Introduction: I’ve seen people at my favourite book message board do this, and I see Cliff do this with movies and music videos all the time. I won’t pretend that my mockery is as capable or as cutting as Cliff’s. But I want to play too. So, without further ado, here is my commentary on The Unremembered by Peter Orullian.
– The name of the prologue is The Whiting. That will be relevant soon.
– The council quiets as The One shows up. Where does he show up? Some place with columns but no roof. Clearly these guys have power because the columns are a hundred and eighty feet high. Only gods would have a marble floor, impossibly high columns, and forget to put a roof on the sucker.
– Clues to the godhood of the council are confirmed by constellations written into the columns.
– The One, not to be confused with The Great One, shows his contempt for the council by magically messing with the architecture.
– Apparently the sky is important. It’s given two very fraught descriptions. “The depths of the morning stretched above,” and, “Above them, the sky shone a peerless blue,” That second quote leads me to wonder if there is some kind of hierarchy to the colour blue. I mean, all oranges were created equal, but blue has a caste system? Doesn’t seem fair.
– So, The One doesn’t like the council and they return the favour. It hasn’t come to blows, though. Just words so far as The One, also called Maldaea (for now) speaks “with casual sarcasm.” As opposed to formal sarcasm which must be filled out in triplicate.
– Maldaea’s been up to some bad tricks, causing some cosmic imbalance. But he thinks the council is too heavy-handed and stagnant.
– Maldaea and Dossolum, the Speaker, argue at length, until The One has had enough. he offers an ultimatum and apparently the gods break shit with their feelings: “His defiance, bright and fiery, ascended the columns, jouncing over stone and rushing skyward.”
– The council takes a different tack and kick him out. They also change his name: “Quietus! … Now and forever you will be known by this name!” Just guessing here, though it’s a guess with the weight of experience reading Fantasy novels: Names have power and a god changing your name is some serious bad ju-ju.
– Dossolum shows off HIS magic chops by fixing all the stuff that The One — or can he still be called that after he’s been kicked out and basically called Shutup — broke with his tantrum.
– Quietus vows his revenge: “I will also take those that sprang from my bowels and torment this world…” I can only imagine torrential downpours of God-shit. Not good for that world, for sure.
– The world is in trouble now. Everyone knows it. Every THING knows it: “books on the council table sighed with the resignation of the hopeless.” I’m really struggling not to make some crack about hopeless books… See terrible Quietus. His disdain makes books sigh and tapestries moan.
– Undaunted by disdain from The One, Dossolum pronounces his sentence: “You shall be Whited.” — note: in epic fantasy, a capital letter on an innocuous word generally means it’s a spell. Which this is: “Quietus began to slowly drain of color, his clothes bleached white.” And it goes all the way through, I expect. Sure, he looks like Powder, but just look at that winning smile.
– As a last note, there’s a little foreshadowing about Quietus’s ultimate triumph. It wasn’t subtle, but at least it wasn’t hard to miss.
That prologue felt, to me, very much like the prologue to The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Great powers at the end of an era, discussing things of great import that we won’t understand or care about for four books, if not more.
I don’t know what the take-away is from this. It’s obvious that Maldaea was a loose cannon. He did bad things and upset some karmic balance, which was hinted at maybe having magical ramifications. That said, Dossolum is a total dick. He cuts Maldaea off, is completely without compromise, and basically sends legions of his own creations off to live with the evil that Maldaea has created. Along with Maldaea himself, since the council, along with stripping the hue from The One, consigned him to a fate on whatever world it was that he was fucking with. I suppose there’s some justice there: You built it that way, now live with it or something. But I kinda felt like Quietus wasn’t treated well, and I felt a little sympathy for him.
Going on with the Eye of the World analogy, I presumed that we’d be shuttled off in the first chapter to a quiet village where nothing ever happens, until today, and chapter one doesn’t miss the mark too much.
Next time I discuss The Unremembered, you’ll meet Rand… no, Richard… no, Tahn. That’s it.
Until next time,