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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Sorry that should have been blue. My bad.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Ahh, a fresh thread. Glad to see all those new chapters up in the OP, too. Catching up to this read-through was a little harder before.

    Anyway, I was already caught up to this read-through. I never actually read beyond the first book myself, but you've done a good enough job with this that I've still been able to follow what's going on. It's even made me want to pick up the series again myself. Next time I have a few months to kill, I mean.

    Might be a weird question, but I'm curious as to how the writing quality itself has been for you so far. I remember it being solid, braid-tugging notwithstanding. Does it have that 'classic fantasy smell'?

    (Created by me. I should probably put that on there somewhere.)

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoreward View Post
    Ahh, a fresh thread. Glad to see all those new chapters up in the OP, too. Catching up to this read-through was a little harder before.

    Anyway, I was already caught up to this read-through. I never actually read beyond the first book myself, but you've done a good enough job with this that I've still been able to follow what's going on. It's even made me want to pick up the series again myself. Next time I have a few months to kill, I mean.

    Might be a weird question, but I'm curious as to how the writing quality itself has been for you so far. I remember it being solid, braid-tugging notwithstanding. Does it have that 'classic fantasy smell'?
    The prose is, I don't know, workmanlike? It gets the job done and isn't fancy about it. It's also written in third person limited, unlike Tolkien who used third person omniscient, so the narrative is told through the character's personal experience and not as a larger story being related to you by a narrator. You can get away with more purple prose when you use the omniscient style.

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    Quote Originally Posted by An Enemy Spy View Post
    The prose is, I don't know, workmanlike? It gets the job done and isn't fancy about it. It's also written in third person limited, unlike Tolkien who used third person omniscient, so the narrative is told through the character's personal experience and not as a larger story being related to you by a narrator. You can get away with more purple prose when you use the omniscient style.
    On the other hand, working through the characters POV really allows him to build a world where we as the readers are actually more aware of events than the characters themselves. We get to see them stumble because they dont know about what we just read, I dunno, mat thinking last chapter. Like in book 2 when rand was trying to get away from meeting the amyrillian seat and he mat and perrin got to enjoy all sorts of misunderstandings about his attitude. WE knew what was going on, none of them had the full picture, and thats honestly the part i like the most. Because we both understand why they messed up and that they did in fact mess up. Without hearing of events from perrins side, we might not totally get why he reacted that way to rand until they get around to talking it out with each other.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    It definitely allows you to give your characters much more personality than other writing styles. It's nice to get inside a character's head and see their motivations, and Jordan does it well.

    For all Tolkein's talent as a world builder, his actual prose reads like a history book. I can't say that I enjoy reading it at all.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Doesn't comparing Jordan to Tolkien kind of miss the point? Neither of them could write decent prose. That's not what you read them for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Doesn't comparing Jordan to Tolkien kind of miss the point? Neither of them could write decent prose. That's not what you read them for.
    He asked if it has the "classic fantasy smell." I assumed that means Tolkien.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Doesn't comparing Jordan to Tolkien kind of miss the point? Neither of them could write decent prose. That's not what you read them for.
    Personally I think Jordan's prose is decent. He's not going to be studied in English classes in 100 years, but he gets the job done conveying his scenes and characters well. He's much better than the typical fantasy pulp you'd get from Salvatore or most other fantasy authors. He's definitely miles better than Sanderson.

    I can't really think of a mainstream fantasy author I'd put over him. Some people will probably say Pratchett, but that's such a different genre I don't think it counts. Writing in the fantasy genre is overall very weak, so it's not like there's a ton of competition.
    Last edited by Anteros; 2017-12-03 at 03:55 PM.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    I'm no literature critic, but to me, prose is good if it feels alive and flows off the tongue. Bad prose is stilted and artificial.

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    The drums were pounding again, pounding and pounding and pounding.

