THE GREAT HUNT by Robert Jordan
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Ahoy there! Welcome back to my Wheel of Time Read Through. Glad you could make it. We’re moving on to Book 2: The Great Hunt. I try not to put spoilers usually, but I have one in my prediction in the Setting & Magic System (and General Thoughts) section of the review. So read if you dare! You can find the review for The Eye of the World (book 1) here.
Oh goodness. The plot was fantastic. FANTASTIC. I flew through this book in about three days. The pacing was wonderful and kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning. Jordan still splits up his characters into separate groups in the vein of Lord of the Rings, so they go on their own adventures, but each group is focused on essentially the same goal. All of them are trying to figure out what in the stars is going on. Ha. This group of village boys and girls don’t know what’s hit them, but they’ll find out soon enough.
This installment was well-done character-wise. I grew to know and love the characters even more so than the first book. In the first one, I didn’t get a vast sense of character, and I felt this is one of Jordan’s weaknesses in his work. However, living in the characters’ minds in this novel was a treat. I fell in love with Nynaeve and Egwene in particular. I think I’ll always like Rand, but I have a feeling his mind will get a bit…sticky…as the series continues. Either way, I loved how the two storylines converged into this epic battle at the end. I love seeing the fruit of everything we’ve read pay off so successfully in this rather Homeric climax. I don’t use that adjective lightly. The Odyssey’s ending is grandiose and one of my favorite in all of literature, and The Great Hunt comes close to that grandeur.
Ahem, anyway. All the characters shine in this climax, and it is because Jordan took the time to let us learn more about them in such a way I grew to love them ever the more.
Setting & Magic System
I don’t know what else to say about the setting that I didn’t include in my first review. Because it is…mind blowing. Go back and read my review for The Eye of the World – there you’ll get my more concise thoughts on this topic. However, for this book, I wanted to talk more about the magic system. While called the One Power, it’s divided into the male (saidin) and female (saidar) halves. The male half is tainted because of Lews Therin, the Kinslayer. He and his followers thought they could take care of the seal themselves (to trap the big baddy)…but he ended up getting the male half of the One Power corrupted because of his arrogance. Any men who can channel will lose their minds, and most will be gentled by the Aes Sedai (channelers of the One Power – and women in the present day). Most die after they are gentled.
In this book, we’re given more of a glimpse into the magic system, and I find myself a little confused as to what it’s capable of. However, I have heard that as I read, it will become more clear. With that, I rather like the system. I like the rules already established, and I believe it’ll make the plot and characters grow even more as the series continues.
My prediction (SPOILER WARNING):
As Rand can channel (and is the dragon reborn), he will go crazy because that’s the rule established by the world. However, I believe that he or Egwene (maybe Nynaeve) will cure him. But I think he has to go crazy because of the taint, because of the aforementioned rules already set up.
This is my favorite in the series thus far (I’m on Book 4 as I write this), and I think it has a lot to do with the pacing in particular. The first book’s pacing was a little laggy at times, so it was difficult to push through when I came across one of those. However, this book didn’t have that problem. The characters were intriguing, and their arcs deepened. The one thing that surprised me is that (SPOILER WARNING) Jordan revealed who Rand was at the end of this book. I thought it would be the question for the entire series, so I’m curious to see how the other books play out.
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