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About dwn

  • Birthday 01/01/1

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  1. Moggy was the mole in Mat's command staff. I thought that was an excellent example of character build up and follow through. As soon as we knew there was a spy, we also knew it had to be Moggy given her history--it's the same role she played in the AoL where she infiltrated Lews Therin's inner circle. I also liked the scene where Min reveals her, because, again, it confirms her identity through her behaviour without bluntly spelling it out. I just wish she had been left uncaught... it would have made her ending funnier and more satisfying. -- dwn
  2. It's suggested several times that the evil in Shadar Logoth was (re-)discovered, rather than created, by Mordeth when he sought out a way to fight the Shadow on its own terms. Certainly Mordeth helped it take root and grow in Aridhol, but its thoughts as Fain/Shaisam imply an existence beyond that. In TEotW Aginor recognizes it--or at least recognizes that sort of evil--which he wouldn't be able to do had Mordeth created it entirely. Regardless of the actual metaphysics of Mashadar/Fain/Shaisam, that plot element was building to something, then discarded at the last moment as a punchline for one of Mat's quips. It's a situation much like the BA hunter plot arc that just fizzled out. -- dwn
  3. I think the quality is on par with TGS and ToM--decent pacing, overly repetitive phrasing, some mangled or missing characterization, and some rule breaking to serve the immediate needs of the plot. Mainlining the story was fun, but I expect re-reads will be frustrating. There are two things I'll go into in more detail, but first, some trivia: I thought Siuan's death was written very well. Though it was clearly telegraphed a few paragraphs earlier, it still managed to be jarring. On the other hand, her earlier death-feint in the first Sharan attack was obvious and made me roll my eyes. I thought Egwene's death was written poorly. I guess it worked for the plot, but it somehow came and went without a lasting emotional punch. I did appreciate how "Egwene died." was the intro line of Rand's next PoV. I noticed some interesting foreshadowing regarding the damane. It seems clear that the a'dam will eventually be replaced with ter'angreal that simply restrict channelling. Nice and subtle, assuming it was intentional. Moghedion should not have been collared. It would have been far more satisfying (and more subtle) to just let her escape. We know she's an idiot and that she'll find some way to botch her grandiose schemes. On 'The Last Battle': This chapter was a peculiar mix of greatness and failure. The pacing and intercutting of PoVs was great. The time dilation was great. The description of the fighting was... incomprehensible and monotonous. Let's compare it to, of all things, the Battle of Thull Mardu in the Belgariad. Both situations involve an army fighting a necessary, futile and delaying battle while the hero goes off to deal with the big evil. In the Belgariad we know where everyone is, what they're trying to accomplish, and why their actions are important. When things go sour, we can clearly see why it happened and why it's going to suck. In 'The Last Battle' we do not. Mat's strategy is incomprehensible at best, tactical technobabble at worst. About half way through the chapter I just stopped caring about where people were and what they were doing. None of it seemed important, except as a running tally of which named characters were still alive. I should also point out that the Sharans were another Amayar moment. We simply don't know enough about them to know what to feel, so we feel nothing. On Padan Fain: My mental process as Mat killed Padan Fain went something like this. "Well, that was anticlimactic. Hmm. Ah, I see what this has been building to! Now that's a clever way to tie these things together, and it fits nicely with the cyclical nature of the wheel as well!" Then, a few pages later: "Wait... what?" So let me explain. Rand seizes the DO with a hand of power. Padan Fain, an old friend/enemy of the DO is swatted without fanfare. Does it not then follow that Rand will pull the DO into the pattern, thereby binding him by the laws of the pattern (as was suggested in the possibility dueling between them), and thus neutralizing him as an omnipotent malevolent threat? That Mashadar was, in fact, the remnant of a DO from an earlier turning of the wheel? That the overarching theme is that evil/chaos is a part of reality, and only by accepting it can it truly be fought and extinguished? Now this thread is all about writing quality, and this is a huge one for me. I think putting the DO back in his bottle is a weak ending, yet I can accept that. But you don't build up mythology, characters and themes only to discard them at the last moment. Is Padan Fain's entire plot arc for the latter half of the series just irrelevant? Does the "wild card" actually have no meaningful impact on ending of the story? -- dwn
  4. A prologue POV from Doilan Mellar, Eldrith or Mili Skane (did she escape/survive?) would have been great for this. -- dwn
