My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Eye of the World is the first of a fourteen-part fantasy series (not including companion novels). If that isn’t daunting enough, it is an epic fantasy chronicling a hero’s journey with a whole lot of world to discover. I chose to listen to the first book via audiobook and it was 30 hours long. Despite the fact that I enjoyed listening to the narrator’s version of the tale it was still a really long time to dedicate to one book. For reference, my physical copy has about 820 pages although the last few are an extensive glossary.
It’s depth and span make this book difficult to review and rate. Overall, I enjoyed the story and am very interested to see where the plot goes but there were also issues throughout. The pacing oscillated between break-neck speed and plodding steps. My biggest issue was the fact that the climax and end of the book took a few pages to chronicle. With a book that is over 800 pages long, it felt like an incredible letdown. We spent so long building up to this moment and it wasn’t given the proper time to cement itself in our consciousness. It seemed too easy.
There was also a very large cast of characters with unique names that took a while to get used to. I spent a good portion of the beginning of the book (and some moments strewn throughout my read as new characters were introduced) attempting to remember who was who. Despite that, I felt that our core group of characters were each unique in their personalities and motivations. I can see them having a lot of room to develop over the course of fourteen novels.
Even though this is a relatively formulaic fantasy, following a hero’s journey and fighting a big bad called the Dark One – I did enjoy my time reading the Eye of the World. It is definitely an intimidating world to dive into, so I don’t know when I will get around to reading the next book in the series (which I hear is even better than the first) but I know I will get around to it eventually.