The Dragon Reborn
The Wheel of Time, book 3
by Robert Jordan
The Amyrlin gives newly Accepted Egwene and Nynaeve a secret task, Perrin tracks Rand, and Mat recovers with an old friend.
Rand is a bit of a brat at the beginning of this one, but honestly I think its fair for him to be. He’s got a lot on his plate and he’s not allowed to do anything about it. So, of course, he decides to do something about it on his own. He sets things in motion, then takes a back seat for most of the book, although remaining important the whole time. I’ve enjoyed having Rand as the focus, which is good because he’s the Dragon Reborn so of course he is, but it was nice to make some room for another character to take center stage now that Mat is back in action.
I was so excited to see Mat get more focus as he recovers from his link to the dagger. He certainly adds a different dynamic to the group, more lighthearted, a harmless troublemaker, at least he thinks its harmless. He’s hoping to avoid having to use the horn again and stay out of the whole fighting the Dark One business, but of course there’s something about him with his incredible luck, his skill with a quarterstaff, and his tie to the horn that will inevitably keep him in the thick of things. Plus he cares a great deal about his friends who have no choice but to work with the Aes Sedai and risk themselves facing the Dark One.
Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve’s journeys continue as they each develop their own powers, learn more of their abilities, and develop relationships. I enjoyed Perrin’s part of the story as he meets Zarine and uses his skills to find Rand. I feel like Egwene is finally realizing how serious everything is and that this journey isn’t just a fun adventure. Although plenty has already happened to prove that point, it hasn’t seemed like Egwene was really growing from it until this book.
Nynaeve on the other hand isn’t my favorite in this one. She’s always tugging on her braid and having temper tantrums. There’s a lot of jealousy among the girls, but not in a way that drives them to be better. And I was so glad Mat finally called out how ignorant and recklessly they behave, even if it fell on deaf ears. There is some passive jealousy among the boys, but not in a negative, competitive way.
The ‘final’ battle was great, even if it didn’t have the conclusion the main characters had hoped for. But, if it did, this would be a trilogy and not a fourteen book series. I thought this book was very engaging and showed a lot of development for all of the characters, revealing more about their abilities, the Black Ajah, and the Dark One. Looking forward to the next one.