I’d never read any Robert Jordan until I read this:
The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of time. But it was a beginning.
That pile of void is the first paragraph of Eye of the World. I almost closed the book right there; I felt so cliched out in less than 100 words. I read that and thought of religious promise, thought of Amway and empty calories and someone valiantly trying to say something meaningful – and failing miserably.
I did not close the book. I struggled through the lingering pain of that first section. And 806 pages later I was into the story. It’s one of those stories one of those writers who uses fantasy to create amazing magic to get out of difficult situations. You know the ones, our heroes are backed into a corner, there’s no way they could ever escape, ever, ever, ever. Then boom, lead wizard or Aes Sadai, pulls out the cataclysmic rabbit out of the hat.
It’s obvious. But the writing, the characters and the mechanics of the story were easily good enough to overcome the flaws. And I’m now waiting for my purchase of the first three books in the Wheel of Time series.