  5. Well, I don't know about reading the "absurd" titles but if you actually want to read a good series, you start with the original Dragonlance trilogy. For myself and many others, it was the series that got us into the full genre in the first place. Showed us that there actually is more out there than just Lord of the Rings. No, Suttree, don't. It will hurt you. I liked the DL series well enough when I was a kid, but going back to it after reading nearly anything else... eek. Granted, it might be a margin-of-error better than those snippets you posted. Critically analyzing bad fantasy books does sound like fun, though. -- dwn
  6. Traditional Aes Sedai healing is non-specific; it heals everything or the patient dies. It works on infections, hangovers, and the taint from shadowspawn weapons. I don't recall a specific quote, but I presume it works on poisons as well. So why doesn't being healed so often interfere with Egwene's doses of forkroot? -- dwn
  7. I always interpreted Androl's thought about Logain's "scouting" mission to refer to the prep work for the meeting with Tuon. From that it's clear that after first finding Rand (Cot, Ornaments), Logain returned to the Black Tower on Rand's orders to get more firepower. Ignoring the shadowspawn attack on the manor, which was a surprise, the next thing Rand does is meet with Tuon (KoD, A Plain Wooden Box). -- dwn
  8. In general, I enjoyed the chapter, though it's hard for me to properly critique it because I really dislike audiobooks. Thanks for the transcribing effort, Terez, despite the takedown. The Pevara/Androl section of the prologue should have been wrapped into the beginning of this one. The prologue section served very little purpose on its own. I found the linking and channelling missteps very weird. I really wanted Naeff to show up. Aviendha asking if she had toh can, I think, be explained because she was asking her first sister about wetlander customs. While I'm not sure the sister-bond allows the sensing of one another's presence, Elayne should (probably) have sensed that a woman who can channel quite strongly was nearby. I haven't re-read the sister-bond scene in a while because I find it pretty silly. And lastly... Pevara read "reports" from the early days after the breaking. Not "records" or "documents" or something. Reports. Why does that word keep getting used? Why does it bug me so much? *headdesk* -- dwn
  9. More like, he expects her to get annoyed, then understand the ruse and be amused enough by it to think clearly and take his suggestion of staying for the meeting. Put any other way, he runs the risk of getting her back up. Or at least, this is how I've decided to think about it. For my own sanity more than anything else. The letter has another (possible) purpose. Now Elayne can go to the Entmoot and honestly say "Yeah, my capital was sacked by shadowspawn last night, but I'm still here because the Last Battle is more important than trying to reclaim a lost city." -- dwn
  10. If memory serves, he didn't so much use a poisoned blade as poked Bryne with a needle (or his ring) in his dying spasm. Ah yes, you're quite correct. That's what happens when I don't double check facts before posting. -- dwn
  11. The Bloodknife who attacked Gareth Bryne and Siuan also used a poisoned blade. It's a bit odd that either 1) the later assassinations didn't also use poisoned weapons, or 2) that the Yellows didn't pick up on it. It also stretches the credibility of Gawyn's fight with them. -- dwn
  12. The issue isn't specific to Brandon's writing, it's a problem when the author is unreliable for any reason. We simply have no way of knowing if Tuon's thoughts are an author misstep or not, so it's nearly impossible to analyze this part of the story. Having said that, I can think of a couple possible in-world explanations for her attitude. Perhaps Seanchan culture is becoming diluted with continued exposure to Ebou Dar. Or perhaps the sanctity of the empress develops over time. Since Tuon is new--and has no heirs--she expects to be tested a bit. -- dwn
  13. I was serious, I just have this thing where sometimes what I mean to type and what actually gets typed are two different things (with quite odd results). I meant reflection, not inflection. No worries, man. I do that too sometimes. Listen, I'm also serious and I would direct you to the post I just made with examples. I have no problem when words are italicized to indicate internal dialogue (internal reflection.) What gets me is the overuse of italicized words for emphasis. Maybe this speaks to certain reader's complaints about subtlety, etc. The italics are actually kind of like the exclamation point. Its sole purpose is for emphasis yet appears very seldom in good writing: only for occasions where a real exclamation is made. Everywhere else makes do with a period and appropriate wording or context to convey the extra weight. -- dwn
  14. Assuming it was Cyndane actually giving the order, I can think of a few reasons: 1) Pique 2) To hurt Moridin 3) To annoy Demandred 4) It would make it easier/possible for the DO to achieve a 'draw' 5) It's another distraction and not actually meant to succeed -- dwn
  15. Yeah, I've been waiting for this to come up ever since 1) it became clear that the Oath Rod shortened the life of anyone bound with it, and 2) every Aes Sedai we met was surprised that Cadsuane was still alive. I think Cadsuane would foreswear the oaths in a heartbeat if it meant living to help out at TG. -- dwn
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