About a year ago I was introduced to a series of books called The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. They are some hefty books, with thirteen in all, one prequel, and each numbering in the hundreds of pages. Still, if you are one who loves to read, enjoys fantasy, and appreciates good writing, these are the books for you. Actually, you might be into drama, or history, or writing, or just a good read and still enjoy this series. Now they take perseverance to read, especially near the end, but so far they have been worth it. To be fair, I have yet to finish the series – I am still on the eleventh book – but they pull me on.
The plot of the story revolves mainly around three boys, soon forced by events seemingly uncontrolled by them to become men, bearing the fate of the world on their shoulders, and on those of one more so than others. In a world of Ogiers, Aes Sadai, Dark Friends, and creatures of unimaginable powers, the characters are woven into a pattern leading to the Final Battle that they have been destined to fight, which they never could have prepared for and still wish to avoid. Over their journeys they make both friends and enemies, learning what true sacrifice is and the weight of duty, and why it matters. In addition, they show what makes the true metal of a person by what and how they face different circimstances.I cannot neither overstate how truly compelling the overarching story is nor present it justly.
Regarding the writing, I have hardly read better in this day and age. In today’s world of stale characters, elementary writing, and content that is disgusting at best, the writing of Robert Jordan is a breath of fresh air. I would say it is geared more towards the level and content of high school and college age, and of course above. While I would call it neither gory nor sexual, there are battles, murders, and tortures, sometimes implied rather than not, and there is the implication of deep relationships. But none is offensive. In regards to the level of writing, I fancy that a person’s vocabulary and writing skills will improve by reading these books. As a writer, knowing the amount of research done to write any book, fictional or not, is difficult and important, I am amazed at the work done for these books. And this comes from only what I have noticed. I am sure more is hidden within these pages that I may have just not seen clearly, but perhaps another reader has or will.
In addition, while the story itself is compelling, it is the characters that truly make it so. Each and every one is believable, and put into a world that is equally so. They are not hollow or stagnant. They grow, change, become hard or understanding, realize responsibility, or grow horridly dark. Each are relatable, especially regarding the main character. But, you would have to read the books themselves to see what I mean. And the author has no small arsenal of them. In fact, the author’s ability to balance the characters, following each of their threads through the books’ timeline, keeping each of them fresh and true to their character, is amazing to me. Robert Jordan was quite the artist.
If you are looking for a new fantasy book to read, or just new reading material in general, I would advocate for this series. You have to be willing to go in for the long haul, but I would say that it is worth it. In fact, I would not have called myself a person who reads fantasy; this series has changed my perspective. As a writer and a reader, I highly recommend this series to others.
Blessings to you,