Iím thrilled that Vampire Buddha is back with A Song Of Ice And Fire, as his journey through that incredible series has long been one of my favorite works here. And recently Iíve decided to start reading another epic Doorstopper fantasy series, The Wheel Of Time, so I thought, what the heck, Iíll try one of my own again. Iíve done a few liveblogs that were pretty well received, though my last one for Codex Alera didnít last long, basically because I got impatient and just wanted to tear through the whole series without bothering to write about it. Wheel of Time seems much more suited to this format, as what is apparently a big and sedate story you can just get swept up in.
I know pretty much nothing of the story going in, with my knowledge just being that Robert Jordan suffered Author Existence Failure, though at a time when the seriesí popularity was declining anyway, and Brandon Sanderson is currently one book away from finishing it based on his notes, with his work being very well received. Also, that the first book, The Eye of the World, is thick enough that a copy served as a real life Pocket Protector in Iraq. Iím using an Ipad, so I canít say for sure, but itís actually far from the most intimidating book in my library (hello, Ken Follett!)
Basically, I hope to at least provide some entertainment for people who have read the series, as well as force myself to really think hard about what Iím reading, as Iíve heard both very positive and very negative things about it. Also, it may help me keep track of what Iíve been told is one of the biggest casts of characters youíll ever see, either that or provide some cheap laughs as I become hopelessly lost and broadcast my inability to remember anyone Iíve met before.
So, the prologue. Itís the aftermath of a battle, and our viewpoint character is Lews Therin, whose castle has just been conquered and whoís gone a bit nutty. Heís met by the enemy leader, Elan Morin, who is frustrated that he canít take satisfaction in his victory without Therin knowing how badly his ass has been kicked, so he casts a spell to restore his sanity, as well as a ton of pain, just to be a dick. The writing is vague on what exactly happened, but I think whatís going on is that Therin made a desperate last ditch attempt to tap into a piece of powerful forbidden magic, which backfired and caused him to kill everyone left on his side, including his whole family, in a berserker rage.
Morin goes on a bit about how the two of them have actually been fighting since the dawn of time, as agents of this worldís equivalents of God and Satan, the Creator and Shaiítan. I smell some Screw Destiny coming down the road. Then things get pretty trippy, as Therin begs the Creator to forgive him and...creates a volcano? Whatever it is, heís gone afterward, which pisses Morin off for some reason. And then the volcano causes a river to change its course and create an island where I suspect weíll be spending some time.
The prologue has some confusing bits, particularly at the end, but at this point thatís really how it should be. Its job is just to give us a few vague details that are hopefully intriguing enough to want to keep reading. For me, itís worked. I canít say Therin and Morin are particularly compelling characters, but I get the sense this is actually a Distant Prologue, so it wonít be a problem if thatís the case. On to the actual story!