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Issue with Gateways


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I don't need to defend  my statement, I enjoyed whole series.

 

Is no way RJ wouyld have allowed a set piece "Last Battle"

 

Gateways ...Drop dragon eggs threu them, jeese

 

If forces of light combined strength at a chosen battle field ....bypass them

 

Robert Jordan would have written a way different ending.

 

CMON!!

 

Edit: I enjoyed the BS version of the last battle immensely except for Olver {Will Wheaton) blew the horn and that for some strange reason, thousands upon thousands of trollocs rushed a particularly unimportant army at a way bad spot.

Edited by jradnut
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[removed]

 

During my 150 years of reading this series, ;p, I always imagined the last battle would be fought on 3 fronts at the very least, most likely more.

 

I think the Great Generals were given short shrift and the armies combining to fight a last ditch stand was simply to avoid another book or possibly 2.

 

If you can look down on a battlefield from above through a gateway, wouldn't it be prudent to drop a dragon's egg through it before you moved on?

 

No matter how good or great you soldiers are, if you are vastly out numbered, you don't make last stands, PERIOD.

EDIT: if purpose is to delay, a last stand is prolly not the best way to go 8)

 

On a personal note, I would have tripped Olver headfirst into a beartrap right before Faile killed Masema ;p

Edited by BFG
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The problem here is that Brandon Sanderson will always be judged against a Robert Jordan perfect ending. However, we all know that there are many imperfections in the overall WoT arch, so assuming that RJ would write a perfect ending is kind of a stretch. Nevertheless, I have little doubt that RJ would have written it much better because he was a historian with a military background so his Last Battle would have been much more realistic without the silly gateways that BS used.

 

I still think that the biggest flaw of the Last Battle was one imposed by Robert Jordan himself. There simply was no suspense because I never felt like anyone was truly in danger. Had a major character like Egwene died at the beginning of the battle that would have changed the entire feel of the battle. Since only one major character had died they would have been better off to minimize the final battle and concentrate on the characters themselves. Though I know had the Last Battle been written that way people would complain that the long awaited battle was too short and anticlimatic. A true no win scenario.

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I never found battles to be one of RJ's strong points.  I didn't mind the big battle at the single location.  The lava killing the Andor trollocs to me just took a lot of scariness out of it.  It seemed too easy of a way to kill a large amount of trollocs, when you read what the trolloc horeds were like in the trolloc war, thee trolloc armies seemed sort of lame to me.  My issues was the last battle lacked a scary feel.  The southern nations basically escaped the last battle unharmed except loss of man power, the Senchean seemed almost super human to me.  And almost unneeded because Mat was holding his own without them for most the fight.   

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I never found battles to be one of RJ's strong points. 

 

?

 

RJ was a vietnam veteran and military historian. It certainly showed in his writing.

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I thought the LB was ok, RJ IMO would have done better but thats true on every aspect of the BS novels. My only big gripe is the logistical errors which were pretty major, and the whole story around Olver blowing the horn. Faile getting struck in the blight, had to have been a better way of getting Olver to blow it, as that part IMO stunk.

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my issue with the last battle was how simplified it was. No df betrayals (other than the captains getting screwed with) and the Sharans (which kind of felt like a cop out to me)

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I can really understand the route BS took. Doesn't make it right, but with publishers and your own career he probably felt like he needed to spit the last 2 novels out.

 

After being a fan of this series for 100 billion years, spitting out the last novel was a disservice to publishes and fans alike.

 

Ya, I was thrilled by last book, FINALLY, but now?

 

dissappointed

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I can really understand the route BS took. Doesn't make it right, but with publishers and your own career he probably felt like he needed to spit the last 2 novels out.

 

Tor & Harriet dictated the split...

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Just knowing that your "art" lives way longer than your paycheck, does it make the paycheck any less important?

 

There HAD to be immense pressure to produce a final book.

 

Another book starting the last battle would pose the risk of losing fans/revenue.

 

Brian Sanderson bowed to the realitiesa of publishers and shelf space restrictions.

 

A big part of me can not blame him, yet my soul cries out for a less ignorant and less rushed version of what RJ obviously wanted to be EPIC.

 

 Edit: spelling

Edited by jradnut
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Another book starting the last battle would pose the risk of losing fans/revenue.

You know it's funny...that was one of the reason's Tor gave for the increased pace of release and split. It's a funny stance to take given the popularity and duration of the series. The fans weren't going anywhere.

 

Brian Sanderson bowed to the realitiesa of publishers and shelf space restrictions.

