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OAquinas
Jan 27, 2008

Biden has sat immobile on the Iron Throne of America. He is the Master of Malarkey by the will of the gods, and master of a million votes by the might of his inexhaustible calamari.

The Gardenator posted:

I disagree that the forsaken are/were incompetent. If I am remembering correctly, almost all of Rand's victories over the forsaken were with assistance from another person or entity.

Eh, kind of agree to an extent.

The Forsaken were just regular people, elevated to Big Bad by thousands of years of legend. They were powerful OP users and capable in their fields, but ultimately just people. The more military minded ones were able to pick up and create powerbases that drat near took over the world. Demandred's takeover of the Sharans nearly won the battle at Merrilor. Sammael was the big menace for 3-4 books with Illian and sowed strife like a boss. Be'lal damned near took out Rand before he really began. Ishamael orchestrated plots and the degradation of society over thousands of years before needing to be rebooted. Semirhage neutralized an entire continent.
Then you drop down a rung. Rahvin and Graendal hugely destabilized the areas they resided in, but ultimately didn't do much more than that. Also Asmodean.
Dropping further, Mesaana and Balthamel kept the White Tower from being an organizing/stabilizing force, but otherwise were bit players.
Then you get to the misfits/wildcards/useless ones. Lanfear, Moghedien, Aginor, Asmodean. Either they were totally out of their element (aginor was a genetic scientist tossed into a medieval setting. GL with that), too focused on staying hidden over being effective (Mog), or too focused on personal power or their own desires (Asmo, Lanfear).

But despite their respective abilities, they were all ultimately human and could either overlook/underestimate danger or be taken by surprise. It helps when your protagonists have canon plot armor; the bad guys literally have the universe acting against them.

Edit: I'm amending this to promote Asmo a tier or two higher. As derided as he was by the other Forsaken, he fragmented the Aiel and set into motion massive destabilization by poisoning the Shaido against Rand. Sammael churned that further by scattering them across the continent, but it was Asmodean who created that force.

OAquinas fucked around with this message at 14:29 on Jun 1, 2018

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Tunicate
May 15, 2012
One other neat thing about the forsaken is some of them have specialties that are just totally loving useless in the current age. One of them is an incredible geneticist, and I think there's one that's a computer hacker - both of which don't work in this semi-medieval setting

shirts and skins
Jun 25, 2007

Good morning!

Chernabog posted:

Cultivation gambled that she could "cultivate" him into a better man and out of Odium's grasp. The plan was for him to grow without his memories pulling him down so that he could face them after he had gained strength.

And really, this is a theme repeated in Roshar's society at large, as shown when the lost Herald is overjoyed that the people were given 4000 years to prepare. Civilization was pruned and denied its usual defense system, but it was actually given time to grow. I thought that was a neat touch.

RC Cola
Aug 1, 2011

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain




I love the wheel of time. Anyone ever read 'the world of the wheel of time? ' it has a bunch of background on the age of legends and basically everything that happened before the main story.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012

by FactsAreUseless
Lipstick Apathy
Wheel of Time should be taught alongside Chaucer.

MartingaleJack
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.
http://bettermyths.com/the-miller-is-one-drunk-motherfucker/

Dalmuti
Apr 7, 2007

RC Cola posted:

I love the wheel of time. Anyone ever read 'the world of the wheel of time? ' it has a bunch of background on the age of legends and basically everything that happened before the main story.

surely you mean 'the big book of bad art'

Tahirovic
Feb 25, 2009
Fun Shoe
Wheel of Time has a lot of problems but it's still one of the best stories out there. Some of the characters are very refreshing and not too tropey. If just he could have written female characters at all.
Bonus points for having gotten a title song by Blind Guardian.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

BravestOfTheLamps posted:

Wheel of Time should be taught alongside Chaucer.

Lol at the idea people should read Chaucer.

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009

Tahirovic posted:

Bonus points for having gotten a title song by Blind Guardian.

This is like 70% of the reason why I picked up the series, and the other 30% is because Sanderson finished it.

New Yorp New Yorp
Jul 18, 2003

Only in Kenya.
Pillbug

Tahirovic posted:

Bonus points for having gotten a title song by Blind Guardian.

That album has two songs about Wheel of Time! :metal:

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!
Nap Ghost
One last thing about the Forsaken:

Besides all the points mentioned about them not having relevant specialties in medieval society and thousands of years for their legends to surpass them, itís important to remember they werenít even necessarily the biggest and baddest of the Dark Oneís leaders; they were just the unlucky suckers that were important enough to be at the Bore in person and happened to be there there when Lews Therin sealed it with his surprise attack, encasing them in carbonite the breach until the Seals weakened enough they could emerge again.

shirts and skins
Jun 25, 2007

Good morning!

CharlestheHammer posted:

Lol at the idea people should read Chaucer.

