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  1. I have to give a big thumbs up to Steven Erikson's Malazan series (10 books in print). He built a massive world with hundreds of characters with a lot of brutality but threaded through with compassion for humanity. I love his writing style. Barclay's Chronicles of the Raven and Legends of the Raven. Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series. All of these are British authors, very satisfing fantasy reads and very popular. The Dresden files is a fun read but not epic fantasy. It is light urban fantasy. Two other fun urban fantasy authors are Ben Aaronovitch and Kevin Hearne. RJ was unique.
  2. Some have posited that Morgase died. That she was the blond haired woman thrown over the horse that Mellor sent to the Andor troops to make them think Elayne was dead. While Mellor kneeled over her ready to cut out her babies, Elayne looked at the blond haired woman and thought "Oh no". It doesn't sit well with me that Morgase would be killed in such a trivial way and with no further explanation, but maybe? Even if Morgase was alive, she was not as critical to Elayne as Birgitte.
  3. I haven't come across this in the comments but I haven't read all of them either so if already said, sorry. The Dragon's Peace wasn't just about forcing the nations to peacefully deal with each other but it also forced each nation to set up a great school in each capital, fully funded and with doors open to those who wish to learn. This will have a much bigger impact on the world over time than the forced peace. It will allow the common person to learn history, reading, math and foster creative analysis. It will likely reduce the power of the WT over time as it will not be the only repository of knowledge. These schools will foster the development of wonders like those of the Age of Legends and the story of Rand and why he demanded these schools will become common knowledge so that maybe this new age will not make the same mistakes as the Aol. One can hope. I found it interesting that no one in the tent even batted an eye about the great schools instead focused on the locking of the borders and who would enforce it.
  4. Malazan is epic fantasy but not like Tolkien so not like RJ. It is my favorite epic fantasy series. It is not everybody's cup of tea as it is written by Steven Erikson, an former archeologist, whose opinions about environmental destruction run throughout. It is entirely engrossing. Per “Paul’s Fantasy Favorites”, "Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen is so utterly different from Tolkien. This fantasy cycle comprises ten volumes (all in print). Each book is brilliant, brutal, magnificent, and unpredictable; each stands alone, though the books are wonderfully interwoven. Erikson's prose hits hard: makes you wince, twists your gut. Makes you laugh, and leaves you silent. Empty. The writing is stark, driven, uncompromising. Morality is ambiguous, and betrayal the norm. Erikson does not spare his characters - they love and hate, triumph gloriously and are ripped apart, sometimes all in the same few breaths. He does not apologize for them, but his sympathy for even the most heinous of them is immense. Erikson's world is intensely old: hundreds of thousands of years layered down in dirt and blood, bone and ash. Magic abounds, powerful, fickle stuff, none of it cheap. The warrens - currents of lifeblood for an Elder God - are assailed, treacherous. Dreams make for strange, alternate magic, and the magic of the Deck defies and limits the others. And as in our world, chance skews outcomes into unforeseen directions. Military campaigns are ugly, messy affairs, complex and treacherous and thoroughly believable. Cultures are brilliantly portrayed: through their pottery and art, slums and brothels, oral traditions and mythologies, garb and dialect, animal husbandry and the artistry of insults. Peoples and tribes, cities and villages, sects, religions, cultural and biological evolution are vivid and unique - our 'real' life but a dim reflection of Erikson's, to the last (vicious) lapdog. Not a single trite unmemorable caricature, or a single wasted detail - this world is real, grabs you, drags you along. Warning to the reader: if you want an easy read, nothing complicated or unpleasant, no moral ambiguities - stay clear. Erikson is not for you" Another author to consider is Daniel Abraham. His Long Price Quartet is quite good and the first book of his epic fantasy "Dragon's Path" is a promising first book for his series. I can't think other any other author like RJ but there are other excellent authors just different styles of writing.
  5. @Suttree I agree that he created over 50% of the story but for the most part he was following RJ's notes on what he wanted to happen where and to whom. He did create much of the story needed to achieve the goals set by RJ but I contend that this is not real creativity. It is like filling in the lines with crayons. You can pick the colors but you have to stay in the form. I would much preferred RJ to live and finish the tale. I love the way he told this story. I wish Brandon could have come closer to RJ's style of writing and I believe that Harriet and Team Jordan could have done a bit more to successfully blend the two authors styles. I have read Brandon's stories and like them but they are very different from RJ. Overall I am satisfied that the end of the story was completed and I got some enjoyment out of reading it. I forgive Brandon for not being RJ. I can't think of any author who writes like RJ.
