The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This might be my fifth read. I'm not entirely sure. I just know that I kept getting more and more out of them with every new volume that came out when Jordan was alive. And then I re-read it for the full 14.
In ANY case, I kept trying to compare this one with the Eye of the World as the REAL beginning of the over-story. I mean, sure, we get the intro to the characters and a nice quest and a blowout at the end in the first novel, but it was really The Great Hunt that establishes ALL the big story arcs to come.
I mean the Last Battle. The foreshadowing of ALL the big stuff to come, really highlights how low-leveled all the main characters are right now and shows us how much farther they have to come. They're little babes in the woods. Muahahahahaha
Now. Reading all the rest again, I'm still absolutely stunned at how detailed it is, at how many threads are being woven in this tapestry, at the depth of the worldbuilding, character-building, and the eventual immensity of the STORY-building.
There was even a tiny interview at the end of my audio with Jordan himself talking about the idiocy of Gandalf coming by and convincing regular folk to go on a quest, but it was really his pointing out that he wasn't sure that his foreshadowing was actually hitting the crowd that really got me.
I know the author is dead, but as a fan who has read the books this many times, I can say that yes, the foreshadowing is ****ing fantastic. But only because I've SEEN (in my mind) what happens later! Is it freakishly awesome? Yes, it is. :)
A side note: after watching the tv show and then reading up to this, I'm A: thankful that the show is introducing a ton of new readers to this fantastic series. B: amazed and disgusted that so much is being left out. My complaint? GIVE THE SHOW A FULL 24 EP season per book. FFS.
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