This is NOT a review of the Wheel of Time books. I suppose you can call it a reaction blog... For it is a collection of my live reactions and thoughts to reading the Wheel of Times series for the first time.
The thoughts were originally shared on Twitter and have now been collected here for everyone's convenience. These are my full reactions from the first Wheel of Times book, with some post-read writerly thoughts at the very end.
To gain better understanding of what this is all about, please refer to this blog.
Spoilers for Wheel of Time book 1: The Eye of the World ahead!
For Your Information: I have avoided ALL spoilers and am going in completely fresh. I have not even read the blurb on the back.
All I know is this:
1. There’s a cool magical woman
2. Some books in the middle drag - just get through them
3. It’ll be an epic journey!
I have waited patiently for the right moment. This is that moment. Help me on my journey as I set out on an epic adventure to - finally - read this series for the first time!
I’m with the people on this one. “Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.”
Can I just say - this has the exact epic tone I expected it would have! May that hold true throughout!
Years ago, when the series was not yet done, I picked up “The EYE of the WORLD” and began to read...
I did not get very far. It was a busy era and I did not feel like I had the time to indulge and fully enjoy the series, as it deserved, so I put it down...
But now I’m there, on that very page, again, the farthest away from home I’ve ever been..!
Let the journey begin, for real, now.
I’m pretty sure I knew exactly how Wit Congar's wife was going to look, long before the description came...!
Mat, my lad, voicing my inner thoughts. *fist bump*
And yes, Mat shall now consequently be called Mat my lad until the end of days... or until he earns a new nickname.
Side note - I like Mat already so.... something awful is going to happen to him, right....?
Rand is okay too, but I think he will be fine. He is there to stick around... I think.
By the way, I’m loving that the chapter header images change!
Please tell me that‘s a trend that continues through the series!
So, before launching into chapter 2, I had a brief look at the table of contents to see for how long I can expect to feel safe... I‘ve learnt about the Peddler, the Gleeman and Winternight, but after that... oh Dragon I’m worried..!
Mat is going to be asking this same question of every single person he ever meets, isn’t he...?
May the gods bless him.... May the Light shine on him.... though I don’t think it will...
A raven?? Just one? *suspicious look* but there were two pictured in the header image...
About Morraine’s ring... It looks like the Wheel of Time logo on the front cover. The wheel with the serpent. So that means...
She can spin the wheel of time, can’t she?
Uhh I want to see that!
...whatever it means to spin the wheel of time.
Also, Moiraine talks in the same epic tone as the narrator, and I love it!
She’s gotta be from the fourth age, right? Or earlier?
This is me assuming that the prologue happens before the rest of the story, when really it could be after...
Matt my lad - something tells me this is a very wise decision!
I wouldn't use it either.
Or... alternatively: It was going to be the last one...
I’m thinking that things are not going to go that smoothly!
Oh Rand.... I think you’ll be forced to re-examine that statement very soon....
Why is it only the young lads of Two River who see this black-coated rider? Three of them now....
Let’s see how many more the Gleeman chapter can conjure forth.
Also, with his height, and especially his grey eyes, how has Rand not yet reached the conclusion that there’s something more to his existence than a simple lad from Two Rivers....? I know is mother is an outlander (ha!), but still...
I already like Thom Merrilin the Gleeman!
Moiraine really doesn’t like being called Lady!
And can we please have more of her? And find out what the real price will be of the silver coins she handed the lads...??
Yes, as I said earlier, it's weird that only the young lads can see the man. And two more young lads now..... something bad is coming.
Please don’t let them get eaten, or worse...
Are you sure about this Rand...?
Because let me tell you, I do not have much faith in that statement....
In these crazy times, here is a very relevant quote from Tam:
“Just this, lad. People don’t always think or behave the way you might believe they would.”
Oh no.... something tells me locking the doors is not going to be nearly enough!
Oh no oh no oh no, it’s worse!!
Much worse! Make it stop! shoo shoo, go away, Trollocs!
And here I fall into the trap I always fall into.
Have a terrible character. Have them do terrible things, but give them a cute voice or speech pattern and make them refer to themselves in third person, and I’ll adore them in an instant....
I’ve reached page 80 - chapter 6, and things have just stated going awfully wrong, Trollocs and all!
I thought I was going to be safe until the next chapter....
I was wrong... I was terribly wrong.
There is no Light here.
Just one more chapter before bedtime....!
Oh Rand. So you can dream of adventures, but for your sweetheart, Egwene, to dream of maybe going to the next town to pursue what she’s good at, that’s where you set the limit....?
Even so, Rand is growing on me. He is a solid lad.
And he reads books! Solid lad for sure.
The poor lad is also getting answers about the secret of his birth before knowing to ask any questions.
Considering where I left off, I think the title to this chapter “Out Of the Woods” is going to prove to be quite literal with Rand physically being out of the woods...
Cause I don’t think his father is easily going to be healed...
Damn, I knew it. Now even the Wisdom won’t help.
Maybe... if you bring him to Moiraine though! I swear she has some magic in her, and I’m really dying to see more of her, so please, Rand!
Boy. Why would the mayor know how to help?
Oh but wait - the mayor owns the inn, yes?
Oh yes, good thinking Rand, take your father there! Go see Moiraine!
Oh yes! I knew it! Finally more Moiraine!
But oh Rand.... if this works, and maybe even if it doesn’t, the price is going to be steep.More than you can pay with the silver coin she gave you.
