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Seerow
2011-11-30, 12:48 AM
Anyone else read this book? It's written by Brandon Sanderson (the guy who's finishing up Wheel of Time), and having just finished it, it's really good. It had a pretty slow start (after the first two chapters, I put the book down for over a month before picking it back up... and then after starting again I didn't put the book down for 2 days until it was finished), but once it got going it kept going pretty strong. It has a nice array of viewpoints, and the world it takes place in really feels alive.

Currently the series is planned to last 10 books, with the next book scheduled for release in 2013 (due to Sanderson working on A Memory of Light), so if you're impatient for everything at once, you probably won't want to check it out. But if you're the type of person who enjoys getting involved with long running fantasy series, this seems like a must to pick up. And to hold you over until 2013, this novel does take place in the same universe (though not the same world, to my understanding) as his other novels, The Mistborn Trilogy and Elantis.



But anyway, enough random talking on my part, anyone else read the book or considering picking it up?

Talanic
2011-11-30, 01:16 AM
I started my own thread on it back when I first read it...close to a year ago. My fiancee saw how I whimpered when I returned it to the library and bought me a copy of my own for Christmas; I spent nearly a month reading and re-reading it.

My previous discussion on it was based around the fact that I hadn't read the others and was wondering if the magic used in the series wasn't actually a form of technology remaining after an ancient catastrophe. It seems plausible if you haven't read Sanderson's other books; Shardplate is 'clearly' nanotech, for example.

Seerow
2011-11-30, 01:34 AM
I started my own thread on it back when I first read it...close to a year ago. My fiancee saw how I whimpered when I returned it to the library and bought me a copy of my own for Christmas; I spent nearly a month reading and re-reading it.

My previous discussion on it was based around the fact that I hadn't read the others and was wondering if the magic used in the series wasn't actually a form of technology remaining after an ancient catastrophe. It seems plausible if you haven't read Sanderson's other books; Shardplate is 'clearly' nanotech, for example.

That would have to be an extremely ancient civilization if that was the case. While it looks similar to nanotech at first, the visions Dalinar has of how the Knights Radiant used the armor makes it clear there's something supernatural there, as opposed to just high technology. Similarly, I can't imagine any sort of technology that would act in a similar way to a shardblade.

Also, what would you categorize spren as, and how would you explain the storms, shardlight, and surge binding/soulcasting (not soulcasters as I could see an argument for that, but soulcasting as done towards the end of the book) as technology? There's just too much there that has no plausible way to explain it to call it technology.




Side note: Your fiancee sounds like a keeper

Knaight
2011-11-30, 01:43 AM
It's written by Brian Sanderson (the guy who's finishing up Wheel of Time), and having just finished it, it's really good.
Brandon Sanderson actually. As far as I know, there is no well known author by the name of Brian Sanderson.

Talanic
2011-11-30, 02:19 AM
That would have to be an extremely ancient civilization if that was the case. While it looks similar to nanotech at first, the visions Dalinar has of how the Knights Radiant used the armor makes it clear there's something supernatural there, as opposed to just high technology. Similarly, I can't imagine any sort of technology that would act in a similar way to a shardblade.


I write sci-fi (as my sig says) so I gave it some thought. I'm not sure exactly what you mean from the visions except for the way that there's shardplate all over the place, next to people in ragged leather with stone weapons. The best explanation is a starship crash, with most of the people having to reinvent the wheel because the really advanced stuff is too high tech to make with the tools they have, so only a tiny section of the population can use it.

Keep in mind - all of my speculation here is ADMITTEDLY wrong and only done for fun! What's more, since none of these technologies exist, it's a form of technobabble to most. I probably wouldn't dream of writing anything like the following in my own work except for comedic effect.

The shardblades would require a lot of tech to make them work, but are basically an armor-piercing neural disruptor built into a monomolecular blade that's partly out of phase with the rest of the world. It can be summoned when its wielder needs it, and it passes through living tissue, frying nerves where it passes.

I was actually classifying it as sci fi / fantasy, originally, but remember Clarke's Third Law.


Also, what would you categorize spren as, and how would you explain the storms, shardlight, and surge binding/soulcasting (not soulcasters as I could see an argument for that, but soulcasting as done towards the end of the book) as technology? There's just too much there that has no plausible way to explain it to call it technology.

Spren could be programs run by a long-distance holographic projector, some of which have limited telepathy (probably based on a nanotech infection that everyone in the setting has). That same infection is used by properly attuned individuals to activate remote machinery (possibly trans-dimensionally stored, like the shardblades) that they don't even understand anymore, giving precise control over gravity and composition of matter. Not sure what its relationship to storms and stormlight would be.



Side note: Your fiancee sounds like a keeper

You have no idea. *beams*

pita
2011-11-30, 08:46 AM
I really loved it at first, but I've cooled down on it considerably since. Effectively a third of the book (more a fifth, but I'm talking about the Shallan parts) is terribly written drivel with very few redeeming aspects (The treatment of an Atheist character by a religious author is one of the best treatments of the whole religion debate I've ever seen in a novel).
However, I really like how Sanderson writes completely invisible prose, and how fast paced and well done his action scenes are, and how he's one of the only authors who can create a plausible and sensible magic system while keeping it awesome.
I had a Kindle copy and a physical copy, but I gave away my physical copy to a friend. It's a serious bludgeoning weapon, and soo pretty....

