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Everything posted by Yamahako

  1. Yeah that part in the book made me tear up something fierce. None of the deaths did, but that part nailed me. That's only happened for me a few times in books, and the most recent one was also by Brandon Sanderson in Way of Kings
  2. This thread has gotten way more constructive, and I love the discussion that's going on now. I thought I'd throw in my own thoughts: +1 On Brandon's prose being weaker than RJ's, though on this most recent reread, I've noticed (in earlier books EoTW especially) more jarring passages than I remembered on previous reads. That could be because I am just paying more attention, or because RJ wasn't perfect out of the gate - or more likely both. I do feel this more from BS however. This leads to two other problems: The first is that BS tends to tell rather than show a lot more than RJ did. This is why it feels blunt and of a lower quality. I personally think the way its done is more a stylistic difference than a matter of better or worse, GRRM is a fairly blunt writer as well - but writes better prose so its less obvious. This could be better, but I think this was a choice. Brandon's style is different than RJ's, and he decided he would execute the work better writing in his style rather than trying and (likely poorly) imitating RJ's style. I agree with this decision, RJ's style is not for everyone to start with - but to try an imitate the level of description RJ put in his work (especially with the multiple levels of context much of that description contains) would be excruciating to read if done poorly. The second is that there are far fewer shades of meaning in BS' writing in WoT. This is what causes the books to feel 'flatter' on a reread (and not necessarily as flat on an initial read). There's less to discover on subsequent readings - fewer moments of foreshadowing, and fewer ways of interpreting a specific section of text. This I tend to give Brandon a lot of leeway for. I do this for two reasons, first because its not his story and it would take a huge amount of familiarity with very subtle portions of the planned text to be able to execute well. RJ had decades to understand where he wanted his characters to go, and the motivations and minor nuances behind their actions. BS, while a fan, couldn't have this level of familiarity with the subject matter, period. Not in decades could he know the characters as well as RJ did, if for no other reason than simply a matter of perspective of knowing where and (more specifically) how he wanted his characters and plot to end up. The second reason I give some leeway on this is because of the pace at which Harriet, the fans, and BS himself needed to accomplish this task. Even if it could be done (which I still say is not possible), it would have taken an author not only a significant (say 5 years) portion of time to become familiar with all the notes and to be able to get in the head of RJ to the right perspective to be able to construct events and foreshadowing the way RJ would have wanted, but also more time between books to make sure that each book has the appropriate amount of foreshadowing. I'd guess that to execute this to the level many fans would want this done, we would be looking at a 10 year period of time for these last 3 books. To ask an author to dedicate that kind of time to someone else's work, I imagine, would be too great a sacrifice. So where I give BS the benefit of the doubt is not that he did the best he (theoretically) could have done. I've read better work by him (I have read the Way of Kings 5 times and its held up each time for me) and WoT is not his best work. But I believe that it is as good a job as anyone could do in the time frame that was required. I think Brandon was in the unique position to be able to do this, and has done an admirable job in his execution. I wish that these books were finished by RJ. I am happy that anyone finished them at all. And given how bad they could have been done, I'm content with the skill at which they were completed. It could be better, they could have found an author who has a stronger focus on prose, but I believe that while there may be an author out there that could have done it, I doubt it could have been done in fewer than 10 years if it was to appease every one assuming someone was available to work on it immediately after RJs passing (not likely). As far as continuity errors, and other problems, I tend to throw the fault on team Jordan and Harriet. They've had more time with the material, and should be flagging these things before they are printed. Yeah BS should have caught these as well, but I mean he has to write the thing while researching, while keeping everything in his head from notes partially completed by someone else. We as fans can spend as much time scrutinizing for every small mistake in a way that he can't since we simply have more time. There's gonna be some mistakes, and the point of the other editors and assistants is to catch a lot of that stuff. RJ himself made mistakes, although few, and it was his world!
  3. Yeah I don't think that Rand would have a problem kneeling before the Crystal Throne now, but he could still use it as a bargaining chip to keep the Randlanders in line. I always thought the "If you don't do what I say, I wont' fight the dark one" seemed a little petty for Rand Sedai.
