The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) Review

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) is a 1990 fantasy adventure novel written by Robert Jordan, published by Tor Books and Orbit Books, serving as the second installment in The Wheel of Time series.  For centuries, gleeman have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of the Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.


Positives:

  • Rand, Matt, and Perrin are awesome
  • Great story
  • Good supporting cast
  • Great worldbuilding
  • Good writing
  • Great dialogue

Negatives:

  • Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve suck
  • Very slow paced story
  • Heavily descriptive

Plot:  The story follows the ta’veren, Matt, Perrin, and Rand, who pursue the Horn of Valere needed for the last battle and a dagger to cure Matt’s curse as well as Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve introduction to the White Tower.  Was more interested with Rand’s adventures than Egwene and Nynaeve at the White Tower (especially since most of the women are jackasses and the men are simps). The first story follows a brave Shienaran soldier leading a group (including Rand, Perrin, and Matt) who are pursuing a group of Trollocs and Myrddraal who’ve stolen the Horn of Valere.  It’s an awesome chase that does a lot to help develop the characters. The story is pretty slow paced especially with characters traveling from here to there. The ending is completely epic.  Rand and the gang successfully retrieve the Horn of Valere and the cursed dagger only to be caught up in a battle between the Whitecloaks and the Seanchan.  Mat blows the horn summoning the heroes of the horn after the Seanchan wipe the floor with the Whitecloaks.  (4 out of 5)

Characters: The characters do feel more unique although the over abundance of characters can feel messy at times especially when detracting from the main. Love the focus on Rand but also how the story opens up to the other characters.  I really did like seeing how Rand, Perrin, and Matt are coming into their own especially with their relationship with Ingtar Shinowa.  Ingtar is a pretty good character and a great alternative to Lan and one of my personal favorites of the series. Also, I don’t like the Aei Sedai but Verin Mathwin is probably my favorite nest to Morraine.  Lan teaches Rand to develop his swordsmanship, which he helps uses to symbolizes the development of his character. Matt is still suffering from the aftereffects of his exposure to the cursed dagger and now needs to retrieve it from Padan Fain.

Perrin is learning to develop his wolf abilities. Loial is a surprisingly cool character.  Did not like the Lan/Nynaeve romance.  Nynaeve continues to be a douchebag on nearly every level and I don’t feel sorry for anything bad that happens to her.  Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve appear more powerful than anyone else but it would’ve been great had this been a gradual progression. We’re also introduced to the leader of Aei Sedai, the Amyrlin Seat.  Padan Fain is a pretty sweet villain. The guy is just badass evil.  Cairhien/Lanfear is a pretty good antagonistic character. Great at how gradually she reveals herself. Would’ve liked to have seen more with her character. Loved the character of Min.  She has the same mentality as most women in the series but isn’t as boisterous about it. (4 out of 5)

Writing: The writing is good. The attention to detail when it comes to the characters and the setting is to be commended.  Jordan’s writing style feels a little more focused, with the story building a much more stronger point.  He does a better job of showing rather than telling.  Even with the fights, they’re more metaphoric in description, which makes them sound odd but creative.  However, there are moments where detail seems to be a bit convoluted.   Some new features that have been added to the lore are the traveling stones and alternate universe that make for a more interesting and more solid world. The Black Wind is actually a pretty good aspect to help deter the characters from the using the Waygates.

A new group are the Seachan.  They’re awesome though their society is terrifying.  I don’t like the Aei Sedai because most think they know-it-all, however serring how the Seanchan I actually felt sorry for them.  At least for a time.  However, despite their society believing in slavery (especially with women who can use the one power), the group’s customs, weaponry, and attacks make them formidable.  Then there is the return of the Children of the Light.  The epic battle at the end being represented by the fight between Rand and Ba’alzamon was written really well. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) is a great read and definitely expands upon the world and events set in the previous novel.  The book does have some pacing issues, an overabundance of description, and a lot of unlikable characters (particularly the Aei Sedai characters).  But despite this, the writing is good, story compelling, awesome characters, and great world building. The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) gets 4 out of 5.

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