Knaight
2011-11-30, 09:14 AM
However, I really like how Sanderson writes completely invisible prose, and how fast paced and well done his action scenes are, and how he's one of the only authors who can create a plausible and sensible magic system while keeping it awesome.

I tend to find the magic systems the worst parts of his novels. Sure, they are well made, but they steal the spotlight from the characters all too often. The Mistborn trilogy went downhill almost entirely for that reason, and The Way of Kings seems to be doing the same. Elantris did that well though, so it might not be everything. The action scenes also eventually get to that point, though every book has at least one that is outright glorious.

Lord Raziere
2011-11-30, 09:35 AM
Awesome as always. Brandon always writes good stuff. I'll be getting the second book when it comes out.

Seerow
2011-11-30, 11:17 AM
Brandon Sanderson actually. As far as I know, there is no well known author by the name of Brian Sanderson.


Shush you, highlighting my incompetence. :P




I'm not sure exactly what you mean from the visions except for the way that there's shardplate all over the place, next to people in ragged leather with stone weapons.

I was thinking more along the lines of how it glowed, the special powers those using it had, etc.


I really loved it at first, but I've cooled down on it considerably since. Effectively a third of the book (more a fifth, but I'm talking about the Shallan parts) is terribly written drivel with very few redeeming aspects (The treatment of an Atheist character by a religious author is one of the best treatments of the whole religion debate I've ever seen in a novel).


I'm surprised that you consider the Shallan chapters poorly written. I can understand not liking the character (though I want to give her more time before judging. She has a lot up her sleeve we still don't know about, and a lot of room to grow), but terribly written isn't something I'd attribute towards it. I actually liked a lot of it, and the whole thing with Kabsal really caught me off guard.


I tend to find the magic systems the worst parts of his novels. Sure, they are well made, but they steal the spotlight from the characters all too often. The Mistborn trilogy went downhill almost entirely for that reason, and The Way of Kings seems to be doing the same. Elantris did that well though, so it might not be everything. The action scenes also eventually get to that point, though every book has at least one that is outright glorious.


I haven't read Mistborn yet (it's been on my to-do list for a while but the last 3 times I went to Barnes and Noble, they were out of stock. I actually wound up getting tWoK because I went there wanting Mistborn and couldn't find it), but I get the feeling this is mostly a matter of taste. Honestly a well thought out and consistent magic system is a rarity in fantasy, so getting that even if the time invested on fleshing it out is time taken away from fleshing out characters, is something I can deal with.

Eldan
2011-11-30, 11:20 AM
Mistborn is honestly not that good. I'd consider it Sanderson's worst, out of those I've read. Elantris, Warbreaker and Way of Kings I all liked a lot more.

It's not bad either, mind you. The story just drags a bit in the later two books, and I didn't like any of the characters as much as I liked some in his other books.

Aiani
2011-11-30, 11:33 AM
I actually finished reading this very recently. My boyfriend recommended it to me and luckily he warned me that the beginning was a bit slow so I was prepared for that.
I liked Shallan well enough but I really enjoyed reading about Kaladin so much. Did anyone else find themselves feeling bad for Dalinar and his sons? It would be very difficult having everyone think you are crazy or being afraid that your father is losing his mind. I felt for them.

Seerow
2011-11-30, 11:38 AM
I actually finished reading this very recently. My boyfriend recommended it to me and luckily he warned me that the beginning was a bit slow so I was prepared for that.
I liked Shallan well enough but I really enjoyed reading about Kaladin so much. Did anyone else find themselves feeling bad for Dalinar and his sons? It would be very difficult having everyone think you are crazy or being afraid that your father is losing his mind. I felt for them.

Yeah, Dalinar was really sympathetic for the majority of the book. Adolin I didn't really like at first, but I came around to him in the end. I'm not sure what to make of the other son, who is apparently too weak to fight but wants to be a big manly warrior anyway, and thus needs to get some shardplate from daddy. I kind of wish he would have joined a Devotary as Dalinar mentioned was a possibility at one point. But maybe he'll get better as time goes on.

I also liked how Kaladin continued to distrust Dalinar despite his reputation due to being burned in the past.


Mistborn is honestly not that good. I'd consider it Sanderson's worst, out of those I've read. Elantris, Warbreaker and Way of Kings I all liked a lot more.

It's not bad either, mind you. The story just drags a bit in the later two books, and I didn't like any of the characters as much as I liked some in his other books.

