Written by Robert Jordan

Number 1 in The Wheel of Time

Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 800
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 1990-01-15
Original Language: English

Read from 2021-09-05 to 2022-09-11
Read in English
Rating: 3/5
Review: Plenty of people I trust sing the praises of The Wheel of Time as a great series of books, so I’m sure it is - but this first book did not do an excellent job at selling the series to me.

There’s plenty to like in the book, but for me it worked out to a little less than the component of it’s parts: there is character-building, but not enough for any character that any of them properly clicked for me. There is some world-building, but not enough for me to feel that the story in the book happened organically, the way it often feels in well-constructed worlds. Instead it felt like the world was built up around the story. And the story, while decent, felt like it lacked a middle, or, rather, the middle felt too much like a beginning. By the time I’ve started getting my bearings, the drama happens and the book ends. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but in the first book of a series which is obviously constructing a universe, I would have expected it to take a little more time to let the story stew before serving it.

As for the story, there are obvious comparisons to be made with Lord of the Rings, though that’s not at all a bad thing, and the premise is interesting, and there are (just about) enough “oh, I wonder what that will lead to” things to make me want to continue reading the series. However, I’m not left with a feeling of wanting to start the next book right away. Of course I will, at some point, but for a series that’s as well regarded by so many as this one is, I’m a little bit disappointed.