by Robert Jordan
Started: Nov. 11
Finished: Nov. 30
Notes: This book is the first in what is one of the most famous of modern epic fantasy series, probably only Martin's Game of Thrones material having a wider audience. Yes, it's true, I've not read this. To be honest, I've been putting it off for more than a decade because I was turned off by much of the fanboy attitudes I ran into concerning this series. I can't stand fanboy crap. Being a fan is fine, but allowing something to consume one's life is another matter, in my opinion, especially when things turn ugly. But I eventually realized that maybe I was being as silly as the fanboys, but in the opposite way. Why should I allow their silliness to keep me from reading what might very well be a damn good book? So, yeah, I'm here now and reading.
Mini review: If you're the kind of fantasy reader who loves all the traditional tropes of the genre, then this book is for you. Farmboy who turns out to be someone important? Check. He has a special sword? Check. He traipses across the land with a band of fellows while on their way to face a dark lord? Check. His buddies have names that practically scream Tolkien? Check. There's also a brooding guy in a cloak? Check. Yes, I could go on. I won't. As you can likely tell, this one isn't for me. The writing is by no means bad in and of itself, but there was more description than I like, and often not enough description of things that could have really used it. Then there were the dreams. Lots and lots of dreams for the characters. I hate dreams. Loathe them. They bring the story to a halt, usually with some kind of vague foreshadowing that never makes any real sense. I repeat, I hate dreams in literature. And they are in abundance here. So, yeah, I'm not likely to ever continue this series. Still, it's not the worst fantasy I've ever read, and maybe if I had read it when it was first published a couple of decades ago, then maybe I'd like it. Maybe. But after reading this, I don't ever want to hear another person bitching about The Sword of Shannara ripping off Tolkien.