"Light, forgive me! Ilyena! The
air turned to fire, the fire to light liquefied. The bolt that struck from the
heavens would have seared and blinded any eye that glimpsed it, even for an
instant. From the heavens it came, blazed through Lews Therin Telamon, bored
into the bowels of the earth. Stone turned to vapor at his touch. The earth
thrashed and quivered like a living thing in agony. Only a heartbeat did the
shining bar exist, connecting ground and sky, but even after it vanished the
earth yet heaved like a sea in a storm. Molten rock fountained five hundred
feet into the air, and the groaning ground rose, thrusting the burning spray
ever upward, ever higher. From north and south, from east and west, the wind
howled in, snapping trees like twigs, shrieking and blowing as if to aid
the growing mountain ever skyward. Ever skyward...
At last the wind died, the
earth stilled to trembling mutters. Of Lews Therin Telamon, no sign remained.
Where he had stood a mountain now rose miles into the sky, molten lava still
gushing from its broken peak."
- Robert Jordan
The Eye of the World (WoT #1)
A few weeks ago, I was given my very first assignment for my Fiction Writing class-- 'Submit your favorite piece of writing'. The piece did not have to be original, but rather, a work from another author- something that we as students of the Craft truly believed to be a superior bit of fiction.
I should have, but DID NOT submit the passage above, excerpted from The Eye of the World.
The Wheel of Time is the single greatest fantasy epic ever written.
It is fifteen novels of... Everything and anything any reader ever could ever want, need, or ask of-- EVER!
The series is about a world at war with the Shadow. The Dark One and his evil minions stir as the seals of their prison grow ever weaker. The world awaits the Dragon Reborn-- He who is destined to do battle with the Dark One and save Creation. Unfortunately, however, the Dragon is also destined to destroy Creation...
Time is cyclical. As the Wheel of Time turns, time passes, and the Wheel weaves an ever-complex pattern, using peoples' lives as threads. The Wheel is propelled by the One Power, which is divided into two forces: Saidar (the female half) and Saidin (the male half). The two forces work in opposition to turn the Wheel, and weave the Pattern.
Each half of the One Power works in similar ways. They are comprised of the Five Powers: Water, Earth, Fire, Air, and Spirit.
Certain people are able to sense the True Source (The Wheel), and touch One Power. These individuals are able to manipulate Saidar or Saidin, and do the most incredible things! By harnessing the Five Powers, and weaving them in various ways, they can call lightning down from the heavens, and hurl fire from their fingertips. They can heal life-threatening injuries with the touch of a hand, and create invisible shields that ward off evil. The Dragon Reborn will be one such person.
BUT time is cyclical! Just as the Dragon will battle the Dark One, so have they already done battle! Only, the last time they fought, the Dragon miscalculated. He was able to trap the Dark One, but the Dark One was also able to strike back. He tainted Saidin, the male half of the One Power, poisoning it so that any man who dared touch it would go mad. But the Dragon must weird the One Power in order to face the Dark One! What ever will we do?????????????
In the excerpt above, the previous Dragon goes mad from wielding the now tainted Saidin, destroying himself, and creating the infamous Dragonmount... The volcano that inspires awe and fear, signifying hope and hopelessness, and mocking mankind very existence. The volcano upon whose slopes the Dragon Reborn would one day draw his first breath.......
SORRY... I tend to get a wee bit rambly when it comes to WoT.
Needless to say, much of the series deals with this crisis, but there is sooo much more to it than the cliched Good vs Evil, and the overdone Magic Wars... However, short of me telling you the entire plot all fifteen WoT novels, I'd say that the only way for you to find out all the wonders these books have in store for you would be to READ THEM!!! :D
The Wheel of Time is OBVIOUSLY my favorite series ever!!!
As a literature scholar, I am frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement, study, and respect that the fantasy genre receives from my colleagues... I full intend to change that.
Imma be in grad school, working on my WoT dissertation, wishing a trick would say something crazy to me about me conducting scholarly research on a fantasy series... ! Imma be there like....... >_>
Like this dude (but with a SERIOUS tan-- BRUH.)!!!
(I don't know if that can/ will actually happen, but it's totally fun to imagine! :D)
(PS... I gots NO IDEA who dat be....... :D)
On a more serious note, the Wheel of Time has meant SO much to me...
When I doubt my decisions, I remember Moiraine Damodred, Aes Sedai of the blue ajah- True Servant to All, forever committed to the War against the Shadow.
When I need inspiration, I channel Egwene Al'Vere, who never relinquished her claim as the true Amyrlin Seat.
When I wish I could communicate with animals, just because that's like super bad@ss (:D), I think of Wolfbrother, and Master of Tel'aran'rhiod (The World of Dreams), Perrin Aymara.
When I need a reminder that Iam the master of my own Destiny, and that despite life's absurdity, I am a BOSS-- I am Rand Al'Thor (SPOILER ALERT [Not really!])-- Dragon Reborn.
I cannot believe I haven't blogged about WoT until this very post! I mention it in nearly every class! (In my speech class, 3 of my 6 speeches were about WoT, including an instructional speech on how to touch the True Source and weird the One Power [complete with different instructions for channeling Saidar and Saidin] :D)
Moreover, I can't believe I didn't choose one of the dozens of amazing passages that come to mind when I think of WoT for my first Fiction Writing Assignment. I guess I was worried that my professor (the dude who says "I read literary fiction, NOT genre fiction") wouldn't think it good enough...