Moiraine is an Aes Sedai, and from this description, I'm wondering: are all Aes Sedai female, then?
And what exactly does that term mean? Are they trained in something specific? Why does Rand think them all evil? All questions that shall be answered, I trust.
A very strange thing happened.
I got what I wanted. I got more Moiraine. We got closer to her, but her speech dropped its epic tone.
And the closer I get to Moiraine, the more I instead find myself intrigued by Lan.
Mayhaps this will change in upcoming chapters and I’ll be more drawn to Moiraine again, as I initially was. It’s almost like she lost some of her mythic status for me when I got closer to her as a reader.
Oh oh and Mat my lad is apparently still alive! But I’ll trust it when I see it.
I’m excited about them all heading out of Two Rivers.
I live in a tiny village, and I only spent 8 chapters in Two Rivers, but even for my tastes it was starting to get a bit cramped in there.
I have seen the map at the front. I know there's a whole world out there to explore.
I wonder what the Dark One could possibly fear so much from 3 young lads born within a few weeks of each other.... unwashed armpits? Stinky breath?
What is the mysterious weakness of this mysterious figure?
I’m thinking... It’s either going to be some oracle stuff. A powerful magician or Seer made a premonition about the end of the dark one.
The moon infringed upon the second star to the right...? So the one to defeat you is in that village born in one of these weeks...? So, either way: Oracle stuff.
Wait a second.... unless...
Is Rand the son of the Dark One...?
Clearly Rand’s existence threatens the Dark One.... but the Halfling wants to talk to him, not to kill. Maybe it’s a classic villain move, thinking he can sway Rand with some “I am your father” talk.
Cause that always works.
I am genuinely intrigued.
What’s going on? Why were the Trollocs sent in like that? To what end?
I suppose there is only one way to find out: let the reading continue!
Uh uh! I’ve seen this chapter header image before! That was the chapter about the Peddler. I still can’t figure out what it’s supposed to look like.
A horn? A shell? Long eyelashes in a tear drop? Time will tell.
It’s time to spin the wheel *cough* turn the page.
So... chapter 9 started with a 7 page dream sequence.... that one was rough for me, not going to lie. I trust it’ll be important by the end and I’ll see that white tower, but 7 pages felt like an awful long time.
But then we got visual confirmation that Mat my lad is alive! And he is an archer...? I’m an archer so I like that. Especially because I was a little (ed: very) sad that Rand’s bow was broken beyond repair...
Mat being an archer might work against him when it comes to my favour though.... I know too much about archery and I get annoyed when characters have magical good skills without practicing.
So, stakes are high Mat my lad. Don’t disappoint me.
I am also SO relieved that Tam woke up before they had to leave! Yes! Let Rand get that proper talk and goodbye!
Because, while he might comeback, some day, eventually, he will be different by then.
That’s what adventures do to us.
Yes!! Finally a character in a book says it!!
Every time I read in a book that someone wants the exact account, exactly as it was told of them, I go: I wouldn’t be able to deliver that.... and that is why I could never be a fictional character.
As soon as Mat told Rand that there were “strangers” in town, we all knew this was how it was going to end...
Not exactly a poster-worthy ad for people to move to thee countryside.
I swear it’s nice out here though.
“WE’LL BURN YOU OUT!”
Oh and Moiraine regained the epic tone to her speech. So right now I’m on the fence about what to think about her, but she is on the up again.
I’m at chapter 10, 136 pages in and so far I’ve only had Rand and the Dragon as point of view characters. I expect that to change sometime soon. Maybe not for a while but before the end.
Oh oh oh! And I had another thought as I read that dream sequence...
What if there’s another reason that the Dark One is worried about one of the three lads.
What if.... Rand is the Dragon??
The more I think about that, the more questions it seems to answer.... this would explain SO much.
But I’m only 10 chapters in, I’m sure other more rational explanations to will present themselves.
Yea.... Rand can’t be the Dragon.... can he?
I’ve seen this one before too..! A thick branch with vines...... oh!
This means Moiraine, doesn’t it? It’s her staff, right?
I’m so glad they teamed up with Perrin, I was worried about him, because he wasn’t in the inn. Okay, all is good!
*gasp* MAT! How could you? I trusted you... and then you go and look down on an archer like that...
Lucky that Lan was around to teach you boys a real lesson!
I knew she would show up!!
Now we just need Thom. Oh and someone needs to ride Bela
Because you don’t introduce a horse and give it a name and tell us that it ran to town on its own and then leave it behind. Someone better take Bela!
Thom has joined the crew too. And Bela. Good!
One does not leave good fellows like Mat and Thom behind.
As a writer they have names that mean they have to stick around. Familiar to the reader, easy to remember, but with some spelling oddities.
Too many C names in one town.
That’s the author saying: those C***s can all burn in pits of their own making for all I care.
In Chapter 10 I learned that Moiraine is able to take tiredness away!! That is AWESOME! It would be better, of course, if she could do it for herself too.
Being an Aes Sedai is HARD work!
Wait wait wait!!
There’s more than one!?
I thought there was 1 Myrddraal, who is the Dark One and you aren’t supposed to say his name because it brings bad luck and Trollocs and all..... but you mean to tell me there are more??
I feel like I missed something major and Moiraine just straightened me up.
I’m feeling like Rand... calling myself nine kinds of idiot....
