Archive for July, 2015

9780765341297

Women of Genesis: Rachel and Leah

By Orson Scott Card

357 pages

Most people who have read the Bible or at least are familiar with it know about Rachel and Leah. The story of how Jacob met Rachel at the well and served her father 7 years to marry her. However no one quite knows the story as told by Orson Scott Card.

Orson Scott Card takes to his own imagination of how this story played out in the hearts and minds of the characters involved. Leah being afflicted with near blindness and unable to see well at all spends her life being angry at the world around her. She is quick to anger and slow to forgive. She has for the most part spent her life being jealous of her younger sister who is blessed with great beauty. Everyone in camp loves her sister and finds herself to be an annoyance at best and a curse and obstacle to handle with great care lest she become angry. At least that is how she perceives things to be. She feels useless and that God does not love her. When Jacob shows up however everything changes while she begins to study the words of God while her sister Rachel just keeps to her self and avoids contact with Jacob all together.

Rachel loves the attention she gets and relish on the fact that she is known for her beauty. She is in love with Jacob but as the day of her wedding approaches she becomes more and more nervous and scared of what married life will really be like. Her brother’s wife tells her tales of how all men use their superior strength to hurt and harm the women they marry in the marriage bed. This instills fear in her and she does not want to marry Jacob despite her great love for him.

The Marriage day arrives and Leah stands in the place of Rachel, Jacob only discovers this in the morning after the wedding to his great surprise. After confronting Laban arrangements are soon made to have Rachel marry Jacob as well.

Through out the story each of the women’s handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah guide them in their own way to understanding each other and what the future holds for them.

Orson Scott card has imagined these women in a way that makes me appreciate the roll they played in the history of the Bible so much more. The way in which they are portrayed breaths life into them that would not otherwise be found in the biblical account of their story. They are shown to be women of compassion and emotional aptitudes that you just don’t get in the Biblical account.

Jacob and Laban both are seen to be men of honor and respect. Laban being a man of great compassion and love for his family.

The story is told in a way never before imagined and brings out the heart and soul of the characters. After reading this book you can’t help but feel a deeper connection with more love and respect for these women.

These 2 woman eventually become the mothers of Israel, though not all of the children of Israel they play a vital and important role in establishing the history of Israel and they are bought to life so effectively in this book. I will never look at their story the same way again.

I give this book 10 out of 10 book worms for bringing about  the compassion and love that the reader should have for these unique and important women of the bible. A must read, especially if you are christian and want a better understanding of the story behind Israel.

 

Advertisements

10987350_10153189733411291_6173404302766814045_n

The Path of Daggers

Posted: July 4, 2015 in Book Reviews

WoT08_ThePathOfDaggers

The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

672 pages

Book 8 in the Wheel of Time comes with all the usual characters and intricacies you have come to expect from the Wheel of Time. You have kings and queens plotting to take a united stand against Rand Al Thor the Dragon reborn and Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah escaping the Aiel wise ones that have been entrusted to their care.

The remaining forsaken causing trouble in Ebou Dar where the bowl of the winds was found and used as Nynaeve and Elayne leave with the kin also known as the knitting circle, inviting them back to the rebel Aes Sedai to be trained as Aes Sedai if they wish. All the while trying to avoid and gather information from the black Ajah. This is all happening while escaping the aftermath of a chaotic attack by the Seanchan who are determined to take back the land they feel is rightfully theirs. Luckily for them they were able to use the bowl of the winds to correct the weather first and winter is finally coming to the land that has been suffering from heat and drought like never before seen in the world.

Perrin in the mean time is off his wife Faile and his band of soldiers to hunt and seek the man called the Prophet of the Dragon reborn and summon him to Rand. Unknown to Faile, Perrin’s wife, her newest servant is actually queen Morgase of Andor who is serving her while Alliandre queen of Ghealdean swears fealty to Perrin.

Rand still trying work out how to cleanse the taint from Saidin while trying ever harder to fend of the inevitable madness that comes to men from using the one power. The voice in his head, Lews Therin returns to him and Rand has gone mad with power destroying his own people and being completely unaware of it.

All the while the Black Ajah maintain their hold on the white tower putting the fate of the world in the hands of a mad man with power he is slowly losing the ability to control.

There is not much to say about this volume other than it was good. It did drag on for a while and took some effort to get through however. It had it moments of high intensity action packed events but with drawn out, slow plot progression in between. I am enjoying my re-read of this series over all however as it has been and is a tale of epic proportions.

Rand is holding together his army from several different nations and struggling to keep them from fighting each other. It is evident that the stress of trying to rule the world is beginning to get to him. Rand is not so much a leader as a tyrant at this point. He is followed not because he is loved but because he is feared. He feels that he has no choice but to do what he is doing. As with all rule via fear it is an unstable leadership at best. His army at each others throats and the Aiel split in their support for him is proof of this unstable leadership that has been heaped upon his shoulders.

What I have really enjoyed is seeing the stresses and madness slowly progress throughout the series for Rand. He seems at this point on the verge of going mad. As much as he is essentially a tyrant at this point and ruling through fear he is a character I have come to love. He is trying to win the final battle if he must force the world to bend to his will. After all it is Humanities greatest hope.

Every tyrant in world history however I believe has felt the same way, people must be forced to bend the knee and accept their way of doing things for their own good. Does this make them good or bad? Do these tyrants believe what they preach and are their intentions good. I am sure every tyrant in history believed what he was doing was right and good. As another book I once read said ” the greatest of intentions can result in the greatest of harm.” The wheel of time certainly reads like Rand Al Thor is the good guy. The forsaken and Shaitan are certainly not the good guys but that does not make Rand the good guy either. Is he good because only he can defeat Shaitan and the forsaken? I don’t know personally. I want to believe Rand is the good guy but  as he looses control and wreaks havoc in the world perhaps our saviors we put our faith in are not as good as we want them to be in the end.

That will have to be something you decide for yourself.  For me, I think I am going to take a break from Wheel of time and read a couple other books before getting back to the final 6 books in this series. Good series but I think I need a break from it.

I give this book 7/10 book worms. Overall a good read