After more than a year, I have finally slogged through The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan’s first installment in his Wheel of Time series. I carried this book through China last summer and Canada this summer, and only just finished it. The Eye of the World is very much in the same vein as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, though it doesn’t measure up. Each entry in Tolkien’s trilogy stands on its own, having its own internal plot, while also contributing to the larger narrative across the trilogy. Tolkien thus satisfies his readers with each book, and overall with the series. Jordan tries to accomplish this dynamic as well, but falls short. The Eye of the World reads like an unnecessarily long, largely empty first chapter. Indeed, nothing of significance happens until the final two of its 52 chapters, and those are rushed and confusing at best. After such an investment of my time, I will at least begin The Great Hunt, the second book in the Wheel of Time, to see if the series picks up from here. However, I do so ready to drop the series and move on. If you enjoyed Tolkien, Jordan is worth a shot, but he may disappoint.