach the eye of the world, which is protected by the green man, they need to travel through the blight, which is land that has become spoiled and diseased because it is near the Dark One’s prison. It is also full of all kinds of creepy and dangerous monsters. They are chased through the blight and do not think they are going to make it, but at the last minute they find the green man. This is a creature with a connection to nature and it is a haven of beautiful green space in the middle of the blight, and nothing in the blight can touch it. We find out that the eye of the world was created by several Aes Sedais, after the breaking of the world, and it is pure untainted Saidin (the male half of the one power,) created for great use in the future.
After they find the eye of the world, two of the forsaken, Aginor and Balthamel, come upon them and try to take the eye of the world for themselves. The green man kills Balthamel, but it causes the death of the green man in the process. Rand, is able to channel the Saidin in the eye of the world, and in the process kills Aginor. This power also allows him to assist in a battle taking place many miles away by killing all the Trollocs and Myrddraal, and he faces the Dark One in the first battle between them. Rand is able to strike a great blow against the dark one.
Where the eye of the world stood is a chest containing the banner of the Dragon as well as the Horn of Valere, a horn of legend that can call the dead back to fight in an army. This book came to an exciting conclusion, yet it left room for the story to continue, which it does in The Hunt for the Horn. I am looking forward to reading more adventures of our Two Rivers folk.
To Purchase: “The Eye of the World” from Amazon, click here or on picture above