WoT series SYNOPSIS
The Wheel of Time
takes place in an Age of Exploration type of world;
"the late 17th century without gunpowder," according to Robert Jordan in his
interview with Locus Magazine
Magical ability called the One Power
is practiced by a small percentage
of humans with the lucky genes (or unlucky genes, depending on the culture).
Due to a mistake made by well-meaning scholars in the distant past,
can wield the One Power
without going insane. Men who are born with this ability get exiled, tortured, or executed.
The saga centers around one
young man, a sheepherder's son
, who can wield the One Power.
His fate is to defend the world from evil forces (most of them human,
and each nearly as powerful as he is) while battling his own growing
insanity and the thousands of people who fear him,
want to use him, or seek to destroy him.
It's really a story about struggle, when all
is said and done. He hears voices in his
head. He has memories of a childhood experienced
by someone who lived and died three millennia ago
He's afraid to hurt anyone whom he considers a friend, and he's developing a stress complex over
it. What could make a better hero than that?
Okay, I'm through with my little sales-pitch.
If you want more information and opinions, read my article
Robert Jordan: Genius or Hack?
In Memory of James Rigney (Robert Jordan)
When I think of the three writers who've had the biggest influence on me, Robert Jordan is among them. I wish I'd
sent him at least one fan letter, to add my voice to the thousands of fans who did write to him. This memorial note
was in fact a fan letter that I never got around to sending, and I now regret that he couldn't have read it himself.
The world lost him too soon, when he still had stories to tell and one epic to finish.
I started reading The Wheel of Time
when I was an undergrad in college. Prior to that, I'd never read
post-Tolkien fantasy, and I avoided the WoT books despite recommendations from friends. I was
surprised to enjoy The Eye of the World
, and even more surprised when obsession took hold with
The Great Hunt
. The WoT series gave me so many important revelations about storytelling, character development,
and my own views on life. I read it at an age when I was deciding and questioning my future. It helped me find my
path through those times, and gave me the courage to free my suppressed passion for writing.
I can't think of any other author who fit so comfortably in the worlds of both casual readers and literary critics.
The Wheel of Time
reaches book snobs who read each year's Hugo and Nebula winners, and teenagers who
browse bookstores out of boredom. I've lived in both worlds, and I can discuss The Wheel of Time
about any reader. I owe Robert Jordan a huge thanks for giving me so many interesting discussions, and for allowing
me to bond with strangers of all types.
Robert Jordan's series gave me countless hours of fascinated joy, where I escaped into the lives of Rand, Mat,
and Perrin. After my first read-through (at that time, it was only 7 books), I bought more fantasy novels. None has yet
inspired the same addiction in me, but I owe my current enjoyment of several series to Robert Jordan. I doubt I would
have sampled more epic fantasy if I'd tried another author first.
I owe Robert Jordan more than I can say. I feel honored to have met him, and to have enjoyed a dinner with him and his
wife, Harriet. That was a memorable experience. But the books he wrote made an impression that will last the rest of my
life, for all the reasons I've stated above. He will not be forgotten.
Rest in Peace, James Oliver Rigney, Jr.
Obituary in the New York Times