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Thoguh
Nov 8, 2002



College Slice

Bantaras posted:

I just finished The Way of Kings.
Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that the characters seemed to "raise an eyebrow" in just about every single conversation?

As long as their braids stay untugged and their skirts stay rumpled I can deal with it.

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404GoonNotFound
Aug 6, 2006

The McRib is back!?!?


Thoguh posted:

As long as their braids stay untugged and their skirts stay rumpled I can deal with it.

But what about their Safehands?

Sadly, I'm only about ~10 or so chapters in, mainly due to alternating with Hero of Ages when it was in a slump (loving Sazed chapters). Guess I'm gonna have to go MIA from this thread for a few weeks until I'm done... :ohdear:

wellwhoopdedooo
Nov 23, 2007

Pound Trooper!

Mahlertov Cocktail posted:

To be fair, if I could raise one eyebrow I would all the time.

You might think that's hyperbole, but I can and I do.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

wellwhoopdedooo posted:

You might think that's hyperbole, but I can and I do.

I'm jealous. :) Whenever I try (and fail), one of my friends with dextrous eyebrows alternates raising either one really quickly and then I feel bad, haha.

enigma74
Aug 5, 2005
a lean lobster who probably doesn't even taste good.

I just read the first book of Mistborn and I thought it was alright. Like a flat B on a grading curve of fantasy novels. I'm thinking of getting into Sanderson's more recent Way of Kings - would you guys think that this series is an improvement?

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Yes and no. Sanderson's writing gets better with each book, but WoK is very heavy on the world building because it's meant to kick off a pretty long series.

You'd also be waiting quite awhile for the next installment as he's working on the final WoT book right now.

Liesmith
Jan 29, 2006

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Way of Kings is really awkward and unwieldy, so if you didn't like the Mistborn books I can't recommend it. The real problem is that it jumps around perspectives AND jumps around chronologically, making it really easy to lose the plot or just get bored with it. And there are a lot of people who seem unhappy, or driven by a secret purpose, or whatever, and you don't find out why until like 700 pages in. Also there are whole chapters given over to perspectives that you never see again, just for worldbuilding. It just isn't a very tight novel. Really all of his other books are put together much better (except warbreaker). I think it's because of the scope of the novel, though. Not only is it designed to be a huge, lifetime spanning series of novels, but Sanderson has already been working on it for a decade or more. I think at times he gets a little lost in the woods in this book.

That said, it improves enormously on a second reading. If you can be bothered to get through it twice, the jumping around is less irritating, you pick up on a lot of the early cues that you miss on your first reading, and at least for me it manages to justify giving the second book a chance.

Streebs
Dec 6, 2003

RIP

I liked Way of Kings a lot better than Mistborn. If you give Mistborn a B (a fair grade), I'd say Way of Kings is an A or A-.

Also for what it's worth I think the Mistborn trilogy as a whole is better than any one single book. The story arc is pretty solid, the characters develop, the magic gets cooler and in my opinion the ending was awesome.

Maytag
Nov 4, 2006

it's enough that it all be filled with that majestic sadness that is the pleasure of tragedy.

Liesmith posted:

awkward and unwieldy

You can't call it awkward and bad because you either had a hard time keeping up or it wasn't a style you enjoy. Everything you mentioned I enjoyed about it and I didn't have a hard time tracking where and when and who the subject was.

subx
Jan 12, 2003

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

Liesmith posted:

:words:

I don't think it's "awkward" as much as it is obviously a setup novel. I think it's a great book on its own, but it will be even better once it has the followups to support it.

Even a book like LotR would be somewhat awkward without books two and three. I mean who just reads Fellowship and then waits two years to read Two Towers? That's the "price" you pay for wanting to read the book the day it comes out though. You could just wait ten years and read the entire series at once.

Bantaras
Nov 26, 2005

judge not, lest ye be judged.

