I have returned to Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series and have just started Book 3: The Dragon Reborn. It was Amazon’s TV adaptation that got me back into reading The Wheel of Time. After hearing such a divided reaction to the streaming series, I wanted to return to the source and see what was upsetting a lot of long-term fans of the books. I tried The Eye of the World years ago but never finished it. It just didn’t grab me and I wrote it off as Tolkien fan fiction. I know, I know, it was a rather hasty and foolish decision which I’ve now remedied.
I listened to audiobooks of The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt earlier this year. I enjoyed them both, especially the second book. It felt like Robert Jordan had found his voice and stepped out from behind Tolkien’s shadow. The Great Hunt’s story was also a lot more exciting than the first book’s in my opinion. But I can appreciate the slower-paced set up of The Eye of the World now. I can also understand what many book fans were upset about. The showrunners have changed a lot of the lore, aged up the characters, made some head-scratching casting choices, created new characters and changed some major plot points. Why couldn’t they just adapt the books as they were written?
Taking a leaf fromBookstooge’s book and having some time to kill at work, here is a quote from Patricia McKillip’s 2004 novel Alphabet of Thorn:
“What else did you see?” he asked the odd young woman, who seemed more woodland animal than human. A useful quality in a mage, he thought. Some of us have a harder time forgetting our humanity. ‘Things,’ she said vaguely, remembering them. She took an unconscious step toward him. ‘A tree spoke to me. It looked like a very old man, twisted and slow, with mossy hair down to its ankles and eyes like dead leaves. It did not say much, just my name. I think that’s very strange, that a tree I have never met would know my name. And there were the stags with the fire in their antlers. They did not speak. The warrior followed them.’ ‘The warrior.’ ‘Fully armed, on a white war horse. The warrior wore a great sword with a crosspiece laid with uncut jewels; it looked too long and heavy for anyone human to wield.
A recommendation from Bookstooge, I read Patricia McKillip’s In the Forests of Serre back in July 2020. Her lyrical prose and layered world-building really impressed me and I determined to explore more of her writing. It has only taken me two years to get around to it.
I’m currently about a third of the way into Alphabet of Thorn and I really like it so far. I feel transported to another world when I read this book, and that’s one of the main reasons I love reading works described as “speculative fiction.”
Q. What are you currently reading and how is it so far?
Thanks for reading!
-Wakizashi, *wallowing in the rare luxury of being able to read all day at work; just for today*