Yeah, it's kind of jarring that it's obvious The Eye of the World, or the first three books in general, feel like they were written with the intent that the series might not have sold well, and for the series to stop there. Of course, it was a success, so he was allowed to go on. I remember also thinking the main antagonist of the series had been killed in the first book, and being both confused and annoyed. It's a slight spoiler to say that he's not the series Big Bad, but it's a nice one to know. In fact, the series could quite easily end with book three. You could argue that the series plot proper begins with book four, with the first three being an extended introduction. Which is pretty wacky construction, but it's not quite as annoying as it sounds. One thing I like about the series is it at times feels like a game of Arkham Horror, if you've ever heard of that board game. I've never played it myself, but from what I understand, the whole premise is that an Elder God is breaking loose, and the object of the game is to keep him sealed, or if he breaks loose, fight and hope to god you win. Essentially, the entire series is preparing for his eventual release. It actually reminded me a lot of the "War Asset" system in Mass Effect (except all assets you acquire actually turn out to be relevant in the finale in this ) Though I do like the series, I can't shake the feeling that, with a better sense of pacing, it could have been fantastic. I don't think even the most ardent critics of the series would deny that there are some very cool ideas contained within. For what it's worth, my favorite thing in the series is watching the main character steadily go mad as the books progress; that begins in book three. That, at least, was done very well.