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Quality Discussion Thread

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I think the reason I liked the Sanderson books is because Jordan had already lost me.  IMO the books started to really meander and drag around six or seven, and by nine I was just done.  Then, a friend of mine who stuck with it told me that BS was finishing the series and his exact words were "things happen again."  If anything AMoL is my least favorite of Sanderson's three because he starts in with the inconclusive battles (Perrin/Slayer) and characters I have to look up (Androl, Talmanes).  I'd have given up half of the Last Battle and all of Talmanes and Androl for a couple good conversations between, for instance, Rand and Moiraine.

 

I also wish that, instead of having her taken by the Seanchan, Nynaeve had spotted Mogheiden and kicked her around the room for old times' sake.

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So there seems to be some odd revionist history going on with certain fans about the slow down during that tPoD-CoT stretch. Even as RJ lost his way the quality of writing never droppped. Not only that but big things happen such as the Cleansing, the Damona Campaign etc. The whole "things happen" again under Brandon narrative ignores the fact that KoD had already fixed the meandering and had the story arc poised to wrap up. It is strange that certain people don't get that the story arc dictated the chnage in pace, noth the author. If anything Brandon was forced to stretch things out after the split was decided and it shows with the bloat and filler.

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RJ's writing certainly remained consistent throughout the series; the quality of it, anyway.

 

But I agree Sutree. I think part of the problem is certain people are picking this book up with certain expectations, and different people are taking different things away from it.

 

Some people are willing to look beyond some of the issues with the prose because they are single-mindedly focused on the progression of the plot; others are not. (Short of blatant plot inconsistencies, of which there are a few, I find that the "Brandon is lazy and forgot X" arguments to be utterly without merit, since none of us were "in the room" with regard to decisions as to what needed to get covered in the book.)

 

I think primarily people who read the WoT read it because they enjoyed the story and wanted the story to advance, and from that perspective, I think the final 3 books delivered. I have been able to explain away certain inconsistencies that others don't want to look beyond; I'm neither right or wrong in doing so. (For example, the Alanna debate - while sure, there could have been more, I think as readers we can easily piece together that she was abducted by Moridin and held to be used as leverage against Rand in the Pit of Doom. The fact that she willingly released the bond is enough of an indication -- at least for me -- that she wasn't a darkfriend. Myself, I think that kind of thing is fairly obvious if you don't demand that the author lead you around by the nose; now, whether something was "forgotten" requiring me to have to piece that together or whether it was left that way deliberately seems to be the more logical debate. However, we'll likely never have that answer.)

 

I don't think BS is a better or worse writer than RJ; he's merely different. I think, undoubtled, RJ was a better writer of WoT, but that's like the "No $#!t" statement of the century. I think RJ would not have been able to deliver as good an ending to Mistborn as Brandon were roles reversed here. It's just the way it is. Yes, Brandon didn't accurately write certain characters, so the point that they felt off. (I think Mat in tGS is the most obvious example here.) Certain scenes didn't feel like they fit in the story (big shout out to the Rand/Mat scene in front of Tuon. Anyone have a ruler?) But -- I didn't really mind it.

 

I liked the Androl scene; I like his cleverness with gateways. I thought it felt fresh, and quite frankly, how would things get to the point they were in the Age of Legends without that kind of pushing of the envelope to figure things out?

 

My general feeling about the lack of personal moments - I missed them, certainly. Maybe RJ would have included them. But I think the way I saw it is that in this Great War, the Last Battle, the casualties were in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. That's the despair of war; so many die meaningless, forgotten deaths. Maybe I would rather have had that final personal moment with Gareth, or Suian, or Bashere. But I think the fact that we got those deaths the way that we did make an equally powerful statement.

 

Again and again, we come back to it (at least I do in each of my responses, every time I make the mistake of looking in on this thread) -- everyone takes something different away from their reading of aMoL, and there is no right answer (except in instances of specific, blatant inconsistencies.)

 

Also, I think the assertions that the series should have been left unfinished, rather than finished in this manner, are ludicrous. I'd much rather have the closure (which I still don't think I have, damnit! I still keep thinking about it!) than to be living with out an end forever. I'd invested too much time, damnit! And I would never recommend a series of 11 books, without a resolution, to anyone!

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So there seems to be some odd revionist history going on with certain fans about the slow down during that tPoD-CoT stretch. Even as RJ lost his way the quality of writing never droppped. Not only that but big things happen such as the Cleansing, the Damona Campaign etc. The whole "things happen" again under Brandon narrative ignores the fact that KoD had already fixed the meandering and had the story arc poised to wrap up. It is strange that certain people don't get that the story arc dictated the chnage in pace, noth the author. If anything Brandon was forced to stretch things out after the split was decided and it shows with the bloat and filler.

