When the Horn of Valere is stolen from Fal Dara right from under the eyes of its lord and the Amyrlin Seat (the head of the sisterhood of the Aes Sedai), Rand and the boys set out to get the Horn back alongside a party of Shienaran knights, while the girls travel to Tar Valon to start their training in the use of the One Power. Little do they know, however, that a new foe lurks beyond the sea…
Another wonderful classic cover - look at that sneaky trolloc in the back!
Listened to the audiobook with Michael Kramer and Kate Reading (like the first book in the series) – fine narrators.
My opinion of The Wheel of Time didn’t really change after reading The Great Hunt. Essentially, I feel like The Wheel of Time is ultra-generic middle of the road fantasy that is comfortable, but not interesting.
The Great Hunt pretty much picks up where The Eye of the World left off. In the first few chapters, the bad guys steal the McGuffin and for the rest of the book the good guys and the bad guys variously chase one another as they nick the McGuffin off each other. In the end, the McGuffin overwhelms an otherwise perfectly good attempt by two female protagonists to save another (which was probably the best part of the book, which makes the development extra frustrating) – and so our main character Bland, eeeh, I mean, Rand, saves the day in the end.
The Great Hunt is not bad, but there is just nothing that gets my heart pumping, no reason for me to recommend this over any of the other great options out there. And there is a lot in The Great Hunt that causes me to roll my eyes.
The Wheel of Time so far has probably the worst villains I have encountered in a fantasy book, maybe ever? Mean, low-spirited, overconfident, petulant – the villains have no purpose other than to be evil, they sound like spoilt toddlers, and it never feels like they are actually threatening to our heroes.
The main characters split up in the first half of the book (for one of the splits, for no other reason than that half of them are randomly teleported to another plane of existence?). As a result, the pace is rather slow as we jump around between their stories, and none of them get the love they deserve.
I really had to push through the first half of the book – I even started listening to some podcasts again for the first time in months simply because I didn’t feel like going back to the thinly veiled (and obviously hopeless) attempt at seducing Rand to the dark side.
Like in The Eye of the World, Nyneave is probably the only character with a recognisable personality (or more than one character trait). I would seriously struggle to give you a description of the other main characters’ motivations. And that is some fifty hours of listening into the story! I am not normally a reader that needs their story to be character-driven, but this…
Finally, one of my pet peeves with the book is that it fails to live up to its title in spectacular fashion. I could go on about what my imagination expected, but the core is that there is hardly a hunt, and it definitely isn’t great.
Overall, The Great Hunt has done nothing to convince me that The Wheel of Time is worth the time and effort it takes to get through. I will start up The Dragon Reborn one of these days but I already have a feeling that that won’t change my opinion either. Unfortunately, not all the classics can be winners.