Hold on a sec, I may have misunderstood where you were going with that. Are you saying there should have been more books released even after the split? They were already riddled with filler and bloat with not nearly enough material to go round. One can blame Brian for a number of things but that is certainly not one of them.

 

 

A big part of me can not blame him, yet my soul cries out for a less ignorant and less rushed version of what RJ obviously wanted to be EPIC.

Less rushed? You were looking for a few more conflicted Perrin chapters perhaps? :dry:

Edited by Suttree
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Hey, Suttree, I feel like we are old pals now, ;p

 

Perrin was crafted to be a juggernaut from the beginning. Slow to start, conflicted, yes, but once started, impossible to stop.

 

So disappointed with his role in last battle but that's another thread.

Edited by jradnut
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Hate to be a nitpicker, but it's Brandon. not Brian.  I hesitate to blame him, because his own work is superb (in some ways better than RJ, in some ways not).  I really liked the first couple of his books in this series, and I thought he captured RJ's style quite well in those, which is great because his own style is very different.  It was just the last one I was shaky on.  I suspect there just wasn't enough content on where it was supposed to go, or something.  The addition of the new evil culture at the end seemed rushed and random.  The characters weren't handled well, even if they met the ends that RJ intended.  It wasn't written with the emotional content it deserved, and was just too frenetic.  The momentous events were far too frequent and I think RJ really set himself up for that by having so many characters and trying to wrap it all up at the end.  I don't really think that's wise.  If Galad was to get killed by Damandred, he should have been killed in a previous book.  We still get the intended purpose of seeing that Demandred is ridiculous, but Galad's death gets the attention it deserves.  And that's just one example.  The list goes on.  RJ or BS or whoever tried to wrap up too many plot-lines at once, and instead of looking like a finally woven tapestry, it came out like a big, convoluted knot in my opinion.

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Hate to be a nitpicker, but it's Brandon. not Brian.

No way bro. It's Brian, definitely Brian.

 

I hesitate to blame him, because his own work is superb (in some ways better than RJ, in some ways not).

Care to take a stab at defining superb? There is some superb fantasy being written these days, one would be hard pressed to put BS in that category. At this stage of his career he fits squarely in that middle tier that includes Feist and the like. I haven't read WoR yet and am not sure that I will giving how it's been received.

 

I really liked the first couple of his books in this series,

TGS was indeed Brandon's best work in the series. ToM on the other hand? It was riddled with mistakes, timeline issues, unpolished prose and blunt plotwork. It routinely gets ranked as one of the works books in the series.

 

 

and I thought he captured RJ's style quite well in those, which is great because his own style is very different.

Curious that. Especially given the fact that Brandon explicitly stated that he wasn't going to try and write in RJ's style.

 

 

It wasn't written with the emotional content it deserved,

You will find many here that agree with that sentiment.

Edited by Suttree
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Hope you are joking about the Brian thing, that being demonstrably false and all...  Maybe it's an inside joke I'm not aware of?

His Mistborn series has excellent characterization, and he handles magic, whether in Mistborn or Stormlight Archives, better than most fantasy authors, in my view. Magic should be more than just a mysterious deus ex machina. Brandon's magic systems are comprehensible, with definite rules.  I personally despise the type of wizard who can do things because he's a wizard, or through some nebulous application of chanting or will or whatever.  What I really appreciated about Robert Jordan's magic system is that he has the weaving mechanic, which ties in very well with the Pattern and Wheel theme that binds the story together.  It's comprehensible, and, through the intricacies of the ways that the powers can be woven, understandable how many different things can be accomplished (or discovered).  It's still more hand-wavy than allomancy, but it's definitely strong.

Different people have different things they like or appreciate in their reading. It strikes me as shortsighted and arrogant to make claims about a writer's "tier." After all, at the end of the day, it is all just preference. It strikes me as awfully presumptuous to claim, as fact, that Sanderson is mid tier or something.  You may not like him as much as other authors, and that's fine.  But that doesn't mean he's mid-tier (or that Feist is either).  It just means that you don't like him as much as another author.  It's also possible, or even probable, that you're missing or not appreciating aspects of his work that others care more about.  Literary criticism and appreciation involves a lot of nuance.  I would be interested to hear, in detail (and in another thread, so as not to hijack), what your rationale is for ranking authors where you do in your own preferences.  Based on this comment, I suspect you and I value different things, and I can say for a fact that I've spent many years thinking about what I appreciate most in a story.