  4. I've read a lot of stuff talking about how Rand is going to force the dragon's piece on them in payment for his being willing to fight the Dark One. And it doesn't sound that bad. But what if Rand's price, is bowing before the will of the Empress bringing the Seanchan into the war against the shadow and ceasing the conflict? We have a prophecy that states he will do this (although its veracity is in question). And this is something Tuon could accept. Another theory I had: What if Rand doesn't die, but actually seals himself in the bore to counteract the DO. He wouldn't be dead, but in stasis, like the other forsaken were, so he wouldn't be spun out again. But he wouldn't truly be alive either. He also would be brought out first if someone tried to reopen the bore, and thus could stop them from releasing the DO again.
  5. I've always been certain that Nynaeve and Lan would survive, and Mat would survive - simply because I seem to recall some mention of outrigger novels about what happens after regarding those (the rebuild of Malkier, and Mat in Seanchan lands). I don't now recall where I heard about them, but it would have been around 2002 or 2003 (around when New Spring came out). And at this point, we are too close to the end for Aviendha to die since she still needs to get pregnant and have quadruplets. I think the "odd" think about Aviendha's pregnancy is that they will be conceived in Tel'aran'rhiod (or possibly after number 2). I think Rand dies, and comes back with the horn. I feel like Dobraine, and Tenobia have to die, because I think Perrin will be a king by the end (this leaves all the Edmond's fielders as major rulers - Nyneave in Malkier, Rand of Illean and the Black Tower (and sort of Caemlyn, Carhein and the Car'a'carn), Mat in Seanchan (and the Band), Perrin of lots of places (Two Rivers, Saldaea, Ghealdan), Egwene of the White Tower. I feel like all of these people will survive.
  6. Elayne was looking for a way to tie the band to Caemlyn... it would be a good Deas Demar (apologize for the spelling) move.
  7. It's certainly impossible that some amount of story between chapters 2 and 10 could resolve any plot synergy problems you are perceiving. It's completely obvious that everything there must be a mistake. I had similar problems when I read Chapter 1, and then Chapter 11 of the Eye of the World. Why were those nice kids from Emond's field suddenly all paranoid and running for their lives? They seemed so excited for the festivities in their town, but then all of the sudden they are in Watch Hill, and completely missed them? The characters the author wrote in Chapter 1 would NEVER have skipped their towns festivities, and certainly wouldn't listen to strange outsiders about not stopping in Watch Hill to check out that towns festivities.
  8. I just thought I'd add some additional perspectives: Rothfuss: Depending on your definition of "sex" in books, you may need to avoid the Kingkiller Chronicles, because in the second book there is some. It's not graphic, or distasteful (possibly a bit Mary Sue, but that's actually the nature of the whole series). There's also a disturbing violent scene in the second book. Aside from those, the books are great reads. Butcher: I thought the first two Dresden books were awful. I've heard they get better, but I wasn't able to get over some of the poor writing. The plots were ok, but I remember distinctly when I had to put the series down - I believe the line was something akin to 'my outlook was beginning to look as bleak as the national economy'. I haven't read Codex Alara, so I can't comment on that. Pratchett: I think that Terry Pratchett is the greatest writer living. His books are amazing, but there's a distinct difference between his earlier and later works. He certainly starts out writing parodies of fantasy in general, but there is an eventual progression to some amazing books that satirize modern society through a fantasy lens. The Discworld books aren't a series per say (excepting the first two perhaps) but the books do have a sort of chronological order, and there are sets of characters and books if you like a particular set of characters more than another. Sanderson: I've liked all of his stuff, the Mistborn trilogy is really solid, and Elantris and Warbreaker are good (but not as). But the Way of Kings I think is WoT level good. Sanderson has a different writing style to Jordan (obviously) but it works really well in his own world. The prologue and the first chapter are good, but maybe not the best way to get you into the story properly - that said if you can get through those (or skip them until later), its one of the best books I've read. Abercromie: I saw some people recommend the First Law trilogy. And those books are fun reads, though if I remember correctly there's at least one explicit sex scene and a lot of violence. Goodkind: For sure doesn't fix the sex and violence part of your requirements. And the books aren't that great besides. Martin: I love the Song of Fire and Ice, but it probably doesn't fit your requirements.