    Dacey Mormont, who seemed to be the only woman left in the hall besides Catelyn, stepped up behind Edwyn Frey, and touched him lightly on the arm as she said something in his ear. Edwyn wrenched himself away from her with unseemly violence. ‘‘No,’’ he said, too loudly. ‘‘I’m done with dancing for the nonce.’’ Dacey paled and turned away. Catelyn got slowly to her feet. What just happened there? Doubt gripped her heart, where an instant before had been only weariness. It is nothing, she tried to tell herself, you are seeing grumkins in the woodpile, youare become an old silly woman sick with grief and fear. But something must have shown on her face. Even Ser Wendel Manderly took note. ‘‘Is something amiss?’’ he asked, the leg of lamb in his hands.

    She did not answer him. Instead she went after Edwyn Frey. The players in the gallery had finally gotten both king and queen down to their name-day suits. With scarcely a moment’s respite, they began to play a very different sort of song. No one sang the words, but Catelyn knew ‘‘The Rains of Castamere’’ when she heard it. Edwyn was hurrying toward a door. She hurried faster, driven by the music. Six quick strides and she caught him. And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low? She grabbed Edwyn by the arm to turn him and went cold all over when she felt the iron rings beneath his silken sleeve.

    Catelyn slapped him so hard she broke his lip. Olyvar, she thought, and Perwyn, Alesander, all absent. And Roslin wept . . .

    Edwyn Frey shoved her aside. The music drowned all other sound, echoing off the walls as if the stones themselves were playing. Robb gave Edwyn an angry look and moved to block his way... and staggered suddenly as a quarrel sprouted from his side, just beneath the shoulder. If he screamed then, the sound was swallowed by the pipes and horns and fiddles. Catelyn saw a second bolt pierce his leg, saw him fall. Up in the gallery, half the musicians had crossbows in their hands instead of drums or lutes. She ran toward her son, until something punched in the small of the back and the hard stone floor came up to slap her. ‘‘Robb!’’ she screamed. She saw Smalljon Umber wrestle a table off its trestles. Crossbow bolts thudded into the wood, one two three, as he flung it down on top of his king. Robin Flint was ringed by Freys, their daggers rising and falling. Ser Wendel Manderly rose ponderously to his feet, holding his leg of lamb. A quarrel went in his open mouth and came out the back of his neck. Ser Wendel crashed forward, knocking the table off its trestles and sending cups, flagons, trenchers, platters, turnips, beets, and wine bouncing, spilling, and sliding across the floor.

    Catelyn’s back was on fire. I have to reach him. The Smalljon bludgeoned Ser Raymund Frey across the face with a leg of mutton. But when he reached for his sword belt a crossbow bolt drove him to his knees. In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws. She saw Lucas Blackwood cut down by Ser Hosteen Frey. One of the Vances was hamstrung by Black Walder as he was wrestling with Ser Harys Haigh. And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours. The crossbows took Donnel Locke, Owen Norrey, and half a dozen more. Young Ser Benfrey had seized Dacey Mormont by the arm, but Catelyn saw her grab up a flagon of wine with her other hand, smash it full in his face, and run for the door. It flew open before she reached it. Ser Ryman Frey pushed into the hall, clad in steel from helm to heel. A dozen Frey men-at-arms packed the door behind him. They were armed with heavy long axes.

    ‘‘Mercy!’’ Catelyn cried, but horns and drums and the clash of steel smothered her plea. Ser Ryman buried the head of his axe in Dacey’s stomach. By then men were pouring in the other doors as well, mailed men in shaggy fur cloaks with steel in their hands. Northmen! She took them for rescue for half a heartbeat, till one of them struck the Smalljon’s head off with two huge blows of his axe. Hope blew out like a candle in a storm.

    In the midst of slaughter, the Lord of the Crossing sat on his carved oaken throne, watching greedily.

    There was a dagger on the floor a few feet away. Perhaps it had skittered there when the Smalljon knocked the table off its trestles, or perhaps it had fallen from the hand of some dying man. Catelyn crawled toward it. Her limbs were leaden, and the taste of blood was in her mouth. I will kill Walder Frey, she told herself. Jinglebell was closer to the knife, hiding under a table, but he only cringed away as she snatched up the blade. I will kill the old man, I can do that much at least.

