My days are finally starting to settle down into a routine — or as much of a routine as is possible with a new baby. It’s been rough, but things are gradually getting easier and I know it will get easier still. My time isn’t quite my own anymore, but that’s okay. I’ve been trying to do my best to take a deep breath, let things slide and enjoy every moment. After all, he won’t be this little forever.
I may not have had much time to write during the past few weeks, but I have had a lot of time to read. In fact, reading is one of the few things I’ve been able to do while feeding the baby because I haven’t quite gotten the hang of feeding “hands-free” yet and reading ebooks on my phone lets me read one handed.
Recently, I sat down with an old favorite, the first novel in Robert Jordan’s 14 book series, The Wheel of Time.
I swear, every time the characters in Eye of the World stop to make camp, they are always brewing up a tea of some sort, or wishing it were safe to start a fire so they could. For some reason, that small detail makes Jordan’s epic fantasy feel more real. More able to jump off the page and become part of my own life. It also made me crave a cup of something hot for myself, and maybe a campfire in the dark to brew it on.
I love lavender in everything (lemonade, soda, soap), so I’m surprised I’d never tried lavender tea before. I received some for Christmas last year but became pregnant shortly after (herbal teas should generally be avoided during pregnancy), so I never got to try it.
I pulled it out the other day when looking for something to drink before bed. The scent was lovely and calming and the flavor delicately floral.
Lavender tea is supposed to help with digestive issues, insomnia, and anxiety, among other things. I will say that I did feel wonderfully relaxed after drinking a cup of the brewed herb.
Nynaeve would be proud.
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is hands-down one of my favorite book series ever. Which is ironic, considering I haven’t finished it. I think I’ve gotten about as far as book six or seven, but this series is such a commitment to read that I’ve never had the time to sit down and finish it off.
Recently, I borrowed book one, Eye of the World, from a friend who insisted that if I was going to reattempt the series, I needed to start from the beginning rather than where I left off. Eye of the World is probably my favorite book in the series (I’ve read it at least 3 times), so I had no complaints!
This book is classic, epic fantasy to its core. Danger, adventure, lots of traveling through unknown lands, a good collection of mythological creatures, magic (of sorts, though Jordan’s “magic” is probably one of the most creative and in-depth treatments of the topic I have ever seen), a medieval setting, and a quest on which hangs the fate of the world — these are all things I think of when I think of the epic/high fantasy genre. And Jordan does it marvelously.
The first book is relatively clean (other than violence), but as the series progresses, there are elements that make me uncomfortable. I will address these things as they come up in my reviews of the next books, as well as give chapters for scenes you might want to skip. For now, however, I can give Eye of the World a solid thumbs up in the moral department — it definitely avoids going down the path that many other adult fantasy books follow (I’m looking at you Game of Thrones).
Book Discussion (Contains Spoilers)
This is the first time I’ve read this book as an adult — I was in elementary school the first time through and high school then early college the second and third — and as such I feel like I have such a different perspective on the characters. Rand and Egwene are still my favorite characters, but it is the character of Nynaeve who my opinion of has changed the most.
Before, I never really liked Nynaeve. Maybe because I she was too old and I couldn’t relate to her. Now that I’m her age (she was around 25 at the start of the series I believe), I’m finding her a much more fascinating character. I still love the younger three ta’veren, plus Egwene of course, but they feel much too teenagery for me to truly relate to now. Nynaeve is strong and compassionate and thinks a good deal more than the other woolheads.
During my past read-throughs, I always felt like the romance between Nynaeve and Lan came out of nowhere. This time, since I knew it was coming, I was a lot more perceptive. There are so many little moments between them that are really sweet. I’m still having trouble with the age gap though. I might be able to put that aside, however, considering Lan has my favorite romantic line of all time, spoken at the end of the book when they are in the Blight.
I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile.
– al’Lan Mandragoran
That said, I do wish he was younger.
One of the reasons this is my favorite book of the series is because I love how innocent all of the characters are. Especially Rand. It’s so nice to look back and see where it all started, and gape in awe at Jordan’s masterful character development. And cry a little inside too, because I wish Rand could stay a gentle sheepherder forever.