on 22 August 2004
This book is a good book. I came to this after really enjoying the first book, 'Eye of the World.' I liked this one just as much and it continues the story in great style.
Jordan continues to develop the characters in this book and gives greater detail of their personalities. The story is lso revealed more as we begin to see more of what we must expect from the later part of the series.
Jordan manages to bring in a new enemy that is not really known in the first book and so manages to keep the plot fresh andinteresting. More is revealed about the prophisies that are hinted at in the first book and we also gain more knowledge on the mysterious and powerful Aes Sedai.
On that note i am also pleased to say we get our first look inside Tar Valon in this book. We get to get inside the minds of some of the Aes Sedai and learn more about what they have planned for the characters of the first book.
More characters are also revealed that forward the plot. These characters such as the Amyrlin Seat and the borderlands people.
The good thing about this series is that you cannot predict or even guess randomly at the ending or how the series will reach the last battle. I have read this in other reviews and i think it is a very good thing. You know Rand will win the last battle but no clue is given as to how it will happen or how he will get there.
This book is highly reccomened, but if you have already read the first book you will read this one anyway. If you haven't read 'Eye of the World' yet dont read this as you will not have a clue what is going on!!
on 16 October 2002
Now finished reading the second of the books, The Great Hunt, I will now review what I read. The Great Hunt is indeed a great book, but doesn't act like an introduction that The Eye of the World was. It acts more as a continuation to what previously occured, with new events happening along the way to challenge the characters. Rand, Mat, Perrin and co, along with some fresh characters like Hurin the sniffer are all still individual and themselves like from the first book and are allowed to shine in their own ways once again, especially with Egwene and Nynaeve who are used much more in the book then they were before. The book starts with the disappearance of the Horn of Valere, stolen from the Amrylin Seat of the Aes Sedai and taken by Darkfriends, led by one you will remember from the first book. In hot pursuit, Rand and co must retrieve the Horn, as well as the dagger that Mat needs until he reaches Tar Valon. Of course this leaves a dilemma for Mat, which continues through the book nicely. The Ways are also brought back into it, plus a new method of transport that seems to lag through the book a little bit, diverting Rand away from where he should be going by travelling via the stones, which can transport him to other worlds and to other places in the world. New fresh places are also explored, including Tar Valon, yet we don't see a lot of them as the plot drives the characters on their journey. But by the end, coincidence of character's meeting seems to take over, or is it just ta'avern that Loial is always talking about? Whatever it is, Robert Jordan writes it to good effect and makes another great ending and the start to the third book, which I have not yet read but will do for definite. Once you're to this point there's no turning back! The Wheel of Time is indeed still turning...
on 6 December 2002
After the breath taking suspense of the first, I was expecting something a little more explosive. It was still a brilliant fantasy, told in the Grandmaster style, that Jordan encompasses, it was more the slow build up followed by the remoresless race to the finish, I am constantly amazed how Jordan manages to fit in these tight fifty page endings. Maybe he should spread it out a little more?
However it was still excellent. The introduction of the Seanchan made the usual collection of Ghoulies a litle more human and easier to palate. The time spent in Tar Valon was intriguing and I desperately wanted these scant chapters to last longer!! The capture of the heroine Egwene was only just bearable by the fact that I was sure there was going to be a climatic finale. Egwene continued to moan and scream, on and on and on...
Rand is doing a 'Garion' (for all you Eddings fans!) by moaning constantly, however, he is a better realised hero than the One of David eddings imagination. Mat and Perrin were to stuck up in parts but other than that it worked wonderfully. the description flowed brilliantly in every superbly crafted sntence and the other characters were just as brilliantly described as Rand. Loial was innocent and wise enough to pass for Merry and Gandalf and Moiranes cool control was masterful, Lan is halfway between being my favourite character and my most hated. His protection of Moirane, though totally in character is just a teensy bit annoying, his cold calculating fighting and firm pride balances this out.
