Friday, January 10, 2020

A Touch of Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World Reading Wheel of Time Update

See previous #FridayReads Post

Soooo I'm on page 650 out of 782 (edit two days later; I'm done with the book) pages in Robert Jordan's first The Wheel of Time book, The Eye of the World.  Almost done, man.  Almost DONE.  It's been an epic fantasy ride–for sure.  It was a little lumpy on the ennui concerning the pace hit in the middle of the book.  Yet, still a really fun high-flying fantasy adventure ride.  Luckily the opening chapters were pretty smooth in pace and engagement, it wasn't until later did Jordan hit the gas on a bit of info dumps that caused me to really sit up and pay attention.  I expected that as the book progressed.  I mean, there is a lot to digest and unpack here.  From the characters themselves, to the various towns they visit throughout the journey.  Toss in their adversaries.  The various stages of unfolding lore within this world.  And, well, I can say I'm constantly referring to the glossary in the back of the book to keep me abreast.  Even on into these final pages.

Besides using the glossary in The Eye of the World to keep me inline with all the intricate details unfolding in the story itself, I also find myself Goolge fan sketches and paintings to get an idea of the Jordan's characters and towns/spaces.  But just for an extra kick in the pants, I went to the library yesterday and checked out this The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time book (released in 1997).  I've poked and flipped around carefully through this book to keep from spoilers, but it's pretty neat.  Can't say I'm totally won by the character portraits, though.

Still, in fact, this is my absolute favorite of all the cover arts featured in the series.  Something about that moon and the night.  And, well, Moiraine and Lan looking all solid and regal and dogged on their horses.

This is an apparent portrait of one of the many adversarial pieces in the book/series, a Myrddraal.  They're creatures of the Dark One.  A mix of animal and human, where in their case the human genes are much more dominant than the animal ones (see the Trollocs for further explanation).  Anyway, I've always envisioned the Myrddraal to look much scarier and menacing than this.  Especially when their cloaks are covering their eyes-less-ness.

A portrait of Mat.  The rather goofy and wildcard of the bunch.  He's also the comedic relief.  His character really takes a turn the further the book progresses.  He shifts from adventurous and eager, to dark and paranoid.  I started to notice it, and love the author for pull that change out of him (dynamics build interest).  Nevertheless, I also knew in the back of my mind how there was a specific reason for this change in Mat.  I can't give that away, right?  Let's just say he encountered one of the creepiest creatures so far in the book called Mordeth.  And Mat's easy-going and prankster nature just got him into some trouble with said creature.  One thing I can say for sure, I actually like Jordan's characters.  

This is the portrait of Perrin.  While I don't exactly see him as he appears here, Perrin is probably the most level-headed youth.  As opposed to his friend Mat, of course.  Something about Perrin is pretty cool, and I don't just mean him find himself able to "communicate" with wolves.  There came a moment when the characters were separated into groups, allowing the story to shift all over.  Perrin's narrative trail was easily the most interesting one to me.  Plus, I kind of think Perrin is the sexiest of them all.  Maybe it's his description of having curly hair, as well as her axe-welding skill set.  :)

Needless to repeat, my favorite character is the Aes Sedia (short change that word to "magic welder"), Moraine.  Also love Lan.  Lan's like that character who's all broody and dead with a sword who won't show his soft spot one bit.  But you know he cares.  And he cares deeply.  Though quiet, his guardianship vibe is EVERYTHING.  Anyway, I love the chemistry between these two.  And I also love how they're smart.  I depend on them in a lot of ways to keep things, well, "grounded" if you will.

I'm not going to lie.  This image of the character Thom is absolutely creepy.  Creepy.  Creepy.  Creepy.  Nevertheless, Thom is the worldly, traveling older guy of the cast.  He actually reminds me of Anya from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, in the sense that he's a walking-talking encyclopedia of the surrounding world.  But you can't be fooled by his juggling colorful balls while wearing an equally colorful patchwork cloak.  There is something darker and deeper behind his entertaining aura.

The character of Nynaeve is EASILY becoming my second favorite female lead right behind the greatness of Moiraine.  I think she's the character who is most like me, in the very straight-to-the-point no-nonsense approach to life.  I really connect with her.  She's always like "look, we ain't got time for all this ish."  I guess that's because she's a little older than the other crew that came out the same village as her.  As a matter-of-fact, she tracked them down earlier within the book.  She's like the resourceful big sister of the group.  Her skill set is that of a Wisdom "doctor", tracker, and she has some untapped connection to the power of wind.

But what really sets Nynaeve up in my favorites list is coming for Lan and Moiraine.  Boy, I tell you.  When I say Nynaeve had the gall to speak her mind up against Lan and Moiraine–she did.  I loved that about her.  Right or wrong, she didn't back down.

And last is the portrait of the central character in this who epic fantasy drama, Rand.  Rand reminds me of those main characters in many of the Final Fantasy games.  You know, that cute dude with the equally cute haircut that the player is instantly supposed to identify as?  Yeah, that part.  Either way I like Rand.  He's all noble and friend-loving and stuff.

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