Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | |

Retro Review: The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

In my neverending quest to prepare myself for the twelfth book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, I re-read The Great Hunt for, I wanna say, the third time? Maybe fourth, not sure.

Rand Al'Thor, a man who can channel, who will surely go mad, is drawn in further by the pattern, with every step working toward his ultimate destiny, becoming The Dragon Reborn. The horn of valere has been stolen, and it's up to Rand, Mat, and Perrin to ride with the Shienaran soldiers to retrieve it from Padan Fain. Egwene, Elayne, Min and Nynaeve are all locked in their own struggles within the White Tower of Tar Valon. And a new threat comes from the other side of the ocean. Artur Hawkwing's blood, returned to conquer and enslave all women who can channel the one power.

The Great Hunt is, in my opinion, better than The Eye of the World simply because the characters are finally starting to grow up. Now, eleven years ago when I read this book for the first time, I wouldn't have said that. A decade later, I'm not really in the mood for books starring sheltered backwoods kids anymore. The Great Hunt delivered much more intrigue, and showed the fans of the first book that there was much more going on in this world than they had ever imagined, and secret plots at every turn. Best of all, the characters started to think for themselves, rather than just react to everything going on around them. No longer starstruck by the lives they are forced by prophecy to lead, they begin to act according to what they feel is best, making their own decisions.

In this book, unlike some of the books that followed, I really enjoyed what every character added to the story. Yes, even Egwene, for all you haters out there. She had a great story right at the end of the book.

Now, as to what I didn't enjoy in this book. Two scenes both stand out to me, one with Rand and one with Egwene. They were just too dimwitted to be believable, I guess. I found myself acting like one of those crazy people at the theatre shouting at the woman to get out of the house because the killer's after her. I mean, could they really be so dumb that they couldn't see what was right in front of them. If you've read the series, you probably can figure out which two parts of the novel I'm thinking about. If not, read it again and I'm sure you'll see Rand and Egwene acting like morons a couple of times. Yep, there they are.

Verdict: 9/10. A deeper, darker, more interesting book than The Eye of the World. Well worth the read, and if you've already read the first, you had darned well better read the rest.


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