The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.
A Simple Way of Life Interrupted
Rand al’Thor is a sheepherder. He lives in Emond’s Field, a town where village life is the norm, and life is quiet. A young man, he has two close friends and has a crush on Egwene. Rand lives with his father, Tam. His life is the same, until one fateful day before the Bel Tine celebration.
When a hooded and cloaked figure appears on the road behind
Rand and Tam, Rand is rightfully scared. His father doesn’t see the man, who seems to disappear as quickly as he appeared.
Then, the Trollics–creatures that look like different animals in one body–show up, and things get even more dangerous for Rand and his friends.
The Chosen One: Facing the Darkness
Rand turns out to be the Chosen One, someone who can wield both saidar and saidin, the male and female halves of the True Source.
There’s a great Blind Guardian song about this, called “Wheel of Time,” which is an overarching song about the series. It’s from Rand’s point of view, and in one part of the song, he’s struggling to resist the urge to wield the tainted male half of the magic in this world: “It’s calling me, saidin, so precious and sweet/My mind keeps fading away/It’s scratching deeper, my sole reliever/How can I find you now?”
Rand has also, as he comes to find out, been reborn. He’s faced the Dark One many times over, and has always failed in every interaction with Ba’alazmon, the Trollic name for the Dark One that translates to “Heart of the Dark.”
The Chosen One: Rand’s Fate
As Rand journeys farther from his quiet, peaceful home, he quickly learns that danger could be over any hill. (Because he, Mat, and Perrin have targets on their backs, they leave Emond’s Field life behind. Other people from their village come with, because they want adventure, or because they simply are curious to see what will happen.)
Rand has quite a tall order on his shoulders: He must not only learn that he’s the Chosen One in this world, but he must accept this. Because this is only the first book, it’s only hinted at that Rand could be the Dragon reborn. This doesn’t happen right away, though. This, I realize, happens over the course of the first three books.
While Robert Jordan’s pacing may be a little slow at times, I think he stretches things out to make the reactions seem more plausible.
If I were the Chosen One in a fantasy universe, I would deny it until I couldn’t prove myself right. I would want evidence, and this takes sometimes time to find. It takes time for people to absorb something drastic in their lives, like the loss of a parent, for example. It would take someone time to come to terms with having a bigger role in the world around them, especially if you learned that your life wasn’t what it originally seemed, or that you had powers you didn’t know you had in you.
I enjoy the first Wheel of Time book because it explains the world pretty clearly, as well as throwing in action, adventure, danger and friendship into the mix.
If you like fantasy series, you should pick up the first installment in The Wheel of Time series. (While it is a longer book series–with over ten books–I’ve heard that it’s a rewarding read if you choose to stick with it. The characters grow, evolve, and become different people than they were in book one.) I’m excited to see where this series goes, and what will happen to Rand al’Thor and his friends.
What are your thoughts on The Wheel of Time?