The Eye of the World was a flawed but very engaging book, and hopefully Jordan got a better handle on his plans for the series as he went into The Great Hunt. First, my predictions, so I can be as much of a Mark Oshiro ripoff as possible:
-The people going to Tar Valon will find that Elayne and Gawyn have already gotten there, allowing them to slip in comparatively quietly. But once inside, things like Mat’s dagger will cause a bigger rift than usual between the Red and Blue Ajahs, perhaps even causing one to leave the city.
-Thom Merrilin will become a viewpoint character, and will meet up with the people escorting the Horn of Valere, giving us a firsthand look at that subplot.
-Rand’s exile won’t last very long, and he’ll come across some situation he needs to fix, drawing attention of both Whitecloaks and the remaining Forsaken, thus leading to the titular great hunt.
-At least one of the minor villains set up in book one will appear, and be dealt with permanently.
The prologue is a meeting of Darkfriends, viewed by someone who’s always referred to as “the man who called himself Bors.” It gets kind of annoying, actually. He’s a Whitecloak (which I’m proud to say I figured out from the few clues before the reveal), and is very skilled with the Sherlock Scan as he identifies several of his anonymous comrades from their clothes and other clues. He also endears himself to me with his distaste for Tinkers.
It’s now shortly before the climax of book one, and the Dark One tells them all that he’ll soon break the Wheel of Time, and give them all the power he promised. Everyone gets their assignments through private telepathy, and for Bors it’s just to go back home and keep up his cover as a Whitecloak. That’s in Taraban, the country just south of Two Rivers, so he’ll probably be out for revenge on everyone there once the news of the Dark One’s death comes.
The prologue is mostly used to remind us of the story so far, but Bors is a promising new villain, with that ending giving a chilling implication of what he’ll be getting up to. His being revealed will also likely get the Whitecloaks to be a bit less antagonistic toward our heroes…unless it just convinces them to trust people even less. Either way, an enticing beginning.