    Then the tabletop that the Smalljon had flung over Robb shifted, and her son struggled to his knees. He had an arrow in his side, a second in his leg, a third through his chest. Lord Walder raised a hand, and the music stopped, all but one drum. Catelyn heard the crash of distant battle, and closer the wild howling of a wolf. Grey Wind, she remembered too late. ‘‘Heh,’’ Lord Walder cackled at Robb, ‘‘the King in the North arises. Seems we killed some of your men, Your Grace. Oh, but I’ll make you an apology, that will mend them all again, heh.’’

    Catelyn grabbed a handful of Jinglebell Frey’s long grey hair and dragged him out of his hiding place. ‘‘Lord Walder!’’ she shouted. ‘‘LORD WALDER!’’ The drum beat slow and sonorous, doom boom doom. ‘‘Enough,’’ said Catelyn. ‘‘Enough, I say. You have repaid betrayal with betrayal, let it end.’’ When she pressed her dagger to Jinglebell’s throat, the memory of Bran’s sickroom came back to her, with the feel of steel at her own throat. The drum went boom doom boom doom boom doom. ‘‘Please,’’ she said. ‘‘He is my son. My first son, and my last. Let him go. Let him go and I swear we will forget this . . . forget all you’ve done here. I swear it by the old gods and new, we . . . we will take no vengeance . . .’’

    Lord Walder peered at her in mistrust. ‘‘Only a fool would believe such blather. D’you take me for a fool, my lady?’’

    ‘‘I take you for a father. Keep me for a hostage, Edmure as well if you haven’t killed him. But let Robb go.’’

    ‘‘No.’’ Robb’s voice was whisper faint. ‘‘Mother, no . . .’’

    ‘‘Yes. Robb, get up. Get up and walk out, please, please. Save yourself . . . if not for me, for Jeyne.’’

    ‘‘Jeyne?’’ Robb grabbed the edge of the table and forced himself to stand. ‘‘Mother,’’ he said, ‘‘Grey Wind...’’

    ‘‘Go to him. Now. Robb, walk out of here.’’

    Lord Walder snorted. ‘‘And why would I let him do that?’’

    She pressed the blade deeper into Jinglebell’s throat. The lackwit rolled his eyes at her in mute appeal. A foul stench assailed her nose, but she paid it no more mind than she did the sullen ceaseless pounding of that drum, boom doom boom doom boom doom. Ser Ryman and Black Walder were circling round her back, but Catelyn did not care. They could do as they wished with her; imprison her, rape her, kill her, it made no matter. She had lived too long, and Ned was waiting. It was Robb she feared for. ‘‘On my honor as a Tully,’’ she told Lord Walder, ‘‘on my honor as a Stark, I will trade your boy’s life for Robb’s. A son for a son.’’ Her hand shook so badly she was ringing Jinglebell’s head.

    Boom, the drum sounded, boom doom boom doom. The old man’s lips went in and out. The knife trembled in Catelyn’s hand, slippery with sweat. ‘‘A son for a son, heh,’’ he repeated. ‘‘But that’s a grandson . . . and he never was much use.’’

    A man in dark armor and a pale pink cloak spotted with blood stepped up to Robb. ‘‘Jaime Lannister sends his regards.’’ He thrust his longsword through her son’s heart, and twisted.

    Robb had broken his word, but Catelyn kept hers. She tugged hard on Aegon’s hair and sawed at his neck until the blade grated on bone. Blood ran hot over her fingers. His little bells were ringing, ringing, ringing, and the drum went boom doom boom.

    Finally someone took the knife away from her. The tears burned like vinegar as they ran down her cheeks. Ten fierce ravens were raking her face with sharp talons and tearing off strips of flesh, leaving deep furrows that ran red with blood. She could taste it on her lips.

    It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb . . . Robb . . . please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting . . . The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. ‘‘Mad,’’ someone said, ‘‘she’s lost her wits,’’ and someone else said, ‘‘Make an end,’’ and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.


