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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
JenniferL

Midnight Reviews

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There were a few instances where I thought "wtf is this guy doing". Like I said, the majority of the book is good, but some of it... I just can't reconcile myself. Here they are. Spoiler alert, but I assume if you're in here then you're cool with spoilers. :)

 

 

3. Rand's "punch a woman in the face" remark. Yes, Rand was going off the deep end ... but really? Punch a woman in the face? That's what he said?

I thought that was one of the best moments in the book so to each their own. Hilarious  ;D

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If that comment is about punching the 'intelligent' Graendal in the face. He should've said that, even if he was completely sane. Holding back on Graendal because she's a woman would be much more sexist, not to mention, insane.

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Sanderson has Flinn go "really?  but you're a lord!

 

By the way, not to be rude but you should re-read that part. Flinn says, "You, Lord?" Then says he's taveren, the world bends to him, most powerful man in the world, etc.. The comma changes it quite a bit...

 

Not really.  I wasn't quoting - I was paraphrasing.  The sentiment is the same: Damer Flinn wide eyed with astonishment that the Dragon Reborn doesn't consider himself "free".

 

This from the older, mature Damer Flinn, the one who fought in the Andoran Guard, the one who's bonded an Aes Sedai and who saw Rand nearly dying, who's watched Rand running from place to place to stay ahead of the Forsaken, losing a hand in the process . . . the wide eyed innocence of that comment just doesn't fit Flinn's character.  It's not something he'd ever think, let alone say.

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Thought the book was incredible, only real complaint was (again) Mat's character.  He was my favorite and his dialogue plain just didn't fit in most cases, not all of them.

 

BS/RJ did and incredible job with Rand.  I was cringing left and right, in a good seat of your pants suspenseful way.

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When did people start saying things like, "For Light's sake" and "bloody ashes" (I believe the term is "blood and ashes").
Well, for the Light's sake is first used in EotW 26, and again in ACoS 35. You could be forgiven for missing it, but it was there. Blood and bloody ashes (though not just bloody ashes) has been used repeatedly through the series (48 times), so missing that is a little harder, although blood and ashes is rather more common (there's even at least one instance of blood and bloody flaming ashes!). So it does raise the question of how much of these perceived differences is accurate, and how much is down to people forgetting something of RJ's? Saidared is new, though.

 

Oh, and I challenge you to find an example of someone saying, "Bloody Ashes" or "For Light's Sake" in the books before The Gathering Storm. I can't remember any (that doesn't mean they don't exist) but I'll be the first to say I was wrong about that if they exist before TGS. :)
I accept your challenge, good sir!

 

Now, on the whole, I think this was a very strong book. Probably a bit early to start throwing around comments about it being the best in the series, though. I think the two authors meshed together well, about as well as could be expected, although it wasn't perfect.

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Surprisingly, i thought Perrin came across better than Mat did. it was like Perrin repeated everything we've been saying on these boards about him - i.e. obsessive, needs to chill more etc. Even Faile improves by actually communicating with Perrin. All in all as far as Perrin's concerned, I can cautiously look forward to his POVs again. Mat...I hope things change. Drastically.

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I've read some of the reviews, and I have to agree with a lot that has been said.

 

This book, while undoubtedly being a brilliant addition to the series - and well worth the wait - did suffer from what we all expected: there were a few character inconsistencies.

 

Now, I have to wonder whether we've all found these flaws because we were looking for (and expected to find) them, but for whatever reason, there are some differences.

 

I am forced to concur with some of the reviews on how Mat was portrayed... I think the idea is in the right area, but it's the dialogue that really let me down. The first chapter with him included was absolutely fantastic - his whole rant about women and comparing them to dice was an acceptable interpretation of his character, in my opinion. Granted that the writing of that conversation made Mat seem a little more... modern... than he previously appeared, but nevertheless, it was in keeping with his personality. It also made me laugh long and hard out loud.

 

But after that it all sort of went a little downhill - we've never heard him invent words before. "Saidared" as a verb just struck a dissonant chord with my idea of him, and it seemed a little too out of character.

 

Now, what we have to remember is that this is actually just a very small example of something that I didn't like in the book - what Brandon Sanderson managed to achieve with Rand, Egwene and the rest was pretty much spot on in my estimation - as much as another person could characterise them, anyway.

 

But if there were one character with whom I would recommend a little more work in terms of dialogue, it would be Mat.

