Book Review: THE DRAGON REBORN by Robert Jordan

I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in black on white in front of the grey wheel of time series
Genre: fantasy (classic)
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3 stars
Series: yes - third book

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE EYE OF THE WORLD and THE GREAT HUNT*

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE DRAGON REBORN: title in white below the wheel of time symbol on a tree-chocked mountainscape

The Land is One with the Dragon – and the Dragon is One with the Land.

The Shadow lies across the Pattern of the Age, and the Dark One has turned all his power against the prison that binds him. If it fails he will escape and nothing will stand in the storm that blows then . . . save the man that was born to battle the darkness: Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn.

But to wage his war Rand must find Callandor, ancient Sword of the Dragon . . . and the Forsaken will shatter the world to thwart him.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

For a series where Rand is the main character, he’s hardly in this book – maybe 20 pages total out of over 600. The book instead follows Mat, Perrin, and Egwene as they end up on journeys that take them towards Tear – the fortress where one of the signs that the Dragon Reborn has come is to take place.

It was so weird not to have him in this book. The others talk about him a lot, and Perrin is on his trail with Moiraine, but there’s almost nothing actually with Rand. The reader doesn’t know what’s happening to him beyond the vague strokes of “he’s travelling alone.” There are a few scenes with him struggling mentally with the weight of being the Dragon, and all his doubts, plus he’s being tormented by the dark lord. However, it would have been nice to spend more time with him, to really see his journey.

Not to mention not having the main character really be present in a book that’s leading up to him being undoubtedly recognised as the hero to save the day is really odd. It just feels structurally off kilter that the hero is completely ignored this book. I know I’ve said before that Rand was annoying me a bit, but the hints of what was happening with him in this book about him having a fight with his mind – and the dark lord – is something I would actually have liked to see!

The Rand issue aside, it was nice to spend time with the others – Mat in particular had not had much page time before because he’d been ill. His luck is an interesting element that leaves me with a lot of questions I want answering, and I really enjoyed the return of Thom to the narrative.

Thanks to the importance of Tear in the prophecies, it was obvious from the get go that this book would lead to Tear. That meant that, though the three story lines are largely separate throughout, it helps it feel cohesive as I could see that they’d come together at the end.

I am going to keep going with this series, but with long gaps between instalments. The prose style and pacing (so slow and lots of description/things that don’t seem crucial to the plot) means that these books take me far longer to read than their page count usually would.


Read my reviews of other books by Robert Jordan:

The Wheel of Time (this series):

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