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jameson (ST)

The Wot Cycle Re-read #3

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Issue #3: End of New Spring, Eye's prologue

Aaaaannd, we're done. New Spring ends like a landslide or avalanche, with events reaching a point at which everything goes from equilibrium to a cascade of action and revelation. Moiraine confirms the existence of the Black Ajah, at least for herself, but is unable to capture the sister in question, let alone secure solid proof she could take to the Tower. The last of the men who took Lan from his homelands as they burned is killed, and a long time friend of Lan's is revealed to be a Darkfriend as well. Combined with the the death of his first lover's daughter, and that woman's withdrawal from the world in grief Lan has severed, or been severed from, the last remnants of his past. Only by laying bare the full extent of what she knows to him is Moiraine able to convince him to become her Warder and not go to his eventual death in the Blight.

That's the short version anyways.

That brings to close the tale of how Lan and Moiraine met, how he became her Warder, and how her secret hunt for the Dragon reborn began. As one could expect from a story of its sort, a prequel written between books in the series' main cycle, it provides mostly character insight. Nothing of substance is truly revealed about the events of the series, though we are granted explanations behind certain relationships. I'm glad I read it first though, I don't think I could have enjoyed it as much had I wedged it into the main cycle by date of publishing.

... because I wasn't wiling to leave a finished book on my nightstand I grabbed the Eye of the World and read the prologue. It takes place in the distant past. Some three or four thousand years prior to the main cycle and finds the Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon, wandering through the wreckage of his home looking for his wife, crazyed beyond measure by the Taint on Saidin, the male half of the True Source. Even as he stumbles over the unseen corpses of his family, his wife, his children, his retainers and friends the Hundred Companions, all driven insane by the Taint, are Breaking the world, and the earth heaves and quakes in response.

A man in black appears to Lews, tainting him, chiding him, and talking of the endless cycle of their battles throughout never-ending time. Elan Morin Tedronai, for whom we get no other name at this point aside from the moniker, Betrayer of Hope, but later will come to know him as Ishmael and Ba'alzamon, and later Moridin. After a rather one-sided conversation with the Dragon, whom he says will be known from here out as Kinslayer for his hand in destroying his own family, he applies some manner of healing on Lews, a form which he says is rather unlike that of the Aes Sedai. Restored to clarity (for how long we are unsure) the Dragon sees what he has done. He sees his wife, his family, everybody he cared about and who cared for him, dead by his hand, and in grief he flees. Drawing upon the power he commits suicide by Channeling and in doing so births the volcano known as Dragonmount.

The proper opening for the series is a rather breathtaking one, with an explanation of just how high the stakes are (though the true weight of the revelation of the endless cycles of the Wheel will not be laid bare for some time yet) and a demonstration of how powerful the Dragon is. Its an effective teaser to the epic scope of the series, especially given the way it all begins.

In a tiny village.

In a backwater part of the world.

And the lives of three young men who are only barely such.

Prior Blog Things:

The Wot Cycle Re-read #1

The Wot Cycle Re-read #2

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