One word to sum this up. As Ron Manager would put it: Marvellous!
on 28 May 2002
Introducing a new enemy out of left field in just the second volume of a series is a bit of an odd move, but Jordan pulls it off. As with the Children of the Light in the first book, the Seanchan are all the more imposing because they think they are right and believe themselves to be the good guys. There is of course the matter that, legally, their claim to our heroes' homeland is justified and that they could unify the world for the Last Battle more effectively than anyone else. The fact that they believe in slavery and summary execution of course means they have to be opposed. Congratulations to Jordan for making his world a bigger place and coming up with such an inventive enemy. Elsewhere in the plot new characters appear, old ones have new adventures and we visit Tar Valon for the first time. As an adventure story, The Great Hunt is superb entertainment and the number of ideas it throws at the reader is impressive, but never overwhelming. The Great Hunt picks up the pace from The Eye of the World and keeps it running to a breathless climax.
on 10 October 1999
Worth reading. Jordan has improved on the first book but he still has a very dubious ending. After a fairly consistent amount of action/stroyline (which is hard to follow at times), we see the book finish within a small chapter. Whether this was intentional or not, it managed to confuse me. I'll probably read the rest of the series now that I've started however.
The Great Hunt is the second volume in Robert Jordan's gigantic, rainforest-devastating Wheel of Time series. It was originally published in late 1990 and like the first volume, The Eye of the World, was an immediate big seller.
The story picks up a month or so after The Eye of the World. Rand al'Thor has discovered he can channel the One Power and thus is doomed to go insane and die, wreaking terrible destruction at the same time. Normally it would be the responsibility of the Aes Sedai sisterhood to 'gentle' him, remove his ability to channel, but Rand's Aes Sedai mentor, Moiraine, and the head of the sisterhood, Siuan Sanche, believe that he is the Dragon Reborn, the long-prophesied saviour who will defeat the Dark One at the Last Battle. As such, they have no choice but to let him go free. When the twisted, insane Padan Fain steals the legendary Horn of Valere and the cursed dagger from Shadar Logoth upon which the life of Rand's friend Mat depends, a band of hunters are assembled to track Fain down and reclaim the dagger. Meanwhile, Egwene and Nynaeve travel to Tar Valon to begin their training as Aes Sedai, but find danger lurking even within the walls of the White Tower. In the far west, on Toman Head, rumours speak of the arrival of strangers who apparently use the One Power in battle and use savage beasts in combat, strangers who will not rest until all the lands are under their control...again.
The Great Hunt sees a notable widening of the scope of the world seen in the first book. Whilst the first novel perhaps veered too close to Lord of the Rings' characters and structure to be entirely comfortable, the sequel takes off in a completely different direction. Whilst the series' slightly irritating tendency to be obsessed with 'plot coupons' gets its start here, it does give the book a classical quest structure and deals with the parallel timelines as the core group from the first book gets split up and we follow them separately until their reunion at the end. Jordan also introduces a whole new threat in the form of the Seanchan, a powerful empire ruling a continent beyond the western ocean who now want to reclaim the homeland of their founder (Artur Hawkwing's son). This out-of-left-field threat does an excellent job of shaking things up, whilst the suspicious timing (the Seanchan invasion occurs at the same time the forces of the Shadow are gaining strength in the world) is later revealed as deliberate. The characters are deepened and made more interesting, particularly Rand and Perrin who are shown to grow and change as a result of the revelations they have discovered and the things they have suffered in the first novel. However, we also get to see the Dumb Aes Sedai plot trope get the first of many wearying outings, as Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene get led into a trap which couldn't be any more painfully obvious. Only their relative youth and naivete makes it convincing in this book; the fact that Elayne is still falling for these things as late as Book 11 is rather more dubious.
