Oct. 18th, 2010

featherxquill: (Birds sunset)
Already answered )

2. Someone you discovered recently


The Aes Sedai of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time

And more specifically, my favourite, Siuan Sanche.

The world of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is one in which men have destroyed the world with magic over and over again, as the wheel of time turns and ages come and go. As such, the world we enter at the start of the series is one in which men, when they show signs of Power, are captured and stilled (cut off from the Source of Power). The magical caretakers of this world and the guardians against darkness are women, called Aes Sedai. They live in the White Tower, which is at the heart of the city of Tar Valon, and from there, they influence everything from politics and battle to scholarship, trade, healing.

The leader of the Aes Sedai is the Amyrlin Seat, which is both the woman's title and the name of the chair she sits in. At the beginning of the series, the Amyrlin we are introduced to is Siuan Sanche.

The Amyrlin had been born in Tear, of a simple fisherman's family, not a noble House, and her nasme was Siuan Sanche, though very few had used that name, or even thought of it, in the ten years since she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower. She was the Amyrlin Seat; that was the whole of it. The broad stole on her shoulders was striped in the colours of the seven Ajahs; the Amyrlin was of all Ajahs and none. She was only of medium height, and handsome rather than beautiful, but her face held a strength that had been there before her elevation, the strength of the girl who had survived the streets of the Maule, Tear's port district, and her clear blue gaze had made kings and queens and even the Captain Commander of the Children of the Light, drop their eyes

Siuan Sanche is powerful, commanding, and human at once. This is the first scene in which we meet her properly, and it helps that the narrator of it is Moiraine, a fellow Aes Sedai who has been friends with Siuan since they were novices. We see her immediately as a woman of authority, but we also quite clearly see the challenges she faces.

Siuan has a sharp mind and a sharper tongue. She is a brilliant conniver and manipulator. She talks in fishing metaphors, and her infinite variety of them is kind of hilarious. She swears like a sailor. She never gives up. We see her endure the thing that Aes Sedai fear worse than death, and she picks herself up and keeps going. She loves boats but can never get the hang of riding. She is stubborn and obstinate, but also subtle, and at any given moment you can be sure she has so many plots going on that play on Aes Sedai politics that you could never keep track of them.

And this series is full of women like this. And not like this at all. And everything in between. The entire series is full of them, and that is what has me so hooked on it. Book 13 comes out in November. I cannot wait.

Still to come )


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