Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Wheel of Time reread: "The Dragon Reborn" by Robert Jordan

I finished reading "The Dragon Reborn" by Robert Jordan more than a week ago, but this was such a busy week for me that I haven't managed to find time to write about it.

In last book, "The Great Hunt", Rand al'Thor again "defeated the" Dark One, but also accepted the fact that he can channel. But he still cannot cope with the fact that he is the Dragon Reborn. Pressured by this responsibility, bullied by manipulative Moraine, and again troubled with dreams, he escapes alone to avoid hurting anybody as he searches for his destiny. Moraine, Lan, Perrin and Loial don't have any other option except to follow and try to catch him. One the other side of the world, in Tar Valon, Egwene, Nyneve and Elayne bring Mat back for Healing. Being abducted by the Black Ajah in last book, they expect a triumphant return - instead they will be berated, punished and sent to find more member of Black Ajah in secrecy. While Mat, he is only for some gamble and fun...

When I first read "The Dragon Reborn" few years ago, this was a strange book. I am now used to it, after several rereads, but it is still an uncommon that the main character of book and series is absent from the book, except a bit at start and in ending. Most that you see of Rand is indirectly, by following his tracks and rumors, or by other characters dreaming about him. One funny fact you maybe didn't know: in paperback edition Rand proclaims himself as the Dragon at page 666 - you can find some funny theories about Rand being the Antichrist because of this. Also, with less than 700 pages, this is the shortest book in series.

For some reason, even at first reading, I never enjoyed the first part of the book - until the Rand start his journey. Also, I expected that Perrin's parts will be poorer that rest of the book. I am not one of haters of Perrin's plot in later books, but it is not one of my favorite parts of series either. But enjoy Perrin's POV here very much. I was even more surprised to find his and Faile's interaction cute and funny.

One of the biggest perks of "The Dragon Reborn" is Mat's introduction as POV characters and as one of three main male protagonists in the series. If I had to pick one and only character as my favorite, it would be Mat - and I am sure that a big portion of fans would do the same. The chapter where he fights Gawyn and Galad is probably my favorite chapter in the book.

This time I found it curious how much attention Jordan put on describing the cities: colors, architecture, people, even smells. And we get to see four big cities in this book: Ilian, Tear, Tar Valon and Camelyn (even though we already saw the latter two in previous books).

In conclusion, I want to say that I had very much fun with this book. A bit shorter than the rest, "The Dragon Reborn" is one of best and most important books in "The Wheel of Time" series.

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