Title: The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2)
Author: Robert Jordan
First published: 1990
Edition: Mass Market Paperback, published by Orbit in 2002
Whereas the first book of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series suffers a little from setting-everything-up-for-further-books-syndrome, it is in this second book in the series that this world truly comes alive.
There are a few things that Jordan does as well, or better, than any author out there and they start to shine in the span of this book. Just when you think this is a simple story of good and evil he adds another couple of layers. The Whitecloaks, who fight in the name of the Light, and a new army, claiming roots in the past, has come to stake a claim. There is also a glimpse of another one of Jordan’s master skills – culture. He is very good at making every part of this world seem unique and different from the other parts. He has a wonderful way of describing the way the locals dress and behave that really enrich this world he is showing you. It makes you believe it.
Our main characters (especially Rand and Nynaeve, but also the others to a lesser degree) go though a growth spurt emotionally in this book. Their characters really develop. Some say Rand is still too whiney in this book, but actually, he has been told that the fate of the world rests on his shoulders. Would you believe that if someone told you? Would you not deny it? I actually feel his reactions to this heavy burden are very understandable and I really felt for him.
Every now and then the characters still say or do things that make me cringe just a tiny bit, but overall this is a wonderfully paced, action packed tale of heroes and villains. I really enjoyed reading it again.
6 out of 7 stars