  6. Is there a quote from Brandon on how he had virtually no creativity allowed? Look how he handled the Black tower arc he made Androl the preeminent Ashaman and he nerfed Logain. I think he probably had more creative leeway than you think. Most writers would not have taken it on? I can see why a writer would turn down finishing the series if offered. It would be a huge undertaking and would require a lot of work to tie up all the threads properly. But I can also see the upside, a potential author could make a lot of money finishing this series, and their name would also be attached to one of the biggest fantasy series of all time. A potential author could also easily open up millions of readers to their own books by finishing the series. I suppose we really don't know, I don't think that anyone else was offered the job before Brandon was chosen. Also even if he did have people peeking over his shoulder the quality of the books are still his responsibility, his name is going on the book cover not team Jordans. I have heard said many times by Brandon and Harriet in interviews that the last three books were a team effort. Harriet edited all of RJ's books. She is an expert on his style and she knew where he wanted the series to go and how it should end. She edited and reviewed everything Brandon wrote and prevailed in many cases in modifying what he wrote. They discuss this in interviews so no I don't think he simply had a couple of random people peeking over his shoulder. It has also been stated by Harriet and Brandon that he left notes as to the fate of many of the characters and Brandon had to build the story so those fates were relaized. As for whether any other author would take on this gargantuan job of completing the series with 200 pages written and notes provided, IMHO it is unlikely. Why should a noted author such as Erikson, GRRM, or others of like caliber want to finish another man's work when have their own excellent stories to tell? IMO we were lucky to get Brandon who while not in the same category as RJ, GRRM and Erikson at least had wriiten a critically acclaimed trilogy and was a Professor of writing at a renouned university. Some questions and answers from two recent book signings that support that it was a tem effort. Lexington, KY Signing Report Posted by Maji on Jan 17 2013 07:40 PM under in A Memory of Light Question: What was Brandon given to start his work? Answer: He received one scene from each prologue--the first scene from The Gathering Storm that was dictated, the Kandori tower scene from Towers of Midnight, and one scene from A Memory of Light that I will not state since it contains a spoiler. There were large chunks of the ending, including the entire epilogue. He received fragments of Egwene’s visit from her “special visitor” in TGS, and a proposal at the end of ToM. There were also discussions of scenes, and answers from Team Jordan. Either my hand was cramping up or I missed a segue, but somehow a discussion of Brandon’s writing style commenced. He stated that he works from an outline, and that Robert Jordan grew and nurtured scenes over time. Brandon did not try to imitate Robert Jordan’s writing style, and left the blending of the two writing styles up to Harriet. Harriet was Tor Books’ original editor, discovering Mr. Rigney and editing the two best-selling series in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Harriet was in charge of blending the voices together. Chicago A Memory of Light Signing Memory Keeper Report Posted by Jhirrad on Jan 15 2013 07:15 AM under in A Memory of Light Q: Is there a character you took in a different direction from what Jordan had intended? A: In terms of a character, and what would happen to them ultimately, no, not really. However, there were times when some things had to be adjusted, specifically some plot points, in order to make the narrative as a whole flow better. Brandon did mention that he wanted a character that he felt was his own, which he got to do the most development on. That character became Androl. A lot of what Androl did were things which Jordan said had to happen. Brandon picked Androl to do them, and gave the character his own touch more than any other.
  7. I think it is important to remember when bashing Brandon that he worked with Harriet and Team Jordan very very closely on these novels. Harriet has acknowledged that it was her responsibility to take Brandon's writing and "meld" it to fit RJ's writing style and to follow his purposes for the characters. It was not easy for Brandon to write these three lengthy books not just because it was a huge amount of work but he also had constant oversite and editing of every word and every arc he wrote. These last three books were a team effort and the people closest to RJ were guiding it all of the way. I would never have taken this job and most writers wouldn't have taken it on either. Brandon was allowed virtually no creativity in this work. I am a fan who is very happy to have these final books. I can see other ways this tale could have ended but the way it was designed by this group of RJ intimates to complete the tale is satisfying for me. I accept this is not true for all.
  8. I cringed when the chapter started with "Perrin chased Slayer through the skies". I was beyond tired of Perrin chasing Slayer but I admit that it did serve a purpose in this story. I am not sure what Perrin could have done to help Rand with out the Slayer storyline. I was hoping Faile had bit the dust and when he smelled her perfume I thought oh god he is stuck with her for life. I am satisfied with his role in the ending. He contributed a lot to make it come to pass.
  9. Brandon's def. more skilled at writing the soul searching, self-depreciating guy than he is at writing a reluctant swashbuckler type (Mat), cocky ass kicker (Logian), or dominant alpha male hero (Rand). Not true. If you have read any of his books, especially Mistborn and Alloy of Law you would know that he writes damn fine swashbucklers, cock ass kickers, and alpha males. I thought Perrin and Matt improved under his pen. I know some liked the old Matt but I didn't until BS made him less self absorbed and more likeable.
