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The Wheel of Time Companion: The People, Places and History of the Bestselling Series by Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons
Cover Artist: Sam Weber
Review by Jon Guenther
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765314611
Date: 03 November 2015 List Price $39.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Wheel of Time Wikipedia Entry / Show Official Info /

If you're a fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, you're going to want The Wheel of Time Companion as part of your collection. Imagine, if you will, better than 800 pages crammed with thousands of entries and more than 35 original illustrations by two of the original artists. It should be noted up front the companion contains SPOILERS (and Ms. McDougal is very pointed about that fact in the companion's introduction), so if you haven't finished the series or you don't want to have major story elements ruined, you might want to wait to actually read it.

The book is designed much like a dictionary, with entries listed and cross-referenced in alphabetical order. The print is relatively small, too, and I found it's packed with content on that note. There is a full-color spread of a map of the world on the inside front and back covers, too.

What most appeals to me about this book is that much of what is in here was alleged as having been pulled from the late Mr. Jordan's personal files. The implication being, of course, that until now it has not been previously distributed for public consumption. Call it brilliant marketing strategy or just plain, good fun but I have been anxious for something like The Wheel of Time Companion to make its debut. I found this gave much more in-depth information, and it's long overdue given the last real book of this type about the series came out in 2001.

If I had any complaints it's probably with the lack of artwork. The internal illustrations (other than as already noted) are grayscale and mostly comprised of portraits of known characters or maps. Granted, more and full color illustrations might have made the book plainly cost-prohibitive to the general readership but then there's nothing really general about those of us who buy and read material of this kind.

Bottom line: I applaud the effort and recommend it with the stipulation that some fans will enjoy The Wheel of Time Companion as I did, while I surmise there are some it will disappoint given the fact it is not all new information.

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