The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan Two stars for effort, worldbuilding and potential, especially knowing that [a:Brandon Sanderson|38550|Brandon Sanderson|] takes over in the end, but, having finally gotten through Eye of the World (audiobook really helped), I understand why I put it back on the library shelves, along with [b:The Sword of Shannara|15575|The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1)|Terry Brooks||877015], when I was a teen.

Review done, let's move on to commentary about epicness for the sake of epicness. I think it's a disease some authors have. That is, writing these huge stories within these massive worlds with all sorts of characters. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. Eye of the World develops some pretty strong lore and (vaguely) interesting* characters, but after a while, I started to wonder how much of the events of the story were necessary.

As far as epic fantasy goes, I've read and loved [b:The Lord of the Rings|33|The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)|J.R.R. Tolkien||3462456] and [b:The Hobbit|5907|The Hobbit|J.R.R. Tolkien||1540236] before it, but don't ask me to read them again. I was quite happy with the movies and not at all troubled by what was edited out. Die hard fans might complain about the lack of Tom Bombadil, but I'm okay with that because he really wasn't that integral to plot and/or character development (no, he wasn't. Stop it.). When thinking about an Eye of the World movie saga, I can see alllll the scenes that could be excised with no real loss to the story -- because did we really need to visit yet another tavern??

Game of Thrones is another prime example of an author that has lost his way in his epic fantasy. I can't stop praising HBO for sifting through the detritus to bring only the meat, without ever losing the heart of GRRM's original story and I'm looking forward to how they end the TV show far more than I am looking forward to whatever GRRM eventually plans to do. Assuming he has greater plans than just fanboying over himself.

*But back to Eye of the World for a moment. I said the book had some interesting characters. Actually, the only character I care about is Moiraine. I could do with a few less of the younger ones on this fellowship. Half the time, I can't even tell them apart. I suppose that's convenient if any of them were to die, but I can't really say the deadly and dangerous events in the story have filled me with enough dread to actually believe anyone was going to be hurt in any interesting. I mentioned Brandon Sanderson above, and frankly, he's about the only thing that would encourage me to read on any time soon because I am fond of his characterization and know that he will do a good job of making the characters more likable and memorable than they currently are.

Oh you're just bitter, you might say, and you'd probably be right. But having recently seen and loved what Ursula K. Le Guin could accomplish in under 200 words, my meh-ness grows over epic fantasy that is epic because the author does not know how to trim the fat.

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