  10. I really liked Logain's Arc. It was pretty amazing that he was able to function after the torture he went through. It would have been unrealistic to have him go up against Taim in his condition. Getting the Sa'angreal made sense to me. The BT should have some angreal to be more in balance with the AS. If he had made the choice to get the angreal instead of save the children, he would have likely died in the earthquake and we would all cheer. He made the right choice and he got his reward in their future support of the BT. There is no reason why he cannot still try to dig for the Sa'angreal in the future. Logain's arc was one of only a few that dealt with saving common people. Hundreds of thousands of common people were slaughtered and I like that this Arc at least was about saving some ordinary people. We get so invested in the main characters that we resent when any words are given to anyone else. The last battle was far more than killing the enemy. I liked Androl and his arc made it possible for Logain and the BT to play a significant role. He will make a great side kick for Logain. Because of Androl's weaves, they all powered up. It is satisfying that the future looks very promising for the BT.
  11. I agree... And I think this happened because from the perspective of the reader, the nameless generic armies mean nothing. They are just cannon fodder. We only feel the impact of the battle when a named character/city falls. In that sense the Light's casualties felt almost trivial, because only Egwene and Caemlyn were major WoT entities. Moreover, only a few secondary entities, such as Gawyn, Siuan, and the Borderlands, were destroyed. So from our perspective, the Shadow lost everything in the Last Battle, while the Light lost 10% of its forces, tops. The whole thing always felt like a cakewalk rather than like a desperate last stand against overwhelming forces. Perhaps this is for the best, because an indiscriminate slaughter of the good guys would have also jarred with the general WoT framework. In the WoT, good guys live forever... With a few exceptions. I thought this ending was brilliant. I made me laugh, cry and think differently about the pattern than I had before. I like the ending. It bothered me a lot that tens of thousands of nameless generic armies were slautered with little to no recognition of sadness of this tragic loss of life. Yes, it is easier to feel for the characters we know but not so easy to have compassion for the mercenary soldiers, the shopkeepers, the farmers, the mothers, the children who gave their lives and who will be sorely missed by their loved ones.and by everyone who depended on their skills. With hundreds of thousands killed it will be several centuries before life return to any kind of normalcy. I kept thinking of what happened in a ASOIF where the land and peoples are decimated and starving because of the political wars. Certainly, the survivors in WOT have a lot more to look forward to with the nations treaty for peace and the DO out of service for awhile.
  12. True but if it starts over and is a wheel it stands to reason a hole wil l be drilled in the bore, another LTT will partially seal it, then another last battle will happen. The dragon at the last battle will be LTT reborn and it will happen again and again, and again Someone posted elsewhere, possibly in Egwene thread, that the DO will likely find his next entry where Egwene died. She patches what Taim's balefire had weakened and thinks that it should last for awhile and then dies. This patch is weak and could be used by the DO to reach in the next turn of the wheeel.
  13. Something a lot of people missed, as so very briefly described, was when Mellar took down Elayne and killed Brigitte, he also appears to have killed Morgase and used her body thrown over the horse to convince Elayne's troops that she was dead. "Mellar kicked at Brigitte's corpse as a man rode up with a body draped across the back of his saddle. The man wore an Andoran uniform, and the facedown corpse dangled golden hair. Whoever the poor woman was, she wore a dress exactly like Elayne's. Oh no... "(Elayne thought this) It is a wonder that Elayne was coherant after losing her warder, her mother and being threatened with having her babies cut out of her. Brandon said in an interview that Harriet wanted more sqeamish scenes and thus this one was added. So, Morgase is inferred to be one of the dead. I think the body on the horse actually could have been Morgase. Remember Ila's point-of-view where she's going through the bodies trying to find survivors: Morgase is leading those people. And it was just a few lines, but one of the mercenaries she thinks of as cowards calls to another mercenary, "Hey Hanlon." So Hanlon/Mellar was with Morgase before they attacked Elayne. The opportunity to take Morgase was definitely there. It would have been simple to have a line naming her as helping Elayne & Bridgitte when they were preparing to rally the Andorans to know that she lived.
  14. Egwene' death made sense to me and she used it to take out Taim and a massive amount of channelers so it was very impactful. She also counseled Rand at a critical point and helped him make the needed change in his thinking about the DO. I never understood what she saw in Gawyn. I always kind of felt sorry for him as he was always second best as he stated at the end and he allowed that to shape so many of his ill fated actions. What did she see in him, a pretty face, a man who had major problems accepting that he had to trust her to make the decisions? He kept trying to dominate her. He did save her life and he did love her but he was weak and he weakened her. I knew when he did not tell her about the rings that it would lead to something very painful for Egwene but I didn't think it would contribute to her death. I tend to believe that RJ slotted her for death in the end. There is too much foreshadowing and he drew her character so that many, many readers found her hard to like. I liked that BS made her more likeable. I think the white tower will do better because of her actions regardless of who leads.
  15. We don't know that it was Graendal that threw the country into chaos. She likely contributed to a vacumn in power there and maybe Damandred took advantage of it or maybe he was already there manipulating them when Graendal grabbed some of their leaders. Damandred and Graendal did not like each other and did not work together and Damandred had more favor with the DO than Graendal. He kept his plans secret so that likely only the DO and Moridin knew. For me this was awesome. He subjugated a whole country and no-one else found out.
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