Chapter 38: Rescue - *Warning, this is just an homage to Lan*

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Chapter 38: Rescue - *Warning, this is just an homage to Lan*

Post  Eric Gaidin on Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:09 pm

I need to get these books in a PDF file so it's easier to quote. Let me offer the following quote as homage to how incredible Lan is. Damnit, I really have to create a "Lan" category. If you'll remember, Perrin and Egwene are prisoners of Whitecloaks, inside their tent, and Lan and Moiraine come to rescue them. Lan, as usual, uses his stealth and color-shifting cloak to enter the camp unawares:

"Suddenly one of the guards vanished. One minute there were two dim shapes, the next the night swallowed one of them. The second guard turned, the beginning of a cry on his lips, but before the first syllable was uttered there was a solid tchunk and he toppled over like a felled tree.
"Byar spun, swift as a striking viper, the axe whirling in his hands so fast that it hummed. Perrin's eyes bulged as the night seemed to flow into the lantern light. His mouth opened to yell, but his throat locked tight with fear. For an instant he even forgot that Byar wanted to kill them. The Whitecloak was another human being, and the night had come alive to take them all.
"Then the darkness invading the light became Lan, cloak swirling through shades of gray and black as he moved. The axe in Byar's hands lashed out like lightning...and Lan seemed to lean casually aside, letting the blade pass so close he must have felt the wind of it. Byar's eyes widened as the force of his blow carried him off balance, as the Warder struck with hands and feet in rapid succession, so quick that Perrin was not sure what he had just seen. What he was sure of was Byar collapsing like a puppet. Before the falling Whitecloak had finished settling to the ground, the Warder was on his knees extinguishing the lantern
[...]
"Rubbing his wrists, he peered at the graying mound that marked Byar. 'Did you...? Is he...?'
"'No,' Lan's voice answered quietly from the darkness. 'I do not kill unless I mean to. But he won't bother anyone for a while."

How can it get much better than that? Lan's force of character is owed completely to Jordan's style. Here, it would be pertinent to analyze that style a bit. Jordan's known for his powers of description--indeed, he often gets criticized for being overly descriptive. However, here, description is the whole point. Jordan not only uses adjectives to paint the picture; such as the colors of the Warder's cloak. He also wields verbs like a headsman with a keen axe. (Ok, I tried my hand at it too--check out the word "wield.") Jordan's writing style was--hands down--the most effective usage of strong verbs I've ever read. Perrin's "throat locked tight with fear." "The darkness invading the light became Lan, cloak "swirling through shades of gray and black as he moved."

These verbs create the vivid sense of action that we're all accustomed to reading with Jordan. Go ahead, go back to whichever battle scene is your favorite and begin analyzing the verbs. They're brilliant! Jordan's world is so detailed that action is never of the mundane kind. This is why his characters shine through--especially the Warder from the fallen kingdom of Malkieri.
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Eric Gaidin
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Re: Chapter 38: Rescue - *Warning, this is just an homage to Lan*

Post  kimwhite624 on Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:59 pm

You have wayyyyy toooo much time on your hands! ha ha ha Just kidding. It was a good post, and your extreme fondness of Land shines through. And I can truely see Jordan's effects on your writing style in this post. Also in other works I have read of yours. Now that I am reading the book it has become more apparent how stronly Jordan has affected your life. Fascinating! 2.5 years married and I still am learning new things about you!

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