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I agree with you guys about BS's word usage. It really does take you out of the story at times. RJ did such a great job and I respect his work even more now that I have seen how masterfully he crafted his prose.  It may be boring at times, but I was never taken out of the story.  I tried my best to like TOM, but I couldn't get over the slight nuances in language.

 

I'm a bit scared to read this installment if it's as bad as you guys say.

 

Having said that, I think BS for completing the work. Overall, he has done a great job and I thank him for his effort.

Edited by MauricXe

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I think Brandon couldn't pull off a massive battle like this, so Last Battle went like this: Mat sends orders, everybody thinks him insane, his orders somehow saves the day, everybody thinks him genius, go to step 1.

I think he couldn't pull off incorporating channelers into battle, so we got Androl, Pevara, Emarin walking around having adventures very much like the wondergirls had in earlier books and Egwene blasting Trolloc after Trolloc.

 

In short I think Brandon Sanderson couldn't pull off the ending of WoT, so we got an action-packed book from start to end. Thank you Mr. Sanderson, for giving us at least an ending.

 

Good things about the book:

  • We finally got a Forsaken that delivered. Of course, now, comparing to the others Demandred feels overdone. If this guy was this good, why did the others suck that bad? It was good to see anyway.
  • Gawyn got the ending he deserved.
  • Characters felt more right than in the previous two books.
  • The book was indeed exciting.
Edited by Cem Önal

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Quality problems certainly disappeared entirely when you hit Chapter 37.  Obvious reasons why though.

 

With about 100 pages to go, I can say that I am absolutely thrilled with this book.  We didn't an ending, we got THE ending.  So far, starting in chapter 37, it has been a fantastic read.  It really brings me back to my first read through's of the early books.  Just awesome.

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Its actually so bad that I dont even want to finish the book and I just want to hear what happens in summary form now.  :(

 

Quality problems certainly disappeared entirely when you hit Chapter 37.  Obvious reasons why though.

 

With about 100 pages to go, I can say that I am absolutely thrilled with this book.  We didn't an ending, we got THE ending.  So far, starting in chapter 37, it has been a fantastic read.  It really brings me back to my first read through's of the early books.  Just awesome.

 

So, are you changing your mind because of chapter 37?

 

Oh, I can' wait to get my hands on the book! 24 hours of torture to go! XD

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Its actually so bad that I dont even want to finish the book and I just want to hear what happens in summary form now.  :(

>>>>>>>Quality problems certainly disappeared entirely when you hit Chapter 37.  Obvious reasons why though.

 

With about 100 pages to go, I can say that I am absolutely thrilled with this book.  We didn't an ending, we got THE ending.  So far, starting in chapter 37, it has been a fantastic read.  It really brings me back to my first read through's of the early books.  Just awesome.

So, are you changing your mind because of chapter 37?

 

Oh, I can' wait to get my hands on the book! 24 hours of torture to go! XD

 

 

All of chapter 37 and so far what I've read after has been written entirely by RJ.  We didn't get an interpretation of an ending....we got THE ending.  If Sanderson filled in for him during these parts then he did a very good job and I cannot notice anything out of place in my initial read through (and I am pretty confident that I would notice BS's writing immediately if he did anything more than touch up a few paragraphs to help lineup RJ's details with his).

 

The difference between the fist 2/3 of the book and what happens starting in Chapter 37 is literally like night and day.  I almost didn't finish the book because the first half was so bad.  Then it starts getting a little interesting under Sanderson with the "Generals plot"...and then you get to Ch 37 and you're sucked back in and it feels like a time warp back to the first 6 books.  It's just fantastic to me.

 

Nobody will be entirely pleased with the details of how things get wrapped up from the sounds of it - seems like there are a lot of minor (some would argue not so minor) holes - but we got THE ending to the WoT written by RJ himself.  And not just a 10 page ending scene.  We got the whole thing and it is thoroughly entertaining and worthy of an ending to WoT in my opinion.  That being said, I am more than certain that if RJ's health hadn't been failing and he had enough time to finish the entire thing himself we would have something even better...but I am more than happy with what we received despite its shortcomings.  It was a gift to us by RJ, and it surprised and pleased the hell out of me.  I never in my wildest dreams expected that he wrote this much of the ending in its entirety.  I had always assumed he just wrote a few key end scenes that added up together to equal an average chapter length.  It seems like he wrote damn near 1/3 of this book himself.

