Sunday, December 13, 2009 By: Suzanne

The Eye of the World re-read

The great thing about this project is that I get to post reviews of this series that I originally read before I had this blog. It's kind of exciting!

I posted some pre-review comments earlier this week. If you haven't had a chance to read them, go on and check it out.

My very last semester of college I took a class on early British literature. I was not an English major but a music major and I was more than ready to be FINISHED with school. So why would I take such a hard class? Oddly enough I didn't have enough junior/senior credits to graduate. I needed 1 more. Weird considering as a music major I KNOW I took more classes than most people in other majors. I have no idea how that happened. I could have taken another music class, it certainly would have made more sense but the only thing I hadn't taken that would be open to me was Marching Methods. Now if you're not familiar with the wonderful world of band directing you will not know what this means. Count yourself lucky. High school band directors in the south spend about as much time devising plans for their marching band as they do actually teaching children how to play their instruments. It's probably the number one reason I decided I did not want to be a band director in the first place. I loved marching band. I know that's weird, but I did. However, I did not want my entire career as a musician being defined by how well 15 year olds could play and step in time while remembering what form they're making. Therefore, I was certainly not going to take a class all about this. I took the British Lit class instead. To make a long story short, it was not my focus (as I was taking music history and composition in this same semester) and I didn't do so well in this class. But I met a wonderful guy who found out how much I like fantasy novels. He gave me The Eye of The World as a graduation gift. I don't remember his name and for that I am sorry. What I remember most about him is that when I said I would look for the book myself (I didn't want to take his paperback copy knowing I may never see him again to give it back), he said, "Take it. I love this series so much I'm planning on getting the whole run in hardback.

Little could this guy have known in 2000 how long he was going to have to wait for that particular dream to come true!

In May 2000, 8 books in the series had been published and the 9th was awaiting release later that year. A pretty good go for a series to have 9 books published in 10 years. Sounds like someone was making some good progress! I even remember thinking, "Wow! I won't have to wait forever for the ending! By the time I get to 9th book, maybe the end will have been written!" Yeah, not quite. I finished these books lightning fast (though I was starting to have some doubts as to its previously believed genius come The Path of Daggers) and purchased the 9th book, Winter's Heart, as soon as it was released. I waited another 3 years for the next book and was sorely disappointed in it. I then waited another 2 years for the next book and was even more disappointed. By now, even though I'm pretty irritated with the turn the series had taken (or lack of turn maybe is a better way to describe it) I was fairly invested in it. I wanted to know the end. Two more years passed and in this time, fans of series learned that Jordan was seriously ill.

I remember hearing about a letter that one of Stephen King's fans sent him when he was hospitalized after his car accident that basically said "You better not die before you finish the Dark Tower." It was heartless....but I kind of knew where the guy was coming from! In September of 2007, the thing Jordan's fans feared happened. He died beforehe could finish the last book. Now the next book (the *last* has been split into 3) has just been released. It has been 4 years since I read the previous book and even then I was starting to think to myself "who is that person again?" as I read the book. I knew there was no way I would be able to enjoy this new book. Thus, my project to begin the series again.

I am so glad I did! I remember why I love The Wheel of Time. I remember now, that Jordan WAS gifted writer. He just got lost along the way. I don't believe The Eye of the World is the best book in the series as some have said, but it is well paced with a good story that has great characters that leave you wanting more. I am looking forward to immersing myself once again in this world. I'm going to repost something I already said in the previous one because I think it bears repeating. I think it's something that lapsed-fans of the series may not realize: Even Jordan's side roads in the story may have been planned. Here's why I think that...

There is a speech Moiraine gives the Emond's Fielders after they're reunited in Caemlyn in which she states:

You three did not choose; you were chosen by the Pattern. And you are here, where the danger is known. You can step aside, and perhaps doom the world. Running, hiding, will not save you from the weaving of the Pattern. Or you can try. You can go to the Eye of the World, three ta'veren, three centerpoints of the web, placed where the danger lies.

Now obviously she is attempting to get the boys to see they need to act on one specific danger but as I read the sentence "Running, hiding, will not save you from the weaving of the Pattern," I realize maybe THIS is what is happening in the books that appear to be a bunch of random nothingness. If I want to give Jordan that much credit, I would say that maybe he is showing what would happen if they did try to run from their duties as ta'veren. Maybe.