Way of Kings:
Could someone take a second and spoiler an explanation about the small chapter describing the water-wader guy and his three visitors? I think I missed something.

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



Bantaras posted:

Way of Kings:
Could someone take a second and spoiler an explanation about the small chapter describing the water-wader guy and his three visitors? I think I missed something.

Its been discussed unspoilered here before, but they where searching for Hoid. Hoid is the only person (so far) to appear in multiple Sanderson books including Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, and Way of Kings.

Click these links for a better explanation of how these books tie together.

http://stormlightarchive.wikia.com/wiki/Cosmere

http://stormlightarchive.wikia.com/wiki/Hoid

Cartoon Man fucked around with this message at 18:40 on May 4, 2011

Liesmith
Jan 29, 2006

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Maytag posted:

You can't call it awkward and bad because you either had a hard time keeping up or it wasn't a style you enjoy. Everything you mentioned I enjoyed about it and I didn't have a hard time tracking where and when and who the subject was.

This is a funny post because a) I didn't say it was awkward because I had a hard time with it, nor did I day it was bad at all, and b) why can't I say that it is bad because I didn't like it (once again I didn't say that or anything like it) but you can say that it's good because you did like it? So basically what I'm getting at here is you are a hypocrite with poor reading comprehension.

FormerPoster
Aug 5, 2004



Hair Elf

Liesmith posted:

Way of Kings is really awkward and unwieldy, so if you didn't like the Mistborn books I can't recommend it. The real problem is that it jumps around perspectives AND jumps around chronologically, making it really easy to lose the plot or just get bored with it. And there are a lot of people who seem unhappy, or driven by a secret purpose, or whatever, and you don't find out why until like 700 pages in. Also there are whole chapters given over to perspectives that you never see again, just for worldbuilding. It just isn't a very tight novel. Really all of his other books are put together much better (except warbreaker). I think it's because of the scope of the novel, though. Not only is it designed to be a huge, lifetime spanning series of novels, but Sanderson has already been working on it for a decade or more. I think at times he gets a little lost in the woods in this book.

That said, it improves enormously on a second reading. If you can be bothered to get through it twice, the jumping around is less irritating, you pick up on a lot of the early cues that you miss on your first reading, and at least for me it manages to justify giving the second book a chance.

I agree with everything in this post. I liked Way of Kings a fair bit but if it had been 100k words shorter I wouldn't have noticed. There was a great deal of world building that I'm sure will seem fascinating when the series is over but as a novel that stands on its own two feet, much of the information that wasn't central to the plot seemed extraneous and was a chore to get through.

Kalas
Jul 27, 2007


Rootbeer Baron posted:

I agree with everything in this post. I liked Way of Kings a fair bit but if it had been 100k words shorter I wouldn't have noticed. There was a great deal of world building that I'm sure will seem fascinating when the series is over but as a novel that stands on its own two feet, much of the information that wasn't central to the plot seemed extraneous and was a chore to get through.

...too many flashbacks dealing with Kaladin's past. He could have cut all but two or three of those and it would have helped the flow of the story.

That was my only real issue with TWoK, the next book can't come soon enough.

Democratic Pirate
Feb 17, 2010



My friend and I had the same reaction to WoK: we thought it was interesting and would read a few chapters before putting it down. Suddenly, we both hit points around halfway through the book and couldn't put the book down until we finished it at like 3am. This was also on Kindle so it made it a bit more difficult to flip around to review parts of a characters storyline though.

wellwhoopdedooo
Nov 23, 2007

Pound Trooper!

Democratic Pirate posted:

My friend and I had the same reaction to WoK: we thought it was interesting and would read a few chapters before putting it down. Suddenly, we both hit points around halfway through the book and couldn't put the book down until we finished it at like 3am. This was also on Kindle so it made it a bit more difficult to flip around to review parts of a characters storyline though.

This was my reaction exactly.

Maytag
Nov 4, 2006

it's enough that it all be filled with that majestic sadness that is the pleasure of tragedy.

