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The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Hunt Begins

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It delights me to introduce my hub page for The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan. The novel is being adapted in Season 2 of The Wheel of Time TV series, so now is a good time to know your stuff and get reading. It’s one of my favorite books in the series, too.

This post aims to give you all the information you need to hold your own in conversations about The Great Hunt. It’s a book that catapults the series to iconic levels and will grab you by the throat. I share my own experience of Book 2 in this article and the thoughts of Daniel Greene as well. Let me know your feelings about the novel in the comments section below this post. Have a great read!

Old books on a gradient brown background. Brown and white text reads “The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt: The Hunt Begins.”

The Hunt Begins

After reading The Great Hunt, I knew I was caught hook and sinker by The Wheel of Time book series. The pull of this story continues to grab me many years later, and starting Book 2 on a reread is always an uplifting moment.

As a youth, I found an extension to my family tree because of the new point-of-view characters and their independent arcs. I scalded and cheered for my favorite characters, touched by the pleasant madness of being a fantasy nerd. It was memorable; I became besotted, and I am grateful for it.

The Great Hunt cover art by Darrell K. Sweet. Rand holds the Horn of Valere whilst Trollocs watch from behind rocks. Selene and Loial watch Rand.
The Great Hunt cover art by Darrell K. Sweet.

I started reading The Great Hunt on the same day I finished The Eye of the World and with a ferocity that no one could fetter. The Light help me, but I needed more! Without further material, I was sure to turn to the Shadow and be a menace to the world for all eternity.

I loved the story so much that I wanted pages for my dinner and chapters for dessert! Don’t bother this young man, Trolloc… he’s reading!

I didn’t know what to expect from the plot. The dramatic and confusing end to Book 1 left me clueless in that respect. However, Robert Jordan served a fine meal of horror and heroism to nourish me. The plot doesn’t fall apart after The Eye of the World — it bursts into life! If The Eye of the World primes you for adventure, The Great Hunt starts that journey.

I like to think The Wheel of Time’s fandom was born from this book. It’s certainly where my unrelenting passion for the series comes from. If you’re looking for a fantasy novel that immerses you in adventure, intrigue, and magic, your hunt ends here!

The Great Hunt Summary

The events of The Great Hunt increase the stakes for our protagonists. New characters enter the fray and become significant; the danger is everywhere, and more Forsaken are loose from the Dark One’s prison.

It’s with relief then that we find Nynaeve and Egwene training in the One Power and Rand practicing his sword forms. We meet more Aes Sedai and finally go to Tar Valon, where the girls begin their apprenticeship.

The daughter-heir of Andor is also a Novice at the White Tower and becomes friends with the Emond’s Field women. They find out soon enough, as do we, that the Shining Walls are not always glistening… we learn to fear the Black Ajah!

The Amyrlin Seat (leader of the Aes Sedai) becomes invested in the futures of our favorite characters, Padan Fain is revealed for what he truly is, and the Seanchan make their arrival. Theirs is a culture that will turn your stomach — the Aes Sedai aren’t the only magic users in this world.

Perrin struggles with his identity, Egwene al’Vere has a traumatic experience, Nynaeve becomes Accepted, and Mat Cauthon has a vital role to play. Whitecloaks, the Seanchan, and the Forsaken are all involved in the climax — and Rand, too, of course.

A new character is introduced quite early on in the book that I spent years thinking about, worrying about, speculating about, and caring about one way or another. Her name is Verin. Enjoy!

The Great Hunt Book Blurb

“The second novel in the Wheel of Time series – one of the most influential and popular fantasy epics ever published.

The Forsaken are loose, the Horn of Valere has been found, and the Dead are rising from their dreamless sleep. The Prophecies are being fulfilled – but Rand al’Thor, the shepherd the Aes Sedai have proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, desperately seeks to escape his destiny.

Rand cannot run forever. With every passing day, the Dark One grows in strength and strives to shatter his ancient prison, to break the Wheel, to bring an end to Time, and sunder the weave of the Pattern.

And the Pattern demands the Dragon.”

The Great Hunt FAQ

These are my answers to frequently asked questions about The Great Hunt. If I’ve not covered all the bases, fire your queries at me in the comments section, and I’ll get them added to this resource.

Who Wrote The Great Hunt?

The Great Hunt was written by American author Robert Jordan (1948-2007). It is the second novel in his acclaimed fantasy series, The Wheel of Time.

When Was The Great Hunt Published?

The Great Hunt was first published in the United States by Tor Books on 15 November 1990 and by Orbit Books in the United Kingdom on 15 October 1991.

How Many Chapters Are There in The Great Hunt?

The Great Hunt has 50 chapters and a prologue.

How Long is The Great Hunt?

The Great Hunt has a word count of 260,354. The 2021 Orbit paperback edition has 669 story pages and a 25-page glossary.

How Long Does it Take to Read The Great Hunt?

Based on the average reading speed of 200-250 words per minute, The Great Hunt should take 17 – 22 hours to read.

What is “The Great Hunt of the Horn”?

A “Great Hunt” is called to summon adventurers to search for the legendary Horn of Valere. It is a tradition that dates back to the Age of Legends. Participants are known as “Hunters of the Horn,” and festivities for the Hunt take place in Illian during the Feast of Teven.

