The Great Hunt. This portion of the tale follows just a short while after the end of the first part of the story, The Eye of the World. Here, the three boys from the small farming village of Two Rivers, Rand, Mat, and Perrin, are quickly understanding that their simple rural existence and the paths that they had seen for the lives are long gone. Each is somehow affecting the development of schemes and plans far beyond their comprehension. Yet of the three, Rand has come to sense that his destiny lies down an entirely different path. His fears are brought to a peak when the head of the mystical and powerful Aes Sedai names him as the Dragon Reborn. The Dragon is a man proclaimed from prophesy to be the hope of mankind against the forces of darkness. Yet in representing the side of light, those same prophesies proclaim that the Dragon will be responsible for breaking the world. For Rand, too much seems to be happening to him too fast. His destiny has been forced upon him without warning and he is suddenly burdened with responsibilities that he never asked for and never wanted. Yet his destiny pulls him along willing or no and he never can find a moment of peace.
Rand is gifted with the same powers as the Aes Sedai, although it is believed that all men who can channel such forces will go mad and destroy all within their reach. In order to distract himself from such thoughts and to distance himself from the control of the Aes Sedai, Rand goes out in search of the legendary Horn of Valere, known as The Great Hunt. The legendary instrument is believed to be used by the Dragon at the final battle to call upon the heroes of the ages in their fight against the forces of darkness.
The other major story arc follows two women of Two Rivers that are also somehow caught up in the unfolding prophesy centered on Rand. Nynaeve and Egwene have parted from Rand and the others to begin their training as Aes Sedai at Tar Valon. It is there where the minions of the Dark One trick them into believing that Rand is in danger and needs their help. Trusting one who set out to guide them has suddenly thrust them into life-threatening peril. Without Rand to help them, they must save themselves, but the hand of prophesy still guides the paths of those that are part of its working.
Another wonderful, rich tapestry of artistry in the fantasy genre. Now onto the third part of the story in The Dragon Reborn.