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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Luckers

Quality Discussion Thread

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While we don't know either way we have to keep in mind that Brandon had to make up a huge amount of new material. The notes were far less robust than many of us originally believed. For instance at times they would say character a starts here and ends here. Brandon would have to make up everything I'm between. Not saying that is the case here but it certainly is possible he had to create the details.

 

In the interviews that were posted this week, Brandon said he wrote Egwene's death scene, came up with Lan's final scene in ToM, and that it had been his idea to reunite Rand with Tam. Now that the final book is out, I have a feeling we're going to hear more about who wrote what, and that many fans will be surprised at how much Brandon had to come up with on his own.

Thanks for that sleeping, haven't had time to check out the newish interviews yet.

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The only thing that really felt like clear Brandon to me was Androl's use of Gateways - using them as weapons, to cut rope, to redirect weaves, to make tea, to throw lava on enemies, etc. If you've read his other work, you know he has a thing for pushing the boundaries of his magic systems - "If a character could really do this thing and do it well and do it creatively, what would he do with the power?" That felt like Sanderson to me.

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There is no way the flame of Tar Valon was a Brandon invention. There is absolutely no way for that to pass team jordan. for starters, Egwene died. second, the plot device itself is a bit major. At best, Brandon just didn't do it as well as some of you would have liked.

While we don't know either way we have to keep in mind that Brandon had to make up a huge amount of new material. The notes were far less robust than many of us originally believed. For instance at times they would say character a starts here and ends here. Brandon would have to make up everything I'm between. Not saying that is the case here but it certainly is possible he had to create the details.

 

 

I think the Flame of Tar  Valon weave has been planned for some time.  I believe that the crystal columns resulting from this weave were what happened to the Jenn Aiel.

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Traslyn if you want to keep discussing the topic please do so in the proper place. As Luckers mentioned this side bar doesn't belong here.

 

Edit: No shots at other posters? Funny, what would you call the sherlock holmes comment? ;)

Edited by Suttree

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Indeed. Okay to be clear Traslyn, this topic is for the discussion of the quality to the writing and any criticisms (positive or negative) made about it.

 

Your theories are not such a discussion, and thus should not be present in this thread. I would suggest either the through chapter 40 or the entire book thread.

 

From this moment forward no further discussion on this belongs in this thread. PM me if you have any questions.

 

Edit: Also don't mean to be abrupt, fixing ALOT of issues on the run.

 

 

Edit the second: As should be made clear by the above, this thread devolved into discussion about Egwene's death scene which is plot material. Obviously the line there blurred from discussion of the nature of the writing and plotting of Egwene's death into discussion of Egwene's death itself and I had to draw a line, figured that would be a nice place to do it (though obviously there is still some plot based material left). If your post stayed, fine. If it didn't, tough.

 

TO BE CLEAR, NO ONE SHOULD FOLLOW UP ON THAT MATERIAL IN THIS THREAD.

 

Quality discussion only people.

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Now that I've had a chance to digest the book a little...

 

I found the pacing to be distracting at first with all the cut quicks.  But, once the Heroes show up and we have the quick conversation between Matt and the Amerasu (sp?) about his being delinked from the horn, I got the sense that the Last Battle was proceeding much like Falme did back in TGH. That kind of brought me back into the fold a bit because it fit more into my overall 'feel' of what a WoT book is.

 

Having realized the above, I find myself a little more disstatisfied and wondering what could of been.  And, I can't really blame BS because not all of the middle RJ books had that WoT-feel to me either...

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I think this was the first time that I was not satisfied with a WoT book. And having it in the final book in the series is a really bummer. I have been bored before with some plotlines(Faile's capture, Andor's civil wars etc) and some books were hard reads for me, but this.. this is in a very different level. Maybe it was because I had my expectations way too high, but this is the FINAL book of THE series for me, I think having high expectations is a given.

 

The first half of the book felt very, very rushed. I felt disconnected from the story for a number of times. I had to reign myself in and say "OK, RJ was writing these on the verge of passing away, he had to rush things in". I actually don't know if this is related to RJ's untimely death or a lack of skill on Brandon's part, hell maybe it was even intentional since this is the Last Battle. It made me feel like this is like a collection of stories for which I have known the world, the characters, the setting. It is really hard for me to describe, it just didn't have the continuity of any WoT books I have read before.