Well it got a high recommendation from a RL friend who tends to share my tastes in books. I'll probably get Elantris and Warbreaker eventually, but Mistborn is currently the first priority for me to get my hands on. (This would be so much easier if I'd just break down and buy a Kindle, but I like my shelves of real books)

douglas
2011-11-30, 11:39 AM
I tend to find the magic systems the worst parts of his novels. Sure, they are well made, but they steal the spotlight from the characters all too often. The Mistborn trilogy went downhill almost entirely for that reason, and The Way of Kings seems to be doing the same. Elantris did that well though, so it might not be everything. The action scenes also eventually get to that point, though every book has at least one that is outright glorious.
I have quite the opposite opinion. The magic systems are interesting in and of themselves, and I enjoy them for their own sake. A partial focus on the magic system is not a distraction from the "real point" of the book's characters, but rather showcasing an additional good point.


I'm surprised that you consider the Shallan chapters poorly written. I can understand not liking the character (though I want to give her more time before judging. She has a lot up her sleeve we still don't know about, and a lot of room to grow), but terribly written isn't something I'd attribute towards it. I actually liked a lot of it, and the whole thing with Kabsal really caught me off guard.
Me too, "terribly written drivel" is not at all how I'd describe any of Shallan's scenes, much less the whole sequence.


Mistborn is honestly not that good. I'd consider it Sanderson's worst, out of those I've read. Elantris, Warbreaker and Way of Kings I all liked a lot more.

It's not bad either, mind you. The story just drags a bit in the later two books, and I didn't like any of the characters as much as I liked some in his other books.
I actually thought Elantris was worse. In any case, "worst" is relative, and in Sanderson's case his worst is still better than the majority of published fantasy. Also, keep in mind that Mistborn was only his second published novel (not counting the children's series) and his first published series.


Well it got a high recommendation from a RL friend who tends to share my tastes in books. I'll probably get Elantris and Warbreaker eventually, but Mistborn is currently the first priority for me to get my hands on. (This would be so much easier if I'd just break down and buy a Kindle, but I like my shelves of real books)
If you're willing to read it on a screen, Warbreaker (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/drafts/warbreaker/Warbreaker_hardcover_1st_ed.pdf) is actually free from Sanderson's own web site.

Helanna
2011-11-30, 12:43 PM
I really loved it at first, but I've cooled down on it considerably since. Effectively a third of the book (more a fifth, but I'm talking about the Shallan parts) is terribly written drivel with very few redeeming aspects (The treatment of an Atheist character by a religious author is one of the best treatments of the whole religion debate I've ever seen in a novel).

The first time I read the book, I really didn't like Shallan or her parts very much. I wouldn't say they were poorly written, but I didn't like them. She's grown on me with subsequent re-reads though.

I agree with the atheist character thing though. I was mildly worried when Shallan was concerned that Jasnah was some immoral heathen who would try to tempt her away from religion, and very pleased when Jasnah turned out to be a well-rounded character who just happens to be an atheist because she hasn't found any compelling evidence for religion (y'know, like most real atheists).


Mistborn is honestly not that good. I'd consider it Sanderson's worst, out of those I've read. Elantris, Warbreaker and Way of Kings I all liked a lot more.
.

I'd probably rank Elantris at worst, followed by a tie with Mistborn and Warbreaker. I agree that the last two Mistborn books dragged a bit though.


As for tWoK itself, I'm pretty interested in seeing how everything is going to connect together. There are a lot of hints and foreshadowing in the book, but there's not enough information to figure out what's being foreshadowed. The entire book was like a 1000-page-long prologue to the actual series - introducing the characters and getting them into position for the main plot that's probably going to kick in in book 2.

Eldan
2011-11-30, 12:47 PM
How should I say this...
Elantris had a plot with twists that were telegraphed from before I even started reading the book, just from the map and the explanations of the magic system, and none of the world really felt original. However, the plot moved fast and was entertaining and I liked the character, so it kept my interest far better than Mistborn, which was basically the opposite. Good plot ideas, interesting world, but too slow for my taste and with less likeable characters. The first book was really good, afterwards it started losing what I liked, and fast. If he had expanded the first book, shown a bit more of the thieves and their plans and plots, it would have been great.

pita
2011-11-30, 04:19 PM
I'm surprised that you consider the Shallan chapters poorly written.
Her sense of humor is absolutely and objectively terrible. The fact that other characters treat it as good hurts me on a personal level. Wit has a similar problem, except he gets some good lines, and he's much more minor a character so I can just grit my teeth and continue.
The problem with her humor (because I see the inevitable "I liked her jokes") posts, is not only that she forces it in almost every chapter, but she overexplains her jokes. Every single joke of hers starts with one almost-good sentence, and then just overflows into a completely unnecessary paragraph that doesn't help the joke. It feels like Sanderson was worried the readers won't get the joke, so he adds an explanation by way of destroying the joke utterly.
Sorry, one of my pet peeves. That, and poor dialogue. But I don't have a serious objection to the dialogue in Way of Kings, as long as it's not trying to be funny.

douglas
2011-11-30, 04:52 PM
Shallan made jokes?:smallconfused:

Ok, yes, she did, but that aspect of her character made barely any impression on me. I remember her much better for her scholarly research and philosophical discussions.

