The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Rating 8.3/10
A wonderful second book, a must read for all fantasy fans.

This majority book was originally intended to be part of book 1, however Jordan soon realized how huge the novel would have been, he found a good place to split the novels. The story starts a month or so after the event of the Eye of the World. Rand has his first encounter with the Amyrlin Seat and all manner of fun ensues.

Padan Fain leads the way for the bad guys in this novel; his character over the series that I love, an absolute nut job, reading his scenes is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. What Jordan does with Fain is show that the story arc is never going to be black and white, but all shade of grey as well. Like the Eye of the World, this book builds up to a main turning point, something sadly lacking later in the series.

The way in which introduces new characters is always varied from rumours to acquaintances, something that he tends to do very well, and in all fairness he needs to, like the first book we are introduced to even more characters, some who will fall by the wayside but not forgotten and some with become catalyst and agonists for future storylines.

This book starts to get the main players for future books into the story, from the strange invaders from across the Aryth Ocean and the Black Ajah to Mat and Perrin stepping up to the forefront of events.

Overall this a wonderful second book, much like the first and definitely a must read for all fantasy fans.
Christopher James Jepp, 9.1/10

The Great Hunt is the second book in the Wheel of Time series and picks up more or less exactly where The Eye of the World ended.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

The novel begins in Fal Dara where our heroes are resting from the events at the end of The Eye of the World. Unfortunately, the group is not able to rest for long as a band of trollocs and myrddral attack the city, freeing the Darkfriend, Padan Fain who takes the Horn of Valere and Mat's cursed dagger with him. Right after the Amyrlin Seat arrives at Fal Dara and meets with Rand, confirming that he is in fact the Dragon Reborn. This is greatly troubling to him and Rand contemplates running away and returning to his village. He almost does run away, but after learning that the horn and Mat's dagger have been stolen, he joins the small group of Shiernaran soldiers, along with Perrin, Loial, and Mat, on a quest to reclaim the horn and dagger, as Mat will die if the dagger is not in his possession. Verin Mathwin of the Brown Ajah also joins the group of soldiers, as well as Hurin, a Shienaran man who is able to track people based on their scent.

Nynaeve and Egwene depart from Fal Dara at the same time as Mat, Rand, Loial, Perrin, Verin and the other soldiers but are headed to Tar Valon with Moiraine and the Amyrlin Seat. On their journey, the Aes Sedai begin to give them lessons on how to channel and develop their abilities. Upon arriving at Tar Valon, Nynaeve passes the three rounds of tests and becomes one of the Accepted, while Egwene begins her training as a novice. Egwene and Nynaeve become friends with Egwene's roommate Elayne and are reunited with Min. However, this period of peace does not last long and Egwene and Nynaeve are summoned by Liandrin of the Red Ajah who tells them that the three of them must go to Toman Head to save Rand and his friends from grave danger. Elayne and Min overhear and decide to join their friends on this quest. Unfortunately, Liandrin is also a member of the evil and secret Black Ajah and attempts to sell the four girls to the Seanchan, a society who enslave Aes Sedai and force them to use their ability to channel for the Seanchan's own gain. Min and Nynaeve escape and begin to plan a rescue mission to save Egwene and Elayne.

While Rand and the soldiers are on their quest, Rand and Hurin are accidentally transported to another world where, the two meet a woman who calls herself Selene, as well as discovering that Padan Fain will be waiting at Tomen Head for Rand with the Horn and the dagger. The two are able to return to their own world through Rand's channeling, and reunite with their group. Verin, upon hearing where they must go, convinces Rand that the only way to get to Toman Head before Mat dies is to transport the group in the same way that Rand and Hurin were transported to the other world. Rand is reluctant at first, but eventually agrees, and the group arrives in Toman Head where they find the Horn and the dagger in the possession of the Seanchan High Lord Turak. Rand and Turak have a swordfight and Rand is victorious, and seizes the dagger and Horn. At the same time, Min and Nynaeve successfully rescue Egwene and Elayne from the Seanchan. However, right as Rand reclaims the Horn and gives the dagger to Mat, the Whitecloaks attack the city. The Whitecloaks are defeated by the Seanchan and their enslaved Aes Sedai (also known as damane), but with the Seanchan closing in on Rand and his group, and preventing Min, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne's path to freedom, Mat sounds the Horn of Valere and summons the spirits of Artur Hawkwing and his soldiers. The ghostly soldiers defeat the Seanchan, who flee to their ships and sail away. During this battle, Rand and Ba'alzamon fight with their images appearing in the sky. Rand allows Ba'alzamon to stab him in his side in order for Rand to break through the Dark One's defenses and beat him. After this battle, Rand finally accepts his fate and declares himself the Dragon Reborn.

Spoilers end!

This was a good continuation of The Eye of the World series, but I didn't feel that it was as strong as The Eye of the World. It was entertaining, but I found the last 25% hard to get through, although that could just be because the Seanchan gave me so much anxiety that I honestly had to put the book down for about 6 months before being able to pick it back up again. Rand also started to get on my nerves a bit. I just felt that I could have done with a little less whining and a little more sucking it up. I listened to an interview at the end of the audiobook between the woman reading the audiobook and Robert Jordan and he said that he wanted a hero to be more reluctant and doubtful that it was really his job to save the world, and for the most part I feel as though he conveyed that in Rand, but sometimes I just wanted to shake him.

I really enjoyed Egwene and Nynaeve's story, possibly more than Rand, Mat, and Perrin's. I feel as though they really came into their own and I enjoyed seeing the friendship between all four girls develop. Nynaeve remains my favorite character, and she became even dearer to my heart after I read about the three tests she had to go through in order to become one of the Accepted. 

I'm looking forward to continuing the series and seeing where the story goes.
Kat Berwick, 7.5/10

This The Great Hunt book review was written by and Kat Berwick

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The Great Hunt reader reviews

from Newcastle

8-stars

I am currently going through my Wheel of Time Re-read in preparation for A Memory of Light, and The Great Hunt still remains one of my favourite books. Rand and Perrin are finally starting to mature (does Mat ever mature???), the story moves along at a much faster pace, and we start to see the magic and politics of the world become an integral part of the story as Jordan starts positioning all the pieces for some big action scenes. Also a very nice reference to the Towers of Midnight in this book, its amazing to think how far out Jordan managed to foreshadow the big events.

8.2/10 from 2 reviews

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