Book Review: The Wheel of Time


A Fantasy Series by Robert Jordan. If you liked The Lord of the Rings series, you’ll LOVE The Wheel of Time series.

Jordan has created an entire world, fully developed with each country’s language or style of speaking, customs, and type of dress individualized. They even have their own insults and swear words (which are sometimes hilarious and not at all offensive to our world). The characters, languages, customs and legends are so complex that each book includes a glossary to help the reader keep up.
The fantasy world of The Wheel of Time is based on a theory that time is a circle that repeats itself. “The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth comes again.”
“There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time.”
What is called the “Fabric” of Time is based on the idea of fate. The fabric pulls threads or weaves new ones in, as is necessary, to complete the tapestry- unmindful of the effect the weaving has on individual lives. The Wheel is also the source of “The Power”- an energy source that some can access and wield.
In the Age of Legends, both men and women are called Aes Sedai and use the power to create, destroy, and heal among many great feats. During a horrible war, one known as The Dragon, they use the power to imprison the Dark One and a group of men and women called the Forsaken in a magical tomb, in a place called Shayol Ghul. The backlash of that imprisonment tainted the male half of the Power so that men started to go mad and literally “broke the world,” changing it’s shape and topography drastically, and nearly annihilating the human race.
The six main characters are wonderfully developed, with an individual sense of humor, talents, dreams, fears and hang-ups. The three boys were born in the same village, tied together by the “fabric” of time. You learn that one is The Dragon Reborn; fated to be the savior of the world, but also to destroy it- to fight “The Dark One” in the Last Battle of the age and probably go mad from using The Power. Another learns he can talk to wolves, and they talk back. The third has unusually good luck and finds his head filled with the memories of, presumably, his ancestors, all battle generals of past Ages. The other two are tied to The Dragon Reborn in ways they hardly understand, but it is clear all three must work together to defeat the Dark One.
The three girls meet while studying to be Aes Sedai. Two are from the same village as the boys and one is the Daughter-Heir to the throne of Andor, the same country the other characters are from. The girls find themselves drawn into a search for thirteen escaped Aes Sedai, known to be of the Black Ajah- women who are Aes Sedai but have sworn themselves to the Dark One. All three are destined to be the most powerful Aes Sedai seen in centuries. One is a Dreamer, able to touch people’s dreams and walk in the Dream World. One is destined to be a great healer, and the third can shape the weather and make things with her power, the knowledge of which has been lost since the Age of Legends. The girls’ adventures include moments that are touching, suspenseful and oftentimes humorous, especially when dealing with very different personality types trying to work together and get along.
Along with the six main characters there are several supporting characters, all with their own fully developed personalities. I am amazed at how the author keeps all the characters, cultures and languages straight, while sustaining the difficult combination of suspense and resolution necessary in a multi-volume series such as this!
I am currently starting book six of this series but I’m so hooked, I ordered the entire series in advance so I wouldn’t have to wait for the next book.
If you are as voracious a bookworm as I am and enjoy a series that continues to keep you riveted, this one is for you! Each book continues the saga in such a way that you can’t wait to pick up the following book to see what happens next!
Reviews written by: Tammi Appelman, C 2006
Start reading the first book in the series:

  • Last book should be out this year! I am going to be very sad to see it all come to an end. Yet happy that Robert Jordan’s work will be finished even though he is no longer with us. I can only hope one day my own work is enjoyed by as many people as his.