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    After Richard picked up his pack and slipped his arms through the straps, Owen gripped Richard's hand. "Thank you, Lord Rahl, for showing me that my life is worth living."

    Marilee stepped forward and hugged him. "Thank you for teaching Owen to be worthy of me."

    Richard laughed. Owen laughed. Cara gave Marilee an approving clap on the back. And then all the men laughed.

    Betty pushed in and with a flurry of tail wagging got the point across that she didn't want to be left out.

    Richard knelt down and scratched Betty's ears. "And you, my friend, from now on I don't want you letting any Slides using you to spy on people."

    Betty pushed her head against his chest as he scratched her ears, and bleated as if to say she was sorry.


    Honestly I've never read an excerpt of Terry Goodkind's that wasn't either unintentionally hilarious or just plain offensive to the sensibilities. It's obvious a lot of the rape stuff in his books are there because he's getting off while writing it.
    Last edited by An Enemy Spy; 2017-12-03 at 04:20 PM.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Sanderson's writing is blunt, but that does let him weave threads together and hop between characters pretty easily without disorienting the reader. Particularly in the big chaotic endings he loves to do where everyone's doing their own thing and they overlap with each other. Jordan has a bit too much "wait, who is this guy again" aside from the main handful of characters.

    E: which is mainly to say that different ways of writing suit different purposes. Sanderson likes to build a tower of characters and motivation and plot to knock it over in the climax and watch everything tumble. Jordan is trying to weave a story across an entire continent.
    Last edited by The New Bruceski; 2017-12-03 at 04:45 PM.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Too be fair, I think the primary problem with the "wait, who is this guy?" reaction is more due to the sheer number of characters he switches between rather than a lack of clarity. When there are so many side stories going on you dont hear from joey peacock again for three books, of course you will forget all about his odd desire to own the worlds largest brothel that he sold his soul to shaitan to get.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Too be fair, I think the primary problem with the "wait, who is this guy?" reaction is more due to the sheer number of characters he switches between rather than a lack of clarity. When there are so many side stories going on you dont hear from joey peacock again for three books, of course you will forget all about his odd desire to own the worlds largest brothel that he sold his soul to shaitan to get.
    It may not be the most elegant solution, but I suspect that's why the glossary in the back of each book exists.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    I don't particularly like Martin. While I wouldn't go as far as to call his prose flowery, I often find myself wishing he'd get to the point already. I do recognize that this is just my personal preference and he's wildly popular with others. He's obviously a trillion times better than Goodkind.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    I don't particularly like Martin. While I wouldn't go as far as to call his prose flowery, I often find myself wishing he'd get to the point already. I do recognize that this is just my personal preference and he's wildly popular with others. He's obviously a trillion times better than Goodkind.
    Hmm.. i actually dont think prose is Goodkind's problem. There are a lot of those. But as i recall his prose was actually pretty decent.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Hmm.. i actually dont think prose is Goodkind's problem. There are a lot of those. But as i recall his prose was actually pretty decent.
    Read the excerpt Spy posted above. It's pretty awful.

    English isn't your first language though, is it? Maybe that changes your perspective a bit.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Read the excerpt Spy posted above. It's pretty awful.

    English isn't your first language though, is it? Maybe that changes your perspective a bit.
    No i guess its pretty obvious english is my second language. Do know there are times where my syntax slips, or i confuse some of the annoyingly simular words like thread or tread.

    But i do think the except Spy posted is awful. I just dont remember it being representative of the overall writing.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    No i guess its pretty obvious english is my second language. Do know there are times where my syntax slips, or i confuse some of the annoyingly simular words like thread or tread.