I haven’t named all 9 kinds of idiot but one of them is definitely going to be called Mat.
Because one of these days one of Mat’s jokes is going to land them all in mortal danger....
Mat my lad needs to learn when to save his jokes for later.
About the River crossing, I'm SO happy to finally see a description of a ferryman in fantasy who uses aides to cross the river!! Yes! Most ships large enough to ferry 7 men and horses at once will need more than one lone ferryman to cross the river!
Now we get yet another term ... Darkfriends.... I don’t think those are real friends..
Also in my inner mind Thom is looking more and more like Gimli since he is questioning Moiraine’s strategic plans, which were plain before her explanations.
(Brilliant by the way)
Saidin.... Saidar.... okay so this explains an earlier question of mine about Aes Sedai being female.
And it also contextualises something else...
This chapter header must represent Saidar - the female half of the True Source.
Which is that much more interesting to me because the Yin and Yang in our world are the opposite (in Yin and Yang, the female part is dark/negative).
I’m enjoying learning more about the True Source and how to wield it and the Wheel of Time, but... Rand is really being mean to Egwene! He has looked down on her from the start and wanted to hold her back from the life she wants.
His attitude towards her is honestly tainting my thoughts on Rand. I really like him as a protagonist, but EVERY TIME he thinks about Egwene, he is so negative and.... it’s like he puts her down in his own thoughts.
So when I read this:
All I could think was: wow Rand is wise all of a sudden. Yes, I think that’s a good idea Rand, and let’s apply that logic to Egwene as well, please.
I’m close to begging over here.
Oh and while I’m on the topic of Rand, earlier on he thought this...
And the archer over here is rolling her eyes at that statement.
After an hour in the fog...? Really? What kind of incredibly fragile bow does Mat have? I need a description. Stat!
As for the magic talk... this makes me worried that one of our three lads is going to be in this position!
Also, I mostly know Rand and Mat, I need more about our third lad!
We’ve got another map!!!
(I’m trying to resist the urge to flip pages in search of the next one)
I feel like we're really going to be well acquainted with this world, and I can't wait to explore every bit of the map.
This is the true sign of a reluctant hero.
The adventurous ones rarely think to look back until it’s too late.
I do feel a bit sorry for Rand that he didn’t get to see Two Rivers from afar. I'm sure it would have been quite the sight.
So far, the above is my favourite bit of conversation in the novel.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people who remind me of our three lads have realisations and conversations like this.
Uh uh. Rand did it. He went there.
He insinuated that Moiraine is a Darkfriend.
Even I know that’s a bad bad thing to say.
On a completely different now I adore - ADORE - the exchange between Egwene and Moiraine about the goodness of Aes Sedai women! (it's on page 182-3 in my version of WoT if anyone is curious. It’s spread over 2 pages so I struggle to share it).
Yo yo! What did I say!? I think I’m right.
Rand is the Dragon! He has to be.
Or maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see.
Why.... is Perrin carrying Mat’s bow....? That seems unwise.
Because Mat needs to juggle? How was he carrying his bow?? And juggle?!? Now??
Mat my lad, you need to sort out your priorities.
I’m growing increasingly confident in my theory over here....!
(And this promises to be a dangerous and exciting path - to get the sword)
Okay, Wheel of Times fans, Show of hands:
How many of you have a pet (maybe even a mule) called “People of the Dragon”??
Mat might be my lad, but he is not the sharpest knife, is he...?
He is SO going to get them into trouble sooner or later
(probably sooner AND later)
Yes, Perrin! Remembering the important bits and bringing them up!
I think I can expect good things from Perrin. He seems to be the sharpest of the three Two Rivers lads.
......uhhh that dream sequence. Okay I can get behind this one!
And so, the Dark One, the one you’re not supposed to name (no, not Voldemort) and whom I’m definitely about to name, is really called Ba’alzamon...!
(Btw that name did not make my autocorrect happy)
Wait wait! These names are all clearly important. They gotta be the male Sedai (forgot the name)?? Right? Gone bad, and all thinking they’re the Dragon....!
Wait wait!!!! Lews Therin Kinslayer!!
That’s the Dragon from the prologue!!
Okay, okay, it’s all slowly coming together...!
Uhh a new image header! And no square locking this one in!
It ignores conventions, whatever that means.
I LOVE it when we get to see what a character has in their pocketses!
Especially when they’ve left in a hurry because it tells us something about their daily life.
The bowstrings seem like they will come in handy, for example.
Uhhh so it was a shared dream!? Okay when dreams are like this, I’m totally onboard. But the dream sequences do not need to go on for 7 pages.
Min is interesting character! I love characters who can see more than the ordinary person in the world they’re in.
She’s a bit creepy too though. Just a bit.
What is the Peddler doing here...? Why is he acting like this?
No, Rand. Don’t promise not to say anything.
You gotta tell Moiraine!
And you’ve told him where you’re all staying too!! Whatcha gonna do if he brings Whitecloaks!??
Ohhh! So that’s what that sun header image means!
Okay, so whenever I see that sun I can expect Whitecloaks and disaster. Gotcha!
Oh no Mat....!
Mat my lad!! Don’t you dare do what I know you’re thinking about doing!
You’re going to get killed - or worse - they’re gonna take you away!!
Oh no oh no oh no! I knew it!!! 2 bloody minutes Mat! You couldn’t keep it in 2 minutes!! Look at what you’ve done!