Daniel Greene’s The Great Hunt Review

Daniel Greene is a celebrated content creator on YouTube, and fantasy fans should be aware of his tireless work conveying fantasy news to his viewers. The legend is also a fan of The Wheel of Time book series, and I agree with his review of The Great Hunt for the most part. Makes sense to share it then (beware spoilers from 2m 27secs and onwards)…

Daniel Greene is now an established fantasy author, too (as Daniel B. Greene). After self-publishing his first 2 books, Breach of Peace and Rebel’s Creed (links to Amazon), Daniel is back with a new series, Neon Ghosts, published by Wraithmarked Creative, LLC.

Book 1 of Neon Ghosts is called A Witch’s Sin, and is available as an or e-book or audiobook. I may get a small commission if you buy things through the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. My affiliate disclosure has more information.

For a physical copy of the book, you must visit the Kickstarter page, where sublime paperback and hardcover editions are also available.

About The Great Hunt Author

Robert Jordan

Photograph of author Robert Jordan.
Robert Jordan by Jeanne Collins

Robert Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1948. He picked up reading quickly, schooling himself, and was reading the works of Mark Twain and Jules Verne by the age of five! Robert would graduate with a degree in physics from the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

Later, Robert Jordan served in the US Army for two tours in Vietnam. He was decorated with two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with Palm, the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, and the Bronze Star with “V” and bronze oak leaf cluster.

Although Robert Jordan completed another lengthy novel, Warriors of the Altaii, it remained unpublished for many years. So, Robert Jordan’s first published novel was The Fallon Blood, a historical romance written under the pseudonym Reagan O’Neal.

The Fallon Blood, which was published in 1980, became the first book of a trilogy. Its later parts, The Fallon Pride and The Fallon Legacy followed in 1981 and 1982, respectively. It was during this time that Jordan started dating Harriet McDougal, his editor and future wife.

Robert Jordan passed away in 2007 with The Wheel of Time series unfinished. Even so, it is still his enduring legacy and was eventually completed by Brandon Sanderson, a favored author of Harriet McDougal.

The Fallon Trilogy

I cover the Fallon series on this site, so you can learn more about The Fallon Blood if you’re interest in historical romances.

A rippling American flag. Red typography reads “The Fallon Blood by Robert Jordan writing as Reagan O’Neal.”

The links below are for Amazon if you want to start reading The Fallon Trilogy now:

The Fallon Blood hardcover at Amazon

The Fallon Pride hardcover at Amazon

The Fallon Legacy hardcover at Amazon

The Hunt Begins and New Threads in the Pattern

Starscape (an imprint of Tor Books) published The Great Hunt in two parts in 2004, just as they did with The Eye of the World two years earlier. These editions were called The Hunt Begins and New Threads in the Pattern and were made to appeal to younger readers.

The Hunt Begins includes the prologue and Chapters 1 to 21, whilst New Threads in the Pattern completes the novel. Both contain black-and-white illustrations and larger text to meet their demographic. You can still buy copies at Amazon:

The Hunt Begins Paperback at Amazon

New Threads in the Pattern Paperback at Amazon

The Great Hunt 2023 Media Tie-In Edition

Season 2 of The Wheel of Time TV Series will adapt The Great Hunt, albeit loosely. It makes sense that a media tie-in edition of Book 2 would be published to mark the occasion, and here it is:

The Great Hunt paperback. Rand (Josha Stradowski) holds his heron-marked sword and Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) looks serious in blue. The White Tower is captured behind them.
The Great Hunt Paperback

You can find this version in all good bookstores or order from Amazon today through my links below:

Tor Books Edition

Orbit Edition

Mass-market Edition (Tor Books)

Explore The Wheel of Time Book 2

The cogs are spinning to get you more content for The Great Hunt, and this is what you can find for The Wheel of Time Book 2 at The Shining Walls so far:

Best Quotes from The Great Hunt

I bring you a selection of my favorite quotes from The Great Hunt, and the book excels in that department. Tap the image link below to enjoy some words of wonder now:

Old books on a brown background with brown and white typography. It is a clickable link to the “Best Quotes from The Great Hunt” post.

Shop for The Great Hunt Today

The Great Hunt is available in both paperback and hardcover forms. If you prefer, there are also audiobook and Kindle versions available.

Tap the image links below for your preferred format, and you’ll find more information, purchase options, and some alternative retailers, too.

Old books on a brown background. Brown and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt Paperback.”
Old books on a brown background. Brown and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt Hardcover.”
Old books on a brown background. Brown and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt Audiobook.”
Old books on a brown background. Brown and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt Kindle Edition.”

Your contributions/suggestions are always welcome if there’s more content you’d like to see here or elsewhere on the site. Use the comments section for that purpose, and I’ll listen if you need things done differently. Feedback is always fantastic, too, so comments, please!

I hope you enjoy my coverage of The Great Hunt and all the other books. I’m always working on something, so come back often.

Until next time, may the Light shine on you, my friends!


Old books on a brown background with brown and white typography. It is a clickable link to the “Best Quotes from The Great Hunt” post.
Books on a green background. Green and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 3: The Dragon Reborn, A World of Dreams.”

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