The Dragon Reborn: One of the better books in the series

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review The Dragon Reborn Wheel of Time 3 Robert JordanThe Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (on audio)

In The Dragon Reborn, Rand finally starts to discover his new talents. Unfortunately, we don’t get to watch that happen. We only see a few glimpses of him learning to use his power. It makes me wonder if it was just easier for Jordan to show us the newly developed Rand rather than to explain how he got that way.

A couple of times here (and in later books) we’re told that Rand doesn’t really know how he wields the power — he just does. In fact, this also happens with the girls from his village (Egwene and Nynaeve) who are learning to be Aes Sedai, and with their friend, princess Elayne. They supposedly are the most powerful women in years, but they don’t really understand how they do it or how and why they are more powerful. If you appreciate a well-developed, creative, and well-explained magic system (e.g. Bujold or Wurts), you might find this disappointing.

But still, if you can ignore the unexplained magic, reminders of what has happened previously, and all of the braid tugging, sniffing, blushing, brooding, dress smoothing, and fishing metaphors, The Dragon Reborn is an entertaining adventure. It’s one of the better books in the series because it actually manages to advance the plot and introduce some interesting new characters (for example, the Aiel). (Not Faile — I can’t stand her). My four stars here is somewhat generous and is based on my fondness for many of these characters. Someone who does not already like them will neither come to like them in this book, nor find any other value in reading it — don’t bother.

Again, I listened to this on audiobook, and the readers, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, are excellent — they are some of the better audiobook readers around and Audio Renaissance always makes a good production.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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