The man who called himself Petrik will now review The Great Hunt, the second book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.
Everyone who’ve read the first book most likely knows what the title of this installment implies. The Great Hunt continues immediately from where the first book left off. Allow me to mention how ridiculously repetitive—and hilarious, I guess—the prologue of this book was. It starts with “The man who called himself Bors,” and within a single prologue, the exact phrase “the man who called himself Bors” was mentioned literally 34 times. The man who called himself Petrik could be wrong, but the man who called himself Petrik THINK that the man who called himself Bors, is in fact, the man who called himself Bors *gasp* *suspense* *CPR the man who called himself Petrik out of this SHOCKING revelation* The man who called himself Petrik was amazed by Jordan’s way of increasing his word counts by 170 words. Jordan could’ve just written “Bors” instead of “the man who called himself Bors” but he won’t, that 170 words is a matter of Light and Dark! The prologue became a firm reminder to the man who called himself Petrik that this will be a series—despite all the greatness—that is full of repetitive phrases; so far the man who called himself Petrik hasn’t been proven wrong.
Picture: The Great Hunt by Kekai Kotaki
The man who called himself Petrik is tired of repeating “The man who called himself (insert whatever you want for future meme uses here…)” insane nonsense so the man who called himself Petrik will now get back to the man who called himself Petrik’s usual speech.
Continuing immediately from where the first book left off, the plot in The Great Hunt was pretty much a big chase scene over a stolen legendary item. Excluding the first 20% of the book, the remaining content of The Great Hunt revolved mostly around this premise. In terms of enjoyment of the book itself, I’d say it was more or less the same as how I felt regarding The Eye of the World. The story starts off strong and engaging, slowed down immensely in the middle section, then back on track around 70% mark.
There were a lot of parts that this book excelled in; the last quarter of this book, for example, was simply magnificent. The slow build-up towards it was worth the read and Jordan’s way of escalating the tension slowly until the superbly written conclusion was something I utterly enjoyed. But at the same time, there were also several moments in the middle section where I was quite bored and infuriated by the repetition regarding several character’s behavior. There were two issues I had with the content, one being Rand’s stubbornness to continue hiding secrets and his reluctance in doing some—which he ended up doing anyway—crucial actions immensely slowed the pacing of the story. The second one would be Nynaeve and everything about her really, that’s all. Also, I’m seriously dumbfounded by the sword moves of this series. Am I supposed to understand what The Swallow Takes Flight met Parting the Silk means? Moon on the Water met The Wood Grouse Dances? Ribbon in the Air met Stones Falling From the Cliff? What even… the man who called himself Petrik is has been struck by a spellbinding confusion spell.
This, of course, doesn’t mean the characters ever stopped being empathizing. Even when I was infuriated by some of the character’s actions, I feel like their attitudes were understandable; if I were in their shoes I’ll do a much poorer job than them. The characters—for better or worse—were well-written. Two books into the series and I’ve come to know their personality and inner voices really well. Jordan, in general, is slow in progression. Development in plot, world-building, characterizations, and actions was all there; they were just relatively much slower than most books these days. I loved reading Rand and the characters starting to grow up; it was quite satisfying seeing their slow development. New characters also appeared and most of them were great, interesting, and complex.
“There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet.”
For now, though, my favorite character will have to be Rand and Loial, not saying that there weren’t any other characters—Perrin, Lan—I liked but those two and their heartwarming friendship with each other were one of the main highlights of the book for me. World-building grew in complexities and details; Jordan’s world-building captivated me and I love reading every lore, magic system, and prophecy in this book. In the first book, the world-building felt it borrowed too much from Tolkien, this book seems to have moved the world-building away from Tolkien’s and I’m glad for its originality.
“Some men […] choose to seek greatness, while others are forced to it. It is always better to choose than to be forced.
A man who is forced is never completely his own master. He must dance on the strings of those who forced him.”
Be prepared for this series, the prose might be accessible but the complexity and scope never stop increasing. Jordan’s prose was super wordy and descriptive, there’s no way around it. Two books (570k words in total so far) into the series and when it comes to the actual story progression, not too much have actually progressed. I strongly recommend getting a group of friends/readers if you’re about to undertake this series for the first time. I’m reading it together with my friends and it’s such a fun experience; moments that should’ve been aggravating to read became humorous to discuss. The Great Hunt was a great sequel that builds the characterizations—whether you liked them or not—and the intricate world-building even further. After reading the ending, I honestly feel like the first two books were merely foundational installments for the rest of the series, and you bet I’m excited to continue reading through it.
You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)