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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Xeratul

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  1. We live in a free market system and that market determines price. If you are willing to spend $10 on a book, retailers will charge $10 for a book. It's that simple. If someone is charging less it's because they think they can make more money in gross volume than by charging more. There is nothing altruistic about it. (Although there are exceptions to every rule.) Except Apple and five of the major publishers are price fixing...hence the anti-trust lawsuit. They are trying to keep Amazon from pricing the books super low, which they will do if they can. Amazon makes up the money they lose on pricing bestsellers down with their self-publishing scam...I mean feature. (They are scamming the writers, not the readers.) Amazon is actually paying the publishers as much as anyone else. They are simply selling for less. The publishers are furious that Amazon chooses to make less money. It's pretty much BS. But that's why publishers are going the way of the Cuckoo.
  2. I would have been able to do nothing buy agree you about any other part with Elayne. She is an unlikable character that adds nothing to the story, but imo, RJ has fewer of those than most other series out there. However, I loved that part of the series. I liked her daddy issues with Thom, for what they showed us about Thom. Further, I liked the Circuis subplot because there was a lot of Mat development and interaction with Tuon, Aes Sedai, and Wise Women.
  3. Xeratul

    J.V Jones

    Yeah I get you and agree. As for series I'm sure you are familiar with a bunch but here goes in no particular order, some all time favs and some that have stood out over the last few years. 1. Richard Morgan "A Land Fit for Heroes"* his scifi "Takeshi Kovacs" trilogy is ace too. 2. Scott Lynch "Gentlemen Bastards Sequence" 3. Patrick Rothfuss "Kingkiller Chronicle" 4. David Durham "Acacia" 5. Daniel Abraham "The Long Prince Quartet" & "The Dagger and the Coin Quintet" 6. Gene Wolfe "The Book of the New Sun" 7. Joe Abercrombie "First Law Trilogy" 8. Mervyn Peake "Gormenghast" 9. Chris Wooding "The Braided Path" *For quick, light reads you can never go wrong with his "Tales of the Ketty Jay" as well. 10. Glen Cook "The Black Company" 11. Erikson "Malazan" 12. Martin "ASoIaF" As an aside if you like Bakker I would highly recommend Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian". It's a masterpiece and was a pretty big influence on Bakker's work. It may be my single favorite novel of all time. The narrative follows "the kid" mostly during his time with the Glanton Gang which was a historical group of scalp hunters along the US-Mexico border in the 1840s. It also contains one of the greatest villains from the american literary canon in Judge Holden. I've read 2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11, and 12. I am currently on the 2nd Gormenghast book, but I kind of stalled out. I actually preferred "The Book of the Short Sun" to the "Book of the Long Sun" if you've never tried out. But yeah thanks for the list I'll definitely give them a read. I really enjoy Cormac McCarthy, but Blood Meridian isn't really my favorite by him. I prefer the Road, All the Pretty Horses, and even Chile of God personally. Though, I do believe that Blood Meridian may be his best in a literary sense. I just plain enjoy the others more. I don't know if you've read "The Acts of Caine" series by Matthew Woodring Stover starting with "Heroes Die," but it's one of the best out there. Definitely in my top 5. Give it a try; it's fantasy/sci fi. Also if you've never read the Aubrey/Maturin series starting with "Master and Commander" I'd recommend it. It's British naval fiction, but it's really good. It's 17 books, and it reads like one long novel.
  4. Xeratul

    J.V Jones

    @suttree: I also don't really mind a slow series as long as it is the main plot that is slow and not everything. The main plot is slow in WoT, but so much other stuff happens at a very nice speed. The Perrin chasing Faile plotline, however, is WAY too slow. As in NOTHING happens. This is how the "Sword of Shadows" has bogged down, and it makes me so very sad. Despite that, it is still better than the vast majority of stuff out there. Since you seem to have a similar take on this series as me, I wonder if you'd give me a few of your favorite series. I have such a hard time finding new stuff that I like. It doesn't have to be fantasy or even sci-fi. I just like the concept of a series.
  5. Yeah, I've got no sympathy for book publishers. I took an entertainment law class last semester that really showed me the fraudulent accounting (called "creative accounting" by its users) that book publishers, music publishers, and movie studios use. Their business models are simply not sustainable, and they are being forced to adapt to the new millennium. One example from a movie studio; they have an accounting method (at least one US District Court has declared fraudulent) that makes it so every movie produced shows a loss. There were fewer than 10 films produced in Hollywood last year that showed a profit. They do this, so they don't have to pay out contract clauses that promise "net points." With this method, their are never any net profits to distribute. Another example from record companies; most record companies still include a clause in their standard contract that allows for an artist to get royalties on 90% of units sold. This is a carryover from the 1940's when records were made from shellac and some broke in transit. The companies would force the artists to bear the burden of this breakage. Breakage doesn't happen anymore, but the record companies still force artists to pay for it. So yeah, down with the man.
  6. I agree with Luckers. The series is incredible. It has one of my favorite characters of all time as well. The writing is just so much better than almost anything else in this genre. The follow-up series isn't as good, but that's only because "The Prince of Nothing " set the bar so high.
  7. Xeratul

