First, I'd like to say if you plan on doing a reread of anything, audiobook is definitely the way to go. Whenever I've reread a book in the past, I can't help that nagging feeling that I should/could be reading something off the insanely-longer-than-it-should-be "To Read" pile.
An Audiobook solves this problem because you can still read whatever you want at the same time.
Then, as much as I love this series, I'm a little worried I'll get too worn out by the time I get to book 6 or 7 or 8. I'm sure you know better than I (as I've only read through book 5)
Next, I'm really glad I'm doing a reread, which I almost skipped, because it turns out my memory has done some tricks on me...sneaky little bugger. I had events all over the place in my mind as far as what book they belong to and now, through the wonderful medium that is the blog, I'll be able to keep track of them. I promise to use appropriate spoiler warnings before I get to that.
Okay, review time, finally I know, for The Eye of the World [US] [UK].
It was definitely a great time to start a reread what with the final volume coming out next year (and Sanderson keeps his promises). I couldn't believe how much I missed this amazingly thought-out world, I really felt like I was along for the journey and that's one of the most amazing things Jordan does...and it was good to see my old friends again.
Yes, things get a bit off toward the middle/end of this series, but I still argue that the quality is the same even though the braid-pulling is more prevalent. I let you know if I still feel this way when I get there.
Also, on audio is was great to listen to an interview, after the telling of the story, with the man himself, especially after his passing. He talks about how he came up with this fandangled series. Plus, he admits he doesn't listen to audiobooks except for his own, which he doesn't read, but only listens to on audio.
As I mentioned before, I will be describing the major events so I can keep track in the future. Feel free to refer back to this limited summary although there are plenty of other, and much more helpful synopses, etc. at these helpful sites: Dragonmount, Tor.com (reread), or just use Google.
***Aye, Spoilers Beware, Ye Mateys (I'll try to keep them only to The Eye of the World)***
In The Eye of the World, we have of course the discovery of the Ta'veren, Rand, Mat, and Perrin. They get whisked away by Moiraine and Lan and begin their adventures with Egwene and Thom who jump in at the last moment.
They finally get to Baerlon, where Nynaeve finds them. They meet Min. All three boys have crazy dreams of dead rats and Ba'alzamon.
Trollocs, Fades, and Dark Friends are constantly on their trail at one point forcing them into Shadar Logoth. The boys go off to explore, run into Mordeth, Mat takes a dagger (bad idea maybe?). Padan Fain follows them in. ** (see the footnote below)
Shadar Logoth splits up our band of travelers, causing 1. Mat, Rand and Thom, 2. Egwene and Perrin, 3. Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve to travel separately (but in those groupings).
Group 1 finds a boat (Captain - Bayle Domon) to travel down the Arinelle, Thom "pretends" to teach Mat and Rand to be gleemen. They arrive in Whitebridge, end up running into a Myrddraal, Thom saves Mat and Rand, and Group 1 (minus Thom) heads out alone where they make their painfully slow way (although not as bad the second time through) to Caemlyn as they play tunes and juggle for their dinner along the way.
Group 2 lose their way, but end up running into Elyas and the wolves. Perrin discovers he can communicate with them. They run into tinkers/traveling people/Tuath'an, we find out more about them and they tell the story of the Aiel prophecy telling the people to get ready for "He who comes with the dawn." They continue on their way, run into Whitecloaks, bound and taken prisoner after Perrin and some wolves take out (kill) a few.
Group 3 decides to follow Mat and Rand because they're most important. Luckily Moiraine gave them handy dandy tracking coins. They follow to Whitebridge and onwards, finally running into the Whitecloaks. One daring rescue later, Perrin no longer faces death, but has not left a great impression. Groups 2 and 3 are now together.
In Caemlyn, Rand first meets Loial, an Ogier, who he immediately thinks is a Trolloc, but who can blame him (I had this in Book 2 for some reason in my memory along with The Ways). Mat keeps getting crazier and stays in his room the entire time. Rand goes to see the False Dragon, Logaine, and ends up falling off a wall into the royal garden, meets Elayne, Gawyn and Galad for the first time. He's brought to Morgase and Elaida Sedai. They let him go, reluctantly.
Loial mutters something about "ta'veren" as he does in about 95% of his lines.
Finally everyone meets up and immediately help Mat...for a time. They realize they need to get to The Eye of the World immediately, what with the Ogier and Aiel messages about The Dark One and The Eye of the World. They decide to use The Ways despite the presence of the Black Wind. Loial joins the group.
This leads them to the borderlands and more specifically, Fal Dara. Padan Fain still follows. He's now worse than a dark friend. They head straight for The Blight, looking for the Green Man who's in charge of The Eye of the World. They have much need, so they are quick in finding it.
The Green Man takes them to The Eye, made by 100 Aes Sedai (men and women) who died making it and he's in charge of guarding it - although reluctantly. The Eye of the World is a bottomless pool, Moiraine says it is the essence of Saidin.
They leave The Eye of the World and run into two men, Aginor and Balthamel. Lan is torn between Moiraine and Nynaeve. Nothing they do helps much. Rand takes off, followed by Aginor. He sees a cord or light connecting Aginor to something. Rand goes for the cord, Aginor burns. They are transported to a mountain pass where Bordermen and Shadowspawn are fighting. Rand kills (more like decimates) the Shadowspawn.
Rand then goes to Ba'alzamon's dream chamber, they have a pleasant chat, and Rand cuts Ba'alzamon's cord (all the cool kids have one).
Rand doesn't let anyone know he can access Saidin, although all the women know. Rand thinks he's done with Ba'alzamon (we've still got 13 books to go buddy).
They find broken shards of cuendillar, a seal of the Dark One's prison, a banner with the dragon on it, and the Horn of Valere in a fancy chest.
The Bordermen win the battle of Tywin's Gap, the Blight retreats a little, and Rand begins his training with Lan.
**There's obviously tons to say, but I thought Jordan does a great job of showing that Moiraine and Lan, the almost omniscient characters - like the wise wizard Gandalf, are not as clever as they purport to be. They're mixed into a world of people all trying to do the best they can. Did it really pain them to let the boys know they shouldn't go wandering around? To give them a little more information than they tend to. This is a good set up to show that Rand will not only have to, but have the ability to step into the role he must eventually fulfill.
***Yar, No More Spoilers Be Spoilin'***
Why Read The Eye of the World?
Who doesn't have time to read 14 thousand page-long books? But seriously, what a great book. Yes, it has it's flaws. Some parts are a bit too much, like the Rand/Mat traveling to Caemlyn, but what a great introduction to an immensely detailed world that feels like it could easily be real.
5 out of 5 Stars
(I don't reread many books, that should be a sign)