Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Eye of the World - Preface

The preface of the first book of the wheel of time starts with rich descriptions. It paints a vivid picture of stone house or mansion gone made and then describes a mad man in the center of it, the dragon. Shortly after that the nemesis shows his face, but also reveals that while he's quite evil, he is not the one responsible for all of this. Some exposition follows and while almost nothing is very clear you get an understand of the events that have been going on recently and the fact that these two men were powerful players for opposing sides, and that while the good won its victory was at a terrible cost. After that our doomed hero commits suicide (though arguably unintentionally) and our villain foreshadows that the world itself isn't quite as doomed as it looks, it is after all still the preface.

The overall feeling I got was one of frustration and sorrow. Part of those feelings comes from having read the series and knowing that Ishmael simply wants to end it all and the victory of the shadow is only valuable as it would, theoretically anyways, remove him from the cycle of rebirth. Lews Therin on the other hand produced a lot of heartbreak in this passage. First you see him mad and think that, perhaps, it is all for the best. From there you see his painful return to sanity and him rising in righteous anger against the one who, in his initial thoughts, caused his utter devastation. And finally you see him realize that he caused this, the reasoning behind it (the taint and what caused the taint) is almost ignored by his feelings, all he can think about was that it was his hands that destroyed all he loved.

Honestly there wasn't much to learn in this passage, and not much that really applied to my life either. If anything the main lesson was, perhaps, one of restraint. In his sorrow Lews Therin committed suicide after he was healed from the madness, but perhaps the world might have turned out differently if he hadn't. Maybe if he'd restrained himself he could have helped right some of the wrongs that he had caused. Of course it's a fiction book so conjuncture over what might have been is even more pointless than it usually is (and it's usually pretty pointless).

Well folks, there you have it; my first chapter review. Not much to look at, but honestly there wasn't a lot to write about, barely 17 minutes on an audio tape. I may try and look at the literary trappings for chapters and how they're written in the future, might give me more to write about when I don't see much in the way of plot or life lessons.


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