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.

Mr. Linky tis broken.

1) On Starships and Dragonwings
2) Musings on Fantasia

3) Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers
Leave a comment below with your link and I’ll add it to the list. thanks!

Reminder: The Eye of the World Read Along

Streak is far more interested in mealtime than in my reading selection.
Streak is far more interested in mealtime than in my reading selection.

My confession to you, dear readers, is that I read Books 1, 2 and part of 3 of The Wheel of Time series a little over a decade ago. Back then, I was young, in college, in my first serious relationship, and easily distracted by shiny books, so I didn’t go on with the series.

In Book 1, having recently read The Lords of the Rings by Tolkien, I felt there was a little too much cribbing from the man in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World. Remember, these were my thoughts of a 19 year old. But my man was really into these books, so I read on. Yet life, and other distracting books, got in the way of enjoying this series and it fell by the wayside. By the way, my man is extra excited to have me reading this series and he has even offered to  listen along (audio versions) and I will occasionally include his remarks in my posts.

Now, with the upcoming read along, I am thoroughly looking forward to enjoying this series with a group of people. In truth, as a Brandon Sanderson fan, I really, really want to see what he did with Jordan’s world and how he ended the series. Yes, I have heard how good this series is, how many serious-beyond-belief fans there are of Jordan’s works. But what I know is how good Sanderson’s works are. If Sanderson picked up the torch after Jordan’s death, there has got to be something really good about this series for him to build on. Or so is my hope.

I hope you’ll be joining us. Below is the schedule for posting, and also the sign up form. Don’t forget to check out On Starships and Dragonwings, my awesome cohost for this insanity. And you can always take the more casual approach by simply following our reading exploits and commenting here and there.

Chapters   Date of Post (Sundays)
Proglogue-7 post on December 16th
8-14 post on December 30th
15-20 post on January 6th
21-27 post on January 13th
28-33 post on January 20th
34-40 post on January 27th
41-47 post on February 3rd
48-END post on February 10th

The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World Read Along

eyeoftheworldbannerAnya of On Starships and Dragonwings and myself are teaming up to to tackle the fantasy legend of Robert Jordan. We’re going to be starting with The Eye of the World (Book 1) of The Wheel of Time series (15 books total) and taking it one book at a time. As long as we’re having fun, we’ll keep on going.

Picabuche - Just a smidge demon?
Picabuche – Just a smidge demon?

As many of you Fantasy fans know, The Eye of the World was first published in 1990. It wasn’t until after the 10th book (published in 2003) that New Spring (a prequel with serious spoilers) was published (2004). Hence we decided to go with publishing chronology instead of story chronology in our reading. Sadly, Robert Jordan passed in 2007 before completing his series. His wife chose Brandon Sanderson to pass the torch on to, who finished the series with 3 books, the last of which, A Memory of Light, is due out January 2013. Just FYI: The Eye of the World was republished at some point in two books (From the two Rivers and To the Blight).

We’ll be averaging around 100 pages per week (at least in my paperback) for the read along, skipping a week for the Winter Solstice holiday of your choice. If you’d like to join us, sign up at either of our sites. For those that do, we’ll be providing read along questions prior to each discussion post date so you have time to put up a blog post too. If you don’t have a blog, or do but want a more casual realm of play, feel free to join us weekly at our sites and let us know your thoughts in the comments. Feel free to jump in and out of the read along, as our pace may be a bit slow for some readers.

Chapters   Date of Post (Sundays)
Proglogue-7 post on December 16th
8-14 post on December 30th
15-20 post on January 6th
21-27 post on January 13th
28-33 post on January 20th
34-40 post on January 27th
41-47 post on February 3rd
48-END post on February 10th