Wheel of Time Reread #2: The Great Hunt

In anticipation of the Jan 8, 2013 release of A Memory of Light, the fourteenth and final book in the Wheel of Time series, I’m rereading the entire series. Each book gets its own spoiler-filled post.

great-hunt-book-two-wheel-time-robert-jordan-paperback-cover-artThe Great Hunt is pretty good, but still a bit frustrating – the main characters are coming into their own, but still so far from where they end up being, for most of the book, anyway. The characters definitely grow though – Rand, especially.

It was great to meet a few more important characters – Verin, Lanfear, etc. I was definitely reading Verin very differently, given that now I know she’s a Black Ajah mole, and similarly, I noticed Ingtar’s odd behaviour a lot more. Lanfear/Selene was much less awesome than I remembered, given that Rand doesn’t realise who she is and is half in love with her. I was pretty surprised when she revealed herself to Min at the end – I don’t remember that.

Mat continues to be super annoying by being bitter all the time and scared of Rand (yes, I know his reactions are realistic and sane, but he’s still abandoning his best friend!) – when does he get awesome? I remember having the same reaction when I first read the books; I hated Mat for a long time.

I don’t really get the whole Ba’alzamon plotline. Ba’alzamon is Ishmael/Moridin, right? Why does everyone think he’s the Dark One? How does he get in all these random places? Why did the Rand/Ba’alzamon fight take place in the sky? It seems like Jordan’s magic system gets a lot more consistent later, right now it’s a bit of a mess. Another question: what did Moiraine realise in her studies at Adeleas and Vandene’s house?

I didn’t realise Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne were only in the White Tower for a couple of months before they went off on an adventure. I remember a lot more White Tower scenes, but I guess those must be from future books. The whole Egwene-being-collared plotline was really painful to read – the damane are such an uncomfortable idea. I suppose there must some sort of rebel faction of channelers on Seanchan, but I guess they wouldn’t have made it across the ocean. It would be pretty interesting to explore Seanchan in more detail… but I digress.

Oh, the prologue was awesome. I forget which Whitecloak “Bors” actually ended up being, so I’m excited to rediscover that.

On to The Dragon Reborn!

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