The Dragon Reborn picks up several weeks after The Great Hunt left off... although relatively little has happened in that timespan. Rand struggles with the implications of events at Falme, where he raised the banner of the Dragon and battled Ba'alzamon in full view of thousands of soldiers and citizens alike. Rand, Moiraine, Perrin, and their small party of dragonsworn Shienarans are trapped near Falme, unable to move to rally the other small bands that have declared for the Dragon for fear the established rulers will crush any evident focal point for the chaos. Rand is trapped as well by his own doubts; though the Pattern seems to be forcing him into the role of the Dragon Reborn, he is not yet ready to accept it; incontrovertible proof is required, an undeniable prophecy fulfilled, before he can accept.
When Rand sets off, alone, to find that fulfillment, Moiraine, Perrin, and the rest must give chase in the hopes of averting disaster... as the Pattern weaves itself around the footsteps of the Dragon Reborn.
The Dragon Reborn is widely held to be one of the better books in the Wheel of Time. Despite the title, Rand is almost absent as a character in the book; he has only a few viewpoint chapters. The rest of the book is devoted to the Perrin and Mat, the former following Rand and the latter recovering from his Healing in Tar Valon. Yet Rand remains a powerful character throughout the novel despite the limited number of direct appearances; we are given the opportunity to witness the effects of ta'veren at one remove, seeing the ripples that Rand leaves in the Pattern as he moves towards the fulfillment of his destiny.
Perrin's story sees further development that his fans will welcome, as his tie with the wolves, the conflict between hammer and axe, and his own yearning to return to the simple life of a blacksmith is expanded upon. There are other surprises in store for him, too -- surprises that should not be spoiled by a mention here.
Mat sees his first opportunity for significant character development in this novel, when he is separated from his friends and forced to rely on his own talents to keep him alive and free in the city of the Aes Sedai. This he does remarkably well, becoming a memorable and enjoyable character in his own right for the first time.
Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve, having managed to escape the Black Ajah that sought to chain them as damane in The Great Hunt are now set against the Black Ajah -- and a formidable challenge that will prove to be.
The Dragon Reborn is epic fantasy at its best.
This entry was published Sun May 08 03:00:12 CDT 2005 by Matthew
and last updated 2018-06-27 01:32:40.0.