The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is an epic saga describing the events leading up to The Last Battle, a world-shaking fight between humanity and the creatures of the Dark One, essentially this series’ version of Satan. The first book in the series, The Eye of the World
, begins when Trollocs, orc-like creatures, attack the village of Emond’s Field. The Trollocs are pursuing Rand, Mat, and Perrin, three friends who have never left their village, but are about to become essential to the safety of their world. To save the village, the friends escape with a mysterious woman, Moiraine Damodred. Moiraine is an Aes Sedai, a woman with magical powers, who tells the three villagers that she will take them to Tar Valon, the city of the Aes Sedai, to prepare them for the war to come. Egwene and Nynaeve, two girls from Emond’s Field, also accompany them, along with Thom Merrilin, a singer and storyteller who is passing through the village. The series begins with some obvious parallels to the Lord of the Rings
, but it is very much its own story, with well-developed characters and one of the most detailed fantasy worlds I’ve ever “seen.” Every city is so distinct and recognizable; you almost think of them as real. Jordan writes each chapter from the perspective of one of the main characters, allowing the reader to see into each character’s mind and gain a better understanding of him or her. This style also helps later on in the series, when there are five or more complicated storylines all happening at once, in different corners of the world. The many storylines and characters can get confusing, but there are a lot of websites dedicated to The Wheel of Time that can remind you who people are. One major thing to know before jumping into this series is that it’s long. Really long. There are fourteen books in the series, each one over 700 pages. If you’re like me and love long books, then this series is a dream come true, but not everyone is ready for such a commitment. However, The Wheel of Time is one of the best and certainly the most epic fantasy series ever written, and I highly recommend it to fans of magic and adventure.