I'm re-reading after a gap of too many years, and I was particularly struck by the bit in Curse before the series narrative actually starts. I remember many years ago when I first read the book, the prologue caused me a bit of grief. I was sure that it told me the outcome of the series before I'd begun reading: namely that Lysaer would win the conflict. To my shame, it took a while before my much younger self realised that even if I did know the outcome, the series was certainly worth my attention.
Far too many years later, as I started my latest re-read, I remembered the trouble the prologue had caused me. This time I realised what a good beginning it actually is, because it tells me precious little indeed.
The only certainty I could glean is that someone (or something, somewhere!) remains alive five Atherian ages after the WOLS who might be interested in reading a new interpretation of their events. Is this proof that the Fellowship will manage to keep the compact together through the series? Were it to fail, surely they'd have to eradicate humanity from Athera and there'd be no-one left to care about it's history?
Did anyone else have any thoughts on the prologue in Curse that changed with subsequent re-readings?
You have a point there, Lisa. Janny's said at least once (probably many more times) that none of her stuff is window dressing; the prologue is bound to have a significance (beyond the bookend epilogue, I daresay).
I just love the last line - 'let each who reads determine the good and the evil for himself'
How many times does Janny trip us up on our own assumptions?
Somewhere in the FAQs Janny says that the entire series is about tearing down peoples assumptions, and showing just how much we jump to conclusions or let our own veiwpoints blind us. The very fact that the 'good' guy (and I say this in the loosest sense possible) Arithon, master of SHADOW, and the 'bad' guy is lord of LIGHT is made to challenge our inbred link with darkness-bad and light-good.
As an assumption to challenge, Lisa, who says the sages are human? (not saying that they aren't, just saying that they might not be... I don't know what else the might be tho...)
Also, if the Paravians/F7 were still around, then surely they would have a true version of events, negating the need to look into the past?
[Stormed Fortress Spoiler]
As I recall, Arithon is mentioned by name in the prolouge, but Lysaer is not. The religion that Lysaer is builing is almost ready to suplant him the moment he shows any sign of weakness... and the resistance he is finally showing against the curse (not to mention the Initiates Trial snippet mentioning a relapse of the curse, implying a victory against it) could definately be a such a weakness...
The prologue came up with my current re-reading of Curse of the Mistwraith.
The thing that strikes me now, years after the first read,
is how human-centered the prologue is.
Nine books later, the planet Athera has a deeper focus,
in which the humans are only a little piece of the life of the planet.
No mention in the prologue of dragons, who were there first,
or the Paravians, whose very existence
was needed because the dragons were at the mercy of their own creations.
And for all that the whole series of books is human-centered,
yet it has been so essential to take in
the non-human forms of life native to Athera.