This review can also be read on my blog, Stumptown Books
Speeches were never my favorite part of high school, but it was something they made all of us do and I dealt with it. Even while sitting at my desk at home writing the speech, I would start getting antsy and jittery, knowing that I would have to get up in front of everyone and hold these note cards and geez I hope I don't stutter. My solution was usually to go on a walk, which would clear out the nerves so I could sit down and concentrate on writing about To Kill a Mockingbird
or whatever the subject was. Actually giving the speech wasn't nearly so bad as thinking about it. Epic fantasy does the same thing to me. Within a few chapters of The Eye of the World
, my heart was beating too fast and my palms were sweaty. I got so antsy thinking about what was going to happen to Rand, I wanted to skip ahead and just get there already.
There I said it. Epic fantasy makes me anxious. I get so worked up in the story, and I know not all the characters are going to make it, and I just become a nervous wreck. You don't even want to see me thinking
about George R.R. Martin, I practically shake apart.The Wheel of Time
is an amazing fantasy series, and any fantasy fan worth their salt must read it. I do not think it is worth it if you are only so-so on fantasy. It is simply too complicated, and you really need to care about the world Jordan has created for us in order to get any joy from this series. Yes, it does start off copying Tolkein, but I genuinely feel Jordan takes it and makes it his own. This series just wouldn't be so popular if it didn't hold up on its own and not held against the light of The Lord of the Rings
. No, it is not perfect, and there are a number of oft-repeated phrases that I can never hear again without shuddering a little ("smooths her skirts," "wool head," "crosses her arms beneath her breasts" just to name a few). None of this makes it anything less than it is, which is EPIC fantasy.
I know exactly what I'm getting into. My tapping foot and clicking nails is a testament to that; I love it and I want more. I can't say anything more positive than that!