Eldan
2011-11-30, 08:15 PM
And writing a journal with sketches. I can't hate a character who writes journals with sketches.

Seerow
2011-11-30, 11:41 PM
http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/925/Another-Long-and-Rambling-Post-on-Future-Books


You've probably all seen this already given it is pretty old, but this was my first time looking into it, so it's new to me.

So it looks like the plan for Stormlight is 2 books every 3 years, with the middle year being for other big projects like the other Mistborn trillogy, and Elantris/Warbreaker sequels.

Judging by that schedule and the currently estimate 2013 release date for Stormlight 2, this means we're looking at all 10 books by 2025. Ouch. On the bright side, there is a near certainty that all 10 books will still be out before GRRM's next ASOIAF book or Patrick Rothfus's next book.



One other thing from the article stuck out at me: "Now on to Stormlight Two. (The title was originally Highprince of War, but I'm feeling in my outlining that this book needs to be weighted more toward Shallan, so a different title is likely)."


This annoyed me. I do like Shallan, but I definitely enjoy Dalinar more, and even prefer Dalinar over Kaladin. To hear Dalinar was planned to be the book's central character, but that being shifted to Shallan instead sucks.

cnsvnc
2011-12-01, 12:16 AM
I find Sanderson to be the best thing since sliced bread. At least far as fantasy literature is concerned.

I also find Mistborn to be the single best fantasy trilogy I've ever read. Great twists, various intrigue, cool magic, cool magic deployed in cool battles, awesome bad guys, likable protagonists, and most importantly almost NO PADDING... It has everything anyone could want from a fantasy series. Yes, first book is objectively much better than the other two. No, that doesn't make later books bad. It's like saying pizza is bad cos steak is better.

And he's trying (and succeeding) to improve. That's enough of a reason to like him.

Not to mention, this is fantasy. Sanderson is running up against the likes of Drizzt and Dragonlance and Eddings and etc. It's not exactly on Hugo/Shakespeare level.

Soo... Way of Kings, eh? I heard it's pretty cool. There's this trend of each book that Sanderson publishes being better than the ones before it, so it's better than all his other books. As for all the flak Shallan gets, she's actually the most interesting of protagonists (discounting the subpar humor which is seriously not half as bad as everyone keeps going on about). Her story is the one with most potential and seeing it as the seperate book from Kaladin/Dalinar story that it actually is helps quite a lot.

However WoK is really just a 1000 page prologue. It's very awesome, but still only the prologue. It'll take a while to get the whole story.



To hear Dalinar was planned to be the book's central character, but that being shifted to Shallan instead sucks.

No it doesn't. On the contrary, it means Dalinar's book will be written later and therefore be subject to Sanderson's slowly but steadily increasing quality.
...
Spoiler: It really is magic and not ancient nanobots or whatever.
Actual spoily stuff about the metaplot below. Oh, mayhaps the very existence of the metaplot is a spoiler as well. Whoops.

Sanderson's every fantasy book is in the same universe, Cosmere. There's also a certain character in every book, named Hoid. It's actually the same guy, who can somehow travel between worlds doing something mysterious we don't know. There's also 16 godlike entities called "Shards of Adonalsium" floating around in Cosmere. All kinds of magic originates from these entities one way or the other. The metaplot concerns these Shards, Adonalsium and Hoid and will someday be written in another huge epic series after Stormlight Archive named Dragonsteel (notice that his company is named Dragonsteel Entertainment). We will be able to read individual stories such as Elantris and Warbreaker without having to read (or even know about) the other stuff. Apparently, the whole Cosmere story is planned to take 35ish books. Or at least that's the plan.

Sanderson is nothing if not ambitious. That's the real reason I fanboy the guy so much.

Also he ninja-signs random copies of his books in bookstores he passes thru...

Seerow
2011-12-01, 12:55 AM
No it doesn't. On the contrary, it means Dalinar's book will be written later and therefore be subject to Sanderson's slowly but steadily increasing quality.


My pessimism there was assuming that the book will still cover mostly the same material as already planned timeline wise, meaning that Dalinar might not actually get his own book. I'm sure he'll still be a major character, but if Kaladin's story in tWoK is any indication, the person the book centers around gets extra spotlight time. Of course we're getting 10 books, and there's still plenty of time for Dalinar to have his moment, but too much GRRM has burned me wrt getting around to a major PoV later in the series (oops that character I liked is dead!)


Spoiler: It really is magic and not ancient nanobots or whatever.


I don't think even Talanic actually believed that. He even said it was an admittedly wrong theory he pursued for fun.


As for the Cosmere, yeah I had read a little bit about that, and that is at least part of the reason I decided I really needed to get Mistborn. Though I wasn't aware of what Dragonsteel was intended to be, that ought to be cool. In the meantime, I do have I believe 6 or 7 novels from this universe I can catch up on while waiting for more Stormlight Archives.

douglas
2011-12-01, 01:08 AM
I imagine Dalinar will be the focus of book three, so it shouldn't be all that much of a delay (at least, not with Sanderson's writing pace), and he'll still be present and probably feature quite prominently in book two. Heck, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he actually takes up about the same storytelling space in present day events as Shallan. The big thing the choice of focus character affects is who gets backstory explained through flashbacks like Kaladin did in book one. As far as that goes, well, the one I'm really waiting for is a certain new arrival in the epilogue.:smallbiggrin: I believe Brandon did state in an interview that he would be a focus character in one of the ten books.

