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.
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.
I would say that I could go either way, yet audio version is easier on the eyes.
Matrim is my favorite through the series, but in the first book Rand is the my favorite.
Rand falling into the Palace grounds.
Rand bringing his half dead father to Emonds Field.
Robert Jordan paints a vivid world. If loved JRR Tolkien's books and am a huge fan, Jordan will blow you away. Where Tolkien world is black and white(good/evil) with almost no middle ground, Jordan's world is shades of gray.
"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.
Done it! Listened while working through the whole 14 books. Not bad - not brilliant either. Too much describing of what are people wearing, limited dictionary of dialogues and male-female relationships/interactions painfully similar, predictable -boring (Mr Freud would find it certainly interesting though :)
Maybe because English isn't my first language, maybe I'm spoiled by other writers or maybe Robert Jordan just isn't my type of author but haven't I been working at the time of listening I would considered it time wasted.
"How does this narrator win awards???"
Let me begin this review with the disclaimer that I have yet to read the work of Robert Jordan and so reserve judgement on his actual writing...I am specifically commenting on the audiobook, not on the book in general.
With that said, I had been looking forward to beginning the Wheel of Time series for some time, knowing the content would be up my street and the overall run time over 400 hours (I chew through audiobooks at a hell of a rate these days)...however, I really should have listened to the preview before downloading this. I lasted all of ten minutes, during which I managed to take in precisely none of what was being said.
Boring does not even begin to cover it. Simply put, Michael Kramer's voice is intolerable. He sounds like he's giving a lecture, not telling a story, and giving it badly at that. His delivery manages to be over-emphasised and monotone at the same time, which I didn't even think was possible, and I detected no change when he moved between third-person narration and the characters' voices. If I could mark down the narrator without seeming to smear the book itself, he'd be getting one star - I add an extra one only because it wouldn't seem fair to give the lowest possible rating to a recording of a book I've never read.
In any case, no matter how good the book and the rest of its series may be, I no longer consider The Wheel of Time a viable option for listening to, and that is entirely down to Michael Kramer. Worse, he seems to be very prolific within this genre, despite what sounds to me like a total lack of interest in it. Every time I go browsing for Fantasy titles, I see his name and end up having to rule out still more of them...and yet after some swift research, I now know he has won actual *awards* for his narration. Is it really just me who can't fathom how?
"great book, narrator a bit annoying"
As other reviewers have said the narrator takes a bit of getting used to. Apart from the accent he reads very fast and I get the feeling he is rushing to get through this long book.
I have persevered, despite nearly giving up a few times.
I got used to him eventually and then I was able to listen to the story without wishing he was not reading. The story develops nicely and it left me wanting to know more after each session of listening.
I will probably buy some of the other books having enjoyed this one.
"mostly excellent, let down by narration."
The Eye of The World is an excellent series so far (currently starting book three.) The world, the characters and the story are all vivid and engaging.
I would say however that the main narration is, so far at least, not up to the standard set by the other elements of this book. Its not unbearable by any means but whilst the bulk of Michael Kramer's reading is a little flat, some characters are gratingly overstated and a few accents seem to come and go which can make it a little hard to follow in places... Kate Reading is pretty good though, and Kramer's faults aren't too bad or too frequent.
Definitely still worth 4* and at nearly 30hrs long its excellent value for a credit!
"Excellent, a compelling and addictive epic."
This is one of the best fantasy epics ever written, a series right up there with the work of J. R. R. Tolkien but be warned it is not one to be taken up lightly, this series is Huge!
The books have been kept together so one audio book will get you one book and many hours of happy listening.
Sadly Robert Jordan died in 2007 after publishing book 11, but with the help of Jordan’s wife/editor Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson has taken up the torch, using Jordan’s plentiful notes he is finishing off the series brilliantly, with book 14 being the final volume.
The series is voiced by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading throughout and their performances are exemplary, their narration brings the world to life in a way that simply reading it never had for me, they bring a unique voice and feeling to each of the characters that brings them to life and firmly embeds them in your heart.
The only negative I have to put in is that the audiobooks chapter division bears no relation to where the chapters start and end in the books making the chapter search and snooze modes on the app all but useless.
All in all a five star read. An absolute must for any fantasy epic fan.
For years I had put off reading Robert Jordans Wheel of Time books, due to the sheer size of the story, 13 books so far with one more to end the series out next year, but the audio books made it easy, for the past year I have listened to this wonderful story on the bus travelling to and from work and found myself looking forward to the journey so I could hear more of the story.
Kate Reading and Michael Kramer are excellent narrators who's style complement the story and each other very well and now I look for books narrated by them.
"Once you get started...."
...you feel like you can't afford to miss the next chapter.
Although I have got all the books (so far) from the Wheel of Time series, I don't always have the physical time to get the books out to read. So I bought the audio versions so I can get back up to speed with the story while I work. It takes a short while to get use to the American accents and nuances, but The Eye of the World is such a compelling book and the characters are so strong that you soon get into the flow.
If you haven't read or listened to the Wheel of Time series you really should give this a try. With Rand, Matt and Perrin to draw you along you'll find the World that Robert Jordan created a wonderful place to escape.
"Fantasy at its best"
I loved every second of this audio book
Having read all the books before hand I was unsure wether this was a wise buy but I can't wait to hear the rest of the wheel of time in audio format my fears where unfounded
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