 

Just like certain fans like to "forget" that it took almost 10 years to get through those four books in a series that was only 6 years old and 7 books in previously.

Maybe some, that weren't reading the series from the beginning or close to it, aren't as bothered by this but most of us that were were not very happy at all over that stretch.

 

So while KoD did indeed make gains(not full sale) toward "righting the ship", it was still almost a 3 year wait for it.

 

At the end of the day, for me, the best part of the series were Books 1-7.

The second best part of the series were Books 12-14

The worst part of the series were Books 8-11

 

The series was never going to get written as well as RJ would have done it. I don't think anyone debates that (some don't accept that he's dead though it seems).

Could BS have done better? Possibly but he is writing characters that are not his own. That is one of the main complaints I hear, about how his own books are sometimes better written than his WoT books. But those are HIS character and it's HIS story he's telling so honestly, I think it's to be expected.

 

 

Bottomline...there are far too many (or maybe it's just too many loud people) that would not have been happy with the end of the series short of tSR-LoC quality and pace and with RJ's passing, that was quite simply just impossible.

Edited by Finnssss

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So there seems to be some odd revionist history going on with certain fans about the slow down during that tPoD-CoT stretch. Even as RJ lost his way the quality of writing never droppped. Not only that but big things happen such as the Cleansing, the Damona Campaign etc. The whole "things happen" again under Brandon narrative ignores the fact that KoD had already fixed the meandering and had the story arc poised to wrap up. It is strange that certain people don't get that the story arc dictated the chnage in pace, noth the author. If anything Brandon was forced to stretch things out after the split was decided and it shows with the bloat and filler.

 

I think it was the extraneous PoV characters that bothered me.  I didn't mind the expanding cast, just the way it took the focus off the characters I enjoy (hint, if you didn't make it in by TEotW you're probably not on that list) interacting with each other.  Jordan's writing didn't get bad, but he chose to write about subjects that weren't holding my interest.

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So there seems to be some odd revionist history going on with certain fans about the slow down during that tPoD-CoT stretch. Even as RJ lost his way the quality of writing never droppped. Not only that but big things happen such as the Cleansing, the Damona Campaign etc. The whole "things happen" again under Brandon narrative ignores the fact that KoD had already fixed the meandering and had the story arc poised to wrap up. It is strange that certain people don't get that the story arc dictated the chnage in pace, noth the author. If anything Brandon was forced to stretch things out after the split was decided and it shows with the bloat and filler.

 

After reading the last three books I could not agree more, story wise there was never a reason to split the book beyond money reasons.  Knowing that they were going to write three books  and no more why leave so many things left open, i guess to keep us guessing what a lazy author could not work out 

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Bottomline...there are far too many (or maybe it's just too many loud people) that would not have been happy with the end of the series short of tSR-LoC quality and pace and with RJ's passing, that was quite simply just impossible.

 

Agree.  Could it have been better?  Undoubtedly.  I would much rather there have been more space between the releases of these last 3 to fix inconsistencies and polish a few things up.

 

But quite honestly, there are too many people that had seriously unrealistic expectations.  Once the original voice, or creator, of something is gone, nothing and no one can replace it/him/her.  A certain amount of anger -- misdirected, obviously -- at Brandon is expected, especially from people that are obsessed enough with a series to spend time posting on message boards about it.  :-)  There was no way Brandon was going to get everything right, but I think it was the job of the editors to pick out the more egregious issues that most people are harping about (quality of the writing, aside, which is more BS's department.)

 

Those people that are casually invested, that read the series because it's a good story and want to find out what happens to the characters, I think will be perfectly happy with the ending we got.  I don't think the legacy of Wheel of Time, such as it is, is really damaged by Brandon's work, not to the masses at large.  (Frankly, I think far more people left the series behind during the books 8-10 lull than at any other time.  If anything, that was far more damaging, especially since it was RJ himself who let things spin so far out of control.)

 

I agree that KoD was a clear attempt to turn things around and get things focused towards resolution, but that in no way proves that RJ would have been able to maintain that focus and pace, as things had just been out of control for far too long by that point.

 

Edit -- To emphasize the point I've tried to make that the editing team should be catching more flak than Brandon with regard to certain issues --- by Brandon's own admission, he writes by character -- i.e., finish the Perrin arc, finish the Egwene arc, Rand arc, etc.  Given that one of the biggest complaints about ToM was the timeline, how is that not a *major* editing issue, given how Brandon writes? 

