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Just finished reading the series for the first time. Here are my thoughts!


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The Eye of the World: I've always been kind of drawn to the fantasy genre, but I've had some disappointing experiences with certain books I've tried in the past that have been less than stellar and rather cliche (*cough*Sword of Shannara*cough*). Nevertheless, I was looking for something to read, and I saw TEOTW on my brother's shelf. I'd seen this book and others from the series in the library and in bookstores throughout my life, but had never really given it much more than a glance. I decided to give it a go, and boy, was it one of the best decisions I've made in my life. As I read, I found myself going, "This is pretty good. Wow. There's some really cool stuff in here." Even though it started out with a seemingly typical "ordinary village boy/s get swept into epic quest by mysterious stranger in order to discover their destinies” sort of format, there was just something DIFFERENT. The story had this sense of unexplainable depth to it that touched down to the core of my soul in ways I’m not sure any book had before. Something that still sticks out in my mind were the dream sequences the ta’veren shared in which they are confronted by Ishamael. I finished TEOTW, and I knew I immediately needed to read the next in the series.


The Great Hunt: This remains my favorite book; it is the one that officially made me fall in love with the WOT. Rand and the Void, confronting his ability to channel; sexy Selene; Cairhien; Nynaeve and Egwene off to the White Tower; the portals. I LOVED the part at the portals where Rand sees all of his possible lives playing out. There was just so much cool stuff going on in this book. And don’t get me started on the conclusion…the last 100 pages had me in absolute AWE.


The Dragon Reborn: I think I read this book faster than any other. This is where I started to develop a liking for Mat, who up to this point had come across as mostly an a**hole and a little b*tch. The taking of the Stone was definitely cool.


The Shadow Rising: There’s definitely a noticeable slowing of pace here, particularly with Perrin (who at this point becomes kind of boring in my opinion), but I feel like the other story arcs in the book more than make up for it. Rand with the Aiel and the visions in Rhuidian were awesome. I was also quite fascinated with Tel’aran’rhiod, as we began to learn how it works.


The Fires of Heaven: One of my favorites in the series. We continue to see the development of Rand and his bond with the Aiel. I particularly enjoyed watching the unfolding of the relationship between Rand and Avienda. Rand also starts to establish his power, as he takes over both Carhein and Caemlyn. I felt Nynaeve, Elayne, and Thom may have had the most interesting story arc in this one, as they traveled with Luca’s show, and then went on to Tanchico. I always kind of liked Nynaeve, but in this book I really fell in love with her character. I also finally decided that I like Moraine, who up until this book had really annoyed me. Of course it ended up being the last time we see her for a while.


Lord of Chaos: Probably my second favorite, after TGH. Rand is a BAMF in this one who just doesn’t give a f*** (until he gets abducted of course). It was very satisfying to see him put the Aes Sedai in their place. Oh, and we also meet Taim, and the Ashaman are formed…bad a**; especially when we see their power on display at Dumai’s Wells.


A Crown of Swords: This is where things started to slow for me, although I still enjoyed this book. At the moment I can’t remember too much that happened in it...I remember Rand and Min getting intimate, and Nynaeve finally forcing Lan to marry her…Oh! And Mat becoming Tylin’s sexual slave! Is it sad that these are the things that stick out most to me from this one?


The Path of Daggers: of a similar pace to ACOS, but I enjoyed it. A couple cool things I remember are Rand confronting the Seanchen with Callandor, and the Ashaman assassination attempt on Rand.


Winter’s Heart: And the pace slows even more. Really the only things that come to mind are Far Madding with Cadsuane, which was mildly interesting, and of course the cleansing of Saidin. Oh, and the Ashaman bonding Aes Sedai.


Crossroads of Twilight: Ugghhhhh…that pretty much describes how I felt about this book. My least favorite of the series by far. Meetings…talking, talking, and…more meetings.


Knife of Dreams: After laboring my way through the last few books, this book was a breath of fresh air and a reminder as to why I love the WOT. The pace picks back up. Even Perrin and Faile manage to be interesting, as they deal with the Shaido. Mat and Tuon become husband and wife, Elayne deals with darkfriends, and Rand loses his hand.


The Gathering Storm: Sanderson did a great job in his first installment. After Semirhage collars Rand and uses him to try to kill Min, we see Rand’s hardness reach a peak, and then see him broken after he tries to kill Tam. I was relieved to see him finally soften up. Egwene had been annoying me for a while, and in this book I pretty much decided I didn’t like her. She just comes across as really full of herself.


Towers of Midnight: Great book. Probably my favorite since Lord of Chaos. Lots of exciting stuff happening. Rand declares to the overly arrogant Egwene that he’s going to break the seals. I definitely enjoyed seeing her squirm over that. Perrin (who continues to be surprisingly interesting) finally comes to terms with the wolf inside of him…I was particularly moved by the death of Hopper in the wolf dream. I decided that I like Galad. And of course, Matt and Thom rescuing Moraine…gosh it was good to see her again…I’m glad we had a break from her, but I’m ready for more Moraine damnit! We also finally go back to some of the happenings at the Black Tower, which we haven’t heard much of in a while…definitely something sinister going on there with Taim. I’m definitely more than happy with how things have been set up for the final installment…I’m ready for the end to begin.

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Congratulations on catching up, now you really get to find out how awesome RJ was. Go back and reread each book and you will literally be blown away by how much you missed the first time through. Heck just go back and reread the prologue to the Eye of the World, and you will see what I mean. If you do the reread whats also funny is your opinions on each character will change (except Mat, post dagger Mat is always awesome on any reread)

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