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.