The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan - New
Book 2 of The Wheel of Time
Following the events in The Eye of the World, the book opens with the major characters united at the city-fortress of Fal Dara in Shienar, to which the Amyrlin Seat is traveling. Shortly after her arrival, the fortress at Fal Dara is attacked by Trollocs and Myrddraal, and the prisoner Padan Fain escapes. Mat's tainted dagger, from which he will die if separated from for too long, and the Horn of Valere are also taken. In the wake of the attack, Rand al'Thor has an audience with the Amyrlin Seat and is told that he is the Dragon Reborn, which he persistently denies (though the evidence is undeniably true).
Seeking to recover the Horn, Ingtar, a Shienaran lord, leads a small army including Rand, Mat Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara after the thieves, a band of Shadowspawn and Darkfriends led by Padan Fain. To track them, they enlist Hurin, a Shienaran with the strange ability to 'smell' things that other people can't, such as traces of past violence. Not long into their journey Rand, Loial and Hurin are accidentally separated from the party and transported to a world via a portal stone; the world is an alternate timeline to their own, in which the land appears deserted and somehow distorted. Rand soon discovers that the Stone was activated when he unconsciously channeled saidin in his sleep, and his struggle to accept his Channeling ability is one of the recurring elements of the novel. In the other world, Rand meets Ba'alzamon and has a heron branded into his palm in a fight. Later they find another portal stone with the help of a mysterious woman called Selene. Rand is able to use the Stone to return to their own world, albeit much farther ahead than either Fain's or Ingtar's group. By hiding and waiting for the Darkfriends to catch up, they manage to sneak into Fain's camp and recover both Horn and dagger.
Ingtar's group, at a loss as to the how and why of Rand's disappearance, continue tracking Padan Fain with the aid of Perrin. He pretends to be another sniffer like Hurin, but secretly is using his wolf sense to ask nearby wolves which way Padan Fain's group went. Egwene al'Vere and Nynaeve al'Meara leave Fal Dara at the same time as Ingtar's party, traveling with the Amyrlin and Moiraine Damodred to Tar Valon. At the White Tower, Nynaeve passes the test to become Accepted by walking through three arches, each of which takes her to a vision that could deter her from going on and becoming an Aes Sedai. Each vision is more painful than the last; the first involving a battle with the Forsaken Aginor, the second requiring her to abandon her hometown of Emond's Field in a time of need, and in the third she must turn her back on a life of happiness with Lan Mandragoran. After this, she is made an Accepted, a rank in the White Tower below Aes Sedai and above a Novice.
While his party is en route to Cairhein, Rand glimpses the huge Choeden Kal sa'angreal, but is stopped before he can attempt to Channel through it. That night Selene leaves their party without warning. After arriving at Cairhein Rand finds the Gleeman Thom Merrilin, whom he thought dead after an encounter with a Myrddraal in The Eye of the World. In the city, Rand and Loial are attacked by Trollocs and, during their escape, destroy the Chapter House of the Illuminator's Guild, a society of people who are extremely protective of their knowledge of fireworks. The Horn and dagger are once again lost. Later on Thom's apprentice and lover, Dena, is murdered for Thom's involvement with Rand. With the aid of Perrin, Ingtar's group is successfully reunited with Rand, and they learn that the Horn has been taken to Toman Head, at the port city of Falme. Hoping to get there faster, Rand tries to lead them through a portal stone. While successful, during his attempt the stone malfunctions and the group ends up losing time. As these events unfold, action also takes place on the other side of the continent, where the Seanchan have occupied Falme. Geofram Bornhald, of the Children of the Light, is preparing forces to take against the Seanchan.
At the White Tower, Liandrin tells Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne and Min that Rand and his friends are in danger. They travel with her to Toman Head via Waygate. When they arrive Min is captured by the Seanchan and Egwene is collared with an a'dam, a device used by the Seanchan to control women who can channel. Nynaeve and Elayne manage to escape. At Falme, Rand, Ingtar and the others form a small party to reclaim the dagger and Horn of Valere, consisting of Ingtar, Hurin, Rand, Perrin, and an increasingly sickly Mat. In the city, Rand sneaks into the building where the Horn is being kept, but is forced to defeat the blademaster High Lord Turak of the Seanchan before he can escape with the Horn and dagger. At the same time, Elayne and Nynaeve rescue Egwene from the Seanchan and attempt to flee the city. At this moment the Whitecloaks also choose to attack, leaving the heroes trapped between the Seanchan and the Children. In a last desperate chance, Mat blows the Horn of Valere, summoning forth the heroes of the horn, led by Artur Hawkwing himself and including Birgitte Silverbow. This act also establishes a permanent link between Mat and the Horn, which can only be broken upon his death. The Children are easily defeated by the damane, but the Heroes of the Horn then overwhelm the Seanchan, who retreat back to their ships and sail away.
