Guilty Mommy Pleasures: The Wheel of Time

My husband Tom and I set aside time to read every night before going to bed. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s only 15 minutes. But no matter how long it is, it’s always a good way to wind down after a long day. While magazines may be easier to read because they’re broken down into small, easy-to-finish articles, I find books more satisfying. A good plot and well-developed characters suck me in and make me forget about the real world for a little while. I’m a big fan of the fantasy genre. This maximizes my mental escape, as the worlds I read about are so different from our own.

Robert Jordan’s series, The Wheel of Time, is something Tom introduced me to while we were vacationing in Hawaii several years ago. The first book in the series is called The Eye of the World. It’s high fantasy, sword and sorcery, very different from Harry Potter – but many Harry Potter fans can appreciate this series as well. TEotW introduces you to several youths in the small village of Emond’s Field – Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve – as they get ready for feast day on Winternight. But everything changes when two strangers – the Lady Moiraine and the soldier Lan – come to town.

The thing I like the most about the series is that Robert Jordan writes his characters very realistically. Good and evil exists, but it’s not black and white. There are many shades of gray. Good characters are forced to make decisions that cost people’s lives. The bad guys have very realistic motivations, sometimes falling from grace after the best of intentions. Eleven books into the series, and there are some characters still so mysterious that we don’t know which side they’re on. I can identify with different characters at different times. One of them even seems to have been modeled after me.

Moms like you will appreciate this. One of the main female characters gets pregnant later in the series, I think in book 9 or 10. Her hormones are a source of irritation for her and the reader at first, but I found myself laughing out loud in book 11. Jordan must have consulted his wife when writing from her point of view. My son was only a few months old when that book came out, and the descriptions of her pregnancy were just right in line with my experiences.

The series is quite a commitment. There are thousands of pages to read, and it can easily take a year to get through all of the books since we moms can’t just sit and read for hours at a time. But I find it very comforting to be able to spend time with my favorite characters every night. The first book is written so that it could’ve been a stand-alone. It has a beginning and an ending. If you find it’s not your thing, you could end right there and be satisfied. If you keep going, you’ll see it was just a false ending. Many fans will agree that the first few books get better and better; there’s a small slump in the middle, but book 11 is one of the best and something to look forward to when you may feel the story is dragging.

If you feel TEotW is too long, you can instead introduce yourself to the series by reading the first prequel, New Spring, the Novel. NS is a shorter, much quicker read, and more laid back for those who are new to the fantasy genre. Some things that happen are better appreciated by those already familiar with the series, but you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of the series to understand what’s going on. There’s even a New Spring comic book, which I find fascinating. The artwork is incredible. It’s not as thorough as the book, of course, but you can get a feel for the world Jordan has created.

I’ve created a WoT fan site called The Wild Eggplant which does have a more complete synopsis than I’ve provided here. And if you become a fan like me, or even if you just think it would be fun to participate, part of that site is the WoT fan cast, in which I match photos of real-life people to characters in the books.

You can’t be a good mommy if you don’t take care of yourself as well as you take care of your family. You have to take a little time for yourself – if not every day, at least once every week. Guilty Mommy Pleasures will discuss different ideas on different ways to do this.

Christina Gleason (975 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.

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