“The Eye of the World” Graphic Novel, Volumes Three and Four

Not surprisingly, after my last post, I read Volumes Three, Four, and Five straight through. I still haven’t read Volume Six, though (primarily because I didn’t have it yet), so I’ll save my review for Volume Five until then to be symmetrical. Anyway. here we go. I’m assuming you’ve read the novel version of The Eye of the World and I might allude to future books, but no  spoilers.

Volume Three

eotwv3The party is forced to retreat to the abandoned and dangerous Mines of Moria Shadar Logoth since they’re surrounded by Orcs Trollocs and there’s nowhere to go. Every time I reread this book, I’m always struck by how many story beats The Eye of the World seems to have borrowed from Lord of the Rings – that’s probably why I wasn’t really interested in reading the series after I read it for the first time (and now I want to reread the series every few months, it seems like). Anyway, Shadar Logoth is creepy, and Mordeth looked very different from how I’d imagined him, but I liked the way he was depicted. I know Mat has to go through his whole insane phase before he becomes awesome, but I was really hoping somehow that he wouldn’t touch that dagger. Unfortunately, he did, although the full effects aren’t apparent in this book.

Anyway, the party finally splits up (I say “finally” because I’m mostly used to everyone being in different places and having their own story – I guess everyone doesn’t diverge fully until The Shadow Rising, but I like the multiple character arcs). Egwene and Perrin head into the woods and run into Elyas (who also looks very different than I thought he would – for some reason, I never imagined him with a beard, although when I thought about it, he’s not really likely to shave living in the woods with wolves…) and the Tinkers. The Tinkers were exactly as I’d pictured them, especially Aram. I forgot all about the dying Aiel speaking of the Eye of the World story, but it was nice to see it illustrated. I was glad to get to the wolves, too – it’s the first sign we get of Perrin’s destiny – he and Mat so much more interesting than Rand.

Although, Mat is not interesting yet – he escapes with Rand and Thom onto Bayle Domon’s ship, heading for Whitebridge. I love Bayle Domon, and I also forgot about how he said the Trollocs seemed to be following him for some reason. The reason won’t become clear until later books, but it’s such a small thing to miss! Also we see the Tower of Ghenjei! Mat is sulking his way through the whole trip, but Rand is finding himself strangely exhilarated. They go into Whitebridge and have the encounter with a Fade, and Thom is awesome. They flee Whitebridge and Rand insists that the rest of their party must be alive, since the Darkfriends are looking for them. Elsewhere, Egwene and Perrin are also affirming to each other that the rest of the party must be alive. It’s a good place to end the volume.

Volume Four

eotwv4Volume Four wasn’t as exciting as the previous one – Mat and Rand are on the road to Caemlyn, and don’t do very much. They have a bunch of encounters with low-level Darkfriends – Howal Gode, Paitr, Mili Skane (although we don’t know that yet) that they narrowly escape from. The dream featuring Ba’alzamon and Howal Gode is particularly gruesome. Also, side note: it’s way clearer who Ba’alzamon is when you actually see him, I didn’t really realize what was going on with him until I reread the series. But when you can compare his face to his other appearance, it makes a lot more sense.

So Rand and Mat play music in inns and work in farms, Rand attracts the eye of a cooped up farmgirl, Mat gets more and more suspicious and scary, and complains a lot. He does not say “my precious” at any point, but he’s basically turning into Gollum. That sequence has always been one of my least favourites (I can’t bear to see Mat like that!), so I was glad to see it done. But they meet some nice people too, and they finally get to Caemlyn, and the grandness of the city is the last panel of the volume.

Egwene and Perrin continue to travel with the Tinkers until Elyas deems it necessary for them to leave. That sign comes fairly suddenly, and they part ways. I like Egwene and Perrin’s friendship, I wish they had more opportunities to explore that, especially given their shared future talent. They make for Caemlyn, but are chased by swarms of ravens intent on pecking them to death. You wouldn’t think that birds would be that scary, but the short scene where a fox is torn apart in seconds is given very effective/disturbing page time. They make for an abandoned Ogier stedding, where a giant statue of Arthur Hawkwing was once built and abandoned. The statue is very well done, and conveyed the eerie atmosphere of the place admirably.

But then the Whitecloaks show up (I really do not like the Whitecloaks, I want to balefire them all, zealots are frustrating) and kill Hopper (HOPPER!) and Perrin goes all berserker, and Egwene and Perrin are captured. The commander, Bornhald seems like a nice guy, but a nice guy who’s a zealot is still not a very nice guy, and Perrin is destined for execution. I don’t even understand why the Whitecloaks started chasing the wolves in the first place; why couldn’t they have just made their camp and left? Anyway, Perrin and Egwene are firmly in Whitecloak hands now.