    J.V Jones

    She's a pretty good writer, and the first couple of books in the series are immersive. The sad thing is, by the third and fourth books, the series makes Winter's Heart and Crossroads of Twilight look as fast-paced as Transformers 2. If you don't know, Transformers 2 is very fast-paced and action-packed. But the series is still pretty good. It's better than most of the other stuff out there.
  8. You did come off a little gruff, but thanks for the explanation. No offense taken. There are some issues with labels and whatnot. Given that the time period we're discussing is 800 years, there could easily be some miscommunication. I am content to drop it.
  9. 24 Male. Mat and Thom are my two favorites by a country mile. I also really like Moirane and Nynaeve. The reason why I can't talk about all of the ones I like is because there are too many. I loved Bayle Domon until he became submissive to the Seanchan woman, and I still really like him. There are just too many really likable minor characters. I can't stand Egwene and Elayne. They are really everything that is wrong with most Aes Sedai. Both feel they have a god given right to dominate others because they were born with great power (political as well as magical in Elayne's case.) You'd think they'd grow as people, but they never do. Egwene somehow thinks women born with the one power deserve inherent respect while men should be reviled. I mean come on you grew up with the Dragon Reborn... I actually like Tuon, though she has similar characteristics, because she had to earn her position in the cut throat world that is the Seanchan imperial family. I still like Perrin's character, but I shudder to think about reading his plot line at this point. He just chased Faile for far too long. Faile- I just want to address, because everyone seems to hate her. I don't particularly like her, and I would never want to be romanticaly involved with a woman similar to her. BUT I think she is a great complement to Perrin. She shores up all of his weaknesses when it comes to governance and the wielding of power.
  10. You are wrong about the Feudal Japan Warrior Class and Aristocracy had to wear the top knot - Only the SAMURAI wore the Top Knot, Aristocracy of Japan did not and other soliders or warriors did not either...The Samurai is a way of life and was a separate class. Again you should read the descriptions closer the Cairhien shaved and powdered the front of their scalp again like Ancient China (Manchurian style mostly) while the Samurai in Ancient Japan shaved the whole top of their head and then tied up into a top knot. The Ronin did not shaved the head and top knot tied differently. The powdered head is from a period in France. I never said anything about anyone HAVING to wear the topknot. And during feudal times in Japan, the shogunates and whatnot, almost every aristorcrat wore the hair style and considered themselves a samurai. Things were different during the Imperial times pre-1200 AD, sure, but noone thinks of that when they think of samurai and feudal Japan. A ronin is merely a masterless samurai, the equivalent of a Japanese hedgeknight. The efficacy of the Bushido code binding samurai to a noble lifestyle is as much of a myth as the European chivalric code. 1st. Sorry you never said "HAVING" - I thought it was implied that way - So now are you implying that it was the choice of the warriors, Shoguns and whatnot (I assume you mean soliders/other warriors) could choose what ever hairstyle they wanted - that would be pretty stupid - as no army has that. even back then. and the Samurai were not even an army or part of it. They were esstienally bodyguards. 2nd. The Shogunnates and whatnot -They never considered themselves samurai - Samurai were a different class 3rd. Again the nobles did not copy the samurai - The Samurai were the guards of the Shogun and Daimyo of the time and were cntrolled by them. 4th. by the period of time you are taling about, I think you mean the Edo period, Samurai were not as such a "warrior class" they were now part of the noble ranks and attended court etc. Therefore that is where you mixing things up and by that time the Samurai class was nearly fazed out 6th. How do you know what everyone thinks 7th. Ronin were not like a hedgeknight - a Ronin was materless though but not considered samurai - Once the Master has died the Ronin were suppose to commit seppuku..the ones that did not were Ronin by Samurai and Daimyo - and not honourable. 8th. The Bushiso Code is not a myth but a true way of life and still part the japanese way of life, especially in the martial arts. I've studied and read alot of Japanese history and you seem to be confusing and combining history and myth. I apologize for the brevity of my reply, I had much more typed out and it got deleted... 