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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Jonn

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  1. I disagree with any system that predetermines what someone must or can do with their life. When people lack the ability to determine their own limitations and aspirations...it's oppression, plain and simple. A channeler must be leashed. A High Blood must plot against their own for power or die. Whatever order you might find in that, it's still a bond of slavery. Just because you have a place to sleep and food to eat, does it mean you should see the right in being treated as a pet? Does it mean that you simply cannot meet someone's eyes? You can't even speak to some people? I feel Jordan created the Seanchan as an example that people can justify any evil. The south on the United States could justify their position of Jim Crow. The French and British could justify their unapologetic imperialism of the past. The Germans could justify their eradication of Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals. The list goes on and on. The Seanchan are a warning. When Aviendha went through the columns again it was a warning that the darkest times were still ahead even if the Shadow is defeated. The world would have to find a way to overcome the shadow within themselves.
  2. I REALLY loved this book. I was actually hesitant to buy it because unlike many people here, I kind of didn't like The Gathering Storm. Sorry, it just felt...off. Towers of Midnight was just so *sigh* satisfying. At this point I feel it rivals The Shadow Rising. Perrin came back strong with some badassery. Moiraine returned. So much happened. I concur with Luckers' assessment that Lan's storyline kind of spluttered, but all in all I was entertained all the way through. Aviendha's trip through the columns was SHATTERING. I LOOOOOVED it. My theory is that it showed her what the future would be if she continued on the path she would have if she had not traveled through the columns in reverse. So now she is presented with the conundrum again of continuing her relationship with Rand and bearing the doom of her people. In the end I feel that she will see that she cannot avoid bearing Rand's children. She'll probably leave a warning of what may occur, to her offspring. That or she will seek death at the Last Battle before she bears them, but as we all know this is next to impossible because Min's sure viewings are always true. This portion of the book really lent a lot of dimension to the story and catapulted it to a great installment of the series rather just a simply entertaining one. I kind of get the feeling that Nynaeve will teach the Red Ajah how to pick apart madness and this will become their specialty. Just a thought. Not sure if it will pan out that way...I mean, since Gentling is no longer the option, they need something to do. I dunno. I'm so overwhelmed by how much I enjoyed this book, it's really hard to center my line of thought about the whole of it. Bottom line, I think Sanderson has really hit his stride with the series. Can't wait till the end. Well played, Sir. I shall eat my words and swallow my pride by saying that I was wrong. Extending the series to 14 books was the right ploy.
  3. I think I really liked Rand's latest encounter with Ishamael. It seemed different. There was somthing very complex about Morridin, and it reminded me of what Verin was saying about whether or not Rand truly understood the Dark One's evil. Morridin seemed almost weary and tired of the conflict, the never ending series of battles and time and Ages. He almost seemed open to the possibility that perhaps he may even be on the wrong side... I have to say that it was a very interesting encounter.
  4. I honestly think you're taking a lot of things I am posting a bit too personally, as if I must be directing my comments specifically or generally towards you. I must say, not trying to be mean that this is a delusion on your part. You have the wrong idea. Don't take it so personally. If you find it acceptable (Mat's portrayal) and have your reasons made clear, that's well. You don't need my approval anyway do you? I find that your reason's for finding Mat's characterization as passable, well- passable. According to your standard, you were fine with it. My comments about people being delusional are really comments about persons getting angry and overly defensive about ANY criticism directed towards the way Mat Cauthon the character was portrayed in this book. I find that being so defensive about it betrays doubt in some people about how they truly did perceive Mat's depiction. Do you deny that the criticisms are valid then? Do you deny that people may have a right or reason to protest the way Mat was portrayed? I've not heard much but praise for the book outside of Mat's sections. A few picky points about dialogue and such, but not much else to complain about besides Mat. I don't think it can be denied that Mat's portion is by far the most controversial portion of the book, and raises serious questions about Sanderson's judgment of this character in particular. Personally I am of the thought that Mat's portrayal is part of a bigger problem and this is how to reconcile material for three books instead of two or even one. I had serious misgivings about the format of these final books and the problems Sanderson faced in how the format came to be decided upon. The lack of balance and measure in Mat's section speaks to me of this.
  5. That is a good point scraps. Mat is a prankster, not a joker. There is a distinction. And I don't think he's pulled any pranks since book one that I can recall. What disturbed me a lot was when he spoke to Thom about the letter again...Mat isn't really like that. He rather would leave someone else's thoughts to them, not make comment of it or be eager to draw any more out than need be. It just didn't seem right or true. I mean, verbal jokes...I started to frown when I read that stuff, not laugh. Mat doesn't joke around these days. Too much stuff on his plate for that. I was confused by it.
