“Time has tied a thousand cords between us. The battle we two have fought–do you remember any part of that? Do you have any glimmering that we have fought before, battles without number back to the beginning of Time?”
Author: Robert Jordan
Category: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: October 15th, 1991
All said and done, I can say now that I liked The Great Hunt more than The Eye of the World. I wasn’t sure that I was going to, mostly because the title and the back cover synopsis did absolutely nothing to grab my interest.
More than anything else I like the slow transition of Rand moving away from being “just a shepherd” to beginning to accept what his destiny has in store for him. He is something of a reluctant hero; he resists accepting who the Aes Sedai tell him that he is. However when placed in a position of power by other people and then those other people’s lives are threatened and they look to him for help and the answers, he does his best to help them not for glory but just because he is a good person.
While this character transition is undoubtedly a big one and needs lots of page space to occur naturally, a lot of this book felt really drawn out. Part of that were the few chapters from the point of view of Captain Domon and then from Byar Lord Captain Bornhold. I didn’t really feel like they had a point in the book and the few times the chapters popped up, it had been so long since I read that character’s name that it took me a little bit to remember who they were. I’m sure Domon will pop back up again later on but as for this book, I don’t see why he had to be here and they were kind of distracting as it broke up the flow of the main plot switching these characters that I had to struggle to recall.
With it only being book 2 though, I’m not really letting this get to me because, even only this far in, I noticed that there is at least some laying of foundation for things to come in future books. The Ways were introduced in book one and I found them somewhat underwhelming considering how much danger the characters talked about being attached to them. But then the Ways came back in this book and played a decently significant role so that at least gives me hope that things that appear to be somewhat pointless right now have 12 more books to make an impact.
Kind of in the same vein as all that, and again this doesn’t really impact my opinion of the book/series thus far, but why is Nynaeve’s magic different from other women’s? I was really confused as to why the Aes Sedai are treating her differently than Egwene and the other girls. It seems she accesses her magic in a different way but there have thus far been no answers to as to why. I’m not sure if this is something that is brought up later or if we are just supposed to accept that Nynaeve is special.
Beyond all this, I got a lot more involved with this book, I think partially because of the character growths. Not just Rand’s, although his is the most obvious, but Egwene and Mat as well stood out to me.
The one thing that truly frustrates me about this series so far is not even its own fault. I was struck by it in the first book but even more so in this one that Terry Goodkind toooooootally ripped off Robert Jordan in many aspects of world-building.
Like, holy crap.
I know, I know, I know. Pretty much every author/story borrows elements from something that came before it. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that. But when it seems like every 50 pages or so I’m going “Wow, Goodkind. Needed that too, did you?” it’s a bit much.
*sigh* Okay, I got that off my chest. I can leave it alone now.
Finally, I really enjoy the concept of a war between good and evil that has been fought over and over again by reincarnations of the same person throughout time. While I am still waiting to find out why it is the Dragon Reborn, I mean why a dragon specifically, I am looking forward to more of this series now than I was at the end of The Eye of the World.