And yeah, Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve are in these two volumes too (I don’t remember which one), and Nynaeve learns that she can channel. Lan and Nynaeve express their mutual admiration for one another in subtle ways (another thing which I totally did not pick up on on my first read) and Moiraine is slightly frustrated. But they’re not in this very much.

The next volume is a lot of fun – especially introductions to Loial and Elayne. I’m looking forward to reviewing it.


The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Three by Robert Jordan & Chuck Dixon (The Wheel of Time Graphic Novels, #3)
Tor Books, 2013 | Buy the book
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.

The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Four by Robert Jordan & Chuck Dixon (The Wheel of Time Graphic Novels, #4)
Tor Books, 2013 | Buy the book
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.


“The Eye of the World” Graphic Novel, Volumes One and Two

I just started reading the graphic novel version of The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan and adapted by Chuck Dixon. It’s pretty good so far, and left to my own devices, I’m likely to read them so fast that they blur together, so I figured I’d stop and review the two volumes I’ve read now.

I’m assuming you’ve read the novel version of The Eye of the World, so beware of spoilers!

Volume One

eotwv1We start off with the Ravens prologue that’s not actually in The Eye of the World – it was only included in From The Two Rivers, which is the first part of the split up version of the book published for the YA market, I believe. It features a nine year old Egwene at the annual Two Rivers sheep shearing, and handily gives us some background on the Dragon and the Dark One via a story told by Tam al’Thor to the kids, plus hints that the servants of the Dark One are watching the place. I’m glad they included this scene, because we get to see the Two Rivers when it’s normal, but also some foreshadowing that it’s not going to stay that way.

After that, the book follows the novel pretty closely – the creation of Dragonmount, and Rand and his father heading to Emond’s Field for Bel Tine. The volume ends with the flight from the Two Rivers – I thought more would happen by the end, but I’m glad they’re taking the pace slowly.

I don’t read many graphic novels, so I don’t know enough to compare the artwork and storytelling to other ones, but I think it was very well done. It was great to see so many scenes that I’ve only imagined in my head come to life – Moiraine and Lan, especially. The adaptation from the book was pretty faithful – the only discrepancy that I could tell was that Tam reveals the secret of Rand not being his biological son while Rand is dragging him to Emond’s Field, rather than in the inn, but that works better for the graphic novel form because you see Rand’s journey along with the exposition.

Other random thoughts: Nynaeve gets less page time than I thought she would, but she’s certainly mentioned a lot. Moiraine’s Manatheren speech is one of my favourite scenes in the book, and it is given full justice. The concept art at the end of the book is amazing (and covers the whole book, not just this volume) – I particularly loved the one of the thirteen Forsaken, and the Cenn Buie one that has him saying “I’m so tired of thatching theez damn rooves”. There’s also a lovely depiction of Tam finding Rand on Dragonmount.

Volume Two

eotwv2Volume Two covers the party’s journey from the Two Rivers until they leave Baerlon and make the decision to go to Shadar Logoth. I loved the Two Rivers’ folk’s reaction to both Taren Ferry and Baerlon – it was portrayed perfectly. I know the whole “farmboy sees big city and is totally overwhelmed” thing is a massive trope, but I love it anyway, possibly because I really wanted to move to the US from India (my version of wanting adventure), and I did when I was 17, to a place where pretty much no one else was Indian, and I had a really thick accent and had never even crossed a road by myself. It was totally unfamiliar but incredibly awesome but also sometimes the unfamiliarity was scary, and I get the feeling.

Other scenes I loved – Moiraine’s Mask of Mirrors at the gates of Baerlon, scaring the Children of Light away. Also, the ta’veren trio’s Ba’alzamon dreams are vividly horrifying, I don’t remember them making such an impression on me in the book. And Min’s introduction is fantastic, she looks exactly like how I’d imagined she would, and Rand is very puzzled by her. Nynaeve’s arrival and her suspicion are well handled too, I was less irritated by her when I could see her earnestness.

Speaking of ta’veren, the graphic novel hasn’t gone into that concept yet, I assume it will come up later.  I couldn’t really find any significant omissions, though – the journey from the Two Rivers to Baerlon goes by a lot quicker, although we get the important bits like Moiraine’s One Power lessons to Egwene and Rand’s spying, Bela being mysteriously unfatigued, the scariness of the Draghkar. We don’t get a lot of Mat and Perrin, but I don’t think we did in the book, either.

