Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!
So, you thought you knew everything about The Wheel of Time, that you needed to know huh? Well.. Shall I present to you the Wheel of Time Companion?
Since its debut in 1990, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series has captivated millions of readers around the world. Over the course of fifteen books and millions of words, Jordan created a rich and detailed world. Yet only a fraction of Jordan's imaginings ended up on the page, with the rest going into his personal files.
The Wheel of Time Companion finally reveals a wealth of previously-unreleased information about the world of the Wheel of Time, as well as expanding on many known details.
The Companion includes:
* A detailed entry for each named character
* An inclusive dictionary of the Old Tongue
* New maps of the Last Battle
* New portraits of many characters
* Histories and customs of the nations of the world
* The strength level of many channelers
* Descriptions of the flora and fauna unique to the world
* And much more besides!
OF course, the first thing I did when receiving this, was flip to my favourite characters to find pictures. I went straight to my true love Loial, but alas, no cigar! Then, to my next love Perrin and Ta-daaa!
And then, I got serious and decided instead of pretending I'd just received a very large children's picture book, I would actually read some of the content…
I've been gradually flipping through this over the past few weeks, jumping around characters, countries, cultures etc. that have always intrigued me the most. And, it feels like I've suddenly been let in on some huge secrets. Want to know about the Aes Sedai? Well, this has enough information in it, you could possibly start your own real-life chapter.. (Don't though, I admit the rings are cool, but we all know what happens when people start cult like organisations based on speculative fiction..)
If you would like an example of one of the entries, check out this section of the Companion published on the Tor blog about Strength of Power for Men and Women. They have published a few on their blog, and it's a great way to get a sense of whether this Companion is going to tickle your fancy.
This massive framework is why Robert Jordan was so prolific, and really a complete architectural genius. He sometimes gets a flogging these days; I personally don't agree with much of the whinging, as I love the immensity of the series - however, when you see the scope of world from this companion, the true brilliance is just mind-boggling. You have to admit, Robert Jordan is the late King of Fantasy Architecture, no matter your views on the books themselves. When you read some of the entries, you'll also see he was quite an amusing guy!
The Companion is akin to reading an alphabetical bible for another world If I put it in a cave somewhere, will somebody think it's true history in a 1000 years time? with over 800 pages worth of references, portraits and maps! It reminds me why I don't write fantasy books, only write about them!
If you are a Wheel of Time fanperson, and you like to dig into the nitty gritty of the world's you visit, you must check this out! If neither of those apply, well at least you'll have a mighty doorstop if you buy it!
Just as a heads up: If you are buying this as a collectors type item, a gift etc. go for the hardback. My paperback's pages are straining so hard, some have already fallen out at the front and back! I'm not sure if it's just my copy, but just to be safe…