1st- The shogunates were ruling dynasties. Their leaders (the shoguns) rose to power through martial means. They were of the warrior class, sometimes even below it. The daimyo were the lords under the shoguns and their power often came the same way. In name the shoguns deferred to the emperor, but they were the true power in feudal Japan. The topknot was an optional hairstyle for any males in the warrior class and up. It marked their status as both warriors and aristocrats. It was illegal for peasants to wear the hairstyle, and multiple times throughout history, people were put to death for wearing it. It would be the equivalent of pretending to be a noble in medieval Europe. 2nd- The samurai were not a class. They were a warrior/artist ideal. Only the aristocracy were allowed to be warriors historically, and almost all of the Japanese aristocracy considered themselves to be Samurai.This of course started after about 1100 AD. From about 600AD- 1100AD, was the period known as Imperial Japan. This doesn't mean there was no emperor in Japan afterwards, there was and still is today. But during that period he, or at least the cloistered, retired emperors held most of the power. The power was concentrated in the capital, and Japan was more of a true, centralized empire. 3rd- The nobles did not copy the samurai. The nobles were the samurai. From the time the first shogunate rose from the ranks of the warrior class to conquer the country, almost all of the nobility considered themselves warriors. This is very similar to how the aristocracy of England (Peerage and Gentry) considered themselves knights waiting on the call of the king to ride to battle with their retainers. The guards of the shogun WERE samurai. Sometimes these samurai came from the families of the daimyo. Sometimes they came from the shoguns own family. The shogun, in name was a guard and retainer of the emperor. Greater daimyo had lesser daimyo as retainers. This is the central tenet of feudalism. Lesser lords hold fiefs granted to them by greater lords. All of the Japanese male aristocracy, in feudal Japan, considered themselves to be Samurai beholden to the Bushido code…at least in theory. 4th- The Edo period occurs under mostly one shogunate. I am not talking about this time period. I’m talking about “FEUDAL Japan”. This was from 1100 AD to about 1850 AD. Almost all of the aristocracy of this period considered themselves warriors of the warrior class. This way of thinking was nearly ended when Japan was opened to the west and the merchant class began to grow in power. (A common development in many societies.) Further, the warrior class is basically a remnant from when only the aristocracy and gentry were allowed to fight the wars. So being a warrior, essentially makes you a noble. 5th- No 5th. 6th- I don’t know what everyone thinks. The different forms of fictional media such as novels, film, television, anime, etc. all tend to portray historical Japan as feudal Japan from the big bang to modernity. This is a common misconception, and I don’t mean to put words in anyone’s mouth. 7th- This really a romanticized vision of seppuku ( in all of its forms). In the days when only the aristocracy was allowed to fight in battles, a defeated army of 1000 would hardly be expected to commit mass suicide. As in ancient Rome, only the high ranking officers were really expected to commit suicide to escape the shame of defeat. A ronin was a samurai whose master was defeated and who did not choose a new master. Most actually just swore allegiance to the victor, so ronin are actually more honorable than most. Also, only a low ranking member of the warrior class could really eve be a ronin. Most of the warrior class had land holdings of their own, so they still had an identity as a samurai and a nobleman when his master died. There were always many ronin during times of peace, second and third sons of poor aristocratic families. But during times of war, warlords would snatch them all up to officer their armies. 8th- The Bushido code is an ideal for a warrior artist. It was an ideal before it was ever written down, but it is only an ideal. Most warriors in feudal Japan claimed to adhere to it, but they really only did so for show. Once again, it is very similar to the chivalric code in Europe. The difference is that most westerners romanticize the Bushido Code while recognizing the Chivalric Code for the farce it really was.
  11. You are wrong about the Feudal Japan Warrior Class and Aristocracy had to wear the top knot - Only the SAMURAI wore the Top Knot, Aristocracy of Japan did not and other soliders or warriors did not either...The Samurai is a way of life and was a separate class. Again you should read the descriptions closer the Cairhien shaved and powdered the front of their scalp again like Ancient China (Manchurian style mostly) while the Samurai in Ancient Japan shaved the whole top of their head and then tied up into a top knot. The Ronin did not shaved the head and top knot tied differently. The powdered head is from a period in France. I never said anything about anyone HAVING to wear the topknot. And during feudal times in Japan, the shogunates and whatnot, almost every aristorcrat wore the hair style and considered themselves a samurai. Things were different during the Imperial times pre-1200 AD, sure, but noone thinks of that when they think of samurai and feudal Japan. A ronin is merely a masterless samurai, the equivalent of a Japanese hedgeknight. The efficacy of the Bushido code binding samurai to a noble lifestyle is as much of a myth as the European chivalric code.