Okay, I’m going to wrap up this post now, I’m excited to go see Shadar Logoth.


The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume One by Robert Jordan & Chuck Dixon (The Wheel of Time Graphic Novels, #1)
Tor Books, 2011 | Buy the book
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.

The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Two by Robert Jordan & Chuck Dixon (The Wheel of Time Graphic Novels, #2)
Tor Books, 2012 | Buy the book
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.


“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1” by Alan Moore

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen coverI read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 last month, and it’s already fading a little, which is not a good sign.

This is a pretty typical “superhero team assembles” type story, although maybe Alan Moore pioneered it, I’m not sure. There’s the retrieving of each member (in a mini-adventure), the squabbling on the job, the event that unifies them into a team that wants to work together etc. Pretty fun, and of course, I really enjoyed all the literary references, although there were a few I didn’t get. I always love a good shoutout to The Murders in the Rue Morgue, which was the first detective story I remember reading.

It was very well written – witty and tightly-plotted; I’m not sure why I don’t have more praise for it. I’ll probably read Vol. 2 at some point, but I’m in no hurry.

This is book 21 of 25 of my Dec 11, 2011 book challenge.


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol 1. by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, #1)
America's Best Comics, 2002 | Buy the book


“Kick-Ass” by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Kick-Ass coverKick-Ass follows Dave Lizewski, an ordinary high-schooler and comic nerd that dreams of being a superhero, and then decides to actually become one. He discovers that it isn’t really easy to fight crime as an untrained sixteen year old, but he perseveres.

I watched (and loved) the Kick-Ass movie a while back, so I knew almost exactly what I was getting into with this book. The movie captures the feel of the book very well, even though the events in the book are somewhat different. The movie treats the characters more idealistically than the book. The book reminded me of Watchmen a bit, except that the scale is not so epic, and the mood is much less melancholy and much more optimistic.

I always feel a bit nervous about reviewing graphic novels, because I treat them just like any other book, and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to. I know that graphic novels have their own conventions etc., but I don’t think I’ve read enough of them to be aware of them yet. I really enjoyed the way Kick-Ass was structured, but I’m not sure if that’s just a function of the medium.

Anyway, I did really enjoy the book – it’s hilarious, the characters are fun, and even though Dave is extremely foolhardy; I can’t help but admire his perseverance. And of course, Hit-Girl is my favourite character, simply because she is such a badass (I sincerely hope that she never exists in real life, though.)

I should warn potential readers that there is a lot of violence and profanity from children etc, but overall, Kick-Ass is a very well done black comedy. I can’t wait to read Kick-Ass 2.

This is book 16 of 25 of my Dec 11, 2011 book challenge.


Kick-Ass by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr. (Kick-Ass, #1)
Marvel Publications, 2010 | Buy the book


“A Sickness in the Family” by Denise Mina and Antonio Fuso

A Sickness in the Family coverI’ve had the flu for the last few days, and consequently have been asleep for a large portion of them. I’m still really excited about reading the 25 books mentioned in my last post, so today I pulled them all out and made a couple of big piles in my room. (I also found some additional books that I haven’t read, but more on them in the future.)

I’ve been going a bit stir crazy, so despite being really woozy, I decided to make a start on the pile, and read the shortest book – A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina (illustrated by Antonio Fuso.) (In fact, I’m still pretty woozy, so this entry might be even more disjointed than usual.)

I discovered this book on Blogging for a Good Book (run by the Williamsburg Regional Library) and bought it when I was on a “I really need to branch out and not read so much young adult/fantasy”/”I should read mystery authors other than Agatha Christie”/”I should read more graphic novels” kick.The book is about a normal family (or so you think) whose members are being killed off one-by-one. The house might be haunted, but it seems far more likely that a member of the family is the killer.

Even though this was a pretty quick read, the players in the murder mystery (i.e. the Usher family) are set up really well and the setting (their perhaps-haunted house) is definitely atmospheric. The Ushers are all thoroughly unlikeable, and I don’t think anyone is really unhappy when they start dying off. The book is pretty fast-paced, and the twists and turns, although not entirely unpredictable, are pretty fun (especially the end.)

The WRL review of the book describes it as a “delightfully nasty little graphic novel”, and I absolutely concur. My only complaint is that it was so short.

This is book 1 of 25 of my Dec 11, 2011 book challenge.


A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina & Antonio Fuso
Vertigo, 2010 | Buy the book