Listen to more books in The Wheel of Time series.
©1990 Robert Jordan; (P)1996 Books on Tape, Inc.; Published by Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Jordan has come to dominate the world that Tolkien began to reveal." (The New York Times)
This is the beginning of a very long literary journey, although it is not for everyone. Robert Jordan is verbose to say the least; a characteristic in his writing that may not be appreciated by all listeners. Personally, I greatly enjoy the extent of detail that he folds into this story and, when listening to it being read, it truly helps to paint a picture of each character and the world itself.
The only small complaint I had with this piece was the shared reading. I felt that the tone of the story changed between with the two readers and would have preferred that Michael Kramer handled the entirety himself, mostly for consistencies sake. Other than that, for a first time reader/listener I am truly excited for the story to continue!
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Political thrillers and conspiracies, what better to read?
Yes. Detailed and thriving/exciting characters that you want to continue to follow and understand. The environment really makes you want to immerse yourself in the story.
Lord of the Rings. Unlikely heroes must journey on a quest that will probably result in them helping to save the world.
I did not enjoy Kate Reading's performance at all. Her voice annoys me and I find it harder to focus when she reads. Michael Kramer is fantastic and is great at providing a wide range of voices. I think that Kramer is at his best when performing the characters of Rand al Thor and Thomdril Merrilin.
The Dark One Stirs
Immersing into this rich universe of extremely well developed characters and story lines.
While many may compare it to The Lord Of the Rings, I like this WOT series much better. The characters are richer, the story lines clearer and farther reaching, and the comedy here and there is the frosting on a delicious treat!
They give tone of voice and mannerisms to each character. Since they do a great job of creating new voices, they make it easier to learn and remember who each character is and their names without having to flip back pages to be sure...you KNOW that new character when you hear them!
YES! Impossible, but yes.
I am a busy super-mom, president of a successful business and occasional university instructor and I am on at least my 5th time of listening to this series. Years go by between, but no other fantasy series has ever been as good as coming back to these guys. I have saved the last book until I had time to start at the beginning and enjoy them all again. Each time I pick up some detail I missed. The characters are like old friends.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
I write this review after having listened through the series up until the 8th book now, so I can say that the storylines have own on me and it makes for a fonder review of the first book.
The world that The Wheel of Time series takes place in has a lot of gender-related issues, from which genders may use magic to what gender roles are or are not. It is hard to get used to from a feminist perspective, but after immersing myself in this world, I have come to think, "This is just how this world is, and this is what is normal in this society." Certainly it is nothing shocking if one looks at the history of the human race in real life, anyhow.
There is a religious-like overtone surrounding the savior-like figure of the Dragon Reborn, reminiscent of several world faiths that have had or currently await a savior figure to be made flesh and turn the whole world around one way or another. The major divisions and organization of the religious/magic using order in this series is interesting and complicated, and we are introduced to it through the eyes of Rand, Perrin, Matrim, Egwane and Nynaeve. In this novel, we see that there is a lot of mystery, mysticism and distrust initially of the Aes Sedai.
R. Jordan has his quirks as a writer. He does tend to immediately describe the breast size, poutiness of the lip, and clothing of introduced female characters, then revisits it frequently whenever the female character returns in and out of the storyline. He also tends to describe the size of the nose, the appearance of facial hair/ mustaches, height and clothing of male characters in the same fashion. It does get annoying at times, but it has never frustrated me to such an extent that I would consider putting the book series down and choosing another.
The first book struggles with truly making us understand the unique characteristics and personalities of Rand and his village friends, and it isn't until later in the series that I realized that Perrin was my favorite, followed by Matrim as my second favorite. Their characteristics, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors are initially lost behind the likely necessary attention the author pays to fleshing out the world the story takes place in. It takes some getting used to in order to keep track of all characters and all the locations and the politics of the story, but it is not different from Song of Ice and Fire in that respect. It isn't too complicated, but it does take a bit of adjustment and getting used to.
As for the performance, we do not hear much from Kate Reading in this book when compared to the other books. She has a pleasant, eloquent voice and I like her characterization of the characters. I also like Michael Kramer's performance, which dominates the majority of this book. He has narrated several audio books I have listened to, and I am used to his voice and enjoy it. He doesn't overact or get too crazy as he narrates, he is just a solid, steady voice and therefore has never been annoying or unpleasant to listen to.
Someone who has better english and perhaps someone who is willing to read through it.
A better narrator
I don't know if it's my level of english, or perhaps it really is the narrator, but I couldn't pay any attention to the story no matter how hard I tried for the entire first hour.
This book takes descriptive writing to another level. Every room, every person, every article of clothing, how the bed feels, what is used for a pillow, the condition of the pathways, etc… While I like the story and characters I cannot help but wonder if an abridged version would be better. The excessive detail tempers the emotional impact when the author is trying to build excitement, tension and fear. In fact, I felt a little detached throughout the entire story. This book is a good candidate to try that 1.5x or 2.x speed option. I will try the next book in the series but am not yet willing to commit to 14 extremely long books. After reading series by Terry Brooks, David Eddings and Orson Scott Card I am used to more excitement and a greater attachment to characters.