  9. But that's why I think it seems so much like the original plan. The whole series is about becoming the thing you don't want to be, and being a better person in the end because of coming to grips with that aspect of yourself. Each of the main characters goes through this struggle, and its only when they finally accept what they are, that they begin to excel. Because we didn't get to see Jordan finish out all of these plot lines, we can't know for certain how they were supposed to end, but I truly believe this was foreshadowed strongly through the series. You can see this really well in the (RJ completed) Nynaeve, Mat, and Elayne story lines. It's one of the reasons that I feel that their characterization feels "off" in the more recent books, its because they've already climaxed through their personal (internal) journeys and maybe there was less of a reason for them to grow in the last few books. Though I suppose this discussion is better made for another thread :-)
  10. I would like to argue this point. There's a fairly slow build up to this conclusion, taking the opposite path of that of the Aiel. Early on in the books, he is disdainful of the way the Tinkers live, but you can see the same struggle within him. First its the struggle with loving or hating killing. Then its the struggle with an Ax made only for killing vs. the Hammer which can be used to create (you can see the similarity in the way the Aiel won't use swords because they serve no other purpose than killing). He has problems with killing, and he struggles internally with his own battle rage. You can easily see the arc that could lead him to the way of the leaf. It's been a slow build since book 1. I'm not one to say what the original intention was, but I've had the strong impression while reading the series that would occur (now knowing that it isn't going to is kind of a let down). Brandon Sanderson for sure has a different writing style than Robert Jordan. I really liked his books the first time I read through them. I hate to admit that they don't hold up as well on re-reads as Jordan's work. Partly, that has to be the familiarity with the subject. It's a lot more difficult to write on multiple levels, with degrees of foreshadowing and subtlety when you aren't intimately familiar with the tone and mood you are trying to achieve in addition to the plot. No one could have done a perfect job, regardless of the amount of time spent on the novels. There are inconsistencies and plot issues - those I feel fall mostly on the part of the editors, as this is something that should have been caught. Personally, I think that if the goal was giving the books proper justice, the first book should have taken 5 or 6 years to come out. I don't know how anyone could have gone through all the notes, and had the conversations with team Jordan necessary to be able to write the books correctly in less time. The other 2 might have been able to come out faster, but I (without having any personal knowledge) feel that the books were written like taking off a band-aid. Nothing was going to be as good as Jordan could have done, so might as well do it quick and get the pain over with. In that respect I feel like Brandon Sanderson has done a good job. I'd like to see Omnibus editions of the books some day that detail which scenes were his, and which were Jordan's rewritten in Sanderson's style for curiosities sake. But all in all, I've been happy with the plot gratification, and the progression of the story. I'd probably be happier if Robert Jordan had finished it (and certainly be happier if he were still with us), but I'm grateful that its getting done. That being said, I find Brandon Sanderson's other work phenomenal. The Way of Kings is one of my favorite books of all time, but the style is very different. I think this is why I give him more slack, even though I see the discrepancies, because I think he's an amazingly skilled writer. How hard must it be to write in a different style a work that someone else has had decades to ponder and think on in such a short time with the notes yes, but no ability to talk with the creator? Immensely difficult. Could a better job have been done, certainly. Could it have been done in less than a decade? I personally don't think so, and I don't think we'd have gotten the books at all if a writer had to give up 10 years to finishing this masterpiece.