I didn't say it was good. I said I enjoyed it. Subjective vs objective look it up. Also comments about your reading comprehension of my post and a fantasy book.

Thoguh
Nov 8, 2002



College Slice

Kalas posted:

...too many flashbacks dealing with Kaladin's past. He could have cut all but two or three of those and it would have helped the flow of the story.

That was my only real issue with TWoK, the next book can't come soon enough.

I agree with you there. After like the 10th flashback I really didn't care anymore and actually skipped a few of them. When his brother's death was finally shown on screen it was totally anticlimactic and didn't have any impact.

Edit: I take that back, I was happy I wouldn't have to deal with any more un-needed flashbacks.

Thoguh fucked around with this message at 20:53 on May 5, 2011

FormerPoster
Aug 5, 2004



Hair Elf

I skipped the brother's death entirely because I knew they were leading up to it but because I knew what happened already I just didn't care.

Kalas
Jul 27, 2007


Thoguh posted:

I agree with you there. After like the 10th flashback I really didn't care anymore and actually skipped a few of them. When his brother's death was finally shown on screen it was totally anticlimactic and didn't have any impact.

Six books down the road, we will discover that every single little side detail in those flashbacks had hidden long term meaning. It will be awesome.

After reading the Final Empire trilogy (a few times), I expect nothing less of Stormlight.

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



Kalas posted:

Six books down the road, we will discover that every single little side detail in those flashbacks had hidden long term meaning. It will be awesome.

After reading the Final Empire trilogy (a few times), I expect nothing less of Stormlight.

You guys all seem to think his brother is actually dead. :smug:

He proably really is.

404GoonNotFound
Aug 6, 2006

The McRib is back!?!?


Shardlades are just really big Hemalurgic Spikes :aaaaa:

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Kalas posted:

Six books down the road, we will discover that every single little side detail in those flashbacks had hidden long term meaning. It will be awesome.

That's probably true but they were a hell of a slog. WoK is almost all setup and worldbuilding and while I'm down with that I can see it turning a lot of people off.

Thoguh
Nov 8, 2002



College Slice

Kalas posted:

Six books down the road, we will discover that every single little side detail in those flashbacks had hidden long term meaning. It will be awesome.

After reading the Final Empire trilogy (a few times), I expect nothing less of Stormlight.

I assume that the girl from the flashbacks will come in to play at some point.

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



Guess what you can "pre-order" for delivery on May 1st 2011 on the Canadian Amazon...

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0765360055/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_4wZWnb0Z3AFA6

Reminds me of that awesome Way of Kings fake page that lasted for the longest time.

Doctor Jeep
Dec 30, 2008



what the hell?
is that going to be a real book or has someone played a joke on amazon?
I mean, he has to finish WOT, then there's stormlight archives, and "alloy of law" as well. where does he get the time?

treeboy
Nov 13, 2004

James T. Kirk was a great man, but that was another life.


IRQ posted:

That's probably true but they were a hell of a slog. WoK is almost all setup and worldbuilding and while I'm down with that I can see it turning a lot of people off.


Thoroughly enjoyed the whole book and thought the flashbacks were fascinating insights into a character that otherwise would've been something of a bore. The prodigy warrior is done again and again but how many times were they once surgeons terrified by blood?

fermun
Nov 4, 2009

The X-Files will return in a moment.





Barbe Rouge posted:

what the hell?
is that going to be a real book or has someone played a joke on amazon?
I mean, he has to finish WOT, then there's stormlight archives, and "alloy of law" as well. where does he get the time?

Brandon Sanderson takes time off by writing different things. His post-WoT break was to churn out Alloy of Law. He has a huge backlog of novels he's planned and some of which he's written already but is not happy enough with to turn into his publisher.

