Friday, 6 November 2015

Review - The Wheel of Time Companion by Robert Jordan

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!

The Wheel of Time Companion is unmissable reading for fans of this bestselling series.

When this almighty tome landed at my front door I was excited. As a life long fan of Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time I was hopeful that this companion would live up to the hype and publicity it has been getting these past few months. And, after giving it an initial flick through, I am happy to report that my hope was not misplaced. 

At over 800 pages long this companion is massive and incredibly detailed. Everything is covered, from insightful looks at each and every character through to the strength level of the many channellers that appeared throughout the story. Cultures are explored, and customs outlined and explained. In fact whilst I was skimming through I was (yet again) blown away by the gargantuan amount of world building that Jordan put into his books. It simply boggles my mind, and goes a long way to explaining why his books were so rich and alluring to epic fantasy fans. And respect must also go towards the editors of this companion. They have done a masterful job of piecing it together with encyclopaedic detail, and by incorporating tidbits that were absent from the novels (entires for characters that didn't appear much in the novels sheds light on their overall role in the world) they have also added to the rich heritage and legacy of Jordan. 

If I had one small criticism it would be that I wanted to see more artwork and maps. Whilst it is wonderful to be able to look up entries for obscure things such as rare flora and fauna, or to check the updated strength level of a particular channeler that has popped up, I still found myself wanting to see more then just an encyclopaedia. The other warning that I must air is that this companion contains significant spoilers (pretty much all of them). If you are new to The Wheel of Time (welcome, you have made a good choice) then I would suggest that you use this companion sparingly at first. However, if you like me and have consumed the books with glee already then this companion will be the best friend you need to embark on the journey all over again, or to settle that nerd fight you may be having online one night. 

All in all The Wheel of Time Companion is an incredibly impressive addition to the already rich tapestry of Robert Jordan's work. A must have for any fan of the series. 

3.5 stars out of 5. 

A review copy was provided. 

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