 

The Last Battle chapter was good, except for the fact that it was very hard to imagine all the manuevers and such. Gateways were way too overdone I would think. Not only Androl's but the way they viewed the war and such. We were finally given answers regarding Demandred and his awesomeness with his planning and such, but Demandred on a hilltop and yelling "LEWS THERIN WHERE ARE YOU" over and over again while blasting stuff? For someone to be this crafty, fulfilling another nation's prophecies over the time and having them convinced to fight alongside shadowspawn even, and then just yelling on the top of his lungs to the winds that he wants Lews Therin? I would say that was very poorly done.

 

2 deaths in particular bugged me most. For the love of God, Gawyn how stupid can you get? We have seen him doing stupid things in the past but this is the Last Battle and you are not just anyone but the Amirlyn's Warder for god's sake. How can anyone (even with 3 bloodrings) be stupid enough to go against one of the craftiest Forsaken and hope to come out alive, when your failure will mean incapacitation of one of Light's most important leader? And Padan Fain... He is the wildcard, his evil rivaled only by DO himself, his character evolves and grows into something unique with powers not seen in a man before. We see him going into the Blight last time, gathering an army of trollocs or whatever he can find along the way. Hell, people even suggested he will replace DO or he will be the key to this battle with all the character improvement over the series. We see him for 2 pages (maybe not even so much) and he dies immediately. I was so frustrated to see him go down "without a bang".

 

And this might just be me, but I wish Rand's trio was shown to be affected or seen crying or something like that so that I could be led to believe that Rand in deed died, which would effect me deeply and him being alive after all would mean so, so much more after that.

 

I have found BS's work with WoT, good admitting he has flaws but stating also he had been doing a remarkable job. I don't know if the reason I am feeling "undelivered" is him or something else, but HIS name is on the book besides RJ and this should mainly be his responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I am still happy that we got the ending, but I also am frustrated as I somehow could not find the quality that I have been used to get with all the WoT books I read so far.

Edited by goksekor

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Well, Gawyn's death was very fitting. I wanted him to die a pointless, stupid and violent death for so long and he delivered. I was pleased, both because it was a realistic end to Gawyn and I hate him.

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Well, Gawyn's death was very fitting. I wanted him to die a pointless, stupid and violent death for so long and he delivered. I was pleased, both because it was a realistic end to Gawyn and I hate him.

 

lol i actually thought the circumstances of his death were fitting as well.  the idea of going after demandred with the bloodrings didnt seem too far out of left field.  the whole sword duel that erupted afterwards and conversation they had during was completely ridiculous though.

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What is really disappointing to me is that in this book I saw that Brandon did have the potential to finish these books in a satisfactory way.  He really just didn't invest the time to make sure he did a good job and it felt like he only really gave 110% effort on the parts that interested him as a fan.

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Well, Gawyn's death was very fitting. I wanted him to die a pointless, stupid and violent death for so long and he delivered. I was pleased, both because it was a realistic end to Gawyn and I hate him.

I don't mind him dying a stupid death, so long as it serves protecting Egwene. After all we have been led to believe he has found his safehaven for his inner turmoil by accepting that he will be in the shadow of Egwene. I was hoping that would be shining point of his character and when he put the ring on to protect Egwene from the Sharans I thought "Oh ok so THAT is how it will be". You know, it could still be stupid to an extent but serves a purpose at least. Anyway, I didn't think someone raised to be the First Prince of Andor, a good tactician (as proven by the survival of his younglings) and warder to the Amirlyn could be so beyond stupid.

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What is really disappointing to me is that in this book I saw that Brandon did have the potential to finish these books in a satisfactory way.  He really just didn't invest the time to make sure he did a good job and it felt like he only really gave 110% effort on the parts that interested him as a fan.

This might be naive of me but I can't shake off the feeling that these were done at the final days of RJ and he might have been sloppy without intending to(no disrespect intended) about this final part. Yet again Brandon's name is next to RJ's on the cover of the book. Even if this was the case, he should have fought anyone and everyone to deliver something amazing. Even if took postponing publishing date of the book.