I don't know your qualifications, but you'd better be an accomplished writer in your own right to be making such definitive judgments about someone with two Hugo awards to his credit, as far as I'm concerned.  A little understanding that your opinion is just that--an opinion--goes a long way in my book.  You may not care, and you are of course, entitled to feel however you want.  I would appreciate if you would show me the courtesy of not presuming to tell me what my opinion is.

 

Personally, I generally choose not to rank authors beyond "I like reading this one," or "I don't like reading this one."  I may go a little further when recommending an author to someone, but if so, that means I've given some good thought to what exactly that person likes, and will choose a series based on those criteria.  For me, it's more important to appreciate and understand an author for their particular strengths.  Sanderson's characters and magic are well-developed with interesting dilemmas, and he's one of the best world-builders I've personally read in many respects.  His plots are a little more generic.  Feist, since you bring him up, does character and dialogue very well.  He's got many strong characters, and a broad variety of different types of characters, so everyone can find someone that they identify with.  And, he has some deeply interesting philosophy, with a fascinating account of God (thanks to Nakor).  However, his plots and overall world are formulaic.  It's always a more terrible threat, and his magic is little better than a deus ex machina with very little theory behind them.  Robert Jordan has a good understanding of how to weave multiple plot-lines together, and his characters are decent (not great, and his relationships are rife with people ending up in awkward situations with their relationships because they just don't communicate with each other--I find that infuriating).  He spends potentially too much time describing clothing, much like Tolkien could have dispensed with a fair amount of the descriptions of mountains and with a fair amount of the singing.  But he also touches on the nature of good and evil and the function of choice on a deeper and broader scale than most authors, and he does a solid battle scene.  David Gemmell does the character study of the hero better than virtually anyone else I've ever read.  But all of his books, are, ultimately, the same in terms of mood.  Patrick Rothfuss does a great job with character and plot, and is probably my favorite new author to date, but his world is pretty flat, with very little to distinguish it from any other generic fantasy world.  Etc.  Every author has their particular strengths and weaknesses, and it strikes me that if you don't really understand them and appreciate them for what they do well, then you'd be missing out on something really important.  YMMV.

Edited by crimsonfalcon07
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Do tell what "nuance" literary criticism entails? I was only a lit major at UCSB after all, it's not like I went to Cal.

 

Additionally why would someone need to be an accomplished author to offer a critique of a literary work. By that rationale a critic like Harold Bloom has zero insight to offer concerning McCarthy, Pynchon, or DeLillo. That's a rather absurd stance to take don't you think?

 

As for Brandon, your new here so by all means spend some time searching through threads as his work has been broken down in great detail. Rather telling that you call out his magic systems as that is often used by fans as an excuse to overlook his various deficiencies. By his own admission he loves the act of creating. Revising and polishing...not so much and it shows.

 

Edit: Feist interesting philosophy!? May I recommend Bakker. It could be fairly eye opening.

Edited by Suttree
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Well i liked it. It was perfect, it had flaws, but it did enough when i started reading it, i couldnt stop. The ending was terrible, ill be honest, it really was the worst ending i could have hoped for. The idea of a body swap wasnt bad, but it was odd how it just ended.

Lan was awesome, but he should have died with Demandred.

 

I understand why people think it could have kept going, but i understand why he might have a limited space to finish it also...so its hard to blame anyone for it.

 

Have to admit, Perrin did get a bit boring at times :P. Mat just rocked every book. Best overall character to read.

Edited by perrin_07
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Again, you're entitled to your own opinion.  I'll be blunt then, since you seem to be missing the point.  Your opinion is just an opinion.  You are entitled to it.  You are NOT, however, entitled to tell me what my opinion is, without it adversely affecting my opinion of you and your character.  You may not care.  That's also your right.  It is the internet after all.

 

Having majored in lit doesn't give you the right to speak about literature as if your opinions are the word of God.  For many, unfortunately, they do take their degree to mean that they have the right to be self-important about their opinions.  The problem is, they're just that:  opinions.  Presuming to rank authors is all very well and good, provided that it's your own personal rankings for your own personal preferences.  You don't have the faintest idea what other people like, prefer, or appreciate, however.  And it's foolish in the extreme to think that you can say anything definitive about an author beyond your own likes and dislikes.  Sure, Sanderson has things he doesn't do as well as other authors.  Fact of the matter is, that's true of EVERY author.  No author is good at everything.  And even to say something is "good" or "bad" is merely to express a statement of preference, not of fact.  There are people who like and can make impassioned and detailed arguments for why it's so great that Tolkien spends so much time with singing and descriptions of mountains.  Me, I don't like either, and find them boring, so I really don't care.  That's my PREFERENCE.

