The Land is One with the Dragon – and the Dragon is One with the Land
The Shadow Lies across the Pattern of The Age and the Dark One has turned all his power against the prison that binds him. If it fails then he will escape and nothing will stand in the way of the storm that blows then … save the man that was born to battle the darkness: Rand al’Thor, The Dragon Reborn
But to wage his war Rand must find Callandor, ancient Sword of the Dragon … and the Forsaken will shatter the world to thwart him.
Star rating: 4.5/5
*Spoilers ahead, please do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled!*
“We rode on the winds of the rising storm, we ran to the sounds of the thunder. We danced among the lightning bolts and tore the world asunder.”
This, to my surprise, starts a lot faster than the two before it. We have a Rand who is having trouble with dealing with what he is meant to become, or rather, having trouble with accepting it. The same can be said for Perrin, and poor old Mat is worse for wear, at this point. I loved the fact that we mostly saw the beginning from Perrin’s POV until we split off again, dived off into a myriad of them, save for Rand. Which was an interesting choice, only adding to the intrigue as the story made its way to its climax – not being able to see much other than struggle, fights, and death in Rand’s POV, and only snippets, made the danger seem more real, and uncertainty was afoot.
Talking more closely about POV, they were all more developed here, but longingly wishes that Perrin would stop being so darn at is with everything. If there is a confused, unwilling character, it is him. For the most part, Mat seems to fall right into him after Tar Valon – and I began to enjoy his POV for the first time. He comes into himself with his luck, he makes his own path – as for as the Wheel allows for anyone to do so – and is the only one of the three Ta’Veren who seems to forge his own way ahead. Now, I know Perrin does towards the end get a bit more independent, but I was disappointed with his POV in this one compared to the others. Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne come along as a trio a long way in this – they have a great mix of strength, weakness, and wilfulness, my favourite being Nynaeve and her readiness to start throwing punches no matter what.
The plot seemed to sag a bit in the middle, but not nearly as much as in the Great Hunt. I’m a sucker for mystical artifacts and powerful, godly weapons – so, when most of the plot revolved around using these to search for these and being on the chase of a magical sword, well, it all got very exciting. The forsaken are up to their old tricks, as well as Darkfriends, and seeing a move away from bestial enemies, being left wondering which human was working for the Dark One, added a sense of unknown danger.
In the round-up to the end, I was both gripped and immersed, seeing the strands of different prophecies come together in action seems that were face-paced and vivid made for an exciting climax. This seemed like the first time we got a glimpse at the fruits of our protagonist’s new powers/training and really got to see how far they had come since leaving Two Rivers. Another thing that caught me off guard at the end was the whole reveal that this was not the Dark One they had been fighting – thus far. And this is exactly what made me pick up the next book straight away. Jordan has a terrifyingly masterful way of keeping the plot complicated, exciting, and fresh. While the forsaken outwardly appear to work for the Dark One, each of them has their own agenda, and I can quite see why this series is as long and successful as it is. He’s truly a deft hand at weaving a web.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already started reading the next mammoth of a book: The Shadow Rising
Have you read this one? What are your thoughts on it?
Available from Amazon
Talk to me on Twitter