The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

This is the second book in The Wheel of Time series and it picks up shortly after the end of the first one – and indeed, I think it captures much of the same charm and appeal as the first book, so it’s definitely a sequel you’ll want to come back for.

There are two main story threads in this one that run parallel – the first of which sees Rand, Mat, and Perrin chasing after the forces of Padan Fain after he steals Matt’s dagger, as well as a legendary artefact known as the Horn of Valere, which when blown will supposedly summon the heroes of the past. Meanwhile Egwene and Nynaeve train alongside new friends as they study to become Aes Sedai. Both threads were interesting to me, and I enjoyed getting to switch between them.

The biggest downside was that Moraine and Lan had a significantly smaller role in this one when compared to the first book, which was disappointing, because they were probably my two favourites from the main book. However, I was always intrigued by Moraine being an Aes Sedai, and so I did like that this book revealed a lot of new information about the Aes Sedai, how they live, and what they do. It helped make the world feel even more interesting than before, and certainly adds to my appreciation of Moraine, simply by helping me to understand her more.

And of course, on a similar note, Robert Jordan’s excellent world-building skills continue to shine, not only in his ability to make towns and villages feel like genuine bustling locations which come through in the writing, but also in the way that he further expands the universe (or, perhaps I should say multiverse) of his writing. At certain points in this story, characters are actually transported into different universes, and, I won’t spoil it, but it explains why they exist and what they are, and I found it absolutely fascinating. I can only hope that there’ll be more of that in the future books.

Indeed, I think the interesting new additions to the lore and the storyline where interesting enough to make up for the smaller roles for Lan and Moraine and overall it was a book that I enjoyed just as much as the first. Rand himself continues to feel like a fairly generic protagonist character, which is a shame, but he isn’t actively unlikeable. Egwene and Nynaeve certainly had more to do in this one too, which was nice, while characters like Min and Elayne (who had small roles in the first book) come into their own as main characters in this one.

If you ever felt that the first book was a little bit too formulaic, I don’t think you will have that problem with this one, as it goes in its own direction a lot more. It has a twist relating to a certain character too, but I don’t think it will be that much of a surprise to most readers (as it was sign posted even in the first book). But, anyway, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a solid piece of fantasy fiction.

Rating: 9.2/10

Buy it here.

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