Original cover art by Darrell K. Sweet
The Eye of the World (and the rest of the Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan is truly one of my all-time favorite books. It is a great example of High Fantasy with its mystical creatures and magic, and Jordan is truly a master of creating not only a fantasy world that seems real, but characters so real that I was crying for their pain and cheering for their happiness throughout the series.
The Eye of the World starts off with three youths, Rand al'Thor, Perrin Aybara, and Mat Cauthon--who have all seen a menacing black rider whose cloak does not move with the wind--their friend Egwene al'Vere, and the mysterious Moiraine and Lan.
After a chapter or two of exposition, the characters are placed into danger, and that dangerous ride continues throughout the rest of the book--and the rest of the series. For anyone looking for a serious fantasy series to sink their teeth into, look no further than the Wheel of Time series. I can almost guarantee that, if fantasy is your thing, you'll love these books.