Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Wheel of Time reread: "The Great Hunt" by Robert Jordan

Well, I am progressing fine with my WoT reread, even somewhat better than expected. I finished "The Great Hunt" somewhere around last Wednesday, but I didn't have the time to write my post about it, so here it is.

"The Great Hunt" is where the real thing starts. In "The Eye of the World", Jordan was still playing safe, between an encompassed single book and start of a big new series, but here he kicks it off with a bang. After finding the Eye of the World in last book and Rand's "defeat" of the Dark One (and his discovery that he can channel and that he is possibly the Dragon Reborn), here we learn that things are not so much done, as only started. Stealing of the Horn of Valere, the ascension of Padan Fain as a major player, introduction of Senchan, Aiel and Ogier, elaboration of Aes Sedai, Darkfriends, there is really much going on. A major portion is of the book is dedicated exactly to this: introduction and elaboration. Here the WoT becomes a really detailed and complex series as we know it.

This book contains a lot of my favorite chapters: Aes Sedai discussion of the dark prophecy in Shienar, Rand's introduction to the Amrylin Seat, politicking and the Great Game in Cairhen, travel via Portal Stones and the parallel worlds (a major favorite, this one!)... I usually adored the chapter at the end when Rand fights Turak - I was surprised with my lack of excitement. Well, this was at least partially due the fact that I read this chapter very late in the night after a busy day.

As with the notions and concepts of setting, a list of characters also gets a main expansion: Verin, "Selene", Siuan Sanche, Hurin... The list is a big one. But we also get to know "old" characters better, especially Rand and Egwene. A big part of the book is about Rand's struggle to accept what he is - a struggle that really ended only recently in "The Gathering Storm", the 12th book in series! It is also curious how Mat is still not a POV character yet - we have POVs from Rand and Egwene, of course, but also from Perrin and Nyneve. Of course, this will change in next book, "The Dragon Reborn": a happy moment for most fans, I think.

There is not much else to say about "The Great Hunt", except again that this is one great book, one that really started the success of "The Wheel of Time" series.

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