  12. Someone is a touch bitter. You only attack, and attack BS, there is no call for that. It's unfair, and unwarranted. You seem to think RJ infallible. When he isn't. No author is. They all have weak points, and good points. You seem to only attack BS and not RJ. A lot of the middle to latter books are very bad in parts. Most of the fans will tell you, you could remove huge chunks and crunch books 8-10 into one. Yes, BS does have a tendency to slap a scene down, however, how much sniffing, and smoothing of skirts do we get? For me, personally books 12-13 do not make me want to leave them out of re-reads. You can skip them should you wish, except you'll miss out on major plot lines that come to bear fruit. Just who would you have got to finish the series? Bear in mind, if they are a major player you'd be asking them to leave aside their own work for 5 years. Not many would do that, BS has managed to work alongside with his own. We should be grateful we got the series finished. At one point it would not have happened. I am just glad the greatest fantasy series ever is being finished. Roll on January 8th. If I were to choose an author to finish the series, I wouldn't choose someone famous. I would make the decision based on writing style, something Harriet clearly didn't do. I don't like BS' writing, but it's not his fault that he is not right for the job. When you read one of his books, it is very clear that he is not compatible for this series. I've heard Tad Williams mentioned as someone who would do this series well. Personally I don't really enjoy Tad's writing, but I do believe that he would do this series well. His descriptive and measured writing style would work well for this series. I think the best thing to do would be to choose a relatively unknown writer. Someone who has a compatible writing style but who can't really cut it on their own very well. That way, finishing this series would be a much appreciated job and paycheck. And they would put their own writing on the backburner for the duration. I used to have some bad things to say about RJ's writing...I don't anymore. I would rather read CoT than TGS or ToM. It's hard to criticize what RJ has done anymore, because I have been to the other side of the fence. The grass is NOT green.
  13. I'm not sure if you nailed the Taim quote spot on, but yeah best quote in the series BY FAR. You saved me looking through the posts to see if anyone else had posted it before I did. I stared at one of my buddies for about an hour while he was reading LoC until he got to that part. He just looked up at me when he got there and quoted it, because he KNEW that's what I was waiting for once he saw it. Damn, what a good quote.
  14. This thread is really to address what plot thread that you were really looking forward to and honestly believed would have eventually made it into the series if Robert Jordan had never taken ill and died. This hypothetical really implies that Robert Jordan never has a reason to question his mortality and lives to the ripe old age of 100 without ever going senile. I make this stipulation, because I don't believe that Robert Jordan's obsession with ending the series as quickly as possible, with only one book if need be, really started until he was faced with his own mortality and the idea of his magnum opus being forever incomplete. Feel free to make fun of absurd plot lines that Robert Jordan's inability to put the pen down may have eventually led him down as well, if you so desire. (Because I know that you will. :) For me, I think that the Mat and Tuon Seanchan plot would have been much more extensive. I believe that Mat would have had to pick up his mantle of "Prince of Ravens" while wielding the "Band of the Red Hand" to destroy Tuon's siblings in the civil war that never truly was and should have been. And yes, I do believe that they would have had to go to Seandar to do this. Further and even more epically, I think that Mat may have had to struggle with Tuon in a shadow war for power in the Seanchan capital. Oh, what could have been. P.S. I'll forever miss the series that Robert Jordan planned to write after WoT about a man shipwrecked in a Japan/Seanchan-type place with no idea where he is. (And I may be remembering the snippet I heard about it incorrectly, but no idea of where he had been. Amnesia baby!)
  15. I wholeheartedly agree with your 1st paragraph approach to Tarmon Gai'don with regard to the Seanchan. This is a strategy they should utilize.
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