One scene I'm really looking forward to in book two is the Szeth vs Kaladin fight. With Szeth ordered to assassinate Dalinar, and Kaladin now being Dalinar's head bodyguard, they're on a fast collision course for each other. It will be interesting to see two Surgebinders fighting each other, since I'm sure Szeth will be good enough to force Kaladin to use his full abilities, and it will also be interesting to see Szeth's reaction when Kaladin reveals that he can use stormlight too. I hope Kaladin figures out (or gets told by Jasnah) the Basic Lashing before then, though.

Seerow
2011-12-01, 01:20 AM
Hrm, Szeth vs Kaladin would be pretty awesome, but I think a much more interesting fight characterwise would be Kaladin and Amaram. We had someone say that Amaram was coming to the Shattered Plains, and with Kaladin playing bodyguard to the High Prince of War you know there's a showdown coming there. I'm honestly much more interested in seeing that resolved than a Surgebinder duel.

Talanic
2011-12-01, 01:27 AM
Likewise. Szeth is used to godmoding against his enemies; he hasn't had a fight against an equal in decades. Kaladin hasn't had a fight that was fair in probably just as long, but most of it was in the other direction. I fully expect Szeth to get his behind handed to him.

Amaram, however, might find himself in a duel with Kaladin. Except I think that Amaram might actually be a good person, just one who followed bad counsel that one time. He allowed the ends to justify his means...

douglas
2011-12-01, 01:53 AM
I can imagine it now:
Szeth lashes Kaladin to the ceiling, expecting him to be dumbfounded and helpless. Kaladin calmly and nimbly tucks, rolls, and lands upside down on his feet on the ceiling, then lashes himself to the floor and drops right back down. Szeth stares in shocked surprise, barely recovering in time to dodge, then summons his shardblade, and they both get serious. The ensuing fight proceeds to rampage all over the floor, all four walls, and ceiling, with a gleeful disregard for "up" and "down", many unlikely globs of stuck-together objects flying in all directions only to be diverted in mid air, stone blocks carved out of the walls being flung with abandon in both directions (Kaladin sending back what Szeth throws). Through it all, the rest of Bridge Four cheers, eats popcorn, and tosses fresh spears and infused spheres to Kaladin whenever he runs low.

I'd hate to be the cleanup crew after that.

pita
2011-12-01, 11:06 AM
I find Sanderson to be the best thing since sliced bread. At least far as fantasy literature is concerned.

I also find Mistborn to be the single best fantasy trilogy I've ever read. Great twists, various intrigue, cool magic, cool magic deployed in cool battles, awesome bad guys, likable protagonists, and most importantly almost NO PADDING... It has everything anyone could want from a fantasy series. Yes, first book is objectively much better than the other two. No, that doesn't make later books bad. It's like saying pizza is bad cos steak is better.

And he's trying (and succeeding) to improve. That's enough of a reason to like him.

Not to mention, this is fantasy. Sanderson is running up against the likes of Drizzt and Dragonlance and Eddings and etc. It's not exactly on Hugo/Shakespeare level.
No. He's running against R. Scott Bakker, George R. R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and quite a few others, and compared to each and every one of them he fails. He's trying and succeeding to improve, but he's not quite there yet.
He's good, and he is much more than likeable (I have yet to find an interview or a line in his books or a blog post that suggests he is anything other than an amazing example of a human being), but he's not amazing. If you think fantasy is Drizz't, Dragonlance, and Eddings, please read one or all of the authors I've mentioned. My personal favorite is Bakker but he's very polarizing (Another person, whose opinion I respect a great deal, finds him to be the worst thing she's ever read).
Has it been confirmed that the next book is Shallan-centric? Because it feels more logical to have it about Dalinar, maybe unveil the big mystery that was dangled in our faces the entire time.
WHAT DID HE WISH FOR WHAT DID HE WISH FOR WHAT DID HE WISH FOR DAMN YOU SANDERSON!

Eldan
2011-12-01, 11:11 AM
Honestly?
Compared to the last books of some those authors, i.e. A Dance with Dragons or Snuff, Sanderson is, to me, a shining example of pacing, character building and good plotting.

Seerow
2011-12-01, 11:28 AM
No. He's running against R. Scott Bakker, George R. R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and quite a few others, and compared to each and every one of them he fails. He's trying and succeeding to improve, but he's not quite there yet.


GRRM has been in decline for the last decade, and I'd say it's mostly a wash. I enjoyed both of Sanderson's WoT books and tWoK more than I did the last two ASoIAF books. Robin Hobb never particularly impressed me, though at least one friend insists I just picked up the wrong books, so I may give her another chance in the future.

May need to look into Abercrombie, Bakker, and Gaiman though, I never heard of them.