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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. 

 

Other than the fact that it involves someone being beheaded there is absolutely nothing GRRM like about what happened to Birgette.  It happened on a battle field and was comitted by a known enemy.  It might have been sad but there was nothing shocking about it.  Then whatever emotional resposne there might have been dissapears instantly when the horn is blown.  That is so far from being a GRRM moment that if that is what BS was referring to I must wonder if he ever read anything by GRRM.

 

Any other ideas then?

 

It seems like the best candidate to me even though I struggle to think of hardly any of chapter 37 as BS's work.  I'm pretty sure the shocking and sudden death of a beloved character was all he was referring to when he said GRRM moment.  And then add in the beheading to it as well and it matches even closer.

 

What exactly were you expecting in a GRRM moment?

 

My thoughts for the GRRM moment was when Damondred and the Sharans showed up through a massive portal, standing there silent, and then wiped out a large portion of the AS army.

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Well, Gawyn's death was very fitting. I wanted him to die a pointless, stupid and violent death for so long and he delivered. I was pleased, both because it was a realistic end to Gawyn and I hate him.

I don't mind him dying a stupid death, so long as it serves protecting Egwene. After all we have been led to believe he has found his safehaven for his inner turmoil by accepting that he will be in the shadow of Egwene. I was hoping that would be shining point of his character and when he put the ring on to protect Egwene from the Sharans I thought "Oh ok so THAT is how it will be". You know, it could still be stupid to an extent but serves a purpose at least. Anyway, I didn't think someone raised to be the First Prince of Andor, a good tactician (as proven by the survival of his younglings) and warder to the Amirlyn could be so beyond stupid.

We can agree to disagree. His life has been pointless so it makes sense to me that his death was pointless as well. He managed to amuse Demandred for a few minutes so he was distracted from wreaking havoc on the armies of Light. That's a good enough purpose for Gawyn's death. In my opinion even that was too much, though. I'd be perfectly fine with him falling of his horse and breaking his neck.

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Yesterday got hold of book and started reading (1st time) and so far storywise its good, I didn't pay attention to small details on how new weaves and such came about (thats for 2nd read) but I did notice that Brandon continues to use his what you would call them "sandersonchisms" or "brandoisms" - ie "saidared" in tGS. Type of phrases that came about within last couple of years made popular mostly due to currently running TV shows.

 

I can't help but noticed that while he stopped doing that overly much and too obvious "saidared" but he still uses very modern style and populized with young (under 30) audience.

 

I wonder whether its 1) He doesn't notice it because he sort-of speaks/writes it usually (I am planning to check out his other books when I finish this one and see if he does it on regular basis in his own books) and if so I wonder why the editor (and Harriet) don't correct him on that, unless 2) he does it on purpose and as part of his "style" as his part of influence on these 3 books since his input was over 50% to show his imprint and editors are not allowed to corret it.

 

 

 

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So one major issue I had is how lazy the writing was in relation to setting up certain plot elements. Brandon was not very good at introducing "background" items into scenes in order to forshadow things that were going to happen. As a result when things pop up out of nowhere they seem extremely contrived.

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So one major issue I had is how lazy the writing was in relation to setting up certain plot elements. Brandon was not very good at introducing "background" items into scenes in order to forshadow things that were going to happen. As a result when things pop up out of nowhere they seem extremely contrived.

 

Basically what I had a problem with except put in better words.

 

Most of my complaints in the past two books really seem insignificant compared to the quality issues in this book.  Not getting the voice of certain characters correct and the jarring Brandonisms are almost welcome compared to the issues in this book.

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I forget who the person was who first pointed it out in the long ago, but I am completely pulled out of the story every time I see the word "tempest" now. Thanks for that.

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I forget who the person was who first pointed it out in the long ago, but I am completely pulled out of the story every time I see the word "tempest" now. Thanks for that.

 

LOL same here

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Well, as to quality. I play a lot of RPGs, I hearken back to Fallout 1 & 2, and Dragon Age Origins modded. In Fallout 1 & 2 you get many end cards, almost every significant action is resolved there to some degree, DAO did this to a lesser extent and mods expanded on the idea.

 

In fact, often the joy of replaying Fallout (before you could easily just see every possible ending online), was not the game play at all, but seeing how the ending would change.

 

So, this book was...unsatisfactory in that resolve. I want to know what happens to the Seanchan, maybe not ending them, but whether any of the Aes Sedai captured asked to be released. What did Hawking say to Tuon?

 

Rand's death? What granted I was pretty tired by then did Alivia help him die by putting together an escape package and being in on the conspiracy that he is still alive? There are lots of other things that are missing for me.

 

I don't really have a problem with Nynaeve and Moiraine over the Last Battle, would two more channelers out there make a difference? Still, if we give any credit to Moiraine for taking out Moridin here, she took out 3 and her young protege, Nynave, has been in on taking out two (Rhavin and Moridin). They were there to seize him at the opportune time, there was lots to take care of. So, I can make my peace with that. Moiraine being necessary? I guess she helped get the Dragon's Peace without the standard Aes Sedai bullying thing, but rather due to her mythical status lol. It wasn't quite Gandalf though, because in that world everyone knows about the gods and if they want Gandalf there, well, you better listen to him, but it's close.

 

There wasn't a lot that Brandon could do with some of these plots, he ran out of pages for Fain I think, or maybe as most fans, he didn't like Fain to begin with, so off him. If that was Brandon, thanks, I hated Fain and thought he was completely unnecessary within the books.

 

Still, a lot of short resolutions. I am guessing RJ decided that Mat died, probably twice. Mat's discussions with the heroes were pretty funny. The resolution to the truce with the Seanchan storyline was freaking hilarious and whoever wrote that kudos.

 

I am happy for Birgitte, spending a life as Elayne's minder doesn't seem to be quite up to heroic status. 

 

I didn't think Demandred was written particularly badly, if you pay attention during his PoVs it's pretty clear that he is dueling Mat (who he thinks is LTT) with his armies and that he is putting a lot of thought into that between bouts of screaming for LTT. Mat also thinks how the enemy commander is very good and that this is the hardest battle he's been in. Taking time out to fight a few duels was...well, okay whatever, the guy had some pride and some honour, he didn't cheat in his fights, he won with skill, just cause you can use the power doesn't mean you should. I guess I had no issue with his character, he had some complexity, more than most Forsaken.

 

When did Perrin get compulsed? When Lanfear healed him? I like that he beat Lanfear there, that answers some questions about her abilities I suppose. She is either a pretty good actress or she was a bit rogue hoping to work her way back in to Shaities good books. So, she was well done, definitely evil lol

 

So, I can't really think of anything bad to say about the book other than the ending was fairly abrupt and some storylines were basically dropped. So, I liked the book, but I am dissatisfied.

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...

There wasn't a lot that Brandon could do with some of these plots, he ran out of pages for Fain I think, or maybe as most fans, he didn't like Fain to begin with, so off him. If that was Brandon, thanks, I hated Fain and thought he was completely unnecessary within the books.

 

Still, a lot of short resolutions. I am guessing RJ decided that Mat died, probably twice. Mat's discussions with the heroes were pretty funny. The resolution to the truce with the Seanchan storyline was freaking hilarious and whoever wrote that kudos.

 

....

So, I can't really think of anything bad to say about the book other than the ending was fairly abrupt and some storylines were basically dropped. So, I liked the book, but I am dissatisfied.

 

Yeah it becomes clear that RJ probably would have gone beyond these 3 books in ending things. "invent a new kind of binding" indeed lol. Oh well, 3 books under a new author was pushing things.

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I dont think he would have gone beyond these three books at all.  There is plenty of room in these three to wrap things up.  Just look at how the first half is mostly entirely useless and mindless trolloc fighting.

 

I think RJ could have done it in 2.

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I did like that Brandon sort of dispense with those except maybe once a twice just to pay RJ a homage in these.

 

But i do feel that Brandon is cannot change his writing style in order to fit the storyline. As compared to say Daniel Abraham, who is one of the newer authors I am reading and has good way of fitting language style to the settings of the story. (ie asian style storyline, and more medieval one and others).

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