Now your mate is in trouble! Mortal danger even!
Ohh! And remember what Min said earlier? Something about a horn for Mat.
So, I bet you that Mat who has wanted to go to Illian since he was a boy, will get to go to Illian to search for the Horn of Valere!
I also bet that it’s not going to be fun and games as he always imagined it would be.
I mean it’s Mat my lad (yes he is forgiven for his frolicking - for now)...
We all know it. Mat’s going to get in trouble. He is going to get them all in trouble.
Uhh this one’s really pretty! I’m really loving these header images!
I also really like the concept of a Wisdom. It’s such a good idea and perfect name. It’s one of those details that makes me get really immersed in the world.
I wonder how the wisdom is going to tie into their quest and journey though... and is the Peddler going to join them too?
I ask, because things are always best when they’re done in nine’s and if the Wisdom is joining that makes it a party of 8.
Oh, I can answer this Moiraine!
You see.... Rand was being 9 kinds of stupid and told a Peddler he met under very strange circumstances exactly where you were staying and who was there...
Here, we see a classic example of what annoys me about Rand and Egwene...
I’m beginning to wonder what there ever was between these two as I have hardly seen Rand spare a compassionate thought for her. Mostly annoyance.
Time will reveal the past, I’m sure.
On a different note, can someone tell me why they’re not heading out the gate they came in?
I get that they’re going a different way, but wouldn't it be prudent to pretend otherwise. Plus that gatekeeper seemed to like Moiraine. He would let them pass without any trouble or without even asking where they were headed or why.
Because didn’t they just say there are Whitecloaks outside the gates? Didn’t they have a camp out there...?
Our fellows didn’t pass that camp coming in, so I can only assume it’s on the side of the city, and that they’re now headed straight for the Whitecloaks' camp....
I don’t like this...
Fracking Helheim... I knew they should have taken the long way round!
Mat. Mat my lad. This is your doing.
Perrin is so clearly the smartest and most thoughtful of the lads! Clear evidence here.
Smart man. I shall dub him Clever Perrin.
Uhhh now this is a really cool header!
Also.... really scary. I’m not going to like what comes next, am I?
But wait... Mat my lad shouted what...? This feels like it’s going to be important.
Or.... alternatively it’s something from an old tale he thought sounded cool. I mean, it’s Mat... one can never quite know.
Ohhh! I love this!
But.... Mat doesn’t strike me as smart enough to get it or to ask Moiraine about this. Moiraine, who clearly does get it.... so.... this is going to cause him a lot of turmoil, I bet.
Meanwhile, clever Perrin is proving his mental superiority, again..!
I like Perrin more and more the more he speaks. I mean I like the others too, but Perrin is the quiet killer.
Yet.... these three stupid lads from Two Rivers still listen to Mat’s suggestion to go frolicking about an ancient abandoned city of which even Trollocs are terrified, and just before sunset too....!
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
Are we even surprised that things don't go well? Though, Lights! What a creepy man creeping up on them!
Mat my lad, time to listen to Clever Perrin over here....! Run from this man, now! Please.
Uh-huh. That seems wise. Let’s tell the scary creepy loner in the abandoned city all our plans. Yep.
No! Even Clever Perrin! you’re really telling him your whole plan!? None of this seems just a little... convenient to you...?
A treasure like this hidden in an abandoned city just down some steps.
A man creeping up on you in shadows.
I bloody well knew it!
I’m with the Wisdom here.
“You wool-headed weaklings!”
Though even wool doesn’t seem quite thick enough to convey their stupidity.
I love this! It says so much about all 3 of our young Two Rivers lads!
But, also, I have an itching suspicion. Because down there Mat was so taken with the treasure... The way he is acting here... he took something didn’t he...?
He totally took something... I’m SO worried that he took something.
On the other hand, I’m SO relieved that Lan came back, but now this...!
Ohhh!!!! Clever Perrin!!! My first POV change!!! (And in the middle of a chapter too)
Oh yes yes please! More of this! I want to hear what they’re all thinking!!
Also, Rand galloped away and then went: "huh? Why didn’t they follow me?"
Then there’s Perrin:
Are you guys seeing how thoughtful Clever Perrin is, even to Egwene whom Rand always complains about??
If that isn’t then sweetest, I don’t know what is.
Uh! Yet another new POV character! I did not expect it to be the Wisdom. Took me about a page to adjust. I did wonder where she was and expected her to be with Lan and Moiraine, so okay, let’s see where this leads...
Why.... is the Wisdom hiding from Moiraine and Lan....? No, correction! Why does the Wisdom think she can hide from Moiraine and Lan? That does not seem very wise...
Being able to sense the presence of people they’ve healed using the One true force, sounds like it’s going to come in handy! That’s not Moiraine’s plan though, since she hasn’t healed the lads (my spidey sense whispers: silver coins..?)
Ha! So reverse psychology works wonders on a Wisdom. The irony is strong in this one.
I also admit to liking the Wisdom significantly less after this first chapter from her POV. She is quite fiesty but not in a way that makes me want to root for her, just in a way that makes me roll my eyes and be annoyed with her. I hope it changes.
Aha!! I’m glad we got that one settled.
But this does lead me to ask some questions:
Back in Two Rivers there was also another young lad who got one of her silver coins, but why...?
Does she just give them out to anyone?
How many silver coins does she have???