Edited by Sarlic

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Sanderson is an awesome writer, much better than what AMOL suggests. I can't but think that if they had let him write on his own without a no of plot lines from RJ which he HAD to incorporate,he would have done a much better job. AMOL is full of examples where Sanderson struggles to think of how RJ wanted his plot lines fleshed out.RJ probably had that Egwene shd die in a conflict with Taim involving balefire. Sanderson cannot flesh it out properly and comes up with a foolish ending to Egwene with her un balefire weave. Same thing with Verrin's letters,Sanderson had no idea what to do with that.What to do with Alanna?. How to give Logain his glory?.How to make it so tht Logain steps over a masked Rand to power?. Sanderson has these things he has to work with but does not know what to do with them how to put them as part of the story.

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So there seems to be some odd revionist history going on with certain fans about the slow down during that tPoD-CoT stretch. Even as RJ lost his way the quality of writing never droppped. Not only that but big things happen such as the Cleansing, the Damona Campaign etc. The whole "things happen" again under Brandon narrative ignores the fact that KoD had already fixed the meandering and had the story arc poised to wrap up. It is strange that certain people don't get that the story arc dictated the chnage in pace, noth the author. If anything Brandon was forced to stretch things out after the split was decided and it shows with the bloat and filler.

 

Just like certain fans like to "forget" that it took almost 10 years to get through those four books in a series that was only 6 years old and 7 books in previously.

Why would anyone be forgetting that and what does that possibly have to do with the quality or pace of the writing? Many of us had to wait over that time period but I for one have always been a propenent of not rushing a book and don't feel we are owed anything during a set time frame.

 

We saw the release pace drop off from one a year after he ran out of material he already had finished. I believe it was Terez who did a post documenting how it worked. We have seen how badly(especially in ToM) how badly rushing these books out hurt the quality. It recently came to light that plot decisions were actually based around deadlines at times. That to me at least is not ok and yes Team Jordan bears blame there as well.

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Bottomline...there are far too many (or maybe it's just too many loud people) that would not have been happy with the end of the series short of tSR-LoC quality and pace and with RJ's passing, that was quite simply just impossible.

 

Agree.  Could it have been better?  Undoubtedly.  I would much rather there have been more space between the releases of these last 3 to fix inconsistencies and polish a few things up.

 

But quite honestly, there are too many people that had seriously unrealistic expectations.  Once the original voice, or creator, of something is gone, nothing and no one can replace it/him/her.  A certain amount of anger -- misdirected, obviously -- at Brandon is expected, especially from people that are obsessed enough with a series to spend time posting on message boards about it.  :-)  There was no way Brandon was going to get everything right, but I think it was the job of the editors to pick out the more egregious issues that most people are harping about (quality of the writing, aside, which is more BS's department.)

 

Those people that are casually invested, that read the series because it's a good story and want to find out what happens to the characters, I think will be perfectly happy with the ending we got.  I don't think the legacy of Wheel of Time, such as it is, is really damaged by Brandon's work, not to the masses at large.  (Frankly, I think far more people left the series behind during the books 8-10 lull than at any other time.  If anything, that was far more damaging, especially since it was RJ himself who let things spin so far out of control.)

 

I agree that KoD was a clear attempt to turn things around and get things focused towards resolution, but that in no way proves that RJ would have been able to maintain that focus and pace, as things had just been out of control for far too long by that point.

 

Edit -- To emphasize the point I've tried to make that the editing team should be catching more flak than Brandon with regard to certain issues --- by Brandon's own admission, he writes by character -- i.e., finish the Perrin arc, finish the Egwene arc, Rand arc, etc.  Given that one of the biggest complaints about ToM was the timeline, how is that not a *major* editing issue, given how Brandon writes? 

There is certainly something to people having expectations, but honestly I think my expectations were pretty low. I enjoyed TGS and ToM for the movement to the storyline. In those books I could get over the issues in tone and character where things felt "off", but in AMoL they didn't feel "off" they felt wrong.

 

To me it was obvious that BS was struggled with three major problems:

 

1. Bridging where characters were at the end of ToM and getting them to specific points/ends that RJ had in his notations.

 

The worst of these are the inexplicable deaths (Rhuarc, Suian), saves (Lan, Galad, Faile), rule changes (Compulsion, Gateways) and dues ex machina (Egwene's ter'angreal, Callandor). But it also created story arcs where I didn't see a plausible reason for the actions (Faile's delivery service, Mat going directly to Ebou Dar at the start, Demandred's whole arc) or caused forced or abrupt resolutions (the Black Tower, Dragon's Peace, Rand/Tuon, Egwene/Tuon, Allana's death).