Finally, Rand is drawn into a duel with Ba'alzamon, an image of which appears in the sky, drawing the attention of all. Rand is unable to penetrate Ba'alzamon's defenses, and is forced to trade his life for his opponent's: by opening his defenses and allowing Ba'alzamon to strike home, Rand also lands a killing blow (making this the second time he has killed Ba'alzamon, the first being the climax of The Eye of the World). Rand is not slain, but takes a malignant wound.
About the Author Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007), under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reily. Robert Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Robert Jordan served two tours in Vietnam (from 1968 to 1970) with the United States Army as a helicopter gunner. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. After returning from Vietnam he attended The Citadel where he received an undergraduate degree in physics. After graduating he was employed by the United States Navy as a nuclear engineer. He began writing in 1977. He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting. Robert Jordan described himself as a "High Church" Episcopalian and received communion more than once a week. Robert Jordan lived in a house built in 1797 with his wife Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan's editor).
The Wheel of Time Books
1. The Eye of the World
2. The Great Hunt
3. The Dragon Reborn
4. The Shadow Rising
5. The Fires of Heaven
6. Lord of Chaos 1024
7. A Crown of Swords
8. The Path of Daggers
9. Winter's Heart 800 35
10. Crossroads of Twilight
11. Knife of Dreams
12. The Gathering Storm
At the dawn of time, a deity known as the Creator forged the universe and the Wheel of Time, which spins the lives of men and women as its threads. The Wheel has seven spokes, each representing an age, and it is rotated by the One Power, which flows from the True Source. The One Power is divided into male and female halves, saidin and saidar, which work in opposition and in unison to drive the Wheel. Those humans who can use this power are known as channelers; the principal organization of such channelers in the books is called the Aes Sedai or 'Servants of All' in the Old Tongue.
The Creator imprisoned its antithesis, Shai'tan, at the moment of creation, sealing him away from the Wheel. However, in a time called the Age of Legends, an Aes Sedai experiment inadvertently breached the Dark One's prison, allowing his influence to seep back into the world. He rallied the powerful, the corrupt and the ambitious to his cause and these servants began an effort to free the Dark One fully from his prison, so he might remake time and reality in his own image. In response to this threat, the Wheel spun out the Dragon, a channeler of immense power, to be a champion for the Light. In the Age of Legends the Dragon was a man named Lews Therin Telamon, who eventually rose to command the Aes Sedai and their allies in the struggle against the Dark One's forces. After a grueling ten-year war, which began a century after the Dark One's prison was breached, Telamon led his forces to victory in a daring assault on the site of the earthly link to the Dark One's prison, and was able to seal it off. However, at this moment of victory the Dark One tainted saidin, driving male channelers of the One Power insane. The male channelers devastated the world with the One Power, unleashing earthquakes and tidal waves that reshaped the planet. Their leader, Lews Therin, killed his friends, his family, and finally himself in his insanity. Eventually, the last male channeler was killed or cut off from the One Power, leaving the human race all but destroyed and only women able to wield the One Power safely. The Aes Sedai reconstituted and guided humanity out of this dark time. Mankind now lived under the shadow of a prophecy that the Dark One would break free from his prison and the Dragon would be reborn to face him once more, raining destruction upon the world in the process of saving it from the Dark One.
Over the next three and a half thousand years, the human race returns to a level of technology roughly comparable to that of the Medieval era (although cultural institutions and traditions seem closer to the 19th Century), with the difference that women enjoy full equality with men in most societies, and are superior in some. This is put down to the power and influence of the female-only Aes Sedai spilling over into everyday life. Several major wars have ravaged the main continent since the defeat of the Dark One, such as the Trolloc Wars, when the surviving servants of the Dark One tried to destroy civilization once more but were defeated by an alliance of nations led by the Aes Sedai; and the War of the Hundred Years, a devastating civil war that followed the fall of a continent-spanning empire ruled by the High King, Artur Hawkwing. These wars have prevented the human race from regaining the power and high technology of the Age of Legends, and also left humanity divided. Even the prestige of the Aes Sedai has fallen, with their shrinking numbers and the emergence of organizations such as the Children of the Light, a militant order who hold that all who dabble with the One Power are servants of the Shadow. The nations of the modern era are able to unite against the warrior-clans of the Aiel, who cross into the western kingdoms on a mission of vengeance after they suffered a grievous insult, but are too divided to work effectively together in other areas.
The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan - New
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