Wow another Perrin chapter! Yep, I’m all for that
Unlike with the Wisdom, I liked Perrin a lot more after his first short POV. This chapter is short too, but I’ll take what I can get.
And this is why we like Perrin. Pragmatic Perrin (that should be his call name)
Perrin!! My sweet lad!
Can we take a moment to acknowledge that this thought never would have occurred to Rand who pretends to love Egwene...? Yet Perrin out of the goodness of his heart knows his priorities..!
Sweet, sweet Perrin!
Don’t let them get you down like that...!
None of the Two Rivers fellows, even the ones still at home, have anything on you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Perrin!! Actually crying over here (and it’s not just the fever talking)
Perrin is SO pure of heart!!
That’s it!! He is my favourite!
After a statement like that, I can’t do anything but love and adore pure hearted pragmatic Perrin!
Ahh yes, Perrin, there is much you will have to learn about being a leader, but most of all, about being yourself and liking yourself.
But I’m going to be there for all of it!
Uhh Wolf-man!! Well Min did say that she saw a wolf and forest in Perrin’s Destiny. Is this what she meant...? Is he secretly an axe-wielding Wolf? Are his eyes going to turn gold too?
I'm back to Rand and immediately thrust into a 5 page dream sequence.... I like Rand, but I would like less dreams please. Meanwhile Perrin’s dreams get a one paragraph sum-up and that’s really all I need.
Also what is Mat my lad’s obsession with treasure....?
....he definitely took some of that treasure in that abandoned city, didn’t he....?
He so did....
Lights! Mat my lad!! Do you learn nothing? Listen to no one??
And Rand!! You too! You loooove keeping people’s secrets while blurting out your own. Look at the trouble that has already landed you in! Lads. Time to take a hard look at yourselves!
.....yes Mat.... you insisted to go out before dark. Insisted on following a stranger. Then took something from a dodgy treasure. Kept it secret from everyone.
Yep.... that’s definitely not your fault. Def the fault of your two mates.
The Way of the Leaf is cool. It’s a bit like reading an easy version of Buddhist scripture, or Taoist theory. Ironically, The Way, in our world, tends refers to the Confucius Way.
I love getting to learn more about the different beliefs in this world.
You give your mates too much credit, Perrin.
They know as little as you.
In fact, it’s possible that they know even less than you.
So Mat and Rand got coins back.... that was easy. Too easy.
Something tells me those aren’t the coins Moiraine have them as tokens. Something tells me they’re just as lost to the party as they always were.
This talk of Illian and the horn and all though.... this party of three is about to split up isn’t it..?
Trusting to the pattern as foretold by Min, I’m going to guess that Mat and Thom take the ship south. While Rand stubbornly continues on north.
A crazy man looking for our heroes...
And you have no idea who it is Rand...? No idea...?
After you ran into a crazy Peddler in the last town and told him all about who you were with and where you were headed...?
Ohh I was wrong, they're not splitting up! Good! I'm delighted to be wrong.
There’s something really heart-warming about Thom sticking with the lads through this. He has always specifically chosen to stay with them. Even against the promise of greatness as a Gleeman, he stays. that's some true heartfelt dedication.
Oh no!! So I was partly right.... the party is splitting up. But this is not merely a split because they had different priorities and don't want to take the same path, it's worse.. There is no choice given....
Hey hey! Chapter header image was a calm instrument! There was no warning of the Dark One here!
Oh wow. Perrin and Egwene and the Wolves are still with the travellers. Most surprising. I didn’t expect them to stay for more than a night. I wonder what consequence this will have down the line..
Oh sweet Perrin. No wonder all the girls and women wanted to dance for him.
Just as I complained about the length of Rand’s dream sequences, Perrin’s get longer.
It started as 3 sentences. Then a paragraph. Now it’s 2 pages long.
Okay that’s enough fun. Let’s not make them grow any longer.
Perrin is remarkably fast on the uptake, isn’t he? We like a hero who can think for himself.
He also evolves quickly so far, but in a believable fashion
Since we’ve learnt about Moiraine’s silver coins, I’ve become really wary of gifts....!
So I don’t like this.
Okay, it might not be as bad as Mat’s dagger, but still, I don’t like it!
Uhhh slam!! Ouch! Called for, though.
In this Wisdom vs. Aes Sedai fight, I stand with Moiraine.
Hmm I wonder what has Elyas on edge like that. Especially when the wolves don’t seem to be. What does he know...?
And props to Perrin for not wondering if he truly is just crazy, even with this happening.
Ohh it's dark winged ones....! But..... I swear the image header wasn’t ravens! Do the raven image headers mean something else then...?
Elyas is growing on me.
Oh no. If I’m starting to like him, then that means...
Something awful is about to happen to him, isn’t it..?
Wow... things are getting dark over here... And pragmatic Perrin somehow still manages to set his priorities straight, dark as they might be.
Pragmatic Perrin having the worst time of his life is still going: “At least there was still tea.” Way to keep optimistic!
I keep being impressed with Perrin. He continued to be quick to realise what is going on within him. He has a certain trust in himself.
Less quick to figure out what other people are thinking but that’s mostly because of his own insecurities.
Wait... whose chapter is this....
Perrin. Oh no.
Oh no, oh no...!!
I don't know if I dare... I don't want something awful to happen to Perrin.
We have Whitecloaks closing in and hurt wolves and it’s terrible, and then, the following happens.... and somehow it’s just the most human thing ever.
