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The Wheel of Time Book 1: A Beginning

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Welcome to my hub page for The Wheel of Time Book 1: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. The novel begins a fascinating adventure we never dreamt would occupy our minds for so long. It’s a beginning new readers are still engaged and transformed by and I’m proud to honor it through The Shining Walls website.

In this post, I’ll explore everything you might want to know about The Wheel of Time’s first book. I’ll share an anecdote about my own discovery of the series, answer all the burning questions, and point you in the direction of more content I’ve written for The Eye of the World. Your remarkable journey starts here!

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A Beginning

My own adventures with Moiraine and the Emond’s Field 5 began in 1992, 2 years after The Eye of the World was first published. I’d be grateful if you don’t do the math, but I would have been 15 or 16 at the time. My mum and dad bought it for me on a shopping trip but I picked it out. The cover and the back-page blurb caught my attention.

As I recall, I think my parents were trying to ween me off The Lord of The Rings at the time. After all, I had been reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic repeatedly in my teens. If their intent really was to broaden my reading experience, it worked. The Wheel of Time became the gift that kept on giving for the next 21 years of my life. Not to mention, of course, that I’m still reading and writing about it to this day.

The Eye of the World cover art by Darrell K. Sweet. Moiraine on a white mare and Lan on his black stallion lead the Emond's Field youths on a journey at night.
The Eye of the World cover art by Darrell K. Sweet

The book is suitable for younger teens. With good reading ability, The Eye of the World is perfect for boys and girls aged 12 and over, so I was a little late to the party. That shopping trip was my beginning though and I can still feel the weight of the book in my young hands. I was eager to discover more about the big warrior on the black horse and the small, straight-backed lady on her gray.

As my fingers began to turn the pages, I became enchanted and fervent and very much in love. Like the Emond’s Field youths, I was innocent and changed as I discovered increasingly beautiful cities, the terror of the Ways, and the horrors waiting at the Eye of the World. I was hooked.

The Eye of the World Summary

The Eye of the World has Lord of the Rings vibes from the off and is an engaging start to the complex journeys that are to follow.

We’re introduced to our main protagonists in the peaceful village of Emond’s Field: Nynaeve al’Meara (the village Wisdom, a healer and weather forecaster in layman’s terms), Egwene al’Vere (the mayor’s young daughter), Perrin Aybara (a blacksmith’s apprentice), Rand al’Thor (a headstrong sheepherder), and Mat Cauthon (the village prankster).

We also meet unexpected visitors to the village: the Aes Sedai, Moiraine, and her Warder, Lan Mandragoran, as well as other key characters in Thom Merrilin (a traveling gleeman) and Padan Fain (a traveling peddler).

Horrific events in Emond’s Field see the young villagers leave their homes to embark on a wide-reaching journey that will change their lives forever.

The forces of the Shadow include animalistic Trollocs, eyeless Fades, Darkfriends, and perhaps the Dark One himself. They keep our protagonists moving and our imaginations boggling before a triumphant showdown at the end.

The Eye of the World Book Blurb

“Prepare to turn the Wheel of Time – discover the first novel in one of the most influential and popular fantasy epics ever published.

When their village is attacked by terrifying creatures, Rand al’Thor and his friends are forced to flee for their lives. An ancient evil is stirring, and its servants are scouring the land for the Dragon Reborn – the prophesized hero who can deliver the world from darkness.

In this Age of myth and legend, the Wheel of Time turns. What was, what may be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.”

from blackwells.co.uk (publisher’s synopsis)

The Eye of the World FAQ

Let me go ahead and clear up these often-asked questions about the first book in The Wheel of Time series. You can ask me anything about the novel using the comments section below this post, and I’ll update this FAQ with the answers I’ve missed.

Who Wrote The Eye of the World?

The book was written by James Oliver Rigney Jr. using the now-famous moniker, Robert Jordan. It is the first of 14 books in The Wheel of Time series, 15 if you include the prequel.

When was The Eye of the World Published?

The Eye of the World was first published in the United States on 15 January 1990 by Tor Books (an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates Inc.).

Orbit, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group publishes The Wheel of Time books in the UK, but The Eye of the World was first published there by Macdonald & Co (Publishers) Ltd., also in 1990.

How Many Chapters Are There in The Eye of the World?

The Eye of the World has 53 chapters and a prologue.

How Long is The Eye of the World?

The Eye of the World chapters and prologue have a joint word count of 300,147. The 2021 Orbit paperback edition has 771 story pages and a 28-page glossary.

How Long Does it Take to Read The Eye of the World?

Based on the average reading speed of 200-250 words per minute, The Eye of the World should take between 20 – 25 hours to get through.

What Book Comes After The Eye of the World?

Book 2 of The Wheel of Time series is The Great Hunt.

What is the “Ravens” Prologue in The Eye of the World?

In 2002, The Eye of the World was published in two volumes for Young Adults by Starscape Books (a trading name used by Tor Books). They came with illustrated pages and the first of these, From the Two Rivers, features a specially written prologue from Egwene al’Vere’s point of view.

It’s called Ravens and is set in the Two Rivers with Egwene looking to work harder than her Emond’s Field peers. The traditional prologue, Dragonmount, is still included.

Daniel Greene’s The Eye of the World Review

Daniel Greene is my go-to content creator on YouTube for fantasy news and reviews. He has a huge following and is well-respected by genre fans.