The Great Hunt (****) is a notable improvement on the first book, taking the world, story and characters in refreshing and interesting new directions. Jordan's mastery of his enormous narrative is evident here, and even a certain economy (not a word normally associated with the verbose Jordan) of plotting can be detected as some major storylines are rattled through in just a few pages (the Seanchan themselves, surprisingly, don't appear until the book is more than halfway done). The novel is published by Orbit in the UK and Tor in the USA, and is followed by The Dragon Reborn.
on 30 November 2000
This is the second book in Jordan's wheel of time series and it is hard to review it in isolation. I'm going to assime you've read the first book only.
What happens here? Well we get to meet the Amyrlin, Rand gets told he's the Dragon Reborn (obvious at the end of the last book but it gets confirmed) and we get to learn a little more about the Aes Sedai as both Egwene and Nynaeve start their training. Other than that there's not too much plot development. This is something of a character book, you get to watch the characters grow and change. You also learn some more things about the world and the prophecies that Rand al Thor is to fulfill.
This is not the best book in the series - volume 4 takes that honour - but it is an enjoyable read and has the unputdownable quality that I like in books. This is enhanced by the habit, first done in this volume, of having the chapters written from the viewpoint of major characters. Thus you think you'll put the book down after finishing this chapter on Rand when you see the next one's about Egwene and you're wondering what she's been up to. This is a recipe for staying up till the early hours thinking "just one more chapter" Be warned!
on 8 December 2005
As a complete backlash to other bad reviews on this series. Obviously others who have read these book just want a quick "wham bam" speed read, in their quick, impatient modern lives. If they are going to go on that premise they must HATE JRR Tolkien. A book like this needs to read slowly and meticulously to treasure the minute details that make this story a great story.
I found every single book in the wheel of time series an absorbing read that I couldn't put down for the life of me. It has deep characters that are real but at the same time very extraordinary. An intense plot line and a magical feel to it. Some very unique concepts are explored, as well as some very old ones with a unique twist to them.
Of course the books have flaws and one of them is that Jordan does tend to waffle on a bit about useless information. But it's no way to the extent of what others make it out to be. What book out there is perfect? Even the best authors like Jordan have their flaws that's what makes them special compared to the mediocre authors.
With these books patience, an eye for detail for some of more complex story twists and a good memory is required. If you're looking for a "quickie" trashy fantasy then look elsewhere.
Hmm, I'm only one book in and already some cracks are beginning to show after what was an excellent start in The Eye of the World. This book continues right from where that one ended and features a pretty strong beginning dealing with the effects of Rand using the Power and what help/hindrance he can expect from the Aes Sedai. But soon after that the problems start. The horn that he just got back is stolen, along with the knife that Mat needs to be restored to health. Naturally Rand has to go help look for these instead of running away and evading his fate as the Dragon Reborn. All this is dealt with by chapter 10. The book concludes with Rand rescuing the girls from a race of men from across the sea who enslave Aes Sedai. This plot point starts on chapter 40. You may begin to see the problem here. In case you're wondering, yes they do spend the middle 30 chapters wandering around the woods looking for that dang horn. That and deciding which dinner invitations to turn down. Riveting.
The padding in this book is unnecessary and excessive. There are over 600 pages here when the plot really only needs half that. So much of this material is a waste. At one point Loial makes a staff, which they describe in some detail, only to discard it unused two chapters later. Why? What was the point of describing that? It's not as if this material is character development either since Rand's entire arc goes 'no no, I won't be manipulated' and never really gets much further than repetitions on that theme until the very end. The first ten chapters are important. The last ten chapters are important. Why did we have to have thirty chapters of fluff in between? There's nothing there that can justify more than five or maybe ten. I understand that this only gets worse later on in the series. It must be a danger inherent in these long new fantasy series since Martin's A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons both fall into this same trap: Excessive verbiage, underdeveloped plot.