This is great writing, I'm just saying. Because it reveals an inner world for Egwene that's very different from what Perrin has been thinking about. It reveals a whole string of thoughts for her to go through during this scary moment, and it reveals what she values, deep down.
No!! Not Hopper!!
Actually this is fascinating, and another example of great writing. I have heard about Hopper 2-3 times. I could hardly even remember which wolf Hopper was, but the way this is written tells me everything I need to know to have an emotional attachment to the wolf and what is happening.
Huh? That wasn’t so bad.
This Lord captain Bornhald seems to almost be a nice and reasonable fellow... Have I misjudged these Whitecloaks and just assumed all Whitecloaks are just terrible when they aren’t..?
Na... must be a trick.
A trick. Most definitely a trick! Whitecloaks are terrible!!
Moiraine!!!! Come save the kids!!! Save Perrin and Egwene!!!
Hurry! While there’s still something left of them....
Meanwhile Mat and Rand looked like they were in terrible danger when we last left them, but now, in comparison, it looks like a picnic.
But.... Mat really needs to get rid of that dagger before he starts to call it his precious.
This is really sweet. Rand thinks that Perrin is skilled with girls.
Meanwhile Perrin has been thinking that Rand is skilled with girls.
Good thing that Thom taught Rand and Mat some tricks! There’s some hope for them.... but apparently not for long... hope never seems to last long here.
If it goes well in one chapter, you can be certain you’ll see Whitecloaks in the next.
So..... folk have been looking the wrong way at Rand because of his Heron-marked sword pretty much since he left Two Rivers. This might be a stupid question, but: couldn't he just cover up the heron-mark...? Why can’t he do that? Is that somehow impossible...?
Uff, there is not a nice atmosphere in Four Kings, with an inn-keeper wanting to rob them and a dodgy rich guy staring at them, but things could be worse. At least the map shows that they’re close to Caemlyn
Though I fear Caemlyn will be worse!
Oh wow. I thought this was going to take a very different turn. I thought they’d escape the inn with the rich guy who would then turn out to be a lesser evil and they’d make a dramatic escape from his carriage.
Nope. Not where that went, at all.
Lights, help them. After a promise and declaration like that, they’re definitely going to get separated, one way or the other..
Lights, I hope it just happens in a way where neither of them abandons the other.
So much evil chasing Mat and Rand!!! So many servants to the Dark One! Even a skimpy villager I did not suspect, at all. Thankfully the two lads did suspect him, and got away.
This does make me wonder - cause we’ve seen a lot of evil people here, and every single one has been a man. Does the evil only take men...?
Moiraine said something about it being rare with women, but that implies that it also happens with women just to a lesser degree.
Oh. Yep. Definitely also happens with women. That answered that! Lights, I keep getting fooled because I keep thinking: it can’t be another one! Surely this time it must be a nice person.
Nope. Nothing sure about that.
I thought maybe this lady would be an Aes Sedai but one who did not agree with Moiraine and had a different approach. A darker approach. I do wonder how the Aes Sedai will react if any of the lads manage to show up in Tar Valon.
Very wise! Don’t become that which you hate, Mat my lad.
Rand is right, you’re better than this.
I do hope they don’t get separated now, because like Egwene and Perrin, Mat and Rand have now learned to rely on each other and help each other.
It’s a heart warming sight.
I feel like every person who gives these lads a ride tells them that Caemlyn is two days away... How is it always two days away? Is that code for: really really far away!?
I also keep hoping that every new person they meet might be someone they can trust. The two lads keep being reluctant to trust anyone, and I keep trusting everyone...
Eventually one of the people they come across will be good, right?
All this talk of Queen’s and royalty... we’re going to get really close and personal with the Queen and royalty aren’t we..?
I bet Thom used to perform for the court. He has this pride about his work. He has to have performed for the court.
Oh I hope Thom comes back soon.
Hmm yes, maybe not the queen, but I think we shall meet Lady Elayne and maybe also Lord Gawyn before this whole journey is finished.
Is Lady Elayne going to fall for one of our three Two Rivers lads...? Who is it going to be? Place your bets now!
Everyone they meet who doesn’t end up attacking them keeps saying that they know nothing and want to know nothing.
The people of this Queendom are terrified!
Ah, they meet someone decent at last!?
I’m with the inn-keeper on Thom btw: “I’ll believe he is dead when I see his corpse”
Oh wow! I mean I figured Thom had performed for the court..... but that close to the Queen? I would not have guessed it, but it makes a lot of sense from what we know of Thom so far.
Uh uh I don’t like that the inn-keeper is gone. Did someone come and take him...?
I mean he seemed so nice so I don’t want to believe that he willingly betrayed them but.... I’m worried.
Cool!!! An Ogier!! He seems like a really nice fellow too. I like these calm moments of conversation in between.
And it’s nice to see Rand let down his guard. Mat is guarded enough for the both of them.
Oh! Very unexpected! But yes!! Yes yes yes!! Please!! Let this happen!
Come on Rand! Think how nice it would be to see your party grow again and be surrounded by wise folk!
Oh and also, I can proudly announce that Rand has FINALLY decided to cover the heron-mark on his sword! After travelling half-way across the map.
All it took was for it be a fashion trend.
In a book with so many characters I find it remarkable that I like all of them.
I still don’t have one that makes me annoyed - and that’s a rarity for me.
....I take that back.
