This is my second time reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time series. The first time it held me entranced through most of high school, but I only read the first nine before I got side tracked. (Not to mention, Jordan passed away around then, just before I had caught up to him). Not familiar with Brandon Sanderson’s capable and strangely similar style and talents then, I decided to delve further into fantasy with different authors.
Years and countless writing lessons later the Wheel of Time has turned, and I’ve come back to this classic series to discover it’s just as entertaining as it was before. Yes, I’ve read stronger authors including mega-series-world-creator Steven Erikson, but a broader perspective has given me the chance to view Jordan’s storytelling with a different sort of fascination.
My first realization upon re-reading the Eye of the World was just how much of Jordan’s fantasy ideas had seeped into my own efforts. A startling, eye-opening moment to be sure. So much of what Jordan created became the assumed standard of fantasy for me and (I’d guess) a whole generation of writers like me. He probably created as many of the fantasy tropes we wrestle with now as Tolkien did.
I guess that’s what I get for spending my formative years absorbing the style and world of primarily a single author. How could I have read other things? The series is so long, and it demands to be read. And not all of the authorial building blocks I picked up were bad. Jordan had an ability to pace events so that even after hundreds of books read, I still find myself staying up later for the Wheel of Time than almost anything else.