  11. Does it really? We have no real way of comparing their later accomplshments against one another, not in any meaningful sense. Galad beats a blademaster, Gawyn beats some bloodknives. Fine. Now, how does Valda compare to three bloodknives? If we have no way to answer that we have no way to say one is better than the other. Perhaps the bloodknives would have torn Valda to shreds if he was in Gawyn's position. On the other hand, he might have despatched them with no trouble. The text in no way shows Gawyn to be worse. It shows Galad was considered the better, but it gives us nothing to say the positions are the same or reversed since. The author's comments are the only reliable evidence we have - and they say Galad is better. So the evidence in book says he was better, since then it is inconclusive, but out of text we know he is better still. That's kind of my point. The text SAYS that Galad is still better. The text doesn't SHOW that Galad is still better. We know that Rand had a hard time against a Seanchan blademaster, and by the stories reckoning - should have lost. We know that Galad was fighting a difficult fight against Valda. So, Seanchan have good blademasters, and Galad had a difficult time with a blademaster. We know that NO ONE beats Blood Knives. The idea was considered laughable to a Seanchan. I would assume that a Bloodknife is better than a blademaster then. So Gawyn beats 3 people who individually should be better than a Seanchan blademaster. We know that Seanchan blademaster's aren't super bad or anything - and the text is constantly showing how the Seanchan are good warriors. So I take it as fact that Galad is the better swordsman, as that's the story that's been presented by the writers. But I don't think its shown in the text. In a very short span of time, we see that Galad wins a difficult battle against a blademaster. We know that he won 3 out of 5 matches with another blademaster - so this blademaster must be very good. We know that the Seanchan blademasters are decent because of viewing Rand's fight with one - and another Seanchan believing that the Terangral enhanced Bloodkives are UNBEATABLE, so we will assume that a seanchan blademaster (no slouch) would not stand a chance. That means that either, the text is not corroborating what the authors are stating - or - Valda was so good that he could have taken 3 bloodknives, which would be an even more difficult feat than Rand killing 3 copies of the seanchan blademaster that he fought. There aren't easy direct comparisons - but it isn't quite so bad as apple's an oranges. Lan > Rand > Galad > Gawyn > Valda > 3 bloodknives 1 bloodknife > any seanchan blademaster Maybe we should rate the swordsman by the number of bloodknives they could handle? So, Valda is a 3 bloodknife blademaster, Gawyn is a 4, Galad is a 5, Rand is a 6 (pre hand loss), and Lan is a 7? We'll just have to chalk Rand's first fight to his lower level of experience at that time. But then that makes Mat a 7 Bloodknife fighter (maybe 8 since he won?), and we know Tam is better than he is (8 bloodknives), and Abell is even better (9 bloodknives?). I propose the new unit BK to describe all fighters from here on out. 1 BK = 2 SBM (Seanchan Blademaster), so Abell could probably take on 18 Seanchan blademasters! I defy anyone to argue with my impeccable logic.
  12. I'd pick Tam with a staff over any swordsman in Randland. Not only is he great with the staff (we know he's better than Mat, and Mat is better than Couladin, and Couladin was known to be great among the Aiel - just as a quick direct comparison), but he KNOWS the sword. That means he can anticipate the forms and moves that another blademaster would use. Include the reach, and the ability for the Quarterstaff to act as two weapons, and I just don't think any swordsman in the book would stand a chance.
  13. Tam is better than Birgitte? Touche on the archer bit, I always seem to forget her. So he's the second best archer in the world then - next to Birgitte Flaming Silverbow? ;-)
  14. Direct quotes identifying the order of the Blademasters is all well and good. However, its always better to show than tell. Saying that Galad is better that Gawyn means very little, when the text appears to show the opposite is true. I will agree that, early on, the text supports the Galad is better truth. However, all the characters become more skilled as the books progress, but Gawyn's skill is shown to progress far more than Galad (I'd argue the text doesn't show Galad getting better in any particular way). I'm not one of those people that would argue that Gawyn is truly better than Galad, but I can't wait to see the fight where Galad proves his rank. :-) I'm of the opinion that, overall, Tam is the best fighter in the series. Not necessarily the best blade master, but he IS a blademaster in his own right, he's also the 2nd best staff fighter in the two rivers (where Mat, who (at best) is third, beat Galad AND Gawyn while sick), and is the best Archer of the best archers in the world.
  15. I'm pretty sure that they were controlling the Seanchan, but they've now been ousted. I don't think there's enough forsaken left to try any more plots with the Seanchan.
  16. That's true, probably contributed to her bad attitude. Makes her seem like even more of an idiot. I don't know what about that makes her seem like an idiot. She knew she would fall in love with him, but was honor bound to Elayne to keep him true to her, all while the wise one's were pushing her into Rand's bed. And top that off with the fact that she didn't even want to BE a wise one, and so was a bit upset about that as well. And she was, what, 18? or maybe 19... Sounds like she was seriously conflicted.
  17. Avi knew she would fall in love with him before the Wise One's set her to the task - she saw it in Rhuidean. She could have shared this perhaps. We don't really ever get a glimpse into whether the Wise One's treat the visions in the same way that the Aes Sedai treat theirs.