 

2. Knowledge of the fan community which caused him to answer their questions instead of focusing on necessary resolutions to the plot.

 

This caused most of the 4th wall breakages, with the Demandred duels being the most egregious. The Gawyn duel alone brought me so far out of the story that when I got to the Egwene finale had no eotional impact.

 

3. Not knowing how to create drama in warfare outside of the combat itself.

 

There is no way that BS could be expected to understand warfare in the same way as a combat veteran like RJ. But he should have understood the theme that RJ established that the reason an individual fights is where the drama is, the combat itself is just horror. His lack of military knowledge hurt some of the combat but it was the focus on a big bad protaganist where the story was lost to me (especially when the protaganist becomes so cartoonish).

 

 

 

 

If I had to actually complain about expectations it would be much more about missing arch-themes like Perrin's leadership of men (instead of going solo the whole book) and Mat's unit building (Thom, Olver and Talmanes are a functional part of Mat's group and act as his true voice).

Edited by Hrothgordo

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 What sort of suprises me is how well I thought the battle scenes and the characterizations during the battle scenes were in Way of Kings.

It really was a different experience.

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I think BS got the horror right (which is evidenced by the abrupt way some characters made their exits) but agree on the drama and the story arcs, for sure. Some resolutions were very abrupt, for sure. Some of that would have been better handled in ToM. (Sorry for being non-specific, typing from an iPad, but I'm sure we're all thinking of the same things.)

 

I didn't mind the 4th wall stuff as much as others but totally understand how that's would annoy others. I had a little chuckle at some of these things and then just moved beyond them.

Edited by Sarlic

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 What sort of suprises me is how well I thought the battle scenes and the characterizations during the battle scenes were in Way of Kings.

It really was a different experience.

 

I think the disconnect there was despite being similar styled books (basically one constant battle), he still had the little breaks from the action (whatshernames POVs, and the assassin who despite being in a constant state of violence rarely thought in a violent way).  In AMOL, every single person was in the middle of the conflict.  The only real chances for something similar would be a POV from Moir or Nyn on their walk into the cave, if we assume the plot goes unchanged.

 

I think the Mat/Mordeth conflict was a decent situation (not very well executed..but oh well), but the only end fitting for Fain is by Shadar Haran.  I cant think of another situation which could do either SH or Fain justice and provide fitting ends, and I am kind of disappointed that it didnt happen.

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First of all let me take a moment and thank Brandon for finishing up this series.  I have mixed feelings about this book.  I feel that we rushed the character interaction to focus on the battle.  This actually surprised me, because I was concerned that it would go the other way.  I felt cheated with Moraine and her return, and this may be my biggest let down in the whole series.  (And I can not even finish reading COT during a reread).  We have such a missed opportunity to really have some great moments and we tossed them to the side to jump into the battles.  We miss out on the Hawkwing and Tuon meeting, and why did we ever introduce a new plot line with Avendia and really never explore it?  I know we couldn't have all the answers but that just comes out as a waste of time. But even with my negative feelings I could not put the book down.  I guess to sum it up, it was a great story, but lacked emotion.  (In no way am I bashing Brandon.  I loved TGS and ToM, I feel that we tried to cram too much into one book.)

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I must be the only one who found The Way of Kings too silly.  I couldn't finish it. 

 

 

Storm you! 

Not the only one by a long shot. But then again you know some of my favorite series and probably understand why it doesn't hold up for me.

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So there seems to be some odd revionist history going on with certain fans about the slow down during that tPoD-CoT stretch. Even as RJ lost his way the quality of writing never droppped. Not only that but big things happen such as the Cleansing, the Damona Campaign etc. The whole "things happen" again under Brandon narrative ignores the fact that KoD had already fixed the meandering and had the story arc poised to wrap up. It is strange that certain people don't get that the story arc dictated the chnage in pace, noth the author. If anything Brandon was forced to stretch things out after the split was decided and it shows with the bloat and filler.

 

You keep repeating that, but I don't think you have much in the way of evidence to support your argument that the series was back on track with KoD, or that KoD set the pace for the next bunch of books. Up until aCoS, the WoT felt as if it had a certain sense of urgency to it. Things needed to get done, and needed to get done ASAP. So despite this pacing brought on by the prior books, RJ still managed to give us three books of nothing but filler. And I see no reason to assume that the books following KoD would have picked up the pace.

