Main Story –
The Eye of the World (Review 1)
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Shadow Rising
The Fires of Heaven
Lord of Chaos
A Crown of Swords
The Path of Daggers
Crossroads of Twilight
Knife of Dreams
The Gathering Storm (written by Brandon Sanderson)
Towers of Midnight (written by Brandon Sanderson)
A Memory of Light (written by Brandon Sanderson)
The Wheel of Time is a massive story spanning generations … primarily focused on the lives of several key characters, it still explores the historical worlds first popularized by Tolkein in an inventive and creative fashion. The series itself was first launched with the book : The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1) and has now reached 12 books with another 2 still remaining to be released.
The most recent book and the final ones in the storyline have actually been written by a different author as during the course of writing the whole series and the 2 decades + that it has taken, the original Author – Robert Jordan – died! The new author – Brandon Sanderson – is responsible for the Mistborn series of novels (also set in a very well realized fantasy world) and has taken and is using Robert Jordan’s notes to complete the series.
I will be reviewing each book here and have provided a link to all of the other reviews which is accessible from this main page. I’ll also be linking in some common questions that I had (and where possible providing information on the answers) as this series is big and can easily confuse you especially considering how long a wait there is between each book.
One final note before you continue reading … this post and some of the linked ones, contain spoilers! The Wheel of Time books are an intricate, many-layered narrative covering an entire world over the course of several years (and many centuries, in flashbacks). DO NOT read it if you have not yet read the book in question (unless you have no plans to read that book) as although this is not a synopsis of each book, it does show how they tie together and also how each of the characters interrelate. As such, there is much information covered in each book; some of it reveals secrets that impact earlier information, and can change the way you view characters and events at the time.
“And the Shadow fell upon the Land, and the World was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.
(from Aleth nin Taerin alta Camora,
The Breaking of the World. Author unknown, the Fourth Age)”
Now, for those NOT in the know, to repeat, The Wheel of Time is a book series set in a Tolkein type fantasy environment. You will find magic (the One power and the True power), Orcs (Trollocs in the Wheel of Time) etc… there is also a decided similiarity between some of the key characters – a’Lan Mandragoran plays the part of Aragorn quite well and while the villagers bear a passing resemblance to our favorite Hobbits, you’ll find that there are distinct differences also!
One interesting point to note however is that unlike The Lord of the Rings, the power that the Trollocs initially utilize and the fear that they inspire in our key characters, gradually changes as our characters develop and grow. This is very similar to the “leveling up” that you might see or experience when playing a role playing game or MMORPG.
With all the smilarities being mentioned however, there is also some extremely distinct differences and although he is using similar themes that Jordan is able to build a fully realized universe that has many unique elements to it. For example, although the Forsaken are very similar to the Nazgûl they are also their own completely unique personalities. In addition, his magic system is completely different and quite well reasoned with the male and female elements of the power each having their own distinct strengths and weaknesses.