On top of that, Daniel Greene is a huge fan of The Wheel of Time, so I’m happy to share his take on The Eye of the World with you. I’ve jumped the introduction, so you can start from the beginning of the review. He’s entertaining throughout, as always!

If you haven’t started the series yet or just want to read about the book, then The Shining Walls has you covered. My own review of The Eye of the World is right here:

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About The Eye of the World Author

Robert Jordan

Photograph of author Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan by Jeanne Collins

Robert Jordan is a pen name for James Oliver Rigney Jr, an American author born in 1948. The Wheel of Time is by far his most successful series, selling over 100 million copies worldwide.

Robert Jordan was also one of several authors to write new Conan the Barbarian novels. I’ve dropped in a couple of Amazon links for you below if you want to explore Jordan’s contribution to that series.

Other pseudonyms such as Reagan O’Neal, Jackson O’Reilly, and Chang Lung cover Jordan’s other works. With a little bit of research, you’ll soon discover that he didn’t just write fantasy. Historical fiction, Westerns, and even dance criticism are all in his repertoire too.

Robert Jordan sadly passed away in 2007 following a cardiac amyloidosis diagnosis the year before. He’s survived by his wife, Harriet McDougal, who plays an active role in the community and the protection of Robert Jordan’s legacy.

It was Harriet who asked Brandon Sanderson to complete The Wheel of Time book series. He did this with help from Jordan’s extensive notes and Harriet’s insight too.

Conan Paperback Links

The Conan Chronicles: Volume 1 at Amazon

The Conan Chronicles: Volume 2 at Amazon

I may get a small commission if you buy things through the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. My affiliate disclosure has more information.

From the Two Rivers and To the Blight

In 2002, Starscape (an imprint of Tor Books) released special editions of The Eye of the World, with the book divided into two parts.

From the Two Rivers and To the Blight were published to make the epic story more accessible to younger readers. By splitting the story into two volumes, Starscape created a gateway for those who might find the original novel’s length daunting and complex.

From the Two Rivers covers the first half of The Eye of the World and sets the stage for the grand adventure to come. To the Blight continues the story. The young heroes face greater challenges, encounter new allies and enemies, and make discoveries as they venture into the dangerous and mysterious Blight.

The two books immerse readers through black-and-white illustrations and a world filled with prophecies, ancient powers, and the looming threat of darkness. An exclusive prologue was used to entice female readers too, with Egwene al’Vere as the point-of-view character.

The Great Hunt, Book 2 of The Wheel of Time, was given the same treatment but the experiment ended there.

You can still buy new copies of both From the Two Rivers and To the Blight, but most copies will be second-hand now. The links below are to buy the books at Amazon:

From the Two Rivers Paperback at Amazon

To the Blight Paperback at Amazon

The Eye of the World 2021 Media Tie-in Edition

Season 1 of The Wheel of Time TV series adapted the first book. Considerable changes were made to the source material, but it was good nonetheless. Many viewers have picked up the books since the show aired. To help them make that jump, a media tie-in paperback of The Eye of the World was released in 2021.

It features Moiraine Sedai standing at a Waygate, an iconic feature of the series. Here are the Amazon links for both the Tor Books and Orbit prints of the novel:

The Eye of The World Media Tie-in Paperback (Tor Books) at Amazon

The Eye of The World Media Tie-in Paperback (Orbit) at Amazon

Explore The Wheel of Time Book 1

I’ve been busy tapping away at my keyboard and there’s so much I want to cover. I’ll never feel done, but I’m happy to share my content as it grows. This is what I’ve put together for The Eye of the World:

The Eye of the World Review

This site wouldn’t be here if I found The Eye of the World anything other than inspirational. Nevertheless, I think my analysis is worth a read before you make the decision to begin your own journey through The Wheel of Time book series.

I reflect on the book’s strengths and weaknesses in my The Eye of the World review.

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Best Quotes from The Eye of the World

Sometimes The Wheel of Time just shines off the page, like the shining walls of Tar Valon! I’ve put together the best quotes from The Eye of the World to give you a flavor of that literary sunshine.

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Favorite Moments from The Eye of the World

There are so many memorable scenes in the book that I struggle to keep to the literal meaning of “moment” in this post discussing my favorite scenes from The Eye of the World. On the other hand, I have trimmed a long list down to my top three!

This article contains explicit spoilers for the book, so please proceed with caution.

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The Eye of the World Synopsis

Lastly, but hopefully, not least, I’ve made a start on summarizing The Eye of the World plot. In Part 1 of my The Eye of the World synopsis, which I’ve called “Winternight”, I cover the prologue through to the end of chapter 6, so please expect spoilers.

Parts 2 and 3, titled The Dark One’s Reach and Saidin and Saidar respectively, are also available.

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Shop for The Eye of the World Today

If you’re looking to buy a copy of The Eye of the World then The Shining Walls Store has you covered. The book is available as a paperback or hardcover, but there are also audiobook and Kindle versions available. There’s a series of graphic novels too!

I’ve got everything you need, right here, so just tap the images below for further information, purchase options, and a choice of retailers too.

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Let me know if there’s anything you want me to cover about The Eye of the World. Your contributions and suggestions will be put to good use. Feedback is always amazing too, so comments, please! I’ll always respond quickly to any questions, feedback, or contributions you send my way.

Finally, I hope you enjoy my coverage of The Eye of the World and all the other books too.

Until next time, may the Light shine on you, my friends!

Russell

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