Has it been confirmed that the next book is Shallan-centric? Because it feels more logical to have it about Dalinar, maybe unveil the big mystery that was dangled in our faces the entire time.

Well there were a few mysteries dangled in front of us for Shallan as well. Like why she has a shardblade (never explicitly stated, but there are enough references), what was her 'greatest sin', etc. Her backstory was hinted at a lot throughout the book, and will likely be interesting, I was just hoping for Dalinar.

Pechvarry
2011-12-01, 11:36 AM
Hurray! Another Sanderson thread!

As for the Stormlight Archives, you'll definitely get your Dalinar book. Sanderson inadvertently gave 9-10 characters very thick Plot Armor by announcing that each of the 10 books would have a new character getting Lost-style flashbacks, though Kaladin will likely get a 2nd.

This means Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, the-guy-from-the-epilogue, Szeth, and a few others are all but confirmed to live long enough to get their own books. So really, the sooner Dalinar gets his book, the sooner Sanderson can kill him off. So let's hope it's book 10 eh? Other characters I remember being discussed are Jasnah, The One and Only Hoid, and Dalinar's sons.

For The Way of Kings itself, my only complaint was how long you keep expecting Kaladin to just up and be totally BA. And so you spend the whole book expecting his circumstances to change dramatically and they don't. Creates a very strong feeling of stagnation.

Mistborn books are all great. Allow of Law standalone Mistborn novel was awesome. I think his combat is *too* detailed in a lot of the mistborn books, but I definitely enjoyed them.

Also: Warbreaker. Because Lightsong is the best character ever written.

Eldan
2011-12-01, 11:39 AM
Alloy of Law? Wait. There's a Sanderson book I don't have?

To the Bookstore!

Robin Hobb's newest Trilogy also seems to be finally done, so I'll get that one as well.

douglas
2011-12-01, 12:59 PM
For The Way of Kings itself, my only complaint was how long you keep expecting Kaladin to just up and be totally BA. And so you spend the whole book expecting his circumstances to change dramatically and they don't. Creates a very strong feeling of stagnation.
But he does, and they do! It just takes the climax of the book to make it happen.

Talanic
2011-12-01, 03:16 PM
For The Way of Kings itself, my only complaint was how long you keep expecting Kaladin to just up and be totally BA. And so you spend the whole book expecting his circumstances to change dramatically and they don't. Creates a very strong feeling of stagnation.


I think your problem was expecting him to be more of a straight-up fighter. He was totally awesome in the way his leadership believably brought some of the most downtrodden members of his army up from being simple cannon fodder to being an unrecognized elite unit. All without killing a single person (at least by the time that he succeeded in that goal...the killing came later).

Personally, I wasn't that enthused by most of the flashbacks from Kaladin's childhood. They simply didn't grab me; when I re-re-re-read, those are the chapters I am likely to skip.

Seerow
2011-12-01, 03:37 PM
I think your problem was expecting him to be more of a straight-up fighter. He was totally awesome in the way his leadership believably brought some of the most downtrodden members of his army up from being simple cannon fodder to being an unrecognized elite unit. All without killing a single person (at least by the time that he succeeded in that goal...the killing came later).

Personally, I wasn't that enthused by most of the flashbacks from Kaladin's childhood. They simply didn't grab me; when I re-re-re-read, those are the chapters I am likely to skip.

Hrm... there were some flashback chapters I really liked (Kaladin's father standing up to the townspeople. Kaladin's pov of the battle from the first chapter), while there were a lot that were pretty meh. Either way I do feel like the whole of them helped understand Kaladin's character and values better, which makes them worth reading, if not necessarily worth the time of a reread.

Pechvarry
2011-12-01, 03:47 PM
I think your problem was expecting him to be more of a straight-up fighter. He was totally awesome in the way his leadership believably brought some of the most downtrodden members of his army up from being simple cannon fodder to being an unrecognized elite unit. All without killing a single person (at least by the time that he succeeded in that goal...the killing came later).

Yes, thanks for giving me the excuse to elaborate. While reading tWoK, I wanted very much for Kaladin to become the awesome hero we know he should be. The path Kaladin was instead forced upon made for a slower read, sure, but it put his character, and the series as a whole, in a much better place. So while i kept thinking "this guy needs a better editor -- chapter after chapter of moping around and wanting to give up". I skimmed through the book again after finishing it and couldn't find a single Kaladin section I wanted to axe. It all proved necessary to create a believable experience. And now books 2-10 can have the Kaladin that's as awesome and clever as Vin was in Mistborn.

Also worthy of note: in the original draft for The Way of Kings, Kaladin actually took a certain opportunity offered to him in the flashbacks. Suffice to say, this made Kaladin the action hero we expect right away, but apparently screwed with the character motives and story pacing in absurd ways. Plus, Sanderson said it was just too easy.