 

That all aside, I loved this book. I really can't wait for the next one, and I am now reassured that this series will end on the highest possible note, given the circumstance.

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An excellent book. I grabbed the first one at my local bookstore on Tuesday, before they had even hit the shelves.

 

I shan't repeat what other reviews have well stated, but the major plot arcs were gripping, the characters believable, horrifying and inspiring, and the climactic scenes most cheer worthy. There was more introspection, more questioning of purpose, and that was needed before we head into the end.

 

I agree that Mat's voice was off--too much witty banter as others have pointed out--but his actions were great. Talmanes was fine. He has always been reserved, but also witty on occasion; see his reaction to Mat floundering with Betse in LOC, A Different Dance. A part of me would really like to see the fallout from Mat being bonded to Joline.

 

Very strangely, the character I felt most sorry for was Elza Penfell. Everyone else had their moments of greatness (and darkness), but she, quite simply, got squished.

 

 

Some favourites:

 

Rand's meeting with Elan Morin--he seemed far less Ishamael or Moridin in that scene than in any before.

 

'Veins of Gold'. A perfect chapter title and a great conclusion to Rand's descent.

 

Egwene. Everything. She has been my favourite character since LOC and I'm saddened that her major plot arc may be complete.

 

 

A few bits of pickiness:

 

I was very disappointed to not see the scene where Perrin, Morgase, Galad and Byar meet. I actually spent a few minutes flipping through chapters thinking I'd missed a section. I truly hope this is in the next book.

 

I would have liked a small scene with the BA hunters FOV, and one more from Alviarin.

 

I thought Egwene was off at the very beginning, but I think that's because I gave in and listened to the chapter 2 audiobook release.

 

Too many Aes Sedai had hair pulled back in buns.

 

'Fortuona' is a hideous name, and difficult to say. Perhaps it's easier with a drawl.

 

The word 'saidared' was a one-off and didn't bother me, however the repeated use of 'channeller' did. I could easily be mistaken, but this has always struck me as a word readers used but characters did not.

 

 

And two missteps that I feel vaguely ashamed to have noticed:

 

Sulin is supposed to be with Perrin, yet she is with Rand when he kills (yes, kills) Graendal.

 

Suana is first described as plump and round-faced (Unexpected Encounters), but later as a lanky thing, all bones and skin (Sealed to the Flame).

 

-- dwn

 

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(how many times have we read that Vanin sat his horse like a sack of suet)

 

I think this line sums up the books for me. Ever time Mat saw Vanin, I expected him to remark with that comment. In fact, every time I'd meet a character described by Robert Jordan for the first time in a new book, I got the original description again. That repetition was as comforting as it was annoying. It was comforting in that I could pick up any book and I would be reminded of the character I hadn't read about in this book. It was annoying because when listening to the entire series, which is conveniently on my iPhone, I have to wade through the reintroductions for each book. I always wondered if he could have finished the story before his passing if he hadn't written that way. In this book, some characters weren't introduced at all and some were introduced in a decidedly different manner. That difference broke the comfort zone Robert had established though it did help move the plot along a bit faster. I conclude that Brandon called that not using Roberts style. Some people are taking the different better than others.

 

Added to this difference is the book only stays with a character for a chapter and moves on. That was rare in the earlier books and when you did switch characters, you rarely came back to that character in a chapter or two. This might be needed to conclude the plots more quickly. (I'm still surprised the story will be DONE in two more books!) That quickness and the constant changing was strange after the first eleven books. Again that leads to some people liking it and some not so much.

 

The story is also climaxing at this point. Robert thought the rest of the story needed to be completed as one work. Most of the reader, Branderson included, would never have believed that he could actually tie up all those plots that quickly. Branderson is then doing us a favor and an injustice. The favor is to complete as many of the story plots as possible taking three books to do it. The injustice is the rhythm of the ending isn't progressing as Robert would have done it. That, I think, might be a good thing since I have this feeling that Robert might have completed it so quickly that it would have been like being dropped from the "top of the tower".

 

The book succeeds where it needs to succeed. It is completing story plots and giving us a conclusion. It's being done is a slightly different way, with slightly different humor. The great part though is that it will conclude. It seems like it's been going on for several ages!

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I myself have been reading these books for probably close to twenty tears,and really don't see where all the grammer correction needs to come in,or can't people just enjoy the story?

