Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review: The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Title: The Great Hunt
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: The Wheel of Time, Book 2
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Release Date: 17 November 2009

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. 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.

I think this series, so far, is presenting me with the hardest time I've ever had writing my reviews. I want to talk, and all that seems to be ready to come out is: "OMG! IT'S AMAZING!!!! READ IT NOW!!!!! I CAN'T STOP!!!!!!

I resorted to bullet points in my last review, and I'm not even sure that can help this time. So bear with me while I spew out whatever I can manage to get out. If you haven't started this series, just go to my review of The Eye of the World and GO START THIS AMAZING SERIES.

The Great Hunt picks up right where The Eye of the World left off, and very quickly ups all the antes. Even more so than the first book, I was locked in suspense for the entirety of this novel. I hated having to put it down, because I worried about everyone. Would they be hurt? How would they be changed? What was going to happen? There's too many people in danger! Gah! Help! It definitely wasn't an easy read, I was incredibly stressed while reading, but it made for one hell of an amazing roller-coaster of a ride.

The Horn of Valere is one of the most important things that needs to be found prior to the Last Battle. It recalls the heroes of legends to fight - for whomever sounds it, good or evil. Ever since the horn was first mentioned in The Eye of the World, I've been waiting to see what would happen with it. I hoped that it'd be our heroes that found it, sounded it, and couldn't wait to see the heroes of legend return. After hearing so much about them, from so many different sources, to say I was excited would be a gross understatement.

All of my favorite characters from the last book are here and we get to know them so much better. Plus, there are new characters that are given more time and more depth. Some we'd met briefly in the pages of The Eye of the World - like Bayle Domon - others, we hadn't yet met at all - Ingtar was a particular favorite of mine in this book. None of them has an easy path. Obstacles, despair, trickery, and the Pattern itself throws them all into disarray and sometimes complete confusion.

I still love Rand, even if I want to occasionally smack him and make him take three-seconds to actually listen. Two Rivers stubbornness, in truth. Mat's growing on me. Especially at the end, I think I might end up loving him. Perrin....well, I think when he truly accepts himself, that's going to be something to see. I can't wait for that moment. I absolutely LOVE Lan, and he's not in this enough - though when he is, they're awesome and impressive moments, that sometimes broke my heart. And Nynaeve. I love her. She's absolutely amazing. Strong and determined, stubborn and smart. I even grew to appreciate Egwene a bit more. She ... scared me at one point, and might have had one of my favorite lines in the book. And Min, I'd hate to have her ability, but I love her to death. I'm so glad we got more of her here.

Lanfear scares the shit out of me. She's not only one of the Forsaken, incredibly powerful, and crazy, she thinks that Lews Therin - her lover before he married - is hers. No matter the incarnation. You can imagine how this might be bad for certain other characters I love. It's not only that she lays a claim on him, it's that she so obviously doesn't even know the man she claims. I don't think she knew Lews Therin, probably why they never made it, and she definitely doesn't know his reincarnation now. If she did, she wouldn't go about her machinations in the way she does.

There's the Children, who I think I will always hate. Their superiority and self-righteousness is impossible. Not only do they punish people who have no reason to be punished, but they then decide that the 'sins of the father' be visited TEN generations down, and the 'sins of the mother' SEVEN generations down. Are you freaking kidding me? Actual children are guilty of things they know nothing about? You choose to be bigoted assholes. Maybe you should look for actual Darkfriends instead of accusing innocent people, or people that you just don't understand. Ugh. I hate you. I hope you all die.

But the real threat in this book, besides the Dark One himself, is the Seanchan. They arrive from seemingly nowhere to demand obedience and punish those who didn't wait for them - over hundreds of years - to return. This might not seem too bad, but add in the fact that they ride enormous bear-like creatures, with scales, three-eyes, and sharp, hooked beaks. Then add in that they're big fans of slavery. Not only of their servants (who'd rather kill themselves than live without their masters), but of wielders of the One Power. I think that's the thing that scared me the most. They chained and control women who should be Aes Sedai. I can't even deal with that kind of insanity. And the way they control them? I just can't.

I haven't even mentioned all the threats, there's still the Trollocs, and Myrddraal. And the various Darkfriends - which are in every aspect of this world, infiltrating some of the most unexpected places, which is scary as hell. There's the threat of the Black Ajah - an Aes Sedai that serves the Dark One. I know, WTF? The guy that I won't even name, because he might scare me a little more than the Dark One does.

All of these things, all of these worries, all of these threats...and I was nearly having a coronary while reading. Right up through the ending my eyes were wide with wonder.

I'll be starting the next one, soon. Very, very soon. I know I've got twelve books left, and there's a lot that can happen to everyone I love. I'm still worried, truth be told. There's a lot at stake, and they're right in the middle of it. Ta'veren. Pulling me in.

Grade: A

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