Helanna
2011-12-01, 05:18 PM
How should I say this...
Elantris had a plot with twists that were telegraphed from before I even started reading the book, just from the map and the explanations of the magic system, and none of the world really felt original. However, the plot moved fast and was entertaining and I liked the character, so it kept my interest far better than Mistborn, which was basically the opposite. Good plot ideas, interesting world, but too slow for my taste and with less likeable characters. The first book was really good, afterwards it started losing what I liked, and fast. If he had expanded the first book, shown a bit more of the thieves and their plans and plots, it would have been great.

Being a little late, but yeah, I see what you mean. The characters of Elantris actually felt a little flat and shallow to me, which is one of the major reasons that I don't like it as much - they just didn't really draw me in.


Hurray! Another Sanderson thread!


Also: Warbreaker. Because Lightsong is the best character ever written.

Sanderson threads pop up every once in a while, and I'm extremely okay with that. Also, Lightsong is one of my favorite characters from any of his books.


Alloy of Law? Wait. There's a Sanderson book I don't have?

To the Bookstore!

Robin Hobb's newest Trilogy also seems to be finally done, so I'll get that one as well.

Alloy of Law drinking game: Find the Mistborn references! Also, keep an eye out for Hoid, he appears for about a sentence.


Yes, thanks for giving me the excuse to elaborate. While reading tWoK, I wanted very much for Kaladin to become the awesome hero we know he should be. The path Kaladin was instead forced upon made for a slower read, sure, but it put his character, and the series as a whole, in a much better place. So while i kept thinking "this guy needs a better editor -- chapter after chapter of moping around and wanting to give up". I skimmed through the book again after finishing it and couldn't find a single Kaladin section I wanted to axe. It all proved necessary to create a believable experience. And now books 2-10 can have the Kaladin that's as awesome and clever as Vin was in Mistborn.


True. One of my favorite tWoK moments is when Kaladin leaps the chasm and finds the Words of the Second Ideal, then just lays into the Parshendi. That was pretty fantastic, and now I'm looking forward to seeing Kaladin really fight, with real armor and weapons, backed by a highprince and everything.

Because gods know that Dalinar's going to need some serious protection after this. :smalleek:

Seerow
2011-12-01, 05:21 PM
Also worthy of note: in the original draft for The Way of Kings, Kaladin actually took a certain opportunity offered to him in the flashbacks. Suffice to say, this made Kaladin the action hero we expect right away, but apparently screwed with the character motives and story pacing in absurd ways. Plus, Sanderson said it was just too easy.


I had heard about this. And it's one more reason I expect him to confront Amaram in the coming books.

Eldan
2011-12-01, 05:23 PM
Hmm.

I'll have to re-read Mistborn first, then.

I'm not actually really looking forward to that.

Talanic
2011-12-01, 05:38 PM
One of the things I loved was reading Kaladin's battles from Sadeas' perspective. Sadeas would learn ALL of the wrong lessons from watching him. He'll expect guys wearing Parshendi-bone armor to last against Parshendi archers, PLUS he has to recruit an entire new corps of bridgemen - which he won't be able to do because he was already running out of slaves. He won't be able to force his own soldiers to run bridges because he has no discipline instilled in them and they know it's a death run.

"This decision will go down in history as the most ridiculous one ever made by an Alethi Highprince!" - Sadeas, entirely correct but for the wrong reasons...

pita
2011-12-01, 06:31 PM
Well there were a few mysteries dangled in front of us for Shallan as well. Like why she has a shardblade (never explicitly stated, but there are enough references), what was her 'greatest sin', etc. Her backstory was hinted at a lot throughout the book, and will likely be interesting, I was just hoping for Dalinar.
She has a shardblade because she took it from her father, and her greatest sin was murdering her father, no?

I forgot to mention an amazing positive about the book: Every side character felt like a fully realized character. This is so incredibly rare, even authors I generally consider better than Sanderson (Joe Abercrombie or Patrick Rothfuss) get it wrong. Every member of the bridge crew is a character. Everyone Dalinar or Shallan interact with. It's amazing. It gives a sense that the world is large better than any thirty page appendix or descriptive paragraph ever would. Unless that paragraph began with "Space is big."
But Douglas Adams is the exception, not the rule.


Honestly?
Compared to the last books of some those authors, i.e. A Dance with Dragons or Snuff, Sanderson is, to me, a shining example of pacing, character building and good plotting.
I'll give you Snuff (And, in fact, any Pratchett book since Making Money), but A Dance with Dragons was much better at least as far as character building goes (To paraphrase the Giant, character development in a negative direction is also character development). Also more "Holy ****" moments.

Seerow
2011-12-01, 06:35 PM
She has a shardblade because she took it from her father, and her greatest sin was murdering her father, no?


I seem to remember it being implied she killed him with said shardblade, which would make her taking it from her dad not work.

pita
2011-12-01, 06:38 PM
I seem to remember it being implied she killed him with said shardblade, which would make her taking it from her dad not work.

Well, one question answered anyway.

Emmerask
2011-12-01, 06:39 PM
Hmm.

I'll have to re-read Mistborn first, then.

I'm not actually really looking forward to that.

