Spoiler-Free Beginner’s Guide to The Wheel of Time
I’m biased in my wording for this as a massive fan of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, completed posthumously by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death in 2007, but this is a series I will continuously recommend. Robert Jordan has created a world bound in classic brilliance that remains one of the greatest fantasy epics of our time.
Spanning 15 books and numerous companion novels, this is certainly a dark and descriptive journey that will have you engrossed for the full series.
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 returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Moiraine Damodred arrives in Emond’s Field on a quest to find the one prophesized to stand against The Dark One, a malicious entity sowing the seeds of chaos and destruction. When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the village seeking their master’s enemy, Moiraine persuades Rand al’Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
What To Expect
Besides Tolkien, The Wheel of Time is arguably the biggest influence on fantasy. We follow the typical Hero’s Journey. You’ll find yourself immersed in a vastly comprehensive world that Jordan has mastered. Jordan is profoundly known for his descriptive prose that helps craft such a vivid and detailed story but there is so much more to this than braid-tugging. The culture, geography, nations, language, and characters push the story itself to the forefront of these novels. The plots and politicking are an interestingly woven pattern that creates a dynamic cloth of malice and hope.
The aptly named “The Slog” is a discussion for fans around books #7-11. These contain finely tuned character moments that matter in the stories overall arch but are a topic of great give-and-take in the fandom. In my own opinion, these can drag however the pay-off is crucial.
The Wheel of Time is a massive undertaking which makes it hard to summarise, but this does deserve such big praise.
Books in the Series
0. New Spring
5. The Fires of Heaven
6. Lord of Chaos
7. A Crown of Swords
8. The Path of Daggers
9. Winter’s Heart
10. Crossroads of Twilight
11. Knife of Dreams
12. The Gathering Storm
13. Towers of Midnight
14. A Memory of Light
- Origins of The Wheel of Time
- The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time
- The Wheel of Time Companion
New Spring, a prequel novella, was published between Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams.
The Wheel of Time has spawned many media entries. Red Eagle Entertainment bought the rights to film, television, video games and comics in 2004. Dabel Brothers started adapting the series in comic book format with New Spring in 2005. Subsequently, production stopped after New Spring and The Eye of the World was collected and released in 2015.
A Wheel of Time computer game was released in 1999 that followed Aes Sedai tracking down a robber after an assault on the White Tower, whilst preventing the Dark One from being released. The story was considered non-canon as Robert Jordan did not write the storyline himself. The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game was released in 2001 whilst EA attempted to publish an MMORPG in 2009. This project was dropped in 2014.
A Soundtrack for the Wheel of Time was released by Robert Berry, inspired by the books. There have been numerous songs and albums produced since then.
Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television handled the TV series adaptation, with Rafe Judkins at the helm. Released in 2021, this became one of Amazon’s most streamed series and has further seasons already greenlit. Season 1 consists of 8 episodes and has received a mixed reception. An animated spin-off show, Wheel of Time: Origins, was released alongside which provided additional content about the show’s world.
Dragonmount is a Wheel of Time news and community forum that focuses on these books and has loads of information and discussion surrounding the books and show. JordanCon, a Wheel of Time Convention, created for and run by fans, is an exciting and inclusive experience for fans of the Wheel of Time.
The series has spouted many turnings of the Wheel for numerous media advocates, and I can only see more in the future.
Brandon Sanderson’s Website: https://www.brandonsanderson.com/