Friday, September 24, 2010
This post discusses the first POV of the Prologue of Towers of Midnight, available at Tor.com and selected ebook retailers.
It’s awkward reading and discussing a sole chapter of a book. The reader can’t continue on to obtain answers. There’s the risk too that they will form premature theories or judgements that they will be reluctant to reconsider when the rest of the book is read.
Distinctions, the Towers of Midnight Prologue, moves quickly and seems short, but it is about a twentieth of the book’s word count, about the same as that of The Gathering Storm. The Prologues of the first five books were much shorter. Those of Winter’s Heart, Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams were a greater proportion of their books. Sanderson is deliberately hearkening back to the earlier books with their frequent changes of POV that deliver faster pacing.
There are 6 POVs in the Towers of Midnight prologue; some are more psychological in orientation, some have plenty of exciting action and some provide quite a bit of scope for theories. One of these POVs is of a major character whose storyline continues in the book. This has occurred before: in the Lord of Chaos prologue Nynaeve and Elayne (and Faile, too if it comes to that) each had POVS, despite featuring largely in the main body of the book. Elaida and Alviarin both had POVs in the A Crown of Swords prologue yet they played an important part in that book and likewise Egwene in Knife of Dreams Prologue.
To ‘prove’ his credentials as a Southern writer, Jordan intended to have dead mules in the last book. That book was divided in three and the mules are encountered in the Towers of Midnight Prologue.
The rest of my commentary, hidden under the link, contains spoilers.
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