"I believe, when statesmen forsake their private conscience for the sake of their public duties . . . they lead their country by a short route to chaos." - from "A Man for All Seasons" by Richard Bolt, p. 22.
The King of Amroth is Henry VIII!!! (He even has the wives dilemma.)
On to a more serious note: I'm always surprised by the universitality of the themes in this series. This quote struck me, as soon as I read it, as a statement about the way rulers' minds work in the books. The blame could be extended to Talera, Lysaer and the mayors for leading their nations down "the short route to chaos" even as Arithon battles to garner the opposite results through his beliefs on what is right (compassion, training and all that added into it). Anyway, been looking for an excuse to post the quote for days now - here it is.
Sorry if this sounds like a sermon; it's what I get for musing deep into the evening.
That and reading about Thomas More.
What is best about this particular series is that there is no clear cut "good guys" or "bad guys."
Every single character has a stake in the story, and there is blame to go around. In the prologue to CotM, the intro admonished us, "Let each who reads determine the good and evil for himself."
I love that too... you can see where each person is coming from and have sympathy for them even if you disagree with their actions and want to beat them over the head and say don't do that!
want to beat them over the head and say don't do that!
Auna, that person wouldn't by any CHANCE be a certain blonde stud-muffin from Tysan, would it? ;^)
I think it really all depends on how self-honest each character is with himself/herself. Even Arithon isn't all the time.
Me, I've wanted to beat both of them over the head at different times in the series . . . I like all the shades of gray. Sorry if my post had the black/white feel; it wasn't intended to be that way.
I think I've wanted to shake, beat, or throttle just about every major character ;) That's what makes the series so enjoyable.
Especially Dakar in this book! He just aggravates the fire out of me.