 

  btw

      The first time I read Mat in this book really woke me up. Couldn't stop laughing.Then I laughed through the whole first dialoge,about a page and a half.

 

 

 

 

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I'd have to agree with what most people here said.

 

Parts with Rand and Egwene were good. Tam owning Cadsuane was great.

Perrin was ok. I actually like the direction he's going.

 

Some words though... Just annoyed me. Saidared and Aristocaracy and other words that just didn't belong...

Mat was terrible. I just couldn't stand his chapters. I felt like I was reading a new character. I hope that this will change in the next two books, because Mat is (Was?) my favourite character.

 

 

BTW was I the only one that thought that Rand might just turn to the shadow at the end?

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BTW was I the only one that thought that Rand might just turn to the shadow at the end?

Aha, no, I think we all were thinking that. Or if he did it would only last until Moiraine popped back into the picture.

I really liked the book, though I know some things totally felt off (How many times did Caddy say Phaw! in her first chapter compared to all of a sudden dropping it for the rest of the book?)

But all in all I was extremely happy to just get a new story in this world. 5 years of theorizing and reading boards about this book and I was still supremely surprised with the twists. Keep'em coming BS!!

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I personally loved this new book. I was really nervous about there being a new writer and didn't hold out much hope. I have to say I like the writing better than Jordan's. It was nice to see the women in a more reasonable light and not so much repetive "braid tugging, men only think with hair on their chests, blah, blah blah. I also thought Mat's dialogue with Talmanes was a riot, I genuinely laughed out loud. It was more real, I mean men banter with each other, especially when they are in peilous situations.

I have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire lately and the Wheel of time had been rapidly falling out of my favor. I mean it just seemed so "G" rated and overly sweet. I almost didn't even get the new book and it would have been a huge mistake. Luckily my wife brought it home and I decided to start. (keep in mind I've read the WoT over and over like alot of us have) I was pleasantly surprised and the book brought me back in a big way!

 

Brandon Sanderson....YOU ROCK!!! (still love RJ)

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1. BS has a different style from RJ - far less descriptive, more modern word usage, quicker, more plot-centered, far less focus on minor characters (e.g. Stepaneous vanished from the Egwene plot altogether), less stylistic prowess. I have difficulty figuring out whose writing I like the more.

 

2. I quite liked how Graendal died, despite and even because of how anti-climatic it was. That's realism, I'd do the same in Rand's shoes. She spent a lot of time plotting and going on about how she could understand convoluted minds - and ended up balefired in the face. So even some poetic justice.

 

3. (This is assuming Graendal really died, of course - I give a 10% chance that she linked through a captive channeler under Compulsion, and immediately hurried away from her palace. The balefire destroyed her manor and the Compulsed channeler, thus unmaking the idiot noble's Compulsion threads, but no Graendal).

 

4. If she had died it would be cool if Asmodean could be brought back to life, he was pretty cool. Doubt it's happening given the huge time difference, though you never know what with the huge effect that balefire seemed on have on the Pattern.

 

Still, it would be awesome to have him reappearing a year later and saying "WTF, how come I keep getting killed and balefire-rescued all the time". Lol.

 

5. Loved the Verin bit, like everyone. Couldn't Egwene have called someone in to Heal her, though? After all, only Verin herself needed to believe she'd die within the hour to spill the beans.

 

6. Loved the Moridin scene, too. Nihilism ftw. ;)

 

7. Didn't like the Veins of Gold that much. I hoped Rand would remain tortured and broken, and become a real tyrant with secret police and mass repressions. Not come back to his senses. In good fantasy, all hope has to vanish.

 

8. Speaking of it, when Rand was at Dragonmount and drawing on the Power, I actually thought it would end by him drawing so much as to kill himself, repeating LTT 3000 years ago. All hope would indeed appear lost. However, since the Dragon is bound to the Horn, he'd be in TAR and would then be ripped out Birgitte-style by Egwene improvising, or a recaptured Moghedien, or something.

 

9. Could Rand have been gentled at the end of Veins? Letting go of that much Power so suddenly, not even being ta'veren could have saved him? Then hope would be lost - especially if Nynaeve found she could only Heal stilling, not being burned out. (CAN burning out be Healed? Can't remember if this was answered in the books).

 

10. Liked that BS continued RJ's BDSM themes.

 

11. Perrin sucks as usual.

 

12. Loved the zombie gorefest scene. Sure it was incidental to the plot but who cares the Groundhog Day night of the living dead idea is awesome.