 

I'll admit that I really don't like the way that colleges and universities approach literary criticism, because they expect you to write argumentative essays, and present your opinions as if they're fact.  While there ARE facts, as soon as you apply values to them, you're into the realm of subjective interpretation, and fact goes out the window.  That means that, at the end of the day, your literary criticism is no more than your own expression of what you value or don't value, and what you think is done well, and what you think isn't done well.  I certainly could read threads about Sanderson's "deficiencies."  But at the end of the day, they are little more than threads of people debating their opinions.  If I had a nickel for every opinion I've seen on a forum that was stated as fact, I'd be the richest person in the world.  And at the end of the day, other people's opinions and preferences have nothing to do with mine.

 

As for philosophy recommendations, I find it amusing that you, a professed lit major, seem to think you can tell me what is "eye-opening" when it comes to philosophy.  I do, after all, have a masters degree in philosophy, among my credentials.  But you don't know that, because, as I've been trying to point out, you don't know anything about me.  About the only thing that you might know is that I make swords, because that was in my first post on this site.  Other than that, everything you say to me comes from a position of ignorance.  Is that supposed to be impressive to me?  Why do you even care?  Do you even know what philosophical concepts I found interesting in Feist, or why?  I'm guessing no.  As for Bakker, I hope you're not talking about Jim Bakker.  If so, you're really going to suggest an author who's been convicted for fraud (very telling about his moral compass there), and whose philosophical beliefs he later recanted, having not actually read the text he attempted to use as proof until his prison term?  The philosophical value in Bakker is negligible.  Even he admits that the substantiation just isn't there, nor is the rigor of the argument up to par.  From what I've read, his works open no doors, and resolve no dilemmas.  His later works are too couched in religion, and use faith as an underpinning to far too many points, rather than reason.  Eye-opening?  There are far too many flaws with prosperity theology for me to find much interest there.

 

I'm perfectly willing to grant you that you don't like Sanderson as much as other authors.  I don't particularly care why, but I accept that. However, if we accept that at the end of the day, literary criticism is opinion and not fact, then it logically follows that it is presumptuous to rank authors and claim anything more than personal preference.  And if you want to demonstrate that there's more to literary criticism than opinion, I expect you've got a difficult task ahead of you.

 

I also think it's awfully telling that you think that a few threads on a internet forum should trump the industry recognition of a Hugo award, which is generally considered one of the most prestigious awards in science fiction.  Sanderson now has two to his credit.  Clearly the mark of a second-tier author (/sarcasm).  Frankly, any hack can engage in literary criticism.  Not that many people win a Hugo at all, let alone more than one. As I said earlier, if you are a good enough author to trump that, I may find a little more respect.  But any idiot can sound off with an opinion and call it literary criticism.  It doesn't mean that they understand the complexity or nuance of what the author is trying to accomplish, or what another reader may find interesting, relevant, or powerful in that same book.  Every piece of literature calls to different people in different ways.  I have always felt that only a fool thinks that their perspective is the only one with value.

 

YMMV.  But I'm going to ask you again, one more time, to respect my opinions, and not presume to dictate to me.  If you disagree with my opinions, that's fine.  I don't expect you to agree with my preferences.  But you need to understand that they are MINE, and to respect that I may have put plenty of thought into them.

Edited by crimsonfalcon07
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If Galad was to get killed by Damandred, he should have been killed in a previous book.  We still get the intended purpose of seeing that Demandred is ridiculous, but Galad's death gets the attention it deserves.

Galad survived. Gawyn died.

 

His Mistborn series has excellent characterization, and he handles magic, whether in Mistborn or Stormlight Archives, better than most fantasy authors, in my view. Magic should be more than just a mysterious deus ex machina. Brandon's magic systems are comprehensible, with definite rules.  I personally despise the type of wizard who can do things because he's a wizard, or through some nebulous application of chanting or will or whatever.  What I really appreciated about Robert Jordan's magic system is that he has the weaving mechanic, which ties in very well with the Pattern and Wheel theme that binds the story together.  It's comprehensible, and, through the intricacies of the ways that the powers can be woven, understandable how many different things can be accomplished (or discovered).  It's still more hand-wavy than allomancy, but it's definitely strong.

Leaving aside the "Mistborn has excellent characterisation" thing, I don't know why so many people seem to want magic to not be magical, for it to just be science. We have a genre for that.

 

After all, at the end of the day, it is all just preference.

But not all preferences should be treated with equal weight.

