Wheel of Time Re-Read-Along
Book 2 – The Great Hunt

February 18, 2017 Books, Read-Alongs 4

Welcome to The Adventures of Rand & Friends, Part 2.

Book 2 – The Great Hunt

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.

My Thoughts:

Dude, SO MUCH happens in this book. It’s hard to kind of wrap my mind around all of it at once.

One of the worst/most surprising series of scenes in WoT World happens in this book. In an attempt to avoid spoiling anyone who hasn’t read it yet (WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, GO READ IT), I’ll just say it starts with the scene involving the four “Too Big For Their Britches” girls meeting the scary invaders who like to keep people as pets. I couldn’t stop cringing over it for days after I read it the first time.

On a lighter note, one of my favorite characters in the series — maybe my absolute favorite character? — shows up in this book: Verin, of the Brown Ajah. The way she just casually tells the Amyrlin and Moiraine that she knows what shenanigans they’re up to and she wants in on it is pretty funny. And… not to be too spoilery, but a revelation that we get about Verin several books from now is actually hinted at here, and I have to brag that I caught it the first time I read the series — although, at the time I thought it was some kind of continuity mistake, so I can’t take too much credit.

There are a few scenes that really captured my imagination. The first is the scene where Rand is introduced to/interrogated by the Amyrlin and only manages not to make a complete fool of himself thanks to Lan, Moiraine’s Warder. Just… something about this battle-hardened, Aes Sedai-beholden man doing what he can to help out Idiot “The Chosen One” Farmboy, despite everything… it’s nice, you know? I also thought Nynaeve’s test to become Accepted was interesting, and Loial’s little flirtation at the stedding was cute.

Finally, I just really enjoyed the addition of all these unique characters to the cast. Verin, of course, and Siuan and Leane, Hurin, etc. I guess I like stories with lots of interweaving plots and varied character perspectives — although, if I remember correctly, this series starts to get a bit overcrowded and the addition of new characters won’t be quite as exciting after the first few books.

Questions:
  • Was there a particular scene (or more than one) that you really enjoyed, maybe even made you laugh?
  • Conversely, were there any scenes that you totally did NOT enjoy, either because something Really Bad happened or because the characters were just being buttheads/idiots?
  • Were you actually surprised by the behavior or revelations of any of the characters? (The first time you read it, if this is a re-read for you.) Or did you see all the little “twists” coming a mile away?

Are you reading this series along with me? If you have reviewed or discussed this book online, please feel free to post a link to that in the comments. (But you don’t have to be an “official” participant to discuss this book in the comments if you feel so inclined.)

Please note: Even though I try to avoid major spoilers in my blog post, I can’t promise that the comments will remain spoiler-free too — so read at your own risk!

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4 Responses to “Wheel of Time Re-Read-Along
Book 2 – The Great Hunt

  1. Warren

    I finished this volume feeling a little overwhelmed on how many bad guys Rand & co. have to face : The Big Bad, the darkfriends and their leading dog, trollocs, fades, the flying beasties, the Children of the Light, the Red Ajah (especially bitchy you know who) and now Lanfear, The Black Ajah and the Seanchan.
    I found Rand’s journeys in the alternate world a bit boring and drawn out and reminiscent of traveling in the void in Book 1. However, I did like the conclusion where everyone seemed to come together in events at Falme.
    Not sure how I feel about Rand yet : and of course he gets all the best girls to fall in love with him. Still annoyed by Mat, and not all to do with the knife. Do like Perrin and Loial though.
    I also agree on the scenes you mention Louise. I am sure there is more but I didnt keep notes to remind me when I came to post – a mistake I will rectify for book 3, which I have on audio and print, and must decide which to use – perhaps both 🙂

    • Louise

      Nothing wrong with both listening to + reading a book — it’s certainly a bit faster to get through that way! I like that idea!

      You’re right, there are a LOT of bad guys. I found it useful to think of them in 3 groups: the Children, the Seanchan, and the Darkfriends/Forsaken. That last is the biggest group and I like to think of it like a pyramid: the Dark One running the show, his good buddies the Forsaken, his pets the trollocs and fades etc., and misc. Darkfriends incl. the Black Ajah. The Red Ajah are very scary, but they’re not precisely bad guys (to anyone but Rand in the first books anyway).

  2. Captain

    I too made the mistake of not taking notes and then pushing onward to Book 3. Might cross a boundary here. Still not sure I get the whole symbolism about the Horn…it’s purpose. And of course I was surprised that it wasn’t Rand all about blowing that horn.
    The description of the leashed ones was terrifying. He did a great job of making you ask “How would I respond?” I’m glad it appears that the effect on Egwene will be ongoing. Okay, feel like a loser because I didn’t catch anything suspicious on Verin. Just thought she popped up a little suddenly & we weren’t suppose to question/focus on her too much. But she’s trustworthy.
    I loved the introduction scene with Rand also. And I admit…I miss “being in his head” during the 3rd book. Just not interested in him simply being “talked about”. And yes..the test for being Accepted was very attention grabbing. Would have liked the time frames to have been more separated past/present/future. But again, it led me to thinking about the specifics I would have faced. And the anguish of making those decisions when the arch reappeared… I hurt for her!!
    The passages through the gateway were pretty awesome. How imaginative! Dark darker than dark. And how scary wind can be now! And I love the young Loial who’s having an adventure and worried about being “busted” by the grownups. It’s refreshing to hear the human race being evaluated by another species whose sense of time is so different. What’s up with this singing to the wood? Look forward to seeing how he might grow in importance.

    • Louise

      No, haha, don’t feel like a loser re: Verin. The hints are super subtle and, IIRC, most readers were very surprised by the reveal of her secret in one of the later books.

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