Review: The Dragon Reborn

Series: The Wheel of Time: #3

Til shade is gone,

til water is gone

Into the shadow with teeth bared

Screaming defiance with the last breath

To spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the Last Day.

As The Great Hunt was a step up from The Eye of the World, The Dragon Reborn is a step up from the Great Hunt. Things are really moving now.

Throughout most of the series, Perrin is my favorite character. There are a few of his parts that could have been trimmed dramatically in latter books, but he’s still the one I personally identify with most. While Rand is bound by duty and already cracking under the strain / the taint on Saidin and Matt seems to stumble into doing the right thing no matter what he tries, Perrin is, at heart, a good man. He’s won’t do the right thing at all costs (we see more than enough of that in the series), but he knows he cannot run from his fate. So he does what needs to be done.

On the downside, certain traits get ridiculously repetitive. Yes. Nynaeve pulls her braid. I got it. I got it the first hundred times she did it. I noticed it even when reading the series, but I think I filtered out the worst of it. Listening to it on audiobook, it jumps out all the more. On the other hand, we’re getting more of the World of Dreams which is one of my favorite parts of the books. I like discovering it again as the characters do, while still knowing what’s possible that they have not even yet dreamed about.

It’s also interesting to see more of the Aes Sedai. They’re turning from mysterious magical folks into something far more organized and political, which makes it all the more interesting. I prefer magic systems with an internal consistency and logic and we’re really starting to see that fleshed out now. Also the introduction of more ter’angreal as magical technology from a more advanced age is fascinating–used by those who do not necessarily understand it, but useful nevertheless.

The way back will come but once. Be steadfast.

And then, that ending… A third battle with Ba’alzamon with something of a twist that turns this from what could have been a trilogy into the true epic it became. Rand fulfilling even more prophecies making it obvious to those in the know that he is the true Dragon Reborn. Quite the escalation of stakes!