Edited by Mark D

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Do we have confirmation yet on what RJ wrote and what Brandon did? I'm pretty sure the only thing that is 100% confirmed is the epilogue (and maybe only the very last section, with Rand hitting the road). Individual scenes in Chapter 37 I can imagine RJ having written (Egwene's death is very likely to have been something he wanted to write), but not sure about the whole thing.

 

I remember Team Jordan saying they had 200,000 words of material from RJ for these books, but that included notes and outlines, not 200,000 words of actual prose scattered across the three books.

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I have no confirmation, but it is very obvious who wrote Chapter 37 IMO.  Even after Chapter 37 it appears to be mostly RJ.  Just look at 37 and see how nearly every character is given an ending bit.  Writing aside, it reeks of the original author putting a final touch on all of his characters.

 

Prior to 37, every character felt like they had the same voice.  There was no emotion or feeling in any of the scenes, and they all read as simply a quick list of events that had to occur and loose ends that needed to be tied up.  The dialogue was ATROCIOUS.  Just blatant "the readers need to know this so I have to say it out loud despite it being a completely retarded and out of character thing to say" through the entire thing.

 

Sanderson really should be ashamed of himself for how the first half of this book turned out that he wrote himself.  Given the amount of the pure ending appears to have been written by RJ, I can see how and why he just flew through this to get it off his desk...but he still should be ashamed to put his name on it.  It was so bad that I actually gave up hope and felt that I had unfairly judged him.  I felt that maybe even RJ himself couldn't have put an ending on this thing and he really had tied himself into knots and let his fantasies wander over the past 20 years.  I actually became convinced that there was too much detail needed in the end, too many loose ends to tie up, and nobody could have brought this mess of a series to conclusion.  Reading the first half had actually made me give up hope on the series and start to look at it differently.  I started thinking to myself that maybe this entire thing wasn't a master work as I had always thought and maybe I was just adoring a great story that turned into a garbled mess for kids and adults who couldn't let go of their childhood stories.

 

And then...I was proven wrong in a spectacular way.

 

I still lay so many faults at the feet of Brandon Sanderson, but at the same time it has been proven blatantly obvious that the poor guy simply didn't have the talents to do the job he was chosen for.  He could have done better though.  I understand now why he was chosen and the notes weren't just published.  He didn't really need to finish that much, he just needed to provide a bridge to the ending and flesh out some holes.

Edited by Mark D

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I really don't understand his obsession with the word tempest.  I knew it was coming but I didn't think it would be in that frequency.  It was even in a chapter title and I'm sure that at one point i read it 3 times within 2 pages.  I get that he was using it to describe the effects on the weather, but at that point I would have liked to have seen it capitalized, that would have made more sense to me.

 

Aside from that, I felt like his writing was ok.  The actual story itself was good, the execution was just ok.  To me it would be like seeing the most well done charcoal drawing imaginable and then having someone come along and blur all the lines.  The great work is there but it was brought down from what it could have been.

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

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Its actually so bad that I dont even want to finish the book and I just want to hear what happens in summary form now.  :(

I feel for you, Mark. That's why I went to the spoiler forums in the first place, having lost my enjoyment  of the books themselves after having to force myself through TGS.

 

I literally cannot picture the thought process of somebody who was willing to sit through CoT but didn't enjoy tGS. "Plot movement" trumps style once a series has crossed into double digit books, and the last three books have had plot movement in spades. 

 

My biggest "quality" problem with aMoL was that the battle scenes, while numerous and exciting, weren't as easy to follow as they could have been. The battle of Cairhien in FoH, for example, let you know pretty easily where on the battlefield all the units were with relation to each other, and what each was doing... I had to go back and re-read a lot of the battle scenes in aMoL because, on first read through, I couldn't really follow who was doing what where. 

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I really don't understand his obsession with the word tempest.  I knew it was coming but I didn't think it would be in that frequency.  It was even in a chapter title and I'm sure that at one point i read it 3 times within 2 pages.  I get that he was using it to describe the effects on the weather, but at that point I would have liked to have seen it capitalized, that would have made more sense to me.

