Overview (No Spoilers):
The Wheel of Time saga continues in this action packed second installment as our young heroes continue their adventure whether they want to or not. The Great Hunt builds on the solid foundation Jordan established in The Eye of the World by taking us to new, previously unvisited locations such as Tar Valon, an Ogier stedding, Cairhien, to name a few. Additionally, Jordan significantly added depth to the unique cultural aspects of this realm as new details began to slip through the cracks from our previously sheltered and rather shellshocked youths from Emond’s Field who were slowly transitioning from marveling every new experience to well adjusted, world weary travelers. A key example was the lifting the veil of secrecy of the Aes Sedai that was established in The Eye of the World, as Elayne, Egwene, and Nynaeve living in Tar Valon pursue their studies. Despite revealing a few guarded secrets, there is still much mystery surrounding these women and their overall intentions regarding Rand, however it was fascinating to get a glimpse of their inner politics. Overall, The Great Hunt was a grand adventure that progressed the story in a fast paced, edge of your seat manner, due to Jordan preparing an assortment of plot twists that manage to confound even the most well laid plans for our beloved protagonists.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Thom survived! I’m so happy he was reunited with Rand, however we saw the negative side of ta’veren as he is ruthlessly pulled back into the story by the death of his loved one.
- Mat is back in possession of his dagger after a long chase. Will he be able to be healed from its grasp? How will Fain handle not having the dagger? We saw the devastating effects of being stabbed by the dagger. How does it hold so much power?
- Rand again ‘killed’ Ba’alzamon, destroying his trademark sword. Is Ba’alzamon actually dead? Is he not the dark one? Will Rand’s sword be able to be reforged or will he get a new one?
- Is the Black Wind following Rand through the Ways?
- The Great Hunt forced our young protagonists to embrace their new powers and come into their own from Rand being the Dragon Reborn to Perrin speaking to the wolves. We also saw the women of Emond’s Field blossom and grow in their own unique powers.
- Will Rand sometime access the statue that Cairhien is digging up?
- I loved that we were able to visit an Ogier stedding from Loial’s people! It has to be one of my favorite scenes from this book.
- I’m so ready for Nynaeve al’Meara and Lan to acknowledge how they feel and accept it! My heart melted when Lan gave Nynaeve his ring. Is Moiraine setting up Lan to be bonded with Nynaeve or maneuvering him so that never happens by already passing on his bond if she dies? Nynaeve was my least favorite character in this book as she was biting at the bit while being trained to be an Aes Sedai. She was unacceptably rude to everyone and miserable to be around despite supposedly being a leader.
- What does it mean that Nynaeve came out of her tests with thorns in her hands?
- What happened in Tar Valon when Elayne, Egwene, Min and Nynaeve all disappeared? What Egwene went through was awful! Why were Seanchan taking all those women across the sea? How did they get the beasts from the ‘other world’ Rand visited?
- Lanfear/Selene was quite an interesting character. When will Rand realize she is manipulating him? Is she actually one of the forsaken?