 

13. LIKED that we didn't see Elayne.

 

14. Funny Forsaken spanking scene, but unrealistic, I would imagine.

 

15. I'd have liked to get more on the Blight. How the Trollocs get supplied, more info on the Shadowspawn, why on Earth having humans protecting crops in the Blight is effective (a single worm could kill all of them? - plus you need to feed the guards themselves, presumably), etc. Hope more on that in next 2 books.

 

16. Verin's cool and all... but how in the Light did she manage to penetrate the BA so thoroughly?

 

17. Also loved the numerous little gal / guy (Egwene / Tam) standing up to power (Elaida / Cadsuane) scenes.

 

these are my initial rambling thoughts after reading this...

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18. Forgot one more major thing.

 

I was *amazed* that there were 200+ BA, out of 700 AS. That's nearly every third!

 

I always thought there were around 40-60. More than in the general population, but by such a huge percentage? With those kinds of numbers, it's amazing they didn't all start resisting to prevent their order from being decimated by Egwene's executions.

 

I may have to revise my negative assessments of the Shadow's lack of strength in the channeling department, especially since if things are that bad in the AS camp, the Asha'man would probably be mostly black by now.

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I was actually very disappointed in the writing.  Aside from the above, Sanderson had characters monologuing - either speaking out loud or thinking in explicit detail their internal motivations.  The worst moment in the book, to me, was the conversation between Rand and Damer Flinn about how much freer the regular soldiers are than he is.  Rand makes a comment, and Sanderson has Flinn go "really?  but you're a lord!  OMG!" [ok, I added the OMG - but that's the sentiment that came across].  At that moment, Flinn wasn't an actual character - he was a cardboard cutout prompting an utterly unnecessary explanation of why Rand was less free.

 

Sanderson also needs to know when less is more.  "Close, like an assassin breathing his foul breath on the back of your neck" works much better as "Close, like an assassin breathing on the back of your neck" or "like an assassin's breath on the back of your neck"(actually, that's a trite analogy and should have been scrapped altogether, but if it had to be in there at all . . ."   Or in the prologue, where the suldam turns away so they don't see the tears in her eyes - a great writer would just describe the tears, and trust the reader to fill in the whys.  Sanderson writes the whys in.  (It's the same underlying problem as the monologuing, IMO - Sanderson doesn't trust the reader to fill in the blank, so he spoon feeds us).

 

In the end, I think these are correctable flaws; the trust issue in particular is the mark of a younger writer.

 

(BTW, to give you an idea of what that trust is about, I just read a short story from Tad Williams where he described creating a character as the reader and writer joining to "make a baby":

 

Let's make a baby: a writer's child . . . If I write "our baby is small and dark and round cheeked, with green eyes shading to turquoise around the pupils, with hair as black and shiny as a silk kimono," I have begun to make a child, but you have not really done your part . . . If I say instead "our baby is small, with a face that will someday be beautiful, but is now only an admonition to a parent's love, with eyes faintly peevish and hair as soft as a whisper," I have sacrificed some of the hard edge of realistic description, but I have allowed you to do your part, to add your genes to mine.  The writer's child will now take on a shape even more particular to you - hair dark or fair, as you choose, eyes of any color that seems true at the moment that you read.  Thus, I sow, you nurture, and together we will make something that is unique to us two.

 

Sanderson's writing, right now, is too much of the former and too little of the latter to be great.  Good, yes - great?  No.)

 

That said, from a pure plot perspective, you'd have to be nuts not to like this book.

Exactly. This is sort of what I meant by the 'Sanderson-glass' obstructing Randland, only this explanation makes way more sense. I really appreciate it, too, because now I have much better understanding of my problem with Sanderson's writing. For more examples, see his Mistborn trilogy and pretty much any book by R.A. Salvatore.

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Four years of waiting, reading again, prowling around the various websites and listening to the podcasts. Those points coupled with the hype that has surrounded the book, I mean the few reviews had been bursting with anticipation, gave me such expectations that there was no way the book could live up to it. It nearly did and that in my view is a great victory for Brandon Sanderson, must of been huge pressure for him.