He talks about it all on this blog post:
http://brandonsanderson.com/blog/925/Another-Long-and-Rambling-Post-on-Future-Books
2/3rds of the way down is where he mentions all the things he has planned. It's somewhere around 20 individual books he has planned. Dragonsteel specifically he has decided to hold off on until Stormlight Archives is done so that page is going to be around longer than the Way of Kings page was.

BENGHAZI 2
Oct 12, 2007

by Cyrano4747


Kalas posted:

...too many flashbacks dealing with Kaladin's past. He could have cut all but two or three of those and it would have helped the flow of the story.

That was my only real issue with TWoK, the next book can't come soon enough.

I'm starting to think I was the only person who actually liked all the flashbacks.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.


I liked all the flashbacks.

Because it was telegraphed that the brother would die, they were emotionally charged for me. The reason people feel put off is because its a break in the action of the main narrative for something in which the only gain is character growth. This most likely means that the main narrative is doing a darn good job at keeping you engaged, and you hate to take a break from that, not that the flashbacks needed to be trimmed.

Wizard and Glass was the best book of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, around half the readership hates it because it takes place entirely in flashbacks (except the coda). People have been trained to hate flashbacks because they're often used poorly to shoehorn in some important bit of plot information, like why Character X is prepared to overcome the challenge before him in the present. When used right, and I think Sanderson did here, you get a bigger picture of the world and a view into what drives a character. With Kaladin, the final outcome is pretty significant. He learns to distrust nobility, hate war, and gives up the shardblade and that is the core of his character.

A poor example of a flashback would be all of Wiseman's Fear. Nothing happens other than us seeing how Kvothe learned the skills he needs to overcome some future challenge, and that's the reason most people are dissatisfied when the ride is over, despite the fact that Patrick Rothfuss is a brilliant prose writer who could engage people if the story was about painting fences. Our perception of Kvothe never changes. We don't learn why Kvothe is the way he is in the greater frame story.

Kalas
Jul 27, 2007


BananaNutkins posted:

Because it was telegraphed that the brother would die, they were emotionally charged for me. The reason people feel put off is because its a break in the action of the main narrative for something in which the only gain is character growth. This most likely means that the main narrative is doing a darn good job at keeping you engaged, and you hate to take a break from that, not that the flashbacks needed to be trimmed.

There's taking a break from narrative, and there is breaking the pacing of the story.

I don't mind regularly shifting POVs, but I felt there was just too much jumping back to cover his past, especially since we knew what the end result was.

If instead he just started the timeline from the beginning for Kal's POV and ran it forward with no flash backs, I'd have probably enjoyed it more.

It wasn't the content so much as the order, at least for my tastes.

wellwhoopdedooo
Nov 23, 2007

Pound Trooper!

No way, I loved the flashbacks exactly as they were. The pacing of the story was one long, dark, hopeless introduction. If it wasn't frequently broken up, it would have been so oppressive I would have stopped reading. As it was, I thought they added a lot of tension, and almost the entire book it was driving me crazy that I didn't know why or how he refused the shardblade. Literally every single flashback, I was thinking, "ok NOW we're going to find out how he won a shardblade and why he gave it up". Yeah, we knew the end result, but come on, you'd have to be loving crazy to turn that down. The flashbacks told us why he was that crazy.

By the same token, if it had started from him being a child, I think that story would have gotten boring quickly when it's not constantly answering questions. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if this is something Brandon Sanderson comes out and says he'd change if he could, but I loved it exactly as it was.

The only thing I'd have changed is, I wouldn't have given Szeth a POV right at the beginning. I think it would have been much better if we could have watched from inside as the king's initial contempt turned to fear when he realized he was going to get killed by this thing straight out of The Matrix, and then it switched to Szeth as the king died and tried to pass on his message.

