When I first read The Great Hunt, I knew I was prepared to devote my tim to this fourteen book series. Fun fact, my new puppy loved the books as much as I did (maybe even more) that he ate it!
That was the moment my streak of being a good borrower was broken. To make matters worse, the book had been lent to me by my then-boyfriend (now-husband). You can’t imagine the fear that my little pup put into me.
Anyways, consider this a review of some sort or not. You should know that at the time I’m writing this, I already have my review for The Dragon Reborn typed, formatted and ready to be published. But why did I write that review before this one?
I am as clueless as you are!
As of posting this, I’m currently reading book six, Lord of Chaos. I find writing a review for any book in The Wheel of Time series to be very difficult because of how many things happen and how many plot lines are interwoven. I, honestly, would love to do a deep dive into each book at some point but I think that for something like that to happen, I would have to make a video instead of a post.
I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts together for The Great Hunt because there was so much going on! In book two, we are introduced to a bigger cast of characters and although many of them did make me a bit wary, I enjoyed traveling with the Two Rivers’ babies and seeing the world through their eyes.
The first few chapters take place in Fal Dara (picking up from the end of The Eye of The World). Rand has been spending his time learning how to use the heron-marked sword that was his father’s and though he is asked about leaving Fal Dara, Rand finds that he cannot. The revelation of him being able to wield the One Power felt like a death scene. Moiraine had not spoken to him since their time at the Blight, and Rand was simply lost.
Our three boys, Rand, Perrin, and Mat, have changed much since we first met them at Emond’s Field. Rather than growing closer after the adventures they’ve had, the boys seem to have drifted apart. Each of them carried their own secrets and hid them like cornered dogs. If you’ve read my review for The Eye of the World, you’d know how badly I was rooting for Rand and Mat’s friendship! But there’s one part in this book that kind of shattered my heart.
“I may be a fool, but I intend to be a live fool.” Mat hesitated, looking sideways at Rand. “Look, I know you came along to help me, and I am grateful. I really am. But you just are not the same anymore. You understand that, don’t you?” He waited as if he expected an answer. None came. Finally he vanished into the trees, back toward the camp.– Chapter 11: Glimmers of the Pattern
I love that boy but I am so terribly disappointed in him. I guess it might make sense since the dagger from Shadar Logoth is still with him but…it doesn’t make sense to me! After everything Rand had done!
As its name suggests, one of the plots in book two is the hunt for the Horn of Valere. This legendary horn is believed to be crucial to the prophecies of the Dragon Reborn because it is meant to raise the heroes of the ages who will ally with the Dragon Reborn.
Rand’s struggle with his ability to channel was better highlighted in The Great Hunt. His friends look at him differently, either treating him like he was about to explode or already on the brink of madness. Not even Moiraine could give him the answers he needed. The heron marked sword on his hip didn’t make things better as people would cast cold stares at him for wearing it. However, no matter how he tried to isolate himself, Rand is pushed into positions of leadership.
A party is sent out from Fal Dara in search of the Horn of Valere. At one point in The Great Hunt, Rand, Hurin, and Loial get separated from the party. During this, Hurin and Loial turned to Rand. I found this particular storyline to be fascinating because you can clearly see that this is the part of the story which lays the foundation for Rand’s leadership. And because Rand had to start with leading a small group i.e. Loial and Hurin, the development of leading a bigger party felt organic. At the beginning with Hurin and Loial, you can tell how uneasy Rand was at giving orders to men older than him or making decisions that could either harm or save a life. This not only prepared him for his role as the chosen one but it also gave him the chance to form his own path away from Moiraine’s schemes.
I also have to mention that Rand, Loial, and Hurin met a woman named Selene who claimed not to be Aes Sedai and yet seemed to hold more knowledge of the One Power than Moiraine. And the way she tried to manipulate Rand was more aggressive than how Moiraine tried to. Even though Rand didn’t fall for it, he was completely enamored by this woman. So, he tried to be someone he is not just to impress her. There are so many expectations pushed on Ryan by those around him and even by himself, but at heart, all he wants is to survive saidin.
While the men in the book were on the hunt for the Horn, Egwene and Nynaeve traveled to Tar Valon to train to become Aes Sedai. I really liked reading about life in the White Tower and I couldn’t help wondering if I would even survive it! I loved learning of the different Ajahs the White Tower had, what each Ajah was responsible for, and how the Tower as a whole functioned. Of course, this doesn’t mean that our heroines liked the work they were given to become Aes Sedai. When women enter the White Tower as novices, they are expected to perform chores like scrubbing the floors, cleaning out pots in the kitchens, and whatever else the Aes Sedai might think would build character. They do this alongside their studies with saidar.
During their stay here, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne were approached by one of the Aes Sedai who tricks them by saying that Rand needs their help. By doing so, she led them into the clutches of the Seanchan. The Seanchan are an empire that enslaves women who can touch the One Power with the use of an a’dam. From the glossary, the a’dam is described as,
A device consisting of a collar and a bracelet linked by a silvery metal leash, that may be used to control, against her will, any woman who can channel. The collar is worn by a damane, the bracelet by the sul’dam
Reading Egwene’s capture by the Seanchan and how she was enslaved terrified me. Even if the bracelet was not worn by a sul’dam, no damane could remove the bracelet on their own. The horror and anxiety that Egwene experienced during this time were too terrible to read. This plot arc was one I read with so much trepidation. I was so emotionally invested in Egwene’s arc that at one point I couldn’t care less about the boys. Yet in spite of its brutality, it is one of my favorite plot arcs.
The Gret Hunt Battle was one of the most memorable moments I’ve read in a book. I’m gonna be really pissed if The Wheel of Time TV show doesn’t include the battle. It was a very cementing moment for the characters and the role they will come to play in the prophecy of the Dragon. Especially Mat who has been trying so hard to get away from Rand and just the entire circumstance of being close to a man who can channel. Yet, Mat ends up being the one who blows the Horn Of Valere. This choice not only raises the heroes of long ago, but it also throws Mat into a necessary role when Tarmon Gai’Don or the Last Battle with the Dark One arrives because now, he is the only one who can summon Artur Hawking and his soldiers.
This is only the second book in the series and to be honest, I am very much intimidated. For someone who loves learning history and culture, this world in The Wheel of Time doesn’t seem to give me enough to know each and every part of it.
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