The Eye of the World Read Along Part I

eyeoftheworldbannerWelcome everyone to the fun of dissecting Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World, Book 1 of The Wheel of Time series. Anya of On Starships and Dragonwings and I here at Dab of Darkness will be hosting back and forth. It’s great that so many of you signed up to enjoy with us. If anyone else would like to join in receiving the blog post questions a few days early so you can prepare a blog post, you can sign up at the form over HERE.

Below are this week’s questions, along with my answers. Just a reminder, we will be skipping next week due to the numerous winter holidays going on and returning the week after. Schedule in detail is over HERE.

Waffles in a rare serious mood.

Waffles in a rare serious mood.

Again, this week’s post covers the prologue through the end of Chapter 7.

1) The prologue is a pretty bleak and dark place. Then we enter Two Rivers and meet the young folk, mostly farmers. Do you think these two very different scenes show the bookends of the spectrum we can expect for the book?

Even though I read this book several years ago (pushing 2 decades), I don’t remember much of it. The bleakness and loss described in the prologue tho – really, can we get much worse than that? And so far there hasn’t been any cussing or particularly bloody violence, even as dire the circumstances as captured in the prologue. And I can’t really imagine things any mellower than the initial few chapters in Two Rivers. So, yeah, I think the prologue and first few chapters capture the spectrum of the book.

2) Overall are you enjoying the level of description and the portent telling (the crow, the black-robed man on horseback, etc.)?

I do enjoy my epic fiction descriptive. I know it’s not for everyone, but when I want detail, I really want it. And I enjoy portents as long as they are explained later in the story, and not just simply due to some psychic connection to the universe. I like it to be small things hindsight 20/20 makes reasonably clear.

3) What do you think the story is for Rand and Egwene up to this point?

These two are so awkward around each other that either there has been zero kissing or a very odd first kiss. I also suspect they have known each other their whole lives and at some point she lit his hair on fire and he tricked her into climbing into a well and left her there for a few hours, or some such nonsense.

4) The story takes a most serious turn once the trollocs attack the al’Thor farmstead. It also raises plenty of questions about Tam’s past. Care to guess on what some of that past is?

Oooo! So far, the most tantalizing bits are about Tam’s past. I would really love to hear his story at some point. I wonder if he was a traveling merchant, or a mercenary, or happened to be in an odd place at the wrong time and was pressed into the service of some noble for the war. I hope we get to hear more of it as the story goes on.

5) Chapter 7 leaves us with many questions, like Rand has many questions: Why trollocs? What was his father going on about in his fever? Who are Moraine and Lan and why are they really in Two Rivers? Will Tam survive? Which of these (or other) questions are you most anxious to see answered in the coming chapters?

The larger question I am more interested in is why the trollocs in Two Rivers. It is obvious they are looking for something or someone specific, but for what purpose I don’t recall from my reading all those years ago. I also forgot why Moraine and Lan had traveled so far afield and I look forward to learning (or relearning) about their quest.

Other Tidbits:

The world building seems to draw on a variety of European lore – Beltyne, Shaitan, al’Thor. I find this interesting, but the jury is still out on whether or not it works for me.

Some of the trollocs had hooves, some feathers, some more human than others. Disturbing. Yet the biologist in me wants to know how the variety of mishmashes was done. Yet it is probably unlikely I will get an explanation on this any time soon.

Looking forward to your comments. If you created a blog post, make sure to fill out the Mr. Linky below so we all get a chance to stop by. If for some reason the Linky isn’t working, just leave a comment with your blog name and link to your post and I’ll manually make a list throughout that day.

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1) On Starships and Dragonwings
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