I read the ratings and thought this would be a good "escape from reality" book. For me, it was not. The "darks" were too dark and evil without reason. The "lights" were also insinuated to be evil, so there was no real hero or heroine - only a bunch of characters with strange names and labels who tromped around a made-up world in a made-up universe for no apparent reason - other than to fight back against some evil force that attacked them. The book did not hold together; the narration was overly expressive at times, switching for no apparent reason to a female voice in the middle and one other time. I kept trying to make sense of it, and after about mid-way through part two spent most of my listening time wondering when it would be over. And, by the way, the end was not at all satisfying. I kept waiting for Harry Potter to come save the day! Too bad he didn't show up.
I would still read other books in this genre, but probably not from this author.
Kate Reading was ok after she started to pronounce the names correctly - or at least the same way as Michael Kramer. Michael Kramer was a bit over-expressive in his narration and at times quite annoying.
It should not be a movie - It would drag on and on without a major rewrite. As a TV series I give it one season at most.
Very disappointing. Maybe I expect too much, but a 14-book series should be better written.
Everything kind of ran together, especially at the end.
Multiple narrators spaced out at random intervals -changing the feel of the characters, really ruined parts of the story for me. If they would of stuck to a single narrator everything would of been fine.
Possibly, so long as some of the unneeded details were left out.
Worth a listen, but your better off skipping it
I have never read the print version. I really enjoyed the audio version.
There are lots of great characters. I am new to this series so I am just getting into it but so far Lan and Nynaeve are standing out. I would also love to find out more about Lews Therin Telamon.
Yes, I'd recommend and have recommended this to many people.
The Shadar Logath scene.
There is a really good blend of the characters.
"Good but not great"
I had high hopes for this book after all of the good reviews but although I found it a reasonable listen it lacked the scope, depth, tension and excitement I have experienced elsewhere. The pace of the story was pedestrian and I seriously doubt that I will purchase any more in this series. Some reviewers have put these short comings down to the narration but I found this reasonable with characterisations believable and varied. Typical American mis pronunciations abound - the H in herbs is not silent and never has been - and that becomes annoying not just in this book.
"For once the word "epic" is apt"
The first couple of chapters of this book can be misleading. Avid Lord of the Rings fans will despair that Jordan has stolen ideas, but actually a small farming village being visited by a "black rider" in a good versus evil storyline is where the similarities end.
The personalities in this book are so powerful that readers will find themselves comparing people in real life to these characters, rather than the other way around. Every reader can find their own favourites to love and hate too since no two are alike.
Warning: the story line is gripping; it will give you bags under your eyes.
Since the book is told from different characters' points of view, it is fittingly narrated by both a man and a woman, depending on whose perspective we are seeing things from and both narrators do an excellent job of portraying the humourous, emotional and exciting events.
Overall, this is a fantastic opening to what has to be the best fantasy series I have ever read. I hope they never ruin it with a film or TV series.
I was dubious at the prospect of an 'epic saga' of the length of this series and my fears were borne out. In order to pad it out every dreary detail is dragged out. Narration was irritating and the male/ female swap was pointless. The characters are cliched and not engaging. Won't be listening to the next 50 books in this saga.
"difficult to get into"
I struggled to get into this one.
It didn't seem to capture my imagination at all.
Possible that I just wasn't in the right mood. But I couldn't get excited by the story and the reader didn't captivate me as much as other readers have done.
I might try it again at a later date. Maybe when on a long train journey or a flight. But it would be to pass the time rather than because I can't wait to see what happens next.
As I say, I might not have been in the right frame of mind when started listening, so I will give it a second chance - I will update my review if opinions expressed change. (If I remember :-)).
"Ruined by the accent of the orator...."
What is a good story, with several plot lines all interesting and varied is ruined by a harsh and niggling accent. It completely distracts the listener. I only got about 2 hours into this and gave up. Nothing wrong with The American interpretation of English but this guys delivery is so staccato, its like someone banging on the front door shouting fire!
I started reading this series with my son around 8 years ago (he was 15 at the time) and we were both totally hooked from the start.
Most of the books had been published by the time we found them but each time a new book was released I had to start again from the beginning so I've now read them all about 3 - 4 times and I find fresh images and new things each time.
If you look past the story there are so many similarities to find between Robert Jordan's fantasy world and the real world we live in.
I have just started to listen on audio, only into part 2 of book 1 so far but loving it - the narrator is fine, there are always words in this type of book that you pronounce differently in your head but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment in any way.
If you are a fan of reading this series then I definitely recommend the audio books too - and a great bargain if you're a member of Audible!
Its pretty good, perhaps a little bit drawn out in places but if you like the Brandon Sanderson books you will like this.
"And so it begins..."
The saga starts here, an epic ride starts with a simple sheepherder. Robert Jordan captures you almost immediately in The Eye of the World and he doesn't let go. Great for new listeners, very good for returning fans who want to try the audio format. Kate Reading and especially Michael Kramer are excellent narrators who very much bring this tale alive. If you buy this series with your monthly credits you will also save an arm and a leg, excellent value for money.
"Great story, Terrible Delivery"
Robert Jordan book is fantastic, but Michael Kramer's deadpad emotionless delivery kills it stone dead. Somehow he's turns what should have been hours of bliss into complete tedium.
By the book and read it. Find something else for your listening time. No matter how good the book its not worth wasting time listening to this terrible delivery,
"Echos of Lord of the Rings"
An enjoyable listen , however nothing particularly innovative and it follows a pretty standard template for this type of tale. But I did enjoy it.
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