    But i do think the except Spy posted is awful. I just dont remember it being representative of the overall writing.
    I don't know how obvious it is. You communicate just fine most of the time. I just know that you've said before that it isn't your first language.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    I actually started my own rereadthrough, about two-and-a-half months ago that i'm currently 13 books deep into (yay for extended bus commutes). I actually came to appreciate Jordan's prose quite a lot, even the memeworthy lavish descriptions of everyone's clothing and odd character tics. I'm not quite sure what parts of it exactly I can point to and say I liked the most, but the transition to Sanderson in book 12 was harsh this time around, after basically reading the first 11 back-to-back. It's a very blunt transition, and especially for the first half of book 12, I found myself having to stop quite a lot because Sanderson would describe a character doing a thing or feeling an emotion and it just felt wrong and I would think "Jordan would have written this page/passage/sentence completely different" and by "different" I probably meant "eight times slower and half as obvious".

    I don't feel that way now (midway through Towers of Midnight) but I'm not sure if that's because Sanderson improved or because I'm just used to the shift in style now (probably a bit of both) but that transition moment was pretty painful.

    Since AES stuck the Red Wedding up above, I'd be interested in probing his opinions on a few scenes that I would consider to be 'perfect' in terms of what's presented across the entire series. None of which he's reached, as of yet.

    *the two that spring to mind for me right now are:
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    "The Stone Stands!" - Rand using Callandor at the beginning of The Shadow Rising
    Mat's crossbow ambush against the Seanchan in Knife of Dreams

    There are few other close ones, like Rand using failing to use Callandor against the Seanchan, Egwene defending the WT against the Seanchan (why do the Seanchan get all the best fight scenes), Perrin forging Mah'alleinir, Nynaeve vs. Moghedien, Mat vs. Gholam in Ebou Dar, and other ones that I won't bother to recount, but the first two mentioned in particular are ones I had to stop and reread about 3-4 times each just for the pure pleasure of it.
    Last edited by Ashen Lilies; 2017-12-04 at 09:03 PM.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashen Lilies View Post
    I actually started my own rereadthrough, about two-and-a-half months ago that i'm currently 13 books deep into (yay for extended bus commutes). I actually came to appreciate Jordan's prose quite a lot, even the memeworthy lavish descriptions of everyone's clothing and odd character tics. I'm not quite sure what parts of it exactly I can point to and say I liked the most, but the transition to Sanderson in book 12 was harsh this time around, after basically reading the first 11 back-to-back. It's a very blunt transition, and especially for the first half of book 12, I found myself having to stop quite a lot because Sanderson would describe a character doing a thing or feeling an emotion and it just felt wrong and I would think "Jordan would have written this page/passage/sentence completely different" and by "different" I probably meant "eight times slower and half as obvious".

    I don't feel that way now (midway through Towers of Midnight) but I'm not sure if that's because Sanderson improved or because I'm just used to the shift in style now (probably a bit of both) but that transition moment was pretty painful.

    Since AES stuck the Red Wedding up above, I'd be interested in probing his opinions on a few scenes that I would consider to be 'perfect' in terms of what's presented across the entire series. None of which he's reached, as of yet.

    *the two that spring to mind for me right now are:
    Spoiler: Best Scenes
    Show
    "The Stone Stands!" - Rand using Callandor at the beginning of The Shadow Rising
    Mat's crossbow ambush against the Seanchan in Knife of Dreams

    There are few other close ones, like Rand using failing to use Callandor against the Seanchan, Egwene defending the WT against the Seanchan (why do the Seanchan get all the best fight scenes), Perrin forging Mah'alleinir, Nynaeve vs. Moghedien, Mat vs. Gholam in Ebou Dar, and other ones that I won't bother to recount, but the first two mentioned in particular are ones I had to stop and reread about 3-4 times each just for the pure pleasure of it.
    Spoiler: Scenes that really stuck in my head
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    The two that really stick out for me are Rand going through the glass forest in Ruidean(sp away from books) and the cleansing of Saidin.
    The first because it shows the degeneration of such a proud people into two completely different cultures that have totally forgotten why they split (except for the Aeil chiefs and wise ones) and the second because of the tension that it built all throughout the battle, you can tell both sides were fighting for their hardest.

    There is another one chapter I always tear up at the end in as well... A Cup of Sleep... So sad!


