I’m very interested in the way that Mr. Jordan expanded the viewpoints in this book. Here is where we first begin to see the scope of this story, in my opinion, as we start to get viewpoints from Moiraine, Fain, and numerous others. This is one of the things I’ve always liked about Mr. Jordan’s writing—in fact, it may have been one of his greatest talents. His ability to craft a very intense, well-written, and engaging third-person-limited viewpoint. If there’s one thing I could pick to learn from his writing, it would be how to do such a good third limited.
I’m about halfway through the read right now, and like how quickly-paced this book is moving. Sometimes, readers get down on Jordan for his pacing, but I’ve found that these first books move at a real clip. I think the shifting viewpoints in this book is how I prefer it; I remember that later, he starts to divide the books in chunks, having a large section from one viewpoint, then moving to another viewpoint for a long time. We’ll have to see how I feel about that when I get to it, but for now, I like having short chapters moving from viewpoint to viewpoint so I never lose track of anyone for too long.
I mentioned before that I see things differently as I read these books through for the sixth or seventh time. I’m a writer myself now, and I look at the books from that standpoint. I can still enjoy them as a reader, but I think I enjoy different things as well. For instance, I love the sheer weight of conflict Mr. Jordan gave to his characters. I often say that stories are about conflict—characters are made interesting by conflict and a setting comes alive via the pressure points where different aspects of culture grind against each other. If you’re an aspiring author, take note of the excellent variety of conflicts Rand has shown during the first book and a half:
- Servants of the Dark One chasing him.
- The Dark One himself (kind of) appearing in Rand’s dreams.
- Rand’s worry about his identity and whether or not Tam is really his father.
- Rand’s worry about his relationship and love for Egwene
- His tension between Mat and Perrin in Book Two.
- His worry about everyone calling him a lord.
- His frustration that the White Tower is trying to control him.
- The danger of channeling and his place as the Dragon Reborn
And that’s just a few of them. There’s a reason why this story has been so successful and has been able to carry so many books. Conflict. There’s no shortage of it here. Anyway, I’m still enjoying Nynaeve’s character, though I wish she’d get over her anger at Moiraine. In most things, Nynaeve is clever, but she’s got a hole in her vision when it comes to Moiraine.
I’ll post some new Mistborn 2 annotations tomorrow, as well as the first chapter of WARBREAKER in html.