I remember picking up this book at Borders Bookstore back in the late 90s. Most of my reading then was Star Wars novels, when I had a break from required reading for my freshman year of college. I had also read Lord of the Rings and was interested in more fantasy reading. I believe the eighth book of this series had just come out and it was being advertised prominently in the store. So I got the first book.
I was hooked. It was so good.
I’m pretty sure my classwork suffered as I began spending too much time reading book after book, with the short ones hitting 700 pages and the longer ones tipping the scales at 1000. I caught up just in time to read book nine, Winters Heart, when it was released. With three-four years between books, and with books 8-10 being slow and boring, I stepped away from the series and didn’t even read the eleventh book, Knife of Dreams, till a year after its publication. In this book there were glimpses that the story was starting to pick up steam again after three subpar entries.
Then Robert Jordan died! Brandon Sanderson, an up and coming author of the fantastic Mistborn series (which I only recently read) was enlisted to finish the series. The final three books were fantastic. Overall, the Wheel of Time series is a brilliant accomplishment in epic fantasy filled with great characters living in a wonderfully built world. Jordan is a true successor to Tolkien (and Sanderson has taken on the mantle from Jordan). The series consists of seven great books, a few boring ones, then a few more great ones.
This book started it all. If you like fantasy and haven’t read it, I believe this one will hook you quickly. I want to go read it again someday. It doesn’t get much better than this.