Get the audiobook :smallbiggrin:

And I really really liked way of kings, to me its Sandersons best work at the moment, though I also really liked alloy of law ^^

cnsvnc
2011-12-01, 07:12 PM
So while i kept thinking "this guy needs a better editor -- chapter after chapter of moping around and wanting to give up". I skimmed through the book again after finishing it and couldn't find a single Kaladin section I wanted to axe. It all proved necessary to create a believable experience.
Yep, I paid special attention to that as well. Sanderson always does this, every single chapter in all books has something in it that's important in a big or small way. And he says somewhere on the internet that a large fraction of every book gets cut between the last draft and publication so that there's no padding. Many writers, fantasy or not, can learn from that.

Of course, it also presents the problem of most everything that's ever mentioned being certainly important. But I'll take that over "purple prose" any day.


She has a shardblade because she took it from her father, and her greatest sin was murdering her father, no?

That's the most logical and straightforward conclusion. So I expect that to be wrong. There'll be some twisted but still logical explanation I'm betting, but anything we say at this point is speculation.


Alloy of Law drinking game: Find the Mistborn references!
That can't be good for liver.
...
Extra info: You can look at book annotations at his webpage (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/book/). Elantris, Warbreaker and Mistborn all have writer commentary per chapter that you'll find interesting assuming you like Sanderson's writing. I spent a long time reading them after discovering their existence. It's both entertaining and educational. He even avoids spoiling later chapters so you could theoretically read annotations chapter by chapter as you read the book for the first time. But who'd do that?

Helanna
2011-12-01, 07:52 PM
Hmm.

I'll have to re-read Mistborn first, then.

I'm not actually really looking forward to that.

Well, you don't actually need to re-read Mistborn. Alloy of Law is set in the same world, but about 300 years later, and doesn't have any connection to the Mistborn plot. But there are quite a few shout-outs to the characters and whatnot.

Seerow
2011-12-01, 11:02 PM
Well, you don't actually need to re-read Mistborn. Alloy of Law is set in the same world, but about 300 years later, and doesn't have any connection to the Mistborn plot. But there are quite a few shout-outs to the characters and whatnot.

But without rereading Mistborn, how can you get completely drunk playing the Alloy of Law drinking game? So many references you might miss!



btw: Added a spoiler tag to the topic title, since we're all pretty much posting spoilers left and right without tags anyway.

douglas
2011-12-02, 12:15 AM
Most of them are pretty obvious, though, and missing the less obvious ones isn't that big a deal.

In any case, they're all elements of background mythology or origins of things that you don't really need to know the origin of, so even someone who's never read the original Mistborn trilogy at all would have no trouble enjoying Alloy of Law.

Aiani
2011-12-02, 11:23 AM
I forgot to mention earlier but one of the things I love about Sanderson both from reading Mistborn and The Way of Kings is the way he foreshadows and gives little clues about things that will be revealed later on. Usually I figure out at least a few of them but there is always at least one thing that takes me by surprise. The great part is that the things that take me by surprise don't feel as if they came out of nowhere. I can look back and see the clues that I missed. I guess I'm saying that he sets up his big reveals very well.

IthilanorStPete
2011-12-03, 07:50 PM
What are the references to Shallan having a Shardblade? It's admittedly been a while since I've reread the book, but I don't remember picking up on that implication at all.

douglas
2011-12-03, 09:04 PM
The most obvious one is, during the scene where Jasnah gives a lesson by soulcasting a pair of thugs into non-living materials, Shallan thinks about a secret she has that is "ten heartbeats away". In addition to the signature "ten heartbeats" thing, there's the implication that she's thinking about it at that moment because she's feeling in danger; presumably, the secret in question is something that would help face or mitigate the danger, which a Shardblade most certainly would.

IthilanorStPete
2011-12-03, 09:25 PM
The most obvious one is, during the scene where Jasnah gives a lesson by soulcasting a pair of thugs into non-living materials, Shallan thinks about a secret she has that is "ten heartbeats away". In addition to the signature "ten heartbeats" thing, there's the implication that she's thinking about it at that moment because she's feeling in danger; presumably, the secret in question is something that would help face or mitigate the danger, which a Shardblade most certainly would.

It's not that scene - it's later in the book, chapter 45, when she's drawing the weird twisted beings. The exact quote:


Was there a chill in the room? Hesitantly—terrified but unable to stop herself—Shallan dropped her pencil and raised her freehand to the right.
And felt something.
She screamed then, throwing herself to her feet on her bed, dropping the pad, backing against the wall. Before she could consciously think of what she was doing, she struggling with her sleeve, trying to get the soulcaster out of her safehand pouch. It was the only thing resembling a weapon she had. Lucidity stopped her a moment later. That was stupid. She couldn’t use it. She was unarmed.
Except...Storms! She thought, frantic. I can’t use that. I promised myself. She began the process anyway. Ten heartbeats, to bring forth the fruit of her sin, the proceeds of her most horrific act. She was interrupted midway through by a voice, uncanny yet distinct:
What are you?

Well, I definitely didn't catch that even after reading the book several times! Interesting...very interesting.