  6. I see, but Ted, isn't it an obvious and inevitable point that Sanderson will be compared to Robert Jordan? I don't really expect him to be better or even as good as Jordan. Sorry. I've read a few of his books and I sadly knew he wasn't there yet in his development as a writer. I can say that I wasn't surprised about how well the rest of the book melded with the rest of the series. There are some trifles that seemed off to me, like figures of speech and over-narrating of characters in their dialogue...forgivable because due to Sanderson's level of ability and the constraints he is working under, there's only so much one can expect of an author. There is no straw man as you put it. Observations about how well Sanderson compares to Jordan are a necessity in this case. People who think he did a good job are fine saying things to the effect that Sanderson's portrayal of Mat is consistent with Robert Jordan's. That it was refreshing and funnier the way Sanderson wrote it... I disagree. I don't think Sanderson was any funnier or refreshing in style than Jordan, in fact I found his style with Mat tiresome and at times pointless. People turn to the plot and defend Mat's sections by saying that Robert Jordan himself plotted such developments. That's the point. Though RJ would have been the one to plot such things out, the way the feel of the sections came off in style and characterization it felt alien to a lot of people who are used to Mat being portrayed in Robert Jordan's subtler more abrupt style. Example: If Talmanes shows any emotion, or tick, it's abrupt and having to do with something, an event or comment in particular. His regular character is upright, reserved and seriously observant. Sanderson has played him as if he is winking and rolling his eyes the whole time, and being basically indistinct from the rest of Mat's coterie in attitude and manner. RJ was more sparing with outbursts of sudden character deviation. He used the abruptness of a change in character as an event in itself, EMPHASIZING a change of character or attitude. Sanderson didn't spend the time to set up any kind of development in character for Talmanes, it was just that all of a sudden he was different. RJ always had a turning point or made mention of a change in a character however major or minor they may be. And no one better dare that RJ never spent time developing peripheral characters. Again, the differences in style between Jordan and Sanderson will be noted when they are notable. Can you tell me honestly that Mat's sections in this book seemed like Jordan's characterization even in the prior book? They're different in comparison, so the comparison is relevant.
  7. It's not something I don't expect on this message board, that the majority who post here defend everything about the books very vocally. Believe it or not though, everyone I have had a face to face or telephone conversation about the parts of this book that seemed off, pretty much across the board noticed it most in Mat's portion of the book. "Get over it." Yeah, guess how you get over things that bother you. You talk about it. So you're currently witnessing the process and if you can't handle someone being honest about how they feel disappointed about certain aspects of the book...You know what to do. So just leave the whole idea out that I'm going to shut up my feelings because it makes you angry or uncomfortable. I've reread the book already, skipping Mat's chapters. It's a better book for it. In fact, you could have cut out Perrin's and Mat's portions of the book and it would have been an excellent book. I really think stylistically Mat was a mess. What happened plot wise was actually alright, but the problem I had with the plot was that it didn't go far enough. I would have liked for Mat to have actually made it to Caemlyn and had interactions there. That would have been useful. Meeting Verin and getting YET ANOTHER letter was an anticlimax. Just the way it was written with what WAS there...it made it worse. Stylistically it was different from the way Mat had been written in almost all of the later books and it actually stood out in tone from the rest of the Gathering Storm itself. So plot development...didn't go far enough. Style wise, I found it clunky and obtuse. And the character notes Sanderson seemed to be trying to push home are not notes that really need to be used as a bludgeon on our heads. Mat can be silly and brash...well no s%$!. The majority of the book Sanderson did either a credible or very good job. I just don't think he did a very good job with Mat.
