I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
The Dragon Reborn—the leader long prophesied who will save the world, but in the saving destroy it; the savior who will run mad and kill all those dearest to him—is on the run from his destiny.
Able to touch the One Power, but unable to control it, and with no one to teach him how—for no man has done it in three thousand years—Rand al'Thor knows only that he must face the Dark One. But how?
Winter has stopped the war—almost—yet men are dying, calling out for the Dragon. But where is he?
Perrin Aybara is in pursuit with Moiraine Sedai, her Warder Lan, and Loial the Ogier. Bedeviled by dreams, Perrin is grappling with another deadly problem—how is he to escape the loss of his own humanity?
Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve are approaching Tar Valon, where Mat will be healed—if he lives until they arrive. But who will tell the Amyrlin their news—that the Black Ajah, long thought only a hideous rumor, is all too real? They cannot know that in Tar Valon far worse awaits...
I know that I’ve rated this (book 3) with the same number of stars as the first two, but I have to admit that I liked it better. There was less of Rand (who I’m having difficulty feeling sympathy for right now) and more of the other folks from Two Rivers.
I loved the amount of page-time spent with Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve! The women in this book aren’t just supporting characters, they are integral to the plot. The Aes Sedai remind me a bit of Frank Herbert’s Bene Gesserit—they are powerful, nobody knows exactly what they are doing or why, and men resent them for both of those qualities. How dare women have power and plans of their own?
I’m also liking Perrin and Mat much more than I did in book 2. All the Two Rivers folk are growing—growing up, gaining skills, getting confidence. Having come from a small, backwater town myself, I can admire the way they have revamped their lives to fit their new circumstances. It ain’t easy.
Robert Jordan really knew how to draw out a story—here I am at the end of book 3 and there are still 11 volumes ahead of me. I’ve already got a hold on volume 4 at the library and I’m ready for the Wheel of Time to continue to turn.
Book number 278 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project.