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@Aeo Sedai

 

Given yor comment above I don't think you understand the concept of filler from a literary perspective.

 

As for the rest anyone who applies even a surface level analysis to these books understands where we were in the story arc in terms of being pointed towards wrap up and the increased pace of KoD after those mid-late books. You are the first person I've seen claim otherwise.

 

Hope to be saying this for the last time. Brandon is just starting Stormlight and we will have no idea how skilled he is at pace over the course of a long series until we see him in a comparable place to CoT or tFoC where Martin and Jordan got into trouble. Regardless for both of them there was never a trouble with depth, subtlety, immersion in a richly detailed world or polished prose. Those are all things Brandon struggles with at times.

Edited by Suttree

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I think primarily people who read the WoT read it because they enjoyed the story and wanted the story to advance, and from that perspective, I think the final 3 books delivered.

This is how I feel.

 

I picked up WOT right after The Great Hunt was released. I bought every book as it came out, but after Winter's Heart I simply stopped reading the series. I vowed to not purchase another book until it the story was done.

 

I did read a friend's copy of CoT, and was glad I didn't pay for it.

 

I also did purchase CoT, KoD and TGS when ToM came out (going against my vow), but by that point I knew there was only 1 more book after ToM and that the story would be finished soon.

 

I can't really speak to the quality of KoD so much, as I read it after TGS and ToM were out (and read them back to back to back right after CoT, but my re-read stopped midway of FoH - as that's when, to me, the series starts going off the rails - although I didn't realize when the books were being published until later, and I gave up on the series after reading WH).

 

As for this book - I enjoyed it. I enjoyed The Last Battle, and I enjoyed the expanded use of gateways (I was so tired of thinking of how stupid the characters were as I was reading the books - they couldn't see and use the tools they had in such an obvious way). I thought Androl and Pevara was one of the few times the series had a man and woman act kind of like actual reasonable people while dealing with each other, however forced they were to deal with each other.

 

I enjoyed there being a Forsaken that was an actual threat. This was the first book I had any real fear that a "main" character would die, and one of the few books where I didn't come away thinking "why are the Forsaken so pathetic?".

 

See, during the middle part of WOT, I simply grew out of love with the main characters (other than Mat and, to a degree, Nyn) and I grew out of love with the overall plot. I thought most of the characters (both good and bad) grew into unlikeable characters.

 

But I never fell out of love with the WORLD RJ created, and so I read all 3 of BS's books, and enjoyed them, and am thankful someone was allowed to finish the story and give us RJ's ending.

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Summary of 53 page thread on quality. (this post is your one-stop shop!)

Posters with <~100 posts tend to absolutely love it and defend it vigorously; Posters with >500 posts tend to not like it.

(end of summary of thread)

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(why dont line breaks work for me??)

 

Im afraid i dont buy the 'story arc' reason for the awful pacing that hit us around book 9, no matter how good your story you cant have a 900 page 'transition book' well you can but its incredibly indulgent.

 

I introduced several people to the series- they all gave up around book 9 or 10 despite loving it initially..

 

As to the number of posts, well i would describe myself as a big wot fan...ive done maybe 8 rereads (each time a book came out i reread the series). I registered because i was sad the story was over, and wanted to talk about it- i was very surprised to find people didnt enjoy the last 3! ;)

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Bregah,

 

This is why I hate Tor books or perhaps the nature of the publishing business: they milked Jordan for all he was worth regardless of the quality of his work. In fact, it was in their interest to let RJ meander. 

 

Tor indulged him at every turn because EVERY book, no matter how bad it was, still hit the Bestseller's List as a direct result of the quality present in the first 4 books. Tor knew readers were hooked, and would have had no problem letting the series go 20 books, since we'd still show up to RAFO.

 

Tor's gotten us to buy around 50 million books; if the series had been properly edited that number would be cut to 30 million, tops.

 

This is why someone needs to put together an abridged version; can't let them cheat us or any potential fans by forcing them to sit through Luca's circus or Faile's captivity.

 

I want to call it the 4th Age edition.

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I must be the only one who found The Way of Kings too silly.  I couldn't finish it. 

 

 

Storm you! 

 

Well we all have different tastes i guess

 

for me - ive read a lot of fantasy lately (i read a lot of books) 

 

I loved patrick rothfuss- not much seems to happen, but its so well written that i read them very quickly

Enjoyed codex alera (butcher)

Enjoyed night angel trilogy (brent weeks)

But didnt really love GRRM and hated chronicles of thomas covenant

 

and adored TWOK

 

So the point is we all want different things and i can respect that ;)

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