  8. Sure, you get points for trying, and Sanderson has scored big in other areas besides, including his pace and his portrayal of female characters which I think he excels at, and is as good as any author in the world at making female heroes intriguing and believable. These shortcomings of Jordan's you speak of...yeah, I wouldn't be reading these books the day they come out for 16 years of my life if I thought that there were any shortcomings of Robert Jordan's worth mentioning. You talk about timing. I can see your point, but it's more than timing here. It's about consistency of character. I mentioned months ago in analysis of Sanderson's style vs Jordan's that sometimes Sanderson for some reason loses his focus on character consistency. In Warbreaker the main antagonist and his sidekick were acting too similar and were chatty, but then suddenly they were very ruthless, and the transition just seemed off. It was hard for me to believe that the protagonist observing that behavior would well...BELIEVE what they were seeing. It just seemed unbalanced. I feel much the same about Mat's character in The Gathering Storm, him and his coterie. They were too chatty, unbalanced and I had a hard time believing in them. They were too nebulous. Too "charactery". You talk about transition in character, and some have mentioned that Mat has "matured", but his freaking out and being over-elaborate and a chatterbox...doesn't ring like maturity to me. I'm not even sure how to feel about his feelings towards Tuon. He just thinks about her vaguely and worries about her more or less because...I'm not so sure why. It's almost like he has to simply because of the circumstances, or that he regrets- I really can't settle on any one idea honestly. I guess part of my misgivings is because I freaking hate Tuon at the moment. I can't recall much of what makes her appealing to Mat. He never really dwells on it in the Gathering Storm in any substantial way. YET...in Knife of Dreams it was so delicately handled by RJ, I found myself entranced. There was a longing between the two that was unstated. That has disappeared in The Gathering Storm. I really forgot what I liked so much about the couple in the prior offering. THAT IS BAD TRANSITION. So, it's deeper than what you think, that I need a scapegoat for what sucks about the ending of the series. If the ending of the series sucks or any part of it sucks, the author who writes it has to have the balls to take full responsibility for it. I was perfectly fine with how RJ had written the series, though some things did bother me a little. The whole of it was consistent and I felt settled with it. Sanderson has to prove that he can finish and do so in a way that is consistent and befitting on every level. He really CANNOT afford to make mistakes. I think Mat's portion of this first book of three is a mistake/miscalculation. Which is too bad, as it mars an otherwise valiant effort in continuing the series.
  9. What is WRITING if it isn't wording and flow? I can tell you a story and you'd hate it, and someone else talks about the same story and you really enjoyed hearing their take on it. Same story, but your feelings about they delivery differ. Stylistically, Sanderson's portrayal of Mat is seen as a disturbing departure from Robert Jordan's by some including me. And "blaming" Sanderson is quite apparent here as it's so obvious to most that the style is completely different from any of Jordan's prior depictions of Mat Cauthon.
  10. If you've ever followed a comic strip that changes illustrator you can better understand what's happened with Mat. The characters in the comic strip never look the same at first but after awhile it's the early strips that become strange looking. Mat's portrayal IS slightly different than before and it is because it's a different author but that is unavoidable, especially since Brandon Sanderson is an accomplished author in his own right. He has his own voice and has done a fantastic job of modulating that voice to better mimic Robert Jordan's but it can not ever be exactly the same. Back when I collected comics a long time ago, I was totally a fan of Jim Lee's take on the X-Men. loved every frame. He left to do stuff for Image comics, and I followed him when he started WildCATS...In hindsight, the book sucked, but I still was into his art and his style. Thing is X-Men remained the X-Men, even without Jim Lee, but I know what I liked about it and what I didn't like about WildCATS. I know what I didn't like about X-Men when Lee left. It slightly mirrors what has happened here. I really liked Sanderson's work on some of his books. I really liked Elantris. I liked Mistborn 1. I thought Warbreaker was ok. Judging from these works I thought Sanderson had the chops to do Wheel of Time. He does, but something wasn't quite the same. While I like his work on Wheel of Time, some things just didn't work for me. There's no use for me to try to convince myself otherwise. I was very clear about what I liked about his efforts with The Gathering Storm. I am equally clear about what I don't like, I think. Many people seem up in arms about the very act of not liking something about the book. I find this sadly typical. Try something why don't some of you...Gain some distance from the book. I find that a lot of people have a hardon for it simply because they can't bear the thought that perhaps this isn't going to be as special an ending as the series deserves. I said months ago that it's going to be very sad when it turns out that the people who want something so bad realize in horror, that what they get isn't quite as good as they've hyped it up to be. That they HAD to hype it otherwise face despair again. The despair that RJ has passed away and we won't get to see the end he promised us. It's almost that the facsimile presented to us by Sanderson and Co. is just a shadow of what we could have had from the man himself. Thing is we could never have that. We could NEVER have RJ's ending. To accept that truth is far more painful that just blindly defending every little shortcoming Sanderson shows. He was always going to fall just short guys. In a lot of cases he will fall far short. That's life, cruel as it is. Sanderson isn't RJ. I know that. It think it's pretty simple of people to suggest that I need to accept something that I already know. Sanderson's work pales in comparison to RJ's. In many ways. In some ways he's an equal to RJ. Some things he does a bit better, but not enough for me to say that the sum of what we are getting from Sanderson by any means meets or surpasses what I think RJ would have produced by himself had he lived. Some may think me unfair to say it, but hey; Someone had to. No one has gone as far as to say what some are truly thinking at this point. I loved some parts of this book. I like a good portion of it. I though a good deal of it was passable, and a small chunk of it I thought was tripe and garbage. Sorry if that's mean to you, but it's honest. Problem is, no one likes honesty these days. So there you have it. dislike it all you want. Doesn't make it not true. Hate the title. The cover art is horrible. Hated Mat's overacting, and how fanfic his conversation with Thom was. Didn't think many of the "funny" bits were very funny. Some of the dialogue was too modern but most of it was passable. That pretty much says it for what I did not tolerate. As you can see, the majority of the book I enjoyed, most of it I enjoyed very much.
