The Dragon Reborn – Part 2

There’s a good reason that this series is one that people can read over and over again, even when it’s 14 books long.  The characters in this series are so strong that every time you read the books you’re taken on a fun ride.  Jordan did an excellent job of writing believable characters throughout the entire series, and one of the things that he did best was write about the interaction between the characters.  For example, watching Egwene and Nynaeve throughout this book has been an interesting situation that everyone has to deal with at some point in their life.  Nynaeve is used to being well above Egwene as she was the Wisdom back in their village.  This of course starts to irritate Egwene as she starts to become a stronger person in her own right, because Nynaeve still sees her as a child.  The conflict between them keeps up for several books, and it’s very believable as a change that people will go through as they grow up and change their stations in life.  Conflict is what drives stories, and when you have a huge cast of characters there is going to be conflict between all of them.

Mat’s viewpoints to this point in time do the best to show the effects of the characters being ta’veren, almost to the point where it seems to be a little too much of a coincidence.  Loial and Moiraine have both said that ta’veren twist the world around them, but it shows with Mat when he wins nearly every dice throw as he readies to leave Tar Valon, and then stumbles across the tavern where Thom is performing, which brings him back into the story (which is great, I really like Thom).

We’re also starting to see more of the Aiel popping up in the story.  They definitely have a strange culture, and for my money it’s one of the more unique throughout fantasy.  But once again Jordan does an excellent job of giving the characters reasons to explain things that the characters already know, whether it’s having Elayne and Aviendha discussing Aiel culture, or the random questions that Egwene asks them, you learn a fair amount about them in a couple of short meetings throughout the book.

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