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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Malak'ai View Post
    Spoiler: Scenes that really stuck in my head
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    The two that really stick out for me are Rand going through the glass forest in Ruidean(sp away from books) and the cleansing of Saidin.
    The first because it shows the degeneration of such a proud people into two completely different cultures that have totally forgotten why they split (except for the Aeil chiefs and wise ones) and the second because of the tension that it built all throughout the battle, you can tell both sides were fighting for their hardest.

    There is another one chapter I always tear up at the end in as well... A Cup of Sleep... So sad!
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    Yeah Rhuidan was particularly brutal. On the flip side, Aviendha's second trip through Rhuidan is just as brutal, and I am fairly sure is one of the sections Jordan had written in full prior to his passing.

    Oh and Nynaeve's Aes Sedai test. I am fairly sure I was actually crying by the end of that.


    As an aside, I actually don't care for Martin at all. I'm not sure if that's a distaste for the stories rubbing off on the overall feeling of the text or not, but yeah. My gold standard for good Fantasy Prose is Rothfus. Anytime I'm in the mood to read something just to admire the craft of the words, I'll crack Name of the Wind. Sanderson's actually has gotten better (for the example of the best he has to offer, I recommend The Emperor's Soul), but I admit that Gathering Storm is hardly his masterwork (though I stand by both Towers of Midnight and Memory Of Light being massive steps forward, and being excellent books overall). Regardless I think the point I was trying to get around to is, Jordan falls somewhere in the middle. Not the best, but definitely better than many others I could care to compare him to.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Spoiler: Scenes from a Hat
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    As much as I appreciate the Aiel as a culture and love the concept of that chapter, I find the original Rhuidean chapter to be too disjointed to be effective, imo. Even in the reread, understanding everything that's going on in its entirety, the chronology is a little too messy to conceptualize, plus... I don't actually care? The modern Aiel are pretty awesome in their own right, and it's hard to take their original oaths seriously to be saddened when the Aiel break them in order to become... a badass race of warrior nomads with a kickass honor society and the ability to throw the best goddamn shade on the continent? And that's with all my current knowledge of who the Aiel are, and what they use to be; compared to where the chapter is placed, when the Aiel have barely even been met, I'm not sure why I'm expected to give a damn, except because it offends ji'e'toh, I guess. The most interesting part of that chapter is the little tidbits about the Age of Legends plus seeing the moment of the Bore, to be honest.

    The version of the Rhuidean chapter in Towers of Midnight (which I haven't actually gotten to yet in my current readthrough) is much more devastating, I think. Not only is the fall more dramatic (the Aiel descended to literal human vermin being scoured away by industrial boom of the Raven Empire) at this point we've had 9 books to grow attached to not only the Aiel as a people, but also Avhienda as a character, and to see the devolution of their society all stem with all reasonableness from not only the very concept of honor that the Aiel hold so centrally to their culture (leading to blood feud against the Seanchan) but also instigated by Avhienda's direct descendants. That chapter was brutal.

    Nynaeve's Aes Sedai testing is another really great one. Oh yeah... and *flicker*.
    Last edited by Ashen Lilies; 2017-12-05 at 12:28 AM.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Malak'ai View Post
    Spoiler: Scenes that really stuck in my head
    Show
    The two that really stick out for me are Rand going through the glass forest in Ruidean(sp away from books) and the cleansing of Saidin.
    The first because it shows the degeneration of such a proud people into two completely different cultures that have totally forgotten why they split (except for the Aeil chiefs and wise ones) and the second because of the tension that it built all throughout the battle, you can tell both sides were fighting for their hardest.

    There is another one chapter I always tear up at the end in as well... A Cup of Sleep... So sad!
    Spoiler
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    Rand's vision trip in Rhuidean is one of my favorite scenes in the whole series, and the first time I read it I was very close to crying by the end of it. It is a masterful slow reveal of the depth of tragedy the Aiel as a people suffered through, and simultaneously shows the origins of many pieces of present day culture and background.

