Mount Readmore Book Review, 2018 111/200
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
Finished on 7/7/2018
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.
And it is stolen.
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Wheel of Time, Quest Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery
The Horn of Valere has been blown once more and the Ta’veron must answer
I liked the first book in this series and at points really loved it, however the first book was hampered by the fact that it was too much in the vein of Lord of the Rings. I can safely say that THE GREAT HUNT succeeds where it’s predecessor fails in providing a unique universe which is fascinating to read about.
It’s hard to describe the plot of this massive tome, so I’ll sum it up like this: there’s this McGuffin called the Horn which the good guys need to get back from the bad guys after the bad guys stole it. Also there are multiple traitors in their midst to root out. Also the girls go to Hogwarts Finishing School for Young Women where they instantly become embroiled in several conspiracies. Also a weird cult-y Empire invades from over the ocean. Also weird ogre-elf marriage angst. Also half-baked political chicanery from off-screen noble houses.
So, yeah. Looking from above, the plot makes basically no cohesive sense.
The plot avoids summary, however the different plotlines converge in the end of the story fairly well, reminding me of Brandon Sanderson’s famous(notorious) Sanderson Avalanche where all plot points climax simultaneously. By and large all the different plotlines pay off. However some plotlines (particularly the political chicanery) kinda becomes a dud because the author didn’t complete it.
The characters were markedly improved in this novel. In the first book the male and female characters were constantly being rude and angsty towards one another which was eye-rolling to read at times. Because the men and women were separated in this novel they never had the chance to be eye-rolly. Besides this, by and large the author did a fine job of depicting all the characters.
The pacing was pretty good throughout. Well paced books are something of a rarity in my experience, so when I say the author paced this 700 page book well it’s a major complement. I can think of no point in particular where I was bored, which is high praise. The author did a good job of foreshadowing a solid climax, which is more than he did the first novel.
Highly recommended, but only if you read book 1. This series plays a ton of tired and rusty tropes straight, which an experienced/cynical reader will be annoyed by. However I think this book’s good qualities outweigh the negatives. It’s prose isn’t anything special but the story itself is well-written in an engrossing way.