 

Oh, and on that note of word obsession, there's absolutely no way Aviendha (or any Aiel) would use words like "floodwaters" (and, if I recall correctly, something about a river) in her own head the way she does in in her POV's describing troop movements -- it was really jarring and pulled me out of the story. 

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Chapter 37 is not all RJ. Not by any means. Especially the parts where Mat is strategizing is definitely a mixed bag, with some parts sounding very RJ like, and others almost certainly Brandon's. Same with Egwene. Brandon at least touched up some of her stuff (and we get the tiring "anger of the Amyrlin" stuff), but her very last moments, talking about balance and equals and opposites... that read to me like RJ touched up with some Brandon. Or it could just be Brandon too.

 

For all that, Chapter 37 worked well enough. If you're a details guy, you'll be scratching your head at points, and I wish we had maps for the changing positions and attack nodes, but those were secondary to the emotional highs of Egwene's death, Lan killing Demandred and Olver blowing the horn.

 

Incidentally, you should know that Bela's death was written by Brandon, per Harriet's request. 

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Its actually so bad that I dont even want to finish the book and I just want to hear what happens in summary form now.  :(

I feel for you, Mark. That's why I went to the spoiler forums in the first place, having lost my enjoyment  of the books themselves after having to force myself through TGS.

 

I literally cannot picture the thought process of somebody who was willing to sit through CoT but didn't enjoy tGS. "Plot movement" trumps style once a series has crossed into double digit books, and the last three books have had plot movement in spades. 

 

My biggest "quality" problem with aMoL was that the battle scenes, while numerous and exciting, weren't as easy to follow as they could have been. The battle of Cairhien in FoH, for example, let you know pretty easily where on the battlefield all the units were with relation to each other, and what each was doing... I had to go back and re-read a lot of the battle scenes in aMoL because, on first read through, I couldn't really follow who was doing what where. 

 

I really just enjoy the writing and immersion into the plot that comes with RJ's writing.  I could read another 20 WoT books if he had written them.  The only frustrations that ever came to me from WoT books had to do with not getting enough of a particular character in a book and having to wait for the next book.  And sometimes the abrupt switch in storylines really irritated me...I would get really sucked into Rand or Mat and then "bam" I'm off to the White Tower with Egwene learning to channel (which was completely uninteresting)...and then as soon as I finally adjusted to Egwene and got sucked into her storyline it would switch again.

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

Its Birgette being beheaded. 

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

 

My guess would be the death of Romanda, who was a majorish character who died almost instantly -- so quickly that you really could blink and miss it -- and never mentioned again. 

 

I'm really glad that type of thing didn't happen earlier in the series; it's what made me stop reading A Song of Ice and Fire after the first book and a half. If characters are just going to be randomly dying everywhere, I'm not going to let myself make any emotional attachments to any of them, and then what's the point of an epic fantasy series? 

 

As it is, I don't think I'm ever going to be able to do another WoT reread, because knowing that Egwene dies in the end will make it impossible to read any of the scenes involving her in earlier books since she just ended up dying anyway and all the effort I put into caring about her was a waste. 

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

Its Birgette being beheaded. 

 

How sure are you?  I can definitely see that being a moment that you can describe as a "GRRM moment", but I would be very surprised if BS wrote that scene.  VERY surprised.

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

Its Birgette being beheaded. 

 

Um, yeah, but... a "GRRM" scene implies a death that's pointless and emotionally painful, and Birgitte doesn't really follow that since she came back to life literally moments later, and then after the story was reborn again, having served her purpose with Elayne. So I don't really think that works. 

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I disagree.  I think when Brandon referred to a GRRM moment he was referring to the shock value of the unexpected death of a heavily featured character.  I really can't imagine who this would be though since I am very certain that 99% of Chapter 37 was written by RJ.

 

The Birgette thing really fits well though so maybe he wrote that scene and fit it into 37.  I'll have to read it more carefully tonight and maybe I can tell - Brandon's writing is fairly obvious compared to RJ's when you know what to look for, but he sometimes does sneak in some surprisingly well written portions amongst the garbage.

Edited by Mark D

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I'll have to read it more carefully tonight and maybe I can tell - Brandon's writing is fairly obvious compared to RJ's when you know what to look for, but he sometimes does sneak in some surprisingly well written portions amongst the garbage.