  18. I think a large part of the problems with Cadsuane is that she (and MANY other in the series) think Rand should be TOLD what to do, instead of ADVISED. Remember that this was the breakthrough that Moiraine had with him, that wisdom was imparted to Egwene, and no other Aes Sedai (aside from Nyneave in her own way) seem to understand. It's not just that Cadsuane is a bully, its that ALL Aes Sedai in the series are bullies. They are, regardless of whether they hit someone, or use the power on them, or manipulate them, bullying everyone around them. Every time one of the Edmond fielders meets up with a new Aes Sedai, they immediately try to take control - and are always completely floored when they aren't unequivocally listened to. The scene where Galina meets up with Perrin really drove that home to me - though you see it with Mat in his chapters escaping Ebou Dar as well. I know there's a lot of love of the Cadsuane character - and I agree that she's not one-dimensional, and she's incredibly well written. I think she royally screwed up dealing with Rand - and her adaptability was completely off base with him. I don't think she was irrational, and I think she truly was doing what was write to bring Rand around. But the whole point of her character was that her utter and complete failure, caused Rand to be brought around. The Cadsuane comeuppance scene I think was less about her, and more about Tam. RJ would have written it more subtly for sure, but I think the essence of that scene is what RJ wanted. Cadsuane feeling like she failed for the last time losing control, and the reader seeing the strength and calmness of Tam in the face of that confrontation after seeing what meddling has done to his son. It really adds a lot of weight to what Rand says later - that the difference in he and Lews Therin is how they were brought up - and that's because of Tam. I know that is a scene brought up as a failure of BS, but I think it was a great scene. Another minor point - bloody ashes was brought up but not "Saidared". I thought this was weird as well - until I re-read a scene in the Tarasin Palace from Mat's PoV where he said something to the effect that he wondered whether the two sisters would try and "Out Aes Sedai each other". It is a VERY minor leap to go from that verb-ization, to turning Saidar into a verb. Sure there's no direct precedence, but there can always be new material in a book - the same descriptions and idioms get old after a while. I did read about a vulture once in the last 2 books and was a little surprised however - I don't recall (but there's a lot of material) and vultures showing up previously.
  19. I have been getting tired of the wait for books before RJ's untimely passing. I was never disappointed in the books, but I grew impatient and desirous of being able to finish the series I started over a decade ago. I am (now) a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson's own work from my enjoyment of The Gathering Storm. It does lack the subtlety of Jordan's writing, and leaves more to the imagination (thus painting less clear pictures of the world). I don't fault Sanderson for this, I think he's done an exceptional job with the task he's been given. To be honest, I think he's done a better job given the constraints than RJ could have. I don't think RJ could have finished the series in 1 million words (expected length of the final 3 books). I know he wanted to finish it in one more book, I just don't think that could have happened. I don't think he could have finished it in a way that would have been satisfying and true to his style in 3 books. I think it would have taken at least 5 books for Jordan to finish the series with the same care and attention to detail that he took with his previous books. So even if RJ had finished the series himself, but forced himself to contain it all in the same 3 books - we would still say that it feels rushed, and lacks some subtlety and handles things more bluntly. Because those things would have been required to complete the amount of plot left to wrap up. Taking that into account - I believe that Sanderson changed the narration largely with characterization. I don't feel that it is too egregious - I only noticed it with 2 characters (Mat and Elayne), and it was more like reading an impersonation, or an impression by a comedian of the actual characters. Some of their traits exaggerated. In reading them in the books - I was able to attribute these two the state of mind the characters were in at the time. Mat becomes married, and Elayne being pregnant and both of those would cause some change in personality. These could have been toned down a bit and the actions of the characters likely would have felt more congruous. My problem I think with true criticism is that I truly enjoyed the changes. They don't feel write within the larger work perhaps, but I enjoyed them. The large number of plot completions, for me, was just a wonderful release. Things I've been waiting for years to finally read about. My enjoyment of them is, for sure, due to the painstaking way that RJ set them up - but the sweet release of the built up tension just washes over what minor complains I could have. I laughed at the letter, its not something RJ would have done, but I truly enjoyed it. When its all said and done, I would love to know what was truly RJ's and what was truly Sanderson's. That's not likely to happen, but I think it would be interesting to know. I can't tell the difference through the book - and I was fairly certain that RJ's work went in without rewrite - which means that Brandon Sanderson did a great job keeping with the tone of the books.