 

I don't know your qualifications, but you'd better be an accomplished writer in your own right to be making such definitive judgments about someone with two Hugo awards to his credit, as far as I'm concerned.

Why? What on earth does his having Hugos have to do with anything? That's like saying "this film must be better than that one because this one has won an Oscar". Awards mean little in terms of quality. Many things influence why certain things win and others don't. And being an author doesn't make you any more qualified to offer an opinion.

 

[Removed] 

 

 

He's got many strong characters, and a broad variety of different types of characters, so everyone can find someone that they identify with.

Can't say I've ever identified with a Feist character. Not that I tend to bother identifying with anyone, for the most part.

 

Again, you're entitled to your own opinion.  I'll be blunt then, since you seem to be missing the point.  Your opinion is just an opinion.  You are entitled to it.

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

― Harlan Ellison

 

https://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978

 

As for Bakker, I hope you're not talking about Jim Bakker.

No, he's talking about R. Scott Bakker, the author the Prince of Nothing and Aspect Emperor trilogies.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
possibly a joke, but a poor one if so
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@Crimson

 

Wow, this conversation has certainly taken an interesting turn. So let's see here, for someone who is railing against "word of god" you sure seemed to start off with with a pretty definitive statement:

 

 I hesitate to blame him, because his own work is superb

 

When asked to offer support for your opinion you tell me it 's "probable" I don't understand the "nuance" of literary criticism(yet I'm arrogant?) You then go on to ask for my qualifications and make the patently absurd claim that only accomplished authors should be able to offer a valid critique. Let's use movies as an another example here. Spike Jonze recently won the Best Screenplay Oscar for "Her". Does that suddenly make him  more qualified to critique movies than A.O Scott? Of course not, it's a ridiculous line of reasoning.

 

Finally after hearing my area of study you go on to knock how universities approach literary criticism,  all while showing a profound misunderstanding concerning the simple fact that judging the quality of writing is not entirely subjective. Now granted when critiquing say DeLillo and Pynchon, assigning rank is not something I would attempt. But let's say we're looking at Stephanie Meyer and Cormac McCarthy...well that's a different beast entirely. Or to move things into the fantasy genre ranking Bakker, Abercrombie, or Peake verse some hack Forgotten Realms guy is rather easy to do. Speaking of hacks, I always found this quote from Stephen Donaldson to be rather interesting:

 

ryan Jones: I have read both yours and Robert Jordans books(and many others) and enjoy reading them completely. As a reader I am confused by your denial to read Jordan. When I found out that Jordan was going to pass away without finishing his last book leaving his lagecy unfinished I was saddened. When I found out they were looking for an author to finish his books I was surprised that you were not first on the list. Is there an anamosity between you and Jordan? I think you would be the first and only author that could do justice to the Wheel of Time. Would there be any way for you to be a part of the developement of the last book? It will be a shame for a story to end horribly when I know that you could make the ending book the best it could be. I am sorry if I offend you by asking this question. I mean no offense. I am trying to understand why the only choice for ending Jordan's saga with the very best author isn't being done. Isn't the story the most important thing? blank.gif

 

Stephen Donaldson I can't answer a message like this. It's a bit like asking, "Why haven't you stopped beating your wife?" There are so many underlying--and unwarranted--assumptions that no answer is possible.

Just one example. Why do you think that I would consider giving up my own work for the sake of someone else's? Does that sound reasonable to you?

But I'm posting this because I want to make a more general point. I wouldn't agree to work with someone else's characters, settings, themes, or stories, even if you held a gun to my head. That's what hacks are for. (Don't get me wrong. Being a hack can be a perfectly honorable profession. It simply isn't *my* profession.) Now, if you held a gun to the head of someone I love, I would naturally agree to anything. But I would be lying. Unashamedly. Stalling for time until I could take a whack at you. The very idea of trying to do someone else's work fills me with existential nausea.

 

In regards to the philosophy comment, I was simply surprised that you would hold up someone like Feist as an example of an author who excels in that category. I have no idea who Jim Bakker is but R.Scott Bakker holds a PHD in philosophy and his Second Apocalypse Series would likely be eye opening(especially given your background). It contains excellent prose, heady philosophical themes and holds up under the type of scrutiny usually reserved for so called  "literary texts". Would be interested to hear what you think if you ever get around to it.

 

Lastly Mr Ares already pointed out a relevant quote from Harlan Ellison, let me offer another touching on the  subject of opinion from his link provided:

 

"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for."...The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.
Edited by Suttree
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