Pen To Paper: Perfect Mixture Of History, Fantasy Makes This Book, Now Amazon Series, Stand Out

Pen To Paper: Perfect Mixture Of History, Fantasy Makes This Book, Now Amazon Series, Stand Out

In the Wheel of Time, time is a ‘seven spoked wheel’, representing seven distinct ages that flow into each other.

Jehan KotwalUpdated: Thursday, August 03, 2023, 10:00 AM IST
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The Wheel Of Time review by Jehan Kotwal |

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan is a phenomenal fourteen part fantasy book series that I absolutely adore. To call it a mere book series is an affront, it is an emotional, thrilling and intriguing journey, ripe with gripping characters, top tier lore and world building and a bittersweet ending that left a void in my soul [I needed more Wheel of Time, but there was no more !. I was ecstatic when a television adaptation was announced. It was a severe letdown.] 

Let's just start with Jordan’s writing style, many call it excessive and overly-descriptive. In my opinion this is absolutely true and it's what makes this series stand out. You can picture every tree, rock and sword in the scene, visualise the shape and size of different cities, right down to the architectural differences. No detail is too small for Jordan. He is also unrivalled in the art of foreshadowing, he sets up plot devices and drops tiny hints as early as book two that only gain relevance near the end, if you were to go back and re-read the series these hints and the true meanings of certain prophecies would be mind boggling. Another massive boon for the series is its colossal word count, Jordan [and Sanderson who took over after his passing], has fourteen massive novels to take you on a journey through the lives of some of the most brilliant, varied and relatable protagonists. Nynaeve al’Meara is a character that I despised at the beginning of the series for being too orthodox, rigid and overprotective. By the end she became my second favourite character and had completely transformed as a person.

In the Wheel of Time, time is a ‘seven spoked wheel’, representing seven distinct ages that flow into each other. The dark one is an omnimalevolent entity that seeks to destroy time, to stop the wheel from turning, he needs to stop it once and has infinite turns of the wheel to do so. The first age represents the world we currently live in, humanity attains absolute technological supremacy and then magic is discovered. The world is torn asunder by those who can channel the one power, seas boiled and mountains crumbled. The third age begins three thousand years after the destruction of civilization, humanity advances to a mediaeval state, with the Aes Sedai [an organisation of female channelers] holding absolute power.

Male channelers were blamed for the destruction of the old world and as such the Aes Sedai caught, killed or stilled any man capable of touching the one power. Our protagonist, Rand al’Thor, the dragon reborn, the prophesied saviour of the world and destroyer of the dark one, is a male channeler born in this tumultuous age. His transformation from a young village boy to a man commanding armies of his own channelers is incredible.

Two themes that are prevalent in the Wheel of Time are Duality and Inversion, unlike our mediaeval society, the third age is a matriarchy and this has very interesting ramifications. Many of the Aes Sedai hold anathema over all men, regardless of their channelling capabilities and seek to diminish their role in society.

The concept of duality is something the reader is subliminally aware of throughout the series, but the final battle serves as a culmination of this concept. ‘Good and Evil’, ‘Rich and Poor’, these are abstract and relative concepts that lose meaning when examined without their counterpart. Rand seeks to destroy the dark one, to stop his evil from infecting the world, however a world completely devoid of all evil would be a monotonous, lifeless husk with limited free will. A dreary utopia. One last thing that I enjoy about the Wheel of Time are the easter eggs, the first age is the world we currently live in and some relics survive into the third age. If you pay close attention when characters speak of history, you’ll realise that most of it closely resembles our world. From American and Soviet rivalry to inter-continental ballistic missiles to A Mercedes Benz logo! I could ramble forever about this series but I'll end with this. If you like fantasy, you must absolutely read the Wheel of Time, it will not disappoint.

The author is a student at The KJ Somaiya College of Engineering and one of the winners of the FPJ Pen To Paper Contest this year.

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