The Wisdom is getting on my nerves. I’m okay with her on the surface but the tone of her chapters is so negative. I’d like her if she could stop looking down on Moiraine and Lan (and herself too).
I feel like I sense something between the Wisdom and Lan...
What’s this about..? Is this the beginning of a romance I’m sensing...?
Wait!!!! Hold up!!!
Lan’s full name is: al’Lan Mandragoran???
So we have a...
When are Bob and Sam joining?
It’s fun that the girl names don’t seem to be following this pattern.
Moiraine.... Egwene... Nynaeve...
Yes I’ve got nothing on those.
Uhh Perrin’s eyes really are turning golden! That’s really cool.
And I’m of course excited that Moiraine heard my call last night and has arrived to rescue Perrin and Egwene.
I do have one concern though. Now that Perrin’s Wolf affinities are so clearly visible to others, I’m worried he will grow even more insecure.
Especially in the presence of the others. He grows a lot when he is alone and has room to do so, but he is SO insecure too.
Aw there is this little moment between Perrin and Lan after the rescue - Lan is really coming out of his shell lately.
He has been this silent, camouflaged figure of strength until now, but he is starting to open up now and reveal himself for who he truly is.
We like this!
So red means support for the Queen. White the opposite...
Rand chose red because it was the cheapest, but white is more commonly seen these days...
So it’s more expensive to be AGAINST the Queen..?
Someone seems to be profiting well off this.
Gawyn.... wait a minute!! Wasn’t it only yesterday that I claimed we would see the Lady and Lord of these lands before the end?
Frankly, I did not expect for it to happen quite this soon.
(She is so going to fall for Rand isn’t she?)
Ha! Even her brother is in agreement with me!
The pattern has been spun.
At this point, when Rand tells someone his real name and where he is from, I am not even surprised anymore.
Yes sure, Rand, go ahead and tell them everything. Just please keep your mouth shut when you cross the Queen’s Aes Sedai!
Wow. Rand has learned well from Mat. He really knows how to get into trouble
This is the kind of escalation of trouble I’d expect from my lad Mat.
The Queen seems cool though. Just under very dangerous advisement.
Yes, see? When you spend some time away from Mat’s suspicions, everyone suddenly don’t seem so bad, do they?
This inn-keeper has been so very nice and helpful.
All back together!!
Except.... Except for Thom. Please come back, Thom.
Uhhh see, we knew that dagger was bad news, but it was much worse than feared, when even Moiraine can’t part Mat from it...
I worry for Mat’s future. Because surely with so many books ahead, Moiraine isn’t going to be with him the entire way.
It’s good to have Mat back though. Properly.
Mat my lad!! Welcome home!!
Hahah. Ahhh I adore this character.
Please don’t let something bad happen to him. He is only ninety years old. In the name of the pattern, that is no age at all.
Yes!! At last!! Trust Moiraine!!
She can’t help you if you don’t tell her what’s going on!
Look what happened to Mat my lad because he lied and said he didn’t take any of the treasure!
*whispers* which one of you is.... the Dragon, Rand. The Dragon.
I’ve placed my bets already. Both that the Dark Lord is looking for the Dragon and also on who I think the Dragon is.
Time will tell as the pattern reveals itself to us all.
Considering that I only have a bit over 100 pages left in this first volume.... I’m worried it won’t be enough time.
Uh. Someone’s following them..? Someone.... so not a Trolloc.
It wouldn’t be Thom, because how could he follow them unless he had seen them go through? And if he had he would have called out. My bet is on.... The Peddler! The one Rand ratted to ages ago!
Mat my lad.... waste of a perfectly fine arrow!
Who is going to go back for it now??
The Ogier quite adorably keeps trying to steer them elsewhere. "Hey guys, did you know there’s a passage over here that leads to Tar Valon...? Wouldn’t that be neat? No...? Okay... Let’s keep going then."
Duh, of course! I should have seen it straight away! Of course Trollocs and Fades have been using the Ways to fast travel too. So THAT’s how they arrived in Two Rivers in seemingly no time without anyone elsewhere seeing them!
Uh we’ve got a new map!!! Last one in this volume, I suspect.
Okay guys, I gotta confess...
I know the lads are just back together, reunited after a long time apart. But I wish they would go each their way again.
Because honestly, I struggle to like Rand when he is around the others. He can come across a bit judgement of the others.
And honestly he is better than that. It doesn’t seem like he means to be that way either. Yet, he tends to look down on the others when they’re together. Especially the women. But also Perrin and Mat.
It’s not just Rand either.
All of the lads seem to have a bad influence on each other when they’re together.
They’re great on their own but something old stirs up whenever they’re together and they reduce themselves to be lesser men.
I want them to be their best selves. So, I’d like them to split up.
Uhh!! That’s smart!! Why aren’t all the town doing this!?? Are the other townships so arrogant as to think that Fades can never appear near their cities...?
We’re about to learn a whole lot about Lan aren’t we...? These people talk as if he is some kind of beacon of hope. A hero of times past.
I trust Moiraine. I don’t care if every person in all the lands says that you can only meet this Green man once.
If Moiraine says it can be done, it can be done.
Yes. And if he is to die, he shall also be like an onion, making everyone cry as he is chopped to pieces.
So let’s not make that happen.
But yes, that describes my feelings on Lan’s past.
I knew it!!!
I knew that was who was following them and who had called on dark creatures more than one.
And, not so fast, RAND!!!