Given how I was taught about Chaucer, I'm not sure he's saying people should actually read WoT

mewse
May 2, 2006

Tor.com is running an article about mental illness in Stormlight Archives

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010



This was a little chatty, but very cool. You can't really miss the theme of all the lead characters being damaged in a Stormlight Archive, but seeing the reaction from someone who has suffered through many of the same afflictions was interesting. There were nuances and glimpses into the characters that I didn't fully catch that this article helped point out. Not to mention a reminder of what a drat good author Sanderson is. God drat.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012

by FactsAreUseless
Lipstick Apathy
We should start at the same place every Radiant does, with the First Ideal of the Knights Radiant. Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. On the surface, this seems like a fairly cut-and-dried distillation of a code of ethics. Rules to live by, to guide people faced with difficult decisions. As it turns out, the two of us have very different approaches to the deeper meaning of these words.

Ross:
Life before death, the Words say, and I hear never kill your adversary when leaving them alive is possible. Killing is the easy way out. We can all change, right up to the point where death obviates the possibility.

Paige: Life before death has different connotations for me. I have not only had suicidal thoughts at times, even oftentimes, but Iíve actually longed for that specific escape from the pain and chaos in my mind, so I consider the onerous task of getting through day after agonizing day of life before finally attaining the rest and peace of death. However, on the rare occasions when I feel uplifted, this phrase relays the idea that if I find something to live for, then perhaps I can stave off the ever-present desire for escape.

Ross: Strength before weakness seemed to me like a generic positive admonition. Donít quail in the face of difficult challenges. Pour your entire strength into opposing whatever stands against you, and, while you may not prevail, youíll certainly stand a better chance than if youíd given up. Basically a more graceful version of, ďyou miss every shot you donít take.Ē

Paige: Strength before weakness, to me, feels like an unattainable Ideal. We all have a primitive fight, flight, or freeze response when the brain senses danger of any kind, and I am definitely the flight or freeze kind of girl when my amygdala lights up. Note that I donít make a conscious choice to do thisórather itís a symptom of my illness which allows emotion to gain too much power over my behavior. Add anxiety to that mix and itís often difficult to function.

Iíve been referred to as a doormat more often, and by more people, than I care to admit, and itís rare that I find strength to defend myself. However, call this the Windrunner in me (a title which came from Ross, by the way, because I never would have claimed it myself), but the only time I do feel the urge to fight is when I am moved to defend someone else.

Ross: I absolutely named you a Windrunner of the Third Ideal, and I stand by it. You had stuff going on in your life, and you acted precisely as a Windrunner would. Those behaviors are an inseparable part of you, and you deserve the recognition.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010


So I just finished Warbreaker, at the recommendation of this thread. I definitely enjoyed it, but it wasn't nearly on the same level as the Stormlight Archives IMO. I doubt I'll re-read it, but I know for certain I will be re-reading TSA at some point in the future (probably leading up to the release of the next book). Anyway, I'm wondering which I should tackle next! Elantris, Mistborn, some other novella? Thanks!

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE

Taffer posted:

So I just finished Warbreaker, at the recommendation of this thread. I definitely enjoyed it, but it wasn't nearly on the same level as the Stormlight Archives IMO. I doubt I'll re-read it, but I know for certain I will be re-reading TSA at some point in the future (probably leading up to the release of the next book). Anyway, I'm wondering which I should tackle next! Elantris, Mistborn, some other novella? Thanks!

Elantris is his earliest and, imho, weakest book. While the original Mistborn trilogy is often considered his best or second best work behind Stormlight. Do you want to get the less engaging book out of the way, or go with the stronger books?

I'd probably go with Mistborn first. You can decide to read Elantris in the gap between the original trilogy and the Wax and Wayne books. Or do it after finishing all of Mistborn, or skip it entirely.

What did you think of the character(s) in Warbreaker that you first saw in Stormlight Archive? Szeth getting Nightblood at the end of Words of Radiance was a pretty big wham moment for a lot of us. I'm curious how you experience that the other way around.

Also, there are three major characters from Warbreaker appearing in Words of Radiance or Oathbreaker, did you spot them all? Disclaimer: I didn't, though it was obvious in retrospect once some fans figured it out.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010


Torrannor posted:

Elantris is his earliest and, imho, weakest book. While the original Mistborn trilogy is often considered his best or second best work behind Stormlight. Do you want to get the less engaging book out of the way, or go with the stronger books?

I'd probably go with Mistborn first. You can decide to read Elantris in the gap between the original trilogy and the Wax and Wayne books. Or do it after finishing all of Mistborn, or skip it entirely.

What did you think of the character(s) in Warbreaker that you first saw in Stormlight Archive? Szeth getting Nightblood at the end of Words of Radiance was a pretty big wham moment for a lot of us. I'm curious how you experience that the other way around.

