By: Robert Jordan
Published: November 15, 1990
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Wheel of Time
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Science Fiction
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow
The fault within this novel stems from so many sources. The beginning is very strong. The characters are solidly designed and the plot, the mystery, is well established in the prologue of this novel. But once that’s all over, the actual story starts and from something that has such a strong beginning, you left wanting more. The plot line begins to drag and drag and the characters throughout the novel soon begin to blend in with one another. There is nothing separating these characters, nothing that defines that other than their names. Each and every one of them is forgettable.
The plot and the realm also have very little connection to the prologue. It’s almost as though Jordan started out with one idea in mind, forgot about it for most of the book before remembering and then trying desperately to circle back to original intent of the novel. Granted while the end was as strong as the beginning, there is very little to hold the reader to this novel. The characters are not enigmatic; spend most of the novel whining about why this is happening to them without much growth. They are searching for answers, seeking out rumors to why their home was attacked. That is not uncommon in a fantasy novel, but they embark on this journey and whine throughout the entire novel making them incredibly unappealing.
Jordan tries too hard to create this world, except he explains very little of the religion and of the fiends in this world. There is nothing there to ground the reader into the novel. He throws creature after creature into the mix except we know nothing of these creatures other than what they are called. Jordan does a good job painting the world, but not the creatures or the characters. Reading them, they have nothing to capture you, to make you visualize them, you imagine blank faces. It’s incredibly disappointing.
This novel has very little character growth, if at all, amazing textual detail about the world, but nothing on the characters. The religion in this world is thrown at you, without context. By the time you figure out what one thing is, you’re already wondering what five other things are. As far as I can say, this is a novel better left unread. It has no charm, the outside plot is forgotten, lost in the many inside plots that mimic one another and many scene specifics are left unwritten. By far, one of the most disappointing fantasy novel I have not had the pleasure of reading. ★☆☆☆☆ (D)