I've always read fantasy novels. Or had fantasy stories read to me; should I mention here that I count children's fairy tales as fantasy? I don't remember the first time I read JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings but I do know that I loved it. I read it numerous times. Of course I found other fantasy authors as well. Eddings wrote generic epic fantasy that was very easy to read. And there were the Narnia books when I was younger. But only with The Eye of the World did I stumble across a fantasy world that I could love as much Tolkien's Middle Earth.
That was many many years ago. I was in 2nd year, or maybe 3rd. If my maths are right, 15 years ago, a long time to be reading the same series of books.
The Eye of the World is the first book in a series written by Robert Jordan called The Wheel of Time. It told that usual fantasy tale of a young man who discovers that he may be more important than a simple farmer. That his birth may have been long awaited and prophesied. And so he leaves the safety of home to travel and find out exactly who he is, and what his role in the world may be. And there are a fair few clichés and stereotypes throughout the novel. Throughout the series in fact. The series as a whole does go on for too long. At the moment there are 11 books in the series, with a final one due some time in the future. And there are a few books that I read and couldn't help but feel annoyance and anger at how pointless they all were. Chapter after chapter filled with nothing.
But as a whole The Wheel of Time is still a great read. I know I’ll be more than happy to reread those books. I love the world that Robert Jordan created. I love his characters. Well, not the evil ones, those I hate, and some of the “good guys” annoy me.
The story isn’t finished yet. The last book has still to be written, but, knowing he was dying Robert Jordan was dedicated enough to continue to work on the book. He told friends and family the details of what is yet to happen. He was determined that fans of his Wheel Of Time series would be able to find out what happens to their favourite characters.
I’m sure there are plenty of other articles praising Jordan out there in www-land. This is by no means a comprehensive tribute of Jordan, or of how much I enjoyed his books over the years, it is simply a brief acknowledgement of him and his work.
RIP Robert Jordan.