I'd describe myself as intrigued but confused. Lack of an explanation for how the sword got from the world of warbreaker to the world of TSA left me a little nonplussed. I realize that it is significant, but I'm not sure how, at this point. It's possible there are hints in missed in TSA since it was my first reading that I'll get on re-reading it. If there are, please refrain from spoiling it :D. I still have a lot of question marks about how the worlds and the systems of magic they have are linked. I've gathered from what I've read so far that there is some kind of central "shard" concept but how it all fits together is still a mystery to me.

Torrannor posted:

Also, there are three major characters from Warbreaker appearing in Words of Radiance or Oathbreaker, did you spot them all? Disclaimer: I didn't, though it was obvious in retrospect once some fans figured it out.

I only noticed the 1 obvious one, Hoid. Again this is something I may need to re-read TSA to fully get. I've gathered enough at this point to know that Hoid can travel between realms, but how he does it, what he is, and what is goal is still elude me. I'm definitely intrigued and curious to see if the other books shed more light on this mystery, particularly the rest of the Cosmere Collection, which I'm leaving unfinished for now since there was a spoiler warning in it..

In hindsight, I suspect a big part of why I didn't like Warbreaker as much was because of the narration, since I've been reading these books in audiobook form. The narrator for Warbreaker was... fine, but didn't help to make the characters particularly memorable. This is something the narrators of TSA did an absolutely phenomenal job of, particularly Michael Kramer, who is bar-none the best narrator I've ever heard. He applies incredible weight to events that occur, making everything from small interactions to the grand climaxes of the book feel beautiful and significant. His characterization is what really sets him apart though, going so far as to give every character a rich and unique voice and character, and even doing accents based on where characters were from in the world. Applied to wonderful effect to Lopin and Rock, two of my favorite characters. I didn't enjoy Kate Reading as much, mostly because of her tendency to amplify the most petulant aspects of characters, which made me dislike Shallan a lot early on (mostly redeemed later by her growth as a character) and Lift especially. Obviously she was supposed to be an immature child, but Kate Reading really brought it to a new level of annoying. However, her characterization and voices are overall good, and her portrayal of Pattern was absolutely fantastic, making him shine as a character. Ironically, Michael Kramer kind of fell flat on that in the few portions that he did Pattern's voice.

I'll probably read Elantris next. I'm well enough invested at this point that I'm certain I'll be reading every Cosmere book, and I can survive through some weaker writing to save the better books for later. Unless it's not particularly important in the wider picture?

Taffer fucked around with this message at 07:09 on Jun 8, 2018

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE
I can't comment on the quality of the audiobooks, sadly. I'm an old fashioned reader. So I can't say if Elantris or Mistborn have good narrators, sorry :(

Elantris itself doesn't seem particularly important for now. If you have the physical copies/ebooks and reread them several times, then you can perhaps spot the crossovers. But Mistborn isn't yet particularly connected to Stormlight either. There's one character who's obviously from a Mistborn culture, but said culture doesn't get brought up until Mistborn 6. There's no crossover as big as those between Warbreaker and Stormligh. It's just that SA and Mistborn are Brandon's biggest projects. There will be 10 SA books, and for now there are two further Mistborn series planned after Mistborn 7 concludes the current MB era. But there's nothing wrong with reading Elantris first.


There are tons of cool details to discuss once you've read all his books. Some of it is nearly impossible for "normal" readers to find out. There's a super minor character who appears in both Mistborn and Stormlight, using the same name each time. Yet iirc, it took two years after Words of Radiance came out for a fan to notice it and ask Brandon at a book signing about it, who then confirmed that they're the same person. The folks at the 17th Shard forum (http://www.17thshard.com/) (where many of his beta readers come from) are always theorizing, combing over the books for evidence and asking Sanderson in one of his many public appearances about their theories. Often he answers with RAFO (read and find out), sometimes he reveals interesting tidbits.

They also have the so called Arcanum (https://wob.coppermind.net/), where they collect all the WoBs (Words of Brandon). Spoilers!

And they maintain the by far most complete wiki (https://coppermind.net/wiki), where they combine the knowledge from the books with the WoBs to give a really detailed explanation for nearly everything. This is, of course, also full of spoilers.

But this thread is also pretty cool about all of this, talk with us if you have any questions, observations or theories :)

stramit
Dec 9, 2004
Ask me about making games instead of gains.

Taffer posted:

I'll probably read Elantris next. I'm well enough invested at this point that I'm certain I'll be reading every Cosmere book, and I can survive through some weaker writing to save the better books for later. Unless it's not particularly important in the wider picture?

I found Elantris a little dull apart from Hrathen. That character owns and makes the book worth it IMO.

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!
Nap Ghost

Strumpy posted:

I found Elantris a little dull apart from Hrathen. That character owns and makes the book worth it IMO.

