The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World  - Robert Jordan, Kate Reading, Michael Kramer I guess this is the benchmark for epic fantasy, running at 14 books plus a prequel with the final book to be published in January 2013. The series is certainly epic, extremely long with a number of heroes and heroic deeds.
The tale starts in a backwater district called the Two Rivers, Moiraine an Aes Sedai wielder of the one power and her warder Lan arrive in Emond's Field searching for a young man under the scutiny of the Dark One. Moiraine is unable to determine which of three youths Rand, Mat and Perrin the Dark One seeks so she takes them all with her on a dangerous journey to the Aes Sedai city of Tar Valon. Joined by their friend Egwene, Thom Merrilin the gleeman and later the wisdom Nynaeve al'Meara the story follows their flight to the Eye Of The World pursued all the way by the Dark One's forces.
A enjoyable start to the series, listened to this on audiobook and the narrator does a fantastic job mixing excellent world building with characters of depth and sincerity.