(SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read Towers of Midnight yet, I’m going to describe a passage and you might not want to read further.)
For some time now I have been looking for a fantasy novel that describes the creation of an object of power. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, think Excalibur or the One Ring. I don’t mean something simple like “and Merlin said it’s name and Excalibur was born, blah, blah, blah.” I’m talking a full on, truly detailed, finely written description of the object’s creation. I couldn’t find one.
Then I began reading the penultimate book in the Wheel of Time series, Towers of Midnight. Smack dab in the middle of the book there’s a passage describing one of the main characters, Perrin (a blacksmith turned hero), forging a hammer of power. That’s right folks, A HAMMER OF POWER! It was such a beautiful description of the crafting of the hammer and the magic focusing power into the steel as it was being forged that I cried. It was so moving that I wrote to the author telling him how much I loved that passage. I photocopied it to keep it with my notebook so I can read it over and over again.
One thing you have to realize about these books is that they are very well written. The world is realistically fleshed out, the characters are fully formed, and while reading them, I live these books. The series was begun by Robert Jordan who died before being able to write the last book in the series. He had enough time to choose another author and speak with him about what he wanted done with the series to make sure that it was finished the way he wanted after his death. Brandon Sanderson had to split the last book into three (this being the second of the books he cowrote) and he has kept up the quality and spirit of the first eleven books in the series.
I still would like to see more about the actually making of objects of power. I mean, they are usually integral parts of the stories they belong in. The act of making is itself a form of magic, at least to those who don’t make things. Of course, I may be biased in my opinion. But this passage with Perrin forming Mah’alleinir will always live close to my heart and I thank Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson for giving it to us.