A series as enormous as the Wheel Of Time is bound to have Fandom and Hatedom alike bickering about where exactly the series jumped the shark and which books are better left forgotten. And while I love this series, Book 3 is where our relationship became flawed. While the book in itself is not the worst in the series, it's here where several things started to manifest that would plague The Wheel Of Time later: The Dragon Reborn continues right after the previous book. Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne (from now on called the Supergirls) go back to Tar Valon so the link between Mat and the Shadar Logoth dagger can be severed, while the rest camps out in the Mountains of Mist, waiting for a revelation on what to do next. Rand however disappears overnight and is on his way to Tear, forcing the others to chase after him. The Supergirls on the other hand are tasked by the Amyrlin Seat to follow a group of Mooks to Tear, while Mat is tasked to bring a message to Elayne's mother in Caemlyn, where he overhears a conversation about a plot killing the Supergirls. Of course, now he has to travel to Tear as well. This book is one big Road Movie plot and while the former books had a limited number of subplots, we now have to follow three separate groups traveling to Tear. Three? Yes, because we don't see Rand's viewpoint until the very end of the book. In a novel with his damn title on the cover. While Mat is Rescued From The Scrappy Heap after removing his bond to the dagger and meets up with fan favorite Thom Merrylin again, resulting in the most enjoyable parts of this book, the other groups have less luck. Moraine's group meets Faile, a character almost universally considered as The Scrappy of the canon - though granted, in this novel she is just annoying. And the Supergirls... well. Nynaeve is getting flanderized heavily by taking a slighly Jerkass character and reducing her to being angry and ripping her hair out constantly. Yes, the dreaded braid-tugging begins. The other two characters remain flat, petty and are constantly bickering. Unfortunatly, the Supergirls' viewpoint encompass the majority of the book. So if you cannot stand those characters or if you expect compelling villains, you are in for a hard ride. Both female characters and villains are Jordan's definite weak points.
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