Plus that way he wouldn't have had to explain Lashings so much right at the beginning, which was a little stilted.

e: Also, I have to stop myself from saying "shartblade" every. single. time. I mean it's just begging for it.

wellwhoopdedooo fucked around with this message at 18:38 on May 8, 2011

egg tats
Apr 3, 2010


wellwhoopdedooo posted:

The only thing I'd have changed is, I wouldn't have given Sazed a POV right at the beginning. I think it would have been much better if we could have watched from inside as the king's initial contempt turned to fear when he realized he was going to get killed by this thing straight out of The Matrix, and then it switched to Sazed as the king died and tried to pass on his message.

I agree with everything you said, but I think you mean Szeth, not Sazed.

wellwhoopdedooo
Nov 23, 2007

Pound Trooper!

senae posted:

I agree with everything you said, but I think you mean Szeth, not Sazed.

derp! Thanks.

Dilber
Mar 27, 2007

TFLC
(Trophy Feline Lifting Crew)


You know, Sanderson is one of the few authors I can think of off the top of my head where it is almost more enjoyable to read his books the second time rather then the first. While I loved all of his stuff the first time, I just re-read Way of Kings, and the incredible amount of foreshadowing he throws in throughout the entire book is amazing. And for all that everyone says that Way of Kings is mainly world building, the climax of that book is utterly fantastic.

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



Dilber posted:

You know, Sanderson is one of the few authors I can think of off the top of my head where it is almost more enjoyable to read his books the second time rather then the first. While I loved all of his stuff the first time, I just re-read Way of Kings, and the incredible amount of foreshadowing he throws in throughout the entire book is amazing. And for all that everyone says that Way of Kings is mainly world building, the climax of that book is utterly fantastic.

I was just about to post something along these lines. I decided to reread all of his books, based on the order published, starting with Elantris. This book is infinately more enjoyable to read with the knowledge of how it plays out. When I first read the book, I found myself really enjoying the Raoden POV the most, with Sarene a close second, and Hrathen a distant third. I don't know what it was, Hrathen just wasn't that interesting to me. Now I feel that his POV is the most telling of all of them, and Sarene bores me to tears. Raoden is still kinda cool though, but not as much as before. Overall though, this book owns hard, especially for an untested author nobody had heard of before.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I finally finished the Mistborn books. By the time I got to book three, I was really burned out on Sanderson. Even Hero of Ages suffered from the terribly slow middle.

I never, ever want to read about someone pushing or pulling metal again. There's a huge over reliance on made up terminology and it really got on my nerves. Besides, there was never really any tension in the fights. It felt like it was all just words filling up space before the hero miraculously won because they pushed and pulled at the right time. Or at least it felt this way in any sequence with Elend or Vin.

I hate Elend and Vin. I never bought into their romance. It felt awkward and juvenile, like a child writing about love. I find it interesting that the only time sex is ever mentioned explicitly, it's something evil that evil people do or good people were forced to endure. In fact, the least sexual character of all was rewarded with godhood.

I wish he wrote a book where Tensoon and Spook had zany adventures together. I could get behind that.

I actually really appreciated how by the end of the series, Ham got pushed to the side and most of the characters realized he was basically a fraud. His questions weren't really ever philosophical, he refused responsibility, and he wasn't necessary once Vin knew how to fight.

Marsh's plot was the best.

Decius
Oct 14, 2005



Ramrod XTreme

I didn't care much for Elend either. Neither for Spook for that matter. Really liked Vin however, same with nearly everything in Book 3.

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Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I didn't care for the slog through the dual sieges. Book 2 was all about a siege and the change of perspective didn't do anything for me. They still sat there for most of the book trying to decide what they should do. I especially hated Elend and Vin going to the balls. The dance was kind of painful to read and I've never cared for authors having "intellectual" characters quoting fake books at each other that aren't previously established or a reference to something in the real world (I guess the quotes could be referencing things, but I totally missed it if they were).

Spook was cool up until he started to creepily stalk Beldre. I could have done without that.

I really hope that being forced to write action sequence after action sequence in the Wheel of Time books makes Sanderson better at the middle parts of his stories.

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