The Dragon Reborn (WoT #3)

wot03The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When one sees the title, The Dragon Reborn, one instantly thinks that Rand al’Thor will once again provide the majority of perspective of how the story is viewed by the characters. However, Robert Jordan throws the readers a curve by hardly allowing us to see through Rand’s eyes until the climax of the book. As a result The Dragon Reborn gives us a grander sense of the story that Jordan is writing as Egwene, Perrin, and Mat dominate the book to show that as the whole epic progresses they will have a majority impact on events.

While some that have reviewed this book dislike the turn from Rand, I think it was a masterful move because we learn that the Dark One’s forces are growing in numbers and dangers from Black Ajah to more Foresaken on the loose. Focusing the majority of the book on Rand would have made these revelations come out of the blue without much explanation or forced into exposition. Instead we’re treated with Egwene navigating the World of Dreams, Perrin’s internal battle with his wolf-self along externally with Faile, and to finally see things through Mat’s eyes and get his perspective of everything that has happened. None of these dominating new points-of-view undermine the story

Given how fast I raced through this book and how fun it was to read, I recommend this book!

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The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden AgeThe Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age by Simon Schama
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I knew Schama from his A History of Britain series via BBC/History and I have been interested about the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic, so that’s what brought me to this book. My usual history reading were usually biographies or general histories, so a book dealing with cultural attitudes was something new for me. Overall it was very informative and Schama gives ample examples with engravings and prints thus showing his thorough research. But during some sections, it was a grind to read so much so that I was barely making a dent in the book as time went on. I started this book at the beginning of March and instead of getting through by the end of the month, I still had a ways to go. After taking a break to read a fictional work, it took me only 8 days after picking this book up again to finish. But don’t let my own troubles dissuade you from purchasing this book, the insight into Golden Age Dutch culture gives one a basis in viewing Dutch’s political, diplomatic, and military decisions during Europe’s early modern period.

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