Another problem that was gnawing at me in the last book was the underdeveloped characters. Well here it really hits. The three Emond's Fielders are as dull as ever, and so are all their travel companions with the exception of Moiraine and Thom, both of whom merit little more than cameos. The relationship issue hits quite hard here with a full four girls competing for Rand's attention. This is made extra annoying for two reasons: 1. Rand never does anything but try and ignore it. He doesn't even reject any of them. The reason behind this is largely due to: 2. The boys and the girls spend most of the book apart. This doesn't stop the girls from constantly going on about how great Rand is, even those who only knew him for a few minutes. Rand is starting to become the most obnoxious kind of Peggy Sue character and it's really annoying. All the relationship malarchy just seems childish and while Jordan has thus far been able to cover this by continuously repeating ta'veren and the threads of fate, it's starting to wear pretty thin. I really do hope it improves in future books.
So why, given the strongly negative tone of this review, do I still give the book three stars? Because the first and last ten chapters are truly excellent. The threat to Rand's soul is very real, even if it's overmentioned, and the twists of fate that bring Rand towards his destiny are fascinating. When the book is good, it's good. There can be no question. If Jordan had only managed to trim down the middle 3/5s to a manageable number then this book would earn five stars. As it is I recommend reading it with a lot of creative skimming.
The story continues in The Dragon Reborn. Hopefully (given the title) this will contain more of what made the last book so good. And maybe we'll actually get to see Rand being decisive for a change.
I'm so glad that I have finally bitten the bullet and jumped onto the Wheel of Time bandwagon, 2 books in and I'm already totally hooked so I'm excited that I've still got another 12 books to go before the journey ends! The Great Hunt started out a little slower than I expected but that gives us a chance to really spend time with the main characters and see how much they've already started to change. I'm loving watching them blossom as they start to gain more experience and grow more confident in their own abilities, some of them still have a lot to learn but they're all taking positive steps and starting to figure out their roles in the big picture.
The one item they need more than anything to help in their battle against the Dark One is the Horn of Valere, a magical horn that will recall the heroes from all ages to fight on behalf of the person who sounds it. Now that the horn has been found it is inevitable that the army of dead heroes will be called into battle, the question is which side will they be fighting for? When Darkfriends manage to steal the horn out from under Rand and the other's noses it looks like all could be lost before the real battle has even started and it all hinges on them being able to retrieve it before it's too late. Rand and the boys are really up against it in this book, they're fighting amongst themselves thanks to Rand's stubborn attempts to protect the others and they're all facing different but dangerous personal challenges but they'll have to find a way to pull together if they want to succeed.
While the boys hunt the horn the girls travel on to Tar Valon to begin their Aes Sedai training. I already loved Nynaeve but she really comes into her own here, she hates everything the Aes Sedai stand for and has an incredibly difficult time sticking to their rules but she has so much raw power that she's going to be a force to be reckoned with when she gains full control of it. Egwene is more willing to learn but has less life experience that Nynaeve so she's placed with Elayne and Min right at the bottom of the ladder but all four of these young women are awesome and I can't wait to see where the series takes them. Nothing is simple in Tar Valon and although Moiraine has never been very upfront about her plans for any of the others at least she has always done whatever she can to protect them, the same can't be said for all of the other Aes Sedai and the girls are going to have to watch their backs.
There is so much going on in this book, we get to see a few familiar faces when some of the minor characters from the first book make unexpected reappearances but we also have a lot of new people to meet, some you'll immediately love and others will make you much more wary. It's hard to know who to trust and there are definitely lots of side plots and foreshadowing going on that I think will make more sense on a reread (and I can pretty much guarantee I'll be rereading this series again in the future to test that theory!). Once again I was pulled straight into this story and I actually devoured it quite quickly compared to book 1, it starts a little slower but the pace really ramps up in the second half and I'm so invested in the characters that even when there's not a great deal happening I'm just so happy to be spending time with them all. While I wouldn't quite place this series as a favourite yet it's definitely heading in that direction and I'm sure it will be on the list well before I reach the final book.