Some books are written to entertain; others are written to inform, but still there are those rare gems that are written to stay with you. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (and finished by Brandon Sanderson) is one of those series that has stayed with me through the years.
Robert Jordan had a way of telling a story, so everything could be perfectly visualized and yet not once did I feel like skimming over any part of the books… Okay, that’s a lie. I always wanted to rush through anything that was just about Perrin Aybara. It’s not that I didn’t like him… I just thought he was less fun than, well, anyone. There was definitely a different writing style in the final three books, but I admire Mr. Jordan wanting his story to be finished, even if he couldn’t be the one to finish them. (RIP, Robert Jordan!) The series stretched on for years and the characters became like friends, and I know anytime I want to I can go back and read the pages and visit them again.
While set in a world full of magic and legend, the characters are real. They have human reactions, flaws, and imperfections.
The Aes Sedai are the embodiment of feminine power, however, they are fearful of men with the same powers, as the male half of the source has been contaminated and drives men who wield it insane. The world needs the Dragon Reborn, but the Aes Sedai want nothing to do with a man who can channel. The only good male magic user in their opinion, is a dead one. In fact, they have a whole group of Aes Sedai that have made hunting down men who can channel their ultimate mission in life. Luckily, for Rand Al’Thor not everyone feels that way. When Moraine Sedai comes into the small village of Two Rivers, she sweeps Rand and his friends away, certain one of them is the Dragon Reborn, and their only hope of salvation.
As each character discovers their own path, they grow from wide-eyed youths to more-or-less responsible adults (cough, Mat Cauthon.) From learning about the world outside of village life to battling the Forsaken, they take each new experience in stride.
The Wheel of Time series is the reason I hardly ever mark a book DNF. The first time I read the books, The Fires of Heaven almost made me quit the series entirely. Okay, so that’s not exactly the whole truth. I did quit reading them… for years. Moraine was my favorite and when she disappeared after battling Lanfear, I was devastated, felt completely betrayed. I didn’t pick the books back up until I knew she was safe and sound. Since then, I have read the series in its entirety no less than three times… In fact, it’s getting about time to revisit these books…