There was no way the book could of satisfied my expectations. I was like a child that was waiting to see Jurassic Park, the whole build up and waiting for the book gave me back some boyhood enthusiasm again. When you were small everything was brilliant and I was expecting that the new book would be phants exploding amazing. Kind of repaeting myself so my main point here is that the book had an unusual amount of expectation to contend with and unfortunatly this will lead to disappointment in some readers and a lot of people will over critise the book.

Personally I quite enjoyed the book. Sure there was some bits that irked me but that can be said for some of Robert Jordans owe books- Crossroads of Twillight anyone, I didn't evenr re-read it. So I think some of the conclusions draw by some are a bit harsh but I don't they can be blamed for that, again the high expectations. I am considering re-reading the book again and see it and read it without the huge weight of expectation and I think I will get a truer feel for it.

Ok with all that said the bits that irked me. Mat was a bit off maybe not Mat but what he was doing and what happened to him. Sure it was funny but don't but it was tring to hard to achieve it, it didn't feel as natural as before , a bit forced even. Thom was off, totally off. In saying that Talmanes was a bit of character development, laughing at the younger man trying to come to terms with his situation. I feel that all the other characters were pretty much spot on. Events have happened to these people so its unrealistic for them to stay static and not change, to change is to live. The multiple pov and some short chapeters made it hard for me to get into it a bit but events are speeding up so not much to be done there. The one thing that bugged me was Mat never got any closer to saving Moraine, no Taim (what is his deal), no Logain and no Padain Fain, does he have anything left to offer. That also is why people could possibly be annoyied. Things we wanted to happen never occured. I have to say Rands total emotional tur around at the end didn't work for me, whiffed a bit of cheese. All in all they are all minor complaints so I say the book was a sucess and a good addition to the series, not the best but certainely not the worse. I expect the next to be a better book to be honest.

The book had more postives than negatives for me. Some great scenes- Verin's the colour of your dress, the meeting of the dragon and Tuon, Moridin feeling a bit down and finally Perrin is coming back to his senses and Hopper is back, Rand tapping the true power - that was scary and I wonder does that have any further implications for our hero, poor auld Measama (the prophet spelling off there I think), Trollocs attack, full on raid on the tower, Egwene kicking some behind. infact her whole story line rocked and finally Rand was way off the chart. They are finally, to quote a crap song,'rising up to the challenge of our rivals'.

So all in all for almost satisfying my childish glee, very nearly, I have to say well done to the authors and I cannot wait for the next. Although this time I hope I don't end up with two books again, I bought two like an ass.

 

 

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The word 'saidared' was a one-off and didn't bother me, however the repeated use of 'channeller' did. I could easily be mistaken, but this has always struck me as a word readers used but characters did not.
It occurs 17 times in the series. It's an RJ word

 

Suana is first described as plump and round-faced (Unexpected Encounters), but later as a lanky thing, all bones and skin (Sealed to the Flame).
That's one hell of a diet she's been on.

 

Also, for the person who wondered how many times Vanin was said to look like a "sack of suet", only five times.

 

I was *amazed* that there were 200+ BA, out of 700 AS. That's nearly every third!
I think there are closer to 1,000 AS.

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I am forced to concur with some of the reviews on how Mat was portrayed... I think the idea is in the right area, but it's the dialogue that really let me down.

To me he sounded a bit like One-eye.

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What I think is the problem here is that people are expecting the book to have been written by RJ, it was NOT, the ideas and outline were RJ, but Brandon Sanderson wrote the book, and frankly, I am reading it for the content rather than critiquing the writing style of Mr Sanderson, who frankly has just won another fan in yours truly.  I think he did a wonderful job and I look forward to the rest of the books.

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@Mr. Ares,

 

Quote from: Shaidar on Today at 02:12:23 AM

I was *amazed* that there were 200+ BA, out of 700 AS. That's nearly every third!

I think there are closer to 1,000 AS.

 

True. I Googled round and the true figure seems to be around 900 AS.

 

Still, that's an awfully high figure. It implies that the BA recruits very actively and forcefully within the Tower. Or perhaps all young Darkfriend women are simply commanded to go test for AS, which results in such a high concentration.

 

I would think that given their ruthlessness and lack of ties to the Oaths, if they had wanted to they would've been able to take over the WT through blunt force before the Purge.

 

^ And that implies Mesaana is now probably doomed. I expect to see her alongside Cyndane / Moghedien next time we meet her (or just vanished). Same for Aran'gar. Both of them now have 2 big failures, and the latter no longer even has a favored ally (Graendal).

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