The Dragon Reborn – Part 1

So I’m about 1/3 of the way through The Dragon Reborn, and I suppose this is as good a time as any to stop and write out my first thoughts about the book.  It seems to work well enough talking about each book in 3 segments, so we’ll keep that going until I forget about it or decide to do something different.

So anyway, this is the book where Rand largely disappears.  I’m just over 200 pages into the book, and we’ve had large sections from both Perrin and Egwene, and a couple of short chapters from Mat.  It’s a big jump from the first two books, which focus almost entirely on Rand.  I’m sure that I’ve said it before, but all of the characters are so strong, and it’s the only reason that the series works with the structure that it has, focusing on so many different characters.

The first 8 or 9 chapters are from Perrin’s viewpoint, and while it does the usual recap of the earlier books, it also brings up an interesting possibility for his future in the series.  In the first book, Perrin met Elyas and through him discovered his connection with the wolves.  In this book, he meets Noam, another man who has been able to connect to the wolves.  But while Elyas was able to control himself, Noam has completely lost himself and thinks that he actually is a wolf.  This creates an interesting question for the rest of the series, which way will Perrin go?  It’s one thing for Perrin to be worried about his connection to the wolves, it’s another thing entirely to see the potential consequences as well.

After the opening chunk from Perrin, the next section focuses primarily on Egwene as she travels back to Tar Valon with Nynaeve, Elayne, Verin, and Mat.  The section with their trip is one of the first sections in the series where Verin is extremely active, and after reading it through again I think she’s one of my favorite characters in the series thus far.  She’s very knowledgeable, but a bit loopy and oblivious to the world around her – much like me at times.  She’s a lot of fun to read about throughout the series.

I’ve also read through what I think is the first section in the series from Mat’s viewpoint, and he definitely has a different way of looking at the world from Rand and Perrin.  While they both seemed to be content with the lives that they were living, Mat really seems to have higher ambitions, as soon as he wakes up from being separated from the dagger he thinks about how he can take his very small supply of money and expand that to be enough to get away from Tar Valon and live the life he wants, free of the Aes Sedai.  Of course being a ta’veren might make that a bit difficult, but we’ll see what happens.

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