  20. I don't have my books on me - but I seem to think that she had an epiphany like that in the most recent book. But maybe that was Elayne... In either case I remember being floored that someone at LAST realized that Rand had to appear to other that way in order to have the air of authority needed to do his job as Dragon. I find this a difficult question - because while there are many characters that I didn't like - it was because they were well written enough that I saw them as a person I wouldn't have liked had I met them. Which in my mind, means they are very well written characters. Many of them did things that infuriated me, and that I felt were just idiocy, but they made some sort of sense in the context of their world. My first couple of read through of the story I disliked reading the chapters with the forsaken bickering between themselves. This was largely because I was very invested in the main characters story arcs, and didn't want to be interrupted. I've come to have a greater appreciation for these sections the more I've read them however. I guess if I had to pick the character that I enjoy the least it would have to be Elayne. Most of her actions and motivations in the story seem wrong to me. I think the only part of her story when I actively enjoyed reading about her was her arc of meeting toh to Mat in Ebou Dar. But her even being there, to me, broke her main character motivation - being Queen of Andor. It was important for the plot, but I felt that it broke parts of her character to voluntarily wait on the SUPER important task of succeeding her Mother to prevent war in Andor. I think that the character would have to have been forced to go there in lieu of taking the throne - and so I didn't like that. I also felt that her falling for Rand was super forced, and while I have trouble wrapping my head around the dude with 3 girlfriends from a cultural stand point, its specifically Elayne and his relationship that doesn't feel right. That being said I don't hate Elayne, just that she's my least favorite.
  21. I wonder if it really is... If the pattern is destroyed, does that get rid of fate, and thus make free will truly exist again? If the wheel is broken, does that make Time unbound and no longer doomed to repeat itself? It seems like the Creator is a conservative force, and the DO works toward change. While I won't say that the DO does this in a positive way, it makes me think that maybe it really isn't as bad as all that if the DO does win. I know the idea of a cyclical universe in which I'm doomed to repeat everything kind of creeps me out - if I was forced to live in it.
  22. I believe the quotes I posted above indicate the Dragon can't be born a woman because the gender is always going to be male (RJ said souls maintain their gender). How then would Ameresu (I've read this theory I think) be chosen, as a female, regardless of the fact she is a hero? I suppose I just don't understand under what circumstances the Dragon could be a female, unless there are actually two Dragon souls, one male and one female, and only the male one is ever spun out unless the female is needed instead. In this case I could see how Rand is the male Dragon, and his soul will always be the male Dragon in every turning of the wheel in which a male Dragon is required, but there is a female soul (I'll use Ameresu as an example) which is the female Dragon as well. So there would actually be two different Dragons, not just one, but only one is spun out at any one time, and the female Dragon is only called upon if something happens to the male Dragon. Does that make sense? I don't believe it's supported by anything in the books, just something random I am using to explain my confusion. On the other hand, under what circumstances would the WoT world need a female Dragon? If the real Dragon died, could he even be replaced, or would the Shadow "win"? (I put this in quotes because as I understand it even when Rand has been defeated/turned, the Shadow has not yet won). I think the term "Dragon" is more of a modifier. LTT is an individual soul (made up of different rebirths - like Rand), like Birgitte, or Gaidal Cain. The Dragon is a role the pattern call on to effect change. So many different people could be the Dragon, but they are still themselves. Perhaps the Dragon can only be someone who can channel (this was confirmed by RJ to be tied to a soul), so Birgitte, as an example, would never be the Dragon - but another famous female channeler could end up being the Dragon on a particular turning.
  23. Inappropriate Dress, An Illustrated Guide. Written by el'Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran Modelling for the illustrations done by el'Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran
  24. Min always sees the FUTURE right? Well in a Winter's Heart, she sees a million images surrounding Birgitte - doesn't think mean she will still be spun back into the wheel, and will still be linked to Gaidal Cain? I seemed to think that this was in question from the reading - maybe I'm just now seeing the obvious...
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