The Dragon Reborn Review

It’s sub plots galore in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn, the third book in his Wheel of Time series.

The Wheel of Time is a fourteen book epic fantasy series about three main characters called ta’veren, people whose grip on the Pattern of All Things is tighter than most. Mat Cauthon, a man with extreme luck, but only when he does things at random, Perrin Aybara, a man with wolf eyes, who, in a way, is part wolf himself, and a man that is destined to kill the Dark One himself, the Dragon Reborn: Rand al’Thor.

The book opens with an attack on the orcs of this world–Trollocs. They’re beings that have different animal parts that compose their bodies. They attack the teenaged Rand, Perrin, their local wizard Moiraine and their forces. In the confusion, Rand escapes and goes off to find a sword called Callandor, the Sword That Cannot Be Touched. If he pulls it from the stone, he can prove he is truly the Dragon Reborn. (Familiar, eh?)

Meanwhile, there are three women/love interests named Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne who are witches in training. They had met the evil witches in the book previous, and are given an assignment from the High Witch to find these evil witches (The Black Ajah). In their company is none other than Mat Cauthon himself.

What follows is a five hundred- plus page story composed mostly of sub plots, as everyone heads for the city of Tear, meeting new people along the way, finding out what fireworks are, and finding someone they’re destined to fall in love with (who, as usual, they hate.)

Now, the writing in the book is something to be feared and admired. Jordan is famous for long descriptions of things irrelevant to the plot. Close to the end he was describing a city and dedicated an entire paragraph to the rooftops and whether or not they fit together with nails. It is fun sometimes, but at others the reader can skip whole pages without missing a beat in the story.

The characters in the book are well developed, and it is widely conceded that Jordan attributed most of his fame to expanding on a world similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

The great thing about the Wheel of Time books is that while Lord of the Rings is male centric story with women relegated to the side roles, the Wheel of Time has women as some of the most important, and powerful, members of the societies. The witches (knows as Aes Sedai) are some of the most powerful beings in existence, one of whom was able to wipe out the Dark One’s right hand man with a single spell.

Normally, I’d complain about how embarrassed the characters get over petty things, but given that most characters are below the age of eighteen, I’m willing to let it slide. It also helps build a young readership in shy reader who may connect with these characters.

The men in the story have a wide role, to, many of them being the aforementioned ta’veren. They chase Rand to Callandor, saving families, delivering letters via scaling palace walls, discovering (and thwarting) assassination plots. They’re given just as much of a role as the women in the book. The characterization is great, and there isn’t a single instance where someone does something out of character for them. Mat Cauthon plays the role of gambler, Rand

al’Thor goes through great change as his ability to channel magic slowly drives him insane, and Perrin grows when he finds a woman foretold to be the love of his life.

The Dragon Reborn is a wonderful book that, though it can drag on at times, is concise, all things considered, powerful and imaginative, with one of the most well built worlds in the history of fantasy literature. Out of ten, the book earns a solid nine out of five. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in fantasy books.