  11. Mat's was the worst reviewed part of the book, and hence the most defended. Amongst my friends who read the series, they all had at least to comment on how it was...well different from the rest of the book. You yourself are defending it. Face it, nice as you want to be about it, Sanderson will NEVER replace RJ. Frankly I'm glad to have this confirmed for me. Relieved even. If you are gonna quote someone you should really respond to the quote instead of making yourself look like a fool. Mat's parts was awesome. Get over it. After I read the book Mat's parts were the main ones I wanted to reread for the humor of it. The themes of the characters haven't changed!! Mat has ALWAYS been the go to guy for humor. Get over it!!!! lol, irony.
  12. Actually, that revelation was already made to Tuon (in CoT or KoD, I don't remember) by Mat. She didn't even flinch. She actually rationalized it very well. To the Seanchan channeling is evil. Even though Tuon was capable of channeling she didn't actually do it. She chose not do it. So she didn't commit any evil act. The equivalent to channeling in Seanchan society would be child rape in ours. Replace one word for the other and you'll understand their reactions. Those who would channel anyway are child molesters that can't control themselves. The sul'dam (channelers who need to learn to channel) are people who can turn child molesters into good-natured animals. It'd be like replacing famous recurring pedophiles with Lassies and Rintintins, who actually save children. So revealing that the sul'dam can channel only reveals that the person who controls the impulses of the child molester can actually become a child molester...or not. Since there's a choice, there's no inherent evil if they don't actually commit the act. Of course, it can make someone very unhinged to learn what she could be. And sul'dam would be looked with more suspicion. But it wouldn't undermine their society completely. Not if they think like Tuon at least. Uh...I don't see your rationalization working too well here. A very many people who channel are born that way, with the spark. So in your mind these people are born child molesters? That's $%#^ed up. Tuon's more twisted than your average Seanchan, because she's so self-righteous. Anything that disturbs her perfect vision of a Seanchan world can be rationalized in her mind as an imperfection she means to "correct". Sicko.
  13. Mat's was the worst reviewed part of the book, and hence the most defended. Amongst my friends who read the series, they all had at least to comment on how it was...well different from the rest of the book. You yourself are defending it. People didn't like Mat's depiction in the book. Get over it. 80% of the book was fantastic and well done. 10% was alright, but could be better. The other 10% needed some work or even a sub percentage didn't even need to be there. It's not a perfect book. Get over it. It's not better than Book 4 or 5 in my opinion...not better than The Great Hunt. It may rank somewhere around Lord of Chaos...Knife of Dreams, about Winter's Heart for me. I loved Winter's Heart. Good book, but not great, largely because of the perceived inconsistencies of Mat's sections and some of the dialogue abnormalities we are not used to. If Brandon Sanderson's goal was simply to prove that he would be adequate to complete the task, then he has succeeded. but to be looked upon as an equal of or even to surpass Jordan...Not likely to happen, not with this offering as any indication. Hey, but kudos. I have confidence he was the correct choice, but he better step it up if he plans on being seen by the general view as someone who could bring the series to another level. That's not possible anyway, so don't hold your breath over it. If you enjoy it, then do so. No need to defend it like Brandon Sanderson is a relative of yours. Face it, nice as you want to be about it, Sanderson will NEVER replace RJ. Frankly I'm glad to have this confirmed for me. Relieved even.
  14. You know what I really loved about Egwene's arc? You really come to feel that she truly is Aes Sedai. She takes the 3 Oaths on the Oath Rod, yes, but laments that she was not tested by the rings...uh, the torture and struggle and beatings and tribulations she underwent with complete poise...I think she surpassed any test the Rings could have shown her. She also was an expert of all the 100 weaves necessary for the test, and she mastered them with only the barest ability to channel. You really got the feeling that she was more Aes Sedai than Aes Sedai were.
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