You met him and told him everything and then decided not to tell Moiraine...! I told you this would happen!! Always tell Moiraine!
He knows exactly what you told him, Rand....
And no, I’m not about to forget that, because if you’re going to live through over a dozen more books, you better learn to trust Moiraine and to not blurt all you plans to everyone you meet.
On a total sidenote:
What is this...? It appeared at bottom of page 719 of EotW. I own the paperback U.K. edition. What’s this about...?
Is it an Easter egg or a printing mistake?
The talk with Anglemar in Fal Dara was quite interesting because it tells us just how insane their adventure is and how big of a chance Moiraine is taking on them all too. It tells us that our lads are now far beyond anything that anyone normal in this world can understand.
Egwene.... I gotta break it to you, but I don’t think Rand wants you all to be together. He doesn’t fare well in this group. And I think even he is beginning to realise that.
Now that’s sweet.
And Rand, you can learn something about how to talk to a woman here. You too Perrin.
This love story is making me like the Wisdom more. She can’t possibly be annoyed with others when she is in love.
Huh? It does not sound like he is holding the bow, so... What kind of super-bow does Mat have that the arrow does not fall off...?
Another deep concern for the archer over here: how many arrows does Mat have...?
He does realise that arrows are expensive right? Especially arrows that you use to hunt and kill. They also take forever to make. He knows, right?
It’s impressive that he can hit anything while riding though. That’s a skill that’s difficult to acquire and was in the past too.
The most famous Korean general, General Yi Sun-sin (16th century), failed his horseback archery test to get into the military academy. and he is one of the most celebrated war generals, and famed for his archery skills too. Just for a bit of persepctive.
On a different note, we love a mage who sends off Fireballs!!
I haven’t seen that in ages in fantasy, so that’s extra awesome!
Because you need to be prepared, Rand.
If you’re not prepared for what’s to come you might be caught unawares, and that’s never fun.
That ends in disaster.
Better to be a bit scared and live than blissfully(?) ignorant and die.
Oh. Okay. So reaching the Eye of the World ended up being no problem at all.
That was some smooth sailing.
I called it!! I called it! Ahh so it’s official now. I was wondering how long it would take for it to be revealed to Rand. Because I was really confident about this truth. I was worried it wouldn’t be revealed for many more books. Phew!
The Forsaken.... uh this sounds familiar. And these names. Are the Foresaken the false dragons?? Or the real ones...?
Yea, actually: what makes someone a false dragon and what makes them a real dragon?
I need some answer over here.
Oh no. You know things are truly bad when even Moiraine begins to scream.
Wait a minute. 3000 years.
During the past 700 pages I’ve wondered what the deal with the prologue was. With that Kinslayer.
This is it, no...? Kinslayer is going to be Rand’s teacher. Isn’t he...? In some form. Be it in memories or spirit or something.
That was that. I’ll be honest, despite the book title, I did not entirely expect them to reach the Eye of the World in the time they had left, but that was actually a neat ending.
And I’m happy that Rand is planning on going his own way. He is better on his own.
I look forward to the next volume. I wonder what will happen now...
End of Wheel of Time Book 1 : The Eye of the World
Before I sign off, I wanted to all add some over-arching thoughts I've had about the book, as a writer, so here goes…
Writing wise, Robert Jordan is well versed and makes some interesting choices that makes the Wheel of Time (at least the first book) feel like a very comfortable read.
Almost every time I had a question or something I wanted to know more about, my request was granted one or two chapters later. One could compare it to certain comic books, that have time to account for fan reactions a few chapters further along in the story.
This made it feel like a very reader-led experience. It felt like I, as a reader, was helping form the narrative, when truly, what happened was that Robert Jordan skilfully fed me the questions he wanted me to have, so that I would be onboard with the journey in its entirety.
This is something that’s actually quite difficult to do. I read many novels where authors have attempted to do this and utterly failed, instead making me completely uninterested in what they want me to care about.
Robert Jordan never seems to press upon the reader the things he wants us to wonder about. Instead, he seems to do the opposite, pulling back to lure us out hiding.
He knows his audience well. He knows fantasy readers. He knows what we find fascinating. So he will just drip a little of something that is sure to make 90% of fantasy readers go: “What was that? Where did that come from?”, and suddenly we’re all with him on a hunt to find out more information about the Aes Sedai, or the Dragon Reborn.
This way of writing also resulted in me frequently feeling rewarded as a reader, which again made “the Eye of the World” a comfortable read. I was never caught totally unaware, and that was a nice experience because it felt like I could relax in the reading and take in the story and characters and world with more ease because I trusted that Jordan was going to show me everything I needed to see and in the proper order too and that he wasn’t out to freak me out, but rather that his goal was to fulfil my every want as a fantasy reader.
The many references to established and well known fantasy conventions, and often Tolkien’s work too, also made this a comfortable and enjoyable read.
'The Eye of the World' feels like it’s a story that was written by an observant fantasy reader for the pleasure of other fantasy readers.
It has been an absolute pleasure to encounter it. Now, onwards with the reading...
Experience the collection of my live thoughts about the Wheel of Time series here:
5. The Fires of Heaven
6. Lord of Chaos
7. A Crown of Swords
8. The Path of Daggers
9. Winter's Heart
10. Crossroads of Twilight
11. Knife of Dreams
12. The Gathering Storm
13. Towers of Midnight
14. A Memory of Light