Not much actually happened in The Dragon Reborn but it was more engaging than the previous two books.
The Dragon Reborn is the third book in The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. The title of this novel may be The Dragon Reborn, this title implies that Rand will take the central role again, but the main characters of this book were actually Mat, Perrin, and Egwene. If I’m not mistaken, Rand has only like three or four small POV chapters. This doesn’t mean that Rand wasn’t important to the main story, the storyline still heavily revolved around him.
Picture: The Dragon Reborn by Francesca Resta
Now that I’m three books into the series, let me just say that Jordan is terribly slow in progressing his main story, and the early books are supposedly some of Jordan’s finest works in the series; I haven’t reached the infamous dreadful book 7-10. If you cut/condensed the traveling sections of the first three books, what you have is pretty much one book with no pacing issue; Jordan is that inefficient and repetitive. That being said, The Dragon Reborn was, somehow, the most engaging book so far. Sure there was still repetition and same plot structure usage—started strong for the first 20%, travel for 50-60%, then closing with incredible final section—but I didn’t find myself struggling through the middle section as much as I did for the first two books.
I feel like Jordan has improved a lot in characterizations; I found Mat, Perrin, and Egwene to be more sympathetic than before now. Focusing the POV chapters to these three ended up being a great decision; it brings a lot of benefits rather than disadvantages. First of all, we get to read these important characters being developed further. We also get to see their thoughts towards Rand, other characters, and the state of the world/predicament they’re in. Finally, Rand was still thickheaded here and I don’t think I can withstand reading him being stubborn about accepting his destiny for another 700 pages for the third time in a row. I get it, he has valid reasons for being stubborn and reluctant, and I do understand why he acted that way. However, just because I understand his reasons doesn’t mean that I would enjoy reading literally thousands of pages of him being angry and stubborn about something which he always ended up doing anyway.
“Should and would build no bridges.”
This was the first time where I started to realize just how insane Nynaeve’s braid tugging syndrome was. Insane, I mean it, insane and ridiculous. Not only she’s one of the most annoying female characters I’ve ever encountered (and there are still 10 books left for her to get worse), her existence relies dangerously on her tugging braid. I can’t seem to understand why Jordan need to emphasize her braid tugging that much, it was pointless and annoying; I think she’ll literally die if she doesn’t tug her braid. No one in the world tugs their braid that fiercely and that much. NO ONE.
“She jerked her braid so hard it hurt.”
As much as I enjoyed reading this installment, I seriously feel like not a lot of important things have happened; the entirety of the three books so far could’ve been easily condensed into one book without losing matters of importance. I’m giving the same 3.5 stars rating just like I did for the first two books. In my opinion, that’s not a good enough measurement for a series as massive as this. Why am I continuing? I loved Sanderson’s adult fantasy works that much that I’m willing to push myself—or at least still attempt—to finish this series just to read Sanderson’s involvement in it. Although I sounded negative and critical in this review, let me clarify that it wasn’t because it’s a bad book, The Dragon Reborn was the least boring installment so far. I just feel disappointed that a lot of the superb parts of the series so far were constantly diminished unnecessarily due to pacing issue and repetitiveness. I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about the next book of the series, The Shadow Rising, here’s hoping that it will finally break or at least reached my 4 stars rating barrier.
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