The first line of any novel is the most important line in the book! It sets the mood, establishes a character, narrator, or setting, and should compel the reading to keep reading. It sums up the book in one line, and also sets up expectations of what is to come. It is like the first notes of a symphony.
One of my favorite first lines in literature is:
Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
I thought I'd also share the first lines in my books:
from Dreams of Beauty:
Although Emme had never met him, his face appeared every night in her dreams.
and I'm currently tweaking my first line for Messenger in the Mist:
It wasn’t the thought of the countless spindly legs that frightened Star, it was the idea of being carried away into the mist to a place that no one had ever returned.
What are your favorite first lines in literature?