“This time you will come to me, Rand al’Thor”
Author: Robert Jordan
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult
Released: 10th December 1992 (UK version)
After the amazing start that The Eye of the World brought to this series, my eagerness to read book two was overwhelming. It’s a good thing that I’d purchased the second book otherwise my curiosity would have been left hanging.
It’s been a long read. I feel as if I’ve stepped off from a journey and need to rest from the exhaustion. But I don’t regret a moment…
Warning! Contains spoilers!
The first quater of the book is spent luxuriously at Fal Dora, the small town where the group stopped off after reaching the end of the first book. It’s a slow plot to find out how the Shienar live, and each of the Aes Sedai that Rand, and the reader, will come to know in the chapters ahead. Also, in this part, is where Rand sheds his country-boy persona, and becomes Lord Rand.
A sudden attack on behalf of Padan Fain, who was being held prisoner there, reveals that the Horn of Valere, as well as Mat’s dagger, were stolen. Thus, the boys go off to chase Fain.
The girls, Egwene and Nynaeve, head off to Tar Valon to begin their Aes Sedai training.
It’s an emotional parting for the group, but after a roundabout of events which takes the whole book, the group is reunited in Falme in Toman Head. All way across the world, where the Seanchan are trying to take over, Rand is exposed as Dragon Reborn.
When I finally finished this book, I was left speechless at how much had happened between these pages. All of the events that happen, even though you might not understand them at the time, come together in a very tightly knit plot.
There were a lot of good points to this books. The long journey of Rand and Ingtar which spans the entire book was interesting. It explored a lot of the terrain that you would know from the map.
Even when Rand is separated, there a few surprises. I was gutted that Thom Merrilin was left for dead in the last book, so it’s nice to know that he’s still a pivotal character.
The parts that focused on Nynaeve and Egwene in Tar Valon add the characters of Elayne and Min, from the previous book. While they were known as minor characters, they play a larger roles. We see Egwene hold her own against the future Queen of Andor, and Nynaeve, though as testy as ever, also battles with her capabilities.
I liked that Aes Sedai were tested, but wasn’t sure of the training given to the Novices. So far, it was only explained that they access the One Power somehow, through meditation. I wish it had been more technical than just “a flower blooming” or “reaching out”. It was too figurative, but I don’t think it spoiled the book.
One thing that riled me over the course of the book was that Rand is very popular with the girls. If it had been just attraction, then I would have let this point go, but these girls have only met him once and feel that they were destined to be with him. Shockingly, it’s tomboy Min that makes the move at the end, after fighting off the rest. It didn’t feel like an ethical or dignified choice.
Overall, I like that this book has school elements with Aes Sedai training. It has adventure themes with Rand journeying. It has action themes with Nynaeve’s powers. It has romance, with many, many relationships blossoming.
In fact, maybe this book is TOO good. There are too many sides to this book, too many ways that it branches out with its characters. It’s threatening to overpower all I know and love about fantasy worlds, and spoil every other book I read afterwards for not being “good enough”.
Then, will I read the sequels?
…Of course I will!
Rated – 4.5/5 Epicly satisfying foray into a vast world. Vibrant cast and interesting mythology. New characters gradually introduced to give depth.
The alternative cover for the eBook is amazingly glossy looking: