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Mashiara Sedai

Words of Radiance Discussion - Spoilers

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I was farther along than I remembered!  I just finished Chapter 34.

 

There's some good stuff here.

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It doesn't come out til the 6th here in the UK *jealous*

I got my copy on the 1st - looks like my local Waterstone's jumped the gun. Not had a chance to start reading it yet, though.

 

 

Interested to hear your thoughts on this one Mr Ares. I've pretty much given up after River of Souls & Alloy of Law.

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It doesn't come out til the 6th here in the UK *jealous*

I got my copy on the 1st - looks like my local Waterstone's jumped the gun. Not had a chance to start reading it yet, though.

 

 

Interested to hear your thoughts on this one Mr Ares. I've pretty much given up after River of Souls & Alloy of Law.

 

 

I gave up long before that Sut.

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You can't compare Brandon in WoT to his own works IMO.

 

 

I've gotten it today, so see ya all in a few days :biggrin:

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You can't compare Brandon in WoT to his own works IMO.

 

 

I've gotten it today, so see ya all in a few days :biggrin:

I agree. Brandon's solo work is very different. In WoT, he was forced to work within creative guidelines, with the characters and the world. These are all his own, and they are fantastic. Especially in regards to plot-twists, he is a master!

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You can't compare Brandon in WoT to his own works IMO.

Why not? If anything, how he performs under these different conditions makes for a more interesting comparison. Now, one of the most commonly cited selling points of Sanderson's work is his magic systems. Looking at his work in general, where he is at his best is with ideas - creating magic systems, worlds, playing with genre tropes, even plots and characters arcs. Where he fails is in the realisation of his ideas - his prose isn't great, his characters seldom come to life, and so on. He certainly understands the mechanics of writing a story, he just struggles to bring it to life.

 

 

Now look at his WoT books in that light. He's forced primarily into the role of realising someone else's concepts, although he does have some of his own (such as Androl's character, and the Androl-Pevara bond), and this shows him at his weakest. Were the roles reversed, if RJ were completing Brandon's series, I think we'd have a stronger finish, and not jut because I think RJ is a better author, but because I think he's better at realising his concepts than Brandon (although CoT was a notable exception).

 

Let's take breaking Semi as an example - the concept was RJ's, the execution was BS's. Now, it's an idea that clearly fits with RJ's world (and in any other setting would surely be doomed to failure), but could easily fall flat on its face if mishandled. As it is, it doesn't really convince that Semi is broken so easily. Written differently, it could - it's a humiliating punishment, designed to bypass her scary image by treating her as a naughty child. Conceptually, it's sound and in keeping with RJ's world (which has always had a curious amount of spanking). If we look to Brandon's own works, where he's dealing with his own ideas, it's clear he has a very solid understanding of how, for example, Allomancy works, or the many ways in which the Dor can be channelled. The structure of Elantris (rotating between three POVs) works well, but of the characters he rotates between Raoden feels a little too perfect, Sarene feels more like a catalyst, and only Hrathen is an interesting character in his own right. This might be his first novel, but it's hardly atypical - in Mistborn, Elend becomes a king with a cool speech... which happens off screen, because the idea of how he becomes a king is fine, but to realise it truly you need a great speech that convinces people he should be a king (easier on film or TV, perhaps, where the actor's charisma could make up for any shortfall in the actual words). The end of Vin's story arc in Mistborn 3 was badly handled - her final actions in the book make sense, her motivations don't. Even in WoK, he hasn't changed - Dalinar doesn't really convince as this brutal, hard-drinking warlord turned into paragon of knightly virtue. It feels more like we're being told how he used to be, rather than getting an actual feeling that he was. He's capable of telling us that characters feel inner turmoil, not so good at letting us feel it too. Compare it to Daniel Abraham - by the end of the prologue to A Shadow In Summer, he's done more to get me invested in Otah, and why he makes the choice he does than Brandon has done for many major characters in his novels.

 

 

 

 

It doesn't come out til the 6th here in the UK *jealous*

I got my copy on the 1st - looks like my local Waterstone's jumped the gun. Not had a chance to start reading it yet, though.

Interested to hear your thoughts on this one Mr Ares. I've pretty much given up after River of Souls & Alloy of Law.

Giving up on Brandon is something I can quite understand, but I think that those two works are sufficiently unrepresentative of his work that I would be hesitant to use them as a reason to do so. One is a collection of deleted scenes that was only published for a charity anthology, the other was a writing project on the side intended to give him downtime between other works that ended up getting published. That said, I'm over 200 pages into WoR and I think he's yet to significantly progress as an author (for the record, the Sanderson books I've read: Elantris, Mistborn trilogy, Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, Way of Kings, Legion/The Emperor's Soul, Steelheart, and his three WoT books - of those, his best are Mistborn 1, Warbreaker and TGS). He's done some books that are better than others, but hasn't truly shown himself to be working on his limitations, and his dialogue, prose, characters, pacing, etc. all still show the same problems as before. I think he's content to be the new Terry Brooks or David Eddings - he's going to be the gateway to fantasy for a lot of people, but isn't going to rock the world of anyone who's been there a while. I doubt the flaws that put you off him are going to disappear - they certainly haven't yet. I think his books make for some OK light reading (I'm taking a break from a history of the Italian mafias to read WoR), if the term light can be accurately applied to something that big, and if you're willing to look beyond his flaws.

Edited by Red2111
spoiler tagged stuff pertaining to WoT

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Wow, Mr Ares! That was wonderfully broken down. I definitely see your point; as an author, Brandon is new and unpolished. I completely agree with that. But I think he does have the potential to be great. RJ finishing Brandon's book would a lot better crafted. RJ, near the end of his career, was very skilled. But I've read RJ's first novel "Fallon Blood," I think, and it was no work of art. He just had the time to grow in his skills. Brandon can do the same. It'll be difficult for him, since he was thrust into the spotlight so early, but I still think he can do it.

 

For all the flaws you mention, I thing the things he does right tip the scale. I've loved all his book (except WoK--which felt tedious to me). And I will read anything here leases because they keep getting better.

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I just got out of the 300 movie last night... (it sucked)

Pit stopped at walmart on the way home...

Saw this in there book section said "holy hell?! It's out already?!"

I'm now $20 poorer. :P

 

Note: I saw this thread but hadn't put 2 and 2 together. Didn't realize this was book 2. <_<

Edited by SinisterDeath

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Wow, Mr Ares! That was wonderfully broken down. I definitely see your point; as an author, Brandon is new and unpolished. I completely agree with that. But I think he does have the potential to be great. RJ finishing Brandon's book would a lot better crafted. RJ, near the end of his career, was very skilled. But I've read RJ's first novel "Fallon Blood," I think, and it was no work of art. He just had the time to grow in his skills. Brandon can do the same. It'll be difficult for him, since he was thrust into the spotlight so early, but I still think he can do it.

 

For all the flaws you mention, I thing the things he does right tip the scale. I've loved all his book (except WoK--which felt tedious to me). And I will read anything here leases because they keep getting better.

It's difficult to say he's new, or use lack of experience as a justification for his lack of polish. Daniel Abraham was about the same age as Brandon is now when he wrote A Shadow in Summer, and that's a more polished novel. It's also his first (although he had had some shorter fiction published). Comparisons with RJ struggle as well, as by my count he's had about as many books published by this point as RJ had by the Shadow Rising, the book most often cited as his best (at least, his best WoT book). Elantris was published in 2005 - he's had an additional nine years to polish his skills, and he hasn't exactly improved by leaps and bounds. He's certainly improved somewhat as an author, but I couldn't really agree that he "keeps getting better" - he's had a number of backward steps. He's enthusiastic, he's imaginative, he's prolific, and he's not without talent, but if he is capable of being great he hasn't shown it yet, and that's disappointing. What's holding him back from achieving his promise?

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Wow, Mr Ares! That was wonderfully broken down. I definitely see your point; as an author, Brandon is new and unpolished. I completely agree with that. But I think he does have the potential to be great. RJ finishing Brandon's book would a lot better crafted. RJ, near the end of his career, was very skilled. But I've read RJ's first novel "Fallon Blood," I think, and it was no work of art. He just had the time to grow in his skills. Brandon can do the same. It'll be difficult for him, since he was thrust into the spotlight so early, but I still think he can do it.

 

For all the flaws you mention, I thing the things he does right tip the scale. I've loved all his book (except WoK--which felt tedious to me). And I will read anything here leases because they keep getting better.

It's difficult to say he's new, or use lack of experience as a justification for his lack of polish. Daniel Abraham was about the same age as Brandon is now when he wrote A Shadow in Summer, and that's a more polished novel. It's also his first (although he had had some shorter fiction published). Comparisons with RJ struggle as well, as by my count he's had about as many books published by this point as RJ had by the Shadow Rising, the book most often cited as his best (at least, his best WoT book). Elantris was published in 2005 - he's had an additional nine years to polish his skills, and he hasn't exactly improved by leaps and bounds. He's certainly improved somewhat as an author, but I couldn't really agree that he "keeps getting better" - he's had a number of backward steps. He's enthusiastic, he's imaginative, he's prolific, and he's not without talent, but if he is capable of being great he hasn't shown it yet, and that's disappointing. What's holding him back from achieving his promise?

 

 

Some authors have that innate talent.  Haruki Murakami, for one, JK Rowling, for another. Even RJ had much of that innate talent, I think, which is why he did improve so quickly. I think that type of brilliant writing just isn't what Brandon has.  He has to work on it.  And I still consider him new, maybe because his writing still reflects that.  His writing is juvenile.  But I think he will reach adolescence soon, and eventually maturity.  I guess I'm satisfied with his writing now, so I'm not in a rush for him to reach his maximum potential. 

 

I do see improvement with each book.  He's actively studying the craft (with his own writing, teaching writing, working on his podcast), and those types of activities will make a person grow.  Maybe not as quickly as someone who has the inborn talent, but he's still growing.

 

I very much respect your opinion, and understand where you're coming from.  I can see every argument you make and see the truth of it.  But, I guess it boils down to a difference of interests in books.  For me, the storyline trumps all.  And Brandon has such marvelous storylines!

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We have many, many threads already for discussing Brandon's contributions to the WoT. Let's keep this thread just for Words of Radiance. If you haven't read it and don't plan to, go play somewhere else. Thanks. 

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Sorry, Jenn.  We'll stay on topic.

 

I'm almost finished with the first Interlude.

 

 

 

I was really fascinated seeing the POV of one of the Parshendi!  I love how they "speak" to the songs, and that each song means a specific emotion.  I really hope we get to see more of it, in this book, or as the series continues.  Brandon's magic systems are the best!

 

Also, I'm liking the "forms" they use--it reminds me a bit of "The Emperor's Soul," that they seem to even change physically in different forms--but I'm confused by them too.  For all these years they had lost the forms, and I'm thinking it's because when the Knights Radiant in the prologue of A Way of Kings, had defeated them (or their gods).  They realized their god was a god of destruction, and then broke free from worshiping it.  So why after all these years do some of the Parshendi want to revive their god?  If I understand correctly, they killed Gavilar because he was close to summoning their god, right?  Bringing back some of the old ways.  But now even some of the Parshendi want that to happen?

 

Maybe I'm just not understanding, or I'm too early into the book.  I shall press on.

 

 

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I'm at chapter 40-ish I think. Why do I always get to a REALLY exiting part when I'm reading in bed? (Not that any part has been boring so far, but you know what I mean). Example:

 

(spoiler for chapter 7)

 

 

I was just about to turn off the lights and go to sleep.... and then Jasnah's death happened and the ship sinking and before I knew it, it was 6am and I was on chapter 11.

 

 

 

I am loooooving it.

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You can't compare Brandon in WoT to his own works IMO.

Why not? If anything, how he performs under these different conditions makes for a more interesting comparison.

 

 

 

Did you notice the IMO at the end there?

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I finished it.

 

I loved it.

 

I will have more to say once all the "aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!" goes away.

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I finished it.

 

I loved it.

 

I will have more to say once all the "aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!" goes away.

Currently rereading it a bit more slowly. :biggrin:

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My official stance on it is I will reread it ver soon so I may as well find out what happens sooner lol

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I've got to finish it by Friday!  I'm only on page 400.  Ugh.  Not even halfway.  I want to be done so I can ask Brandon some questions!  Otherwise, it's pointless to talk to him at the signing.  :(

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I very much respect your opinion, and understand where you're coming from.  I can see every argument you make and see the truth of it.  But, I guess it boils down to a difference of interests in books.  For me, the storyline trumps all.  And Brandon has such marvelous storylines!

Plotting is probably his strongest point, and he has improved somewhat in other areas (WoR has less by way of glaring infodumps thus far, but the problem isn't gone entirely). I find when I read that there is no one aspect which beats all others - what draws me into one book might be different form what keeps me reading another. As I can appreciate any given aspect of a book, I try not to let any given problem get in the way of reading it, but also try not to blind myself to the existence of said problem. I've hated great books and loved terrible ones. I suppose my thoughts on Brandon could be summed up as "That book was terrible, but I loved every second of it."

 

Sorry, Jenn.  We'll stay on topic.

 

I'm almost finished with the first Interlude.

 

 

 

I was really fascinated seeing the POV of one of the Parshendi!  I love how they "speak" to the songs, and that each song means a specific emotion.  I really hope we get to see more of it, in this book, or as the series continues.  Brandon's magic systems are the best!

 

Also, I'm liking the "forms" they use--it reminds me a bit of "The Emperor's Soul," that they seem to even change physically in different forms--but I'm confused by them too.  For all these years they had lost the forms, and I'm thinking it's because when the Knights Radiant in the prologue of A Way of Kings, had defeated them (or their gods).  They realized their god was a god of destruction, and then broke free from worshiping it.  So why after all these years do some of the Parshendi want to revive their god?  If I understand correctly, they killed Gavilar because he was close to summoning their god, right?  Bringing back some of the old ways.  But now even some of the Parshendi want that to happen?

 

Maybe I'm just not understanding, or I'm too early into the book.  I shall press on.

 

 

 

Well, I'm only halfway through so I can't say that there won't be further revelations on the point later, but my thinking would be that they are seeking new forms in part because they don't want to be exterminated. They're trying to recover some of what they have lost, but are caught between the risk of their gods and the certainty of their eventually being wiped out. Even if they were willing to risk that when they assassinated Gavilar, the thought of that somewhere down the line and the reality of its imminence are different.

 

 

 

 

You can't compare Brandon in WoT to his own works IMO.

Why not? If anything, how he performs under these different conditions makes for a more interesting comparison.

Did you notice the IMO at the end there?

Did you notice the question mark after the "why not"? Sticking the letters "IMO" after your opinion does not mean that you no longer have to offer any justification of your opinion, it mean only that you have clumsily told us that you have an opinion. Personally, I see that little initialism as being worthless - if I've written what I wanted to say properly, you should know it's an opinion.

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I finished the book.

 

It doesn't really work I think. It isn't bad tho.

 

The worst sign is that there are a lot of mechanics I don't understand BUT I can't be bothered enough to try and figure out.

 

Do we spoiler our stuff here?

Edited by Red2111

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Finished on my lunch break today... WOW!!!

Now to finish off a few other books then possibly re-read book one then this one again... Maybe...

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