    The Cleansing is also a very impactful scene, though for very different reasons. The battle sequence is well done, and also the Cleansing itself, but the most important part to me is the sheer magnitude of what was accomplished. That event, to a FAR greater extent than anything before it in the series, shouted The World Has Changed. The existence of the Taint caused the Breaking and has greatly influenced 3000 years of history for the worse, and now it is gone. It is by far Rand's second greatest achievement throughout the series, behind only winning Tarmon Gai'don.

    For another scene, I liked Egwene's captivity in the White Tower a lot, from beginning to end. That is when she truly comes into her own as a capable and accomplished character who deserves respect and convinces others of that fact. Tricking the rebel Hall into giving her real authority by passing a declaration of war was a nice political maneuver, but her time as Elaida's prisoner is where she earned her place as Amyrlin. Defending against the Seanchan raid was merely the crowning finale of her growth there, formally recognized afterward by the non-rebels choosing her as Amyrlin while explicitly noting that she will be quite the opposite of a figurehead.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Malak'ai View Post
    Spoiler: Scenes that really stuck in my head
    Show
    The two that really stick out for me are Rand going through the glass forest in Ruidean(sp away from books) and the cleansing of Saidin.
    The first because it shows the degeneration of such a proud people into two completely different cultures that have totally forgotten why they split (except for the Aeil chiefs and wise ones) and the second because of the tension that it built all throughout the battle, you can tell both sides were fighting for their hardest.

    There is another one chapter I always tear up at the end in as well... A Cup of Sleep... So sad!
    For me the scene that always stuck with me was,
    Spoiler
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    The scene of perrin defending two rivers. As the final attack comes in and suddenly the womenfolk are appearing to hold the line.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    My gold standard for good Fantasy Prose is Rothfuss. Anytime I'm in the mood to read something just to admire the craft of the words, I'll crack Name of the Wind.
    I'm the same. Him or Le Guin, but most of her stuff is more Sci-fi than Fantasy.

    Spoiler: If we're doing memorable scenes...
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    ...I'm not sure I an think of any right now. It's been a while since I read WoT now, and I guess not much of it has actually stayed with me.

    Maybe Falme? Or that time Egwene confronted Sheriam about the colour of her hair. And A Visit From Verin Sedai, I guess.

    Rhuidean didn't really work for me, somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    No i guess its pretty obvious english is my second language. Do know there are times where my syntax slips, or i confuse some of the annoyingly simular words like thread or tread.
    It wasn't obvious to me, for what it's worth. Your English is better than plenty of native speakers I know.

    Out of interest, do you read these books in English, or in translation? I read a fair amount of translated work, sometimes the same thing by two different translators, and it's obvious that the person doing the translation has a huge impact on the end result.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    It wasn't obvious to me, for what it's worth. Your English is better than plenty of native speakers I know.

    Out of interest, do you read these books in English, or in translation? I read a fair amount of translated work, sometimes the same thing by two different translators, and it's obvious that the person doing the translation has a huge impact on the end result.
    Oh thanks a lot, i guess i am the most critical person myself.

    But you are correct. Translation can have a massive impact on a given book, it usually loses the majority of the wordplay, and also most of the jokes. Its why i always read things in the original english myself. I want the experience that are closest to the authors vision.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Personally I think Jordan's prose is decent. He's not going to be studied in English classes in 100 years, but he gets the job done conveying his scenes and characters well. He's much better than the typical fantasy pulp you'd get from Salvatore or most other fantasy authors. He's definitely miles better than Sanderson.

    I can't really think of a mainstream fantasy author I'd put over him. Some people will probably say Pratchett, but that's such a different genre I don't think it counts. Writing in the fantasy genre is overall very weak, so it's not like there's a ton of competition.
    I think Sanderson has gotten better with time, although prose is definitely not and likely never will be his major selling point. If for example you compare the first Mistborn trilogy with the second though, I think there's a noticeable improvement in both prose and dialogue.