Mark don't make me remind you of that swing and miss you had claiming Brandon ruined Mat in the ToG sequence. ;)

 

You know I have many issues with his writing but it's not always so cut and dry.

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

Its Birgette being beheaded. 

 

How sure are you?  I can definitely see that being a moment that you can describe as a "GRRM moment", but I would be very surprised if BS wrote that scene.  VERY surprised.

 

It was the Birgette scene. And many other parts of Chapter 37 were clearly Brandon too. I've had many problems with Brandon's work, but your take seems to be, "If I enjoy it, its Jordan, otherwise its Brandon". 

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I'll have to read it more carefully tonight and maybe I can tell - Brandon's writing is fairly obvious compared to RJ's when you know what to look for, but he sometimes does sneak in some surprisingly well written portions amongst the garbage.

Mark don't make me remind you of that swing and miss you had claiming Brandon ruined Mat in the ToG sequence. ;)

 

You know I have many issues with his writing but it's not always so cut and dry.

 

That's true, but I jumped the gun there myself.  The parts that really rubbed me wrong were the scenes that occured after the ToG sequence and I immediately just lumped them all together and complained.  Turns out that RJ wrote the ToG sequences, but not their reunion afterwards so I was pretty much personally correct with what I felt was off; I just lumped it all in as one section.

 

I will say this - if any portions of Chapter 37 were written by BS then he did a good enough job with it that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire chapter and did not notice anything that was "off" enough to bother me one bit.  This is obviously far from the case with much of everything else he wrote so it would totally confound me if the guy wrote so poorly and scenes were so off in some areas and then hit the bullseye so closely in so many others.  The Mat scenes in 37 were awesome to me and a sure sign that RJ was writing again.

 

The only parts that felt a tiny bit off in 37 were some of Demandred's dialogue and actions.  Just screaming madly for Lews Therin for hours at a time...and then some of the dialogue he used was a bit corny and cringe worthy.

 

Also...did anyone else have this image of "Demandred" as some giant robot off in the distance just shooting lasers all around the battlefield?  For some reason I couldn't shake that thought....and it felt a bit strange that with his circle of 72 and angreal he couldn't just completely annihilate the good guys by himself with ease.  Rand with Callandor managed to obliterate armies in moments.

Edited by Mark D

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

Its Birgette being beheaded. 

 

How sure are you?  I can definitely see that being a moment that you can describe as a "GRRM moment", but I would be very surprised if BS wrote that scene.  VERY surprised.

 

It was the Birgette scene. And many other parts of Chapter 37 were clearly Brandon too. I've had many problems with Brandon's work, but your take seems to be, "If I enjoy it, its Jordan, otherwise its Brandon". 

 

Do you care to actually explain how you KNOW its the Birgette scene or are you just going to pretentiously state that it's that scene without reason over and over again?

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As I read 37 I became convinced that nearly all of it was RJ and some of Brandon's more memorable points seemed to stick out.  In my mind, I imagined Brandon sitting down prior to writing anything and reading the bulk of 37 and using that as a guide to how he should finish the series.  The brief part about Talmanes making a joke for example and Mat mentioning he will send his best pair of boots to someone.  I took those as the seeds that BS read and used to write the boot scene and for giving Talmanes his sense of humor.

 

Of course, they could also very well be the exact opposite and be insertions by Brandon.  I feel pretty confident that the joke bit with Talmanes was an RJ original though and Brandon used it to build his Talmanes.  All speculation obviously...

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I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

Its Birgette being beheaded. 

 

How sure are you?  I can definitely see that being a moment that you can describe as a "GRRM moment", but I would be very surprised if BS wrote that scene.  VERY surprised.

 

It was the Birgette scene. And many other parts of Chapter 37 were clearly Brandon too. I've had many problems with Brandon's work, but your take seems to be, "If I enjoy it, its Jordan, otherwise its Brandon". 

 

Do you care to actually explain how you KNOW its the Birgette scene or are you just going to pretentiously state that it's that scene without reason over and over again?

I don't think any of us knows that it's that scene but it feels very right, doesn't it? Just forget about the second part of it where Birgitte comes back. Birgitte is beheaded like it's nothing, Elayne is about to be raped and her children cut out from her womb. You don't see that kind of stuff very often. That scene wouldn't stand out in ASoIF at all.

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