    As for who I'd hold up as better, someone mentioned Patrick Rothfuss and he's pretty good. Personally, I'd put Neil Gaiman up there as well.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashen Lilies View Post
    Spoiler: Scenes from a Hat
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    As much as I appreciate the Aiel as a culture and love the concept of that chapter, I find the original Rhuidean chapter to be too disjointed to be effective, imo. Even in the reread, understanding everything that's going on in its entirety, the chronology is a little too messy to conceptualize, plus... I don't actually care? The modern Aiel are pretty awesome in their own right, and it's hard to take their original oaths seriously to be saddened when the Aiel break them in order to become... a badass race of warrior nomads with a kickass honor society and the ability to throw the best goddamn shade on the continent? And that's with all my current knowledge of who the Aiel are, and what they use to be; compared to where the chapter is placed, when the Aiel have barely even been met, I'm not sure why I'm expected to give a damn, except because it offends ji'e'toh, I guess. The most interesting part of that chapter is the little tidbits about the Age of Legends plus seeing the moment of the Bore, to be honest.

    The version of the Rhuidean chapter in Towers of Midnight (which I haven't actually gotten to yet in my current readthrough) is much more devastating, I think. Not only is the fall more dramatic (the Aiel descended to literal human vermin being scoured away by industrial boom of the Raven Empire) at this point we've had 9 books to grow attached to not only the Aiel as a people, but also Avhienda as a character, and to see the devolution of their society all stem with all reasonableness from not only the very concept of honor that the Aiel hold so centrally to their culture (leading to blood feud against the Seanchan) but also instigated by Avhienda's direct descendants. That chapter was brutal.
    Spoiler
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    I, personally, don't much like the Aiel, but, yeah, what Avhienda sees her second time is really, really wrenching. I was like, "I don't care for these people or their culture, but dang, nobody deserves this".

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    An interesting discussion to see. Everyone has their own preferences.

    I've no issue with 'workman' prose if the book still contains quality storytelling. Some people seem to conflate the two, but poetry isn't required for a gripping or meaningful experience. A good author uses the right words for the right reasons. Dry bluntness with consideration is preferable to me to that special brand of weedy, flowery prose with none. The latter has a tendency to veer into the bushes somewhere before coming to a point.

    I'd say the 'classic fantasy smell' I mentioned before is that halfway blend of blunt, brick prose with the occasional daub (or splatter, in some cases) of old-fashioned paint. It's often clumsy, since it's from the years where fantasy had little footing, but I've got a soft spot for it once in a while.

    Modern Fantasy - even Sanderson's, who by his own admission is pretty opaque - seems to me to have a different ring altogether. It might be the use of easy-reading near-modern language, rather than the dense language half-cribbed from a 40s linguistics professor.

    It sounds like Jordan does a good enough job to serve the story. Judging by the massive, lasting fan base, it seems to have worked out well.
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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    Spoiler: Other Scenes Selection
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    The post-Dumai's Wells introduction to a book with Perrin's PoV on Rand is a well-done fairly bleak. We so rarely see Rand from the outside, and its usually Perrin dropping a pile of Please Stay Sane Rand blocks on us. This one especially.

    The first time reading through Rand on Dragonmount, about to end the world, it was touching - the expected, but assuring nonetheless. On rereads I've had the half-wish that Rand did it. Set fire to the weave of the Pattern, blew the Wheel off its axle and shattered the spokes, laid low the Great Serpent. I wouldn't actually want it, but still. What an end that would be.

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    Default Re: An Enemy Spy Reads The Wheel of Time III: Something's Fishy in the White Tower

    To add to the favorite scene discussion. I have a handful.

    *flicker*

    Spoiler: Other scenes not yet to pass
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    • The upcoming Mat vs. the Princes
    • Dumai's Wells
    • When Furek realizes how dangerous Mat is, right before leaving with Tuon
    • Verin's Cup of Tea
    • Rand on the Mount (Pun intended )
    • "I do next expect to live" - Lan to Damondred
    • "THAT MAN LIVES" - Rand
    • When Jain Farstrider comes to rescue Oliver (I cry every damn time)
    • When Rand rides away from the pyre in Moridin's body

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