Elantris is definitely back-loaded. It's his first major published work, and it definitely suffers from the original Sanderson avalanche. The two main characters suffered from Mary-Sue disease and weren't all that interesting to me, but Hrathen was an amazing character and I wish we got more of him.

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009


Very long article but some interesting insights.

I was depressed as hell when I first read The Way of Kings and I didn't even pick up on Kaladin's depression because his mentality was just normalcy for me at the time. Wasn't until reading other people's thoughts online that that occurred to me.

OAquinas
Jan 27, 2008

Biden has sat immobile on the Iron Throne of America. He is the Master of Malarkey by the will of the gods, and master of a million votes by the might of his inexhaustible calamari.

Taffer posted:

I'd describe myself as intrigued but confused. Lack of an explanation for how the sword got from the world of warbreaker to the world of TSA left me a little nonplussed. I realize that it is significant, but I'm not sure how, at this point. It's possible there are hints in missed in TSA since it was my first reading that I'll get on re-reading it. If there are, please refrain from spoiling it :D. I still have a lot of question marks about how the worlds and the systems of magic they have are linked. I've gathered from what I've read so far that there is some kind of central "shard" concept but how it all fits together is still a mystery to me.


I only noticed the 1 obvious one, Hoid. Again this is something I may need to re-read TSA to fully get. I've gathered enough at this point to know that Hoid can travel between realms, but how he does it, what he is, and what is goal is still elude me. I'm definitely intrigued and curious to see if the other books shed more light on this mystery, particularly the rest of the Cosmere Collection, which I'm leaving unfinished for now since there was a spoiler warning in it..

In hindsight, I suspect a big part of why I didn't like Warbreaker as much was because of the narration, since I've been reading these books in audiobook form. The narrator for Warbreaker was... fine, but didn't help to make the characters particularly memorable. This is something the narrators of TSA did an absolutely phenomenal job of, particularly Michael Kramer, who is bar-none the best narrator I've ever heard. He applies incredible weight to events that occur, making everything from small interactions to the grand climaxes of the book feel beautiful and significant. His characterization is what really sets him apart though, going so far as to give every character a rich and unique voice and character, and even doing accents based on where characters were from in the world. Applied to wonderful effect to Lopin and Rock, two of my favorite characters. I didn't enjoy Kate Reading as much, mostly because of her tendency to amplify the most petulant aspects of characters, which made me dislike Shallan a lot early on (mostly redeemed later by her growth as a character) and Lift especially. Obviously she was supposed to be an immature child, but Kate Reading really brought it to a new level of annoying. However, her characterization and voices are overall good, and her portrayal of Pattern was absolutely fantastic, making him shine as a character. Ironically, Michael Kramer kind of fell flat on that in the few portions that he did Pattern's voice.

I'll probably read Elantris next. I'm well enough invested at this point that I'm certain I'll be reading every Cosmere book, and I can survive through some weaker writing to save the better books for later. Unless it's not particularly important in the wider picture?

OK, there are four characters from WB in WoR/OB then. Though I really don't count the one you mentioned since he's more of a cameo in Warbreaker.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

OAquinas posted:

OK, there are four characters from WB in WoR/OB then. Though I really don't count the one you mentioned since he's more of a cameo in Warbreaker.

You shouldn't count the one he mentioned because Hoid isn't really a Warbreaker character, he's a Cosmere character.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.
The "Dark One" project Sanderson has talked about before is now apparently going to (maybe) be a TV show and graphic novel: https://deadline.com/2018/06/brandon-sanderson-fremantlemedia-north-america-tv-multi-media-project-1202407862/

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009

I've got 4 chapters left of Wheel of Time #5, add Lanfear to that list I wrote a few pages back about issues I have with this series.

It's a good thing she's the only one (so far?) who can just show up whenever she wherever she drat well pleases, because it would be really unfortunate for Rand if it was literally anyone else.



I'm pretty excited for Dark One, the premise sounds cool. Do we know what TV channel it will be on? I hope it'll be available for streaming sooner than later, who the hell has cable anymore

rafikki
Mar 8, 2008

I see what you did there. (It's pretty easy, since ducks have a field of vision spanning 340 degrees.)

~SMcD


Tunicate posted:

One other neat thing about the forsaken is some of them have specialties that are just totally loving useless in the current age. One of them is an incredible geneticist, and I think there's one that's a computer hacker - both of which don't work in this semi-medieval setting

Which one is the hacker?

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE
Semirhage best Forsaken.

aparmenideanmonad
Jan 28, 2004
Balls to you and your way of mortal opinions - you don't exist anyway!
Fun Shoe

Torrannor posted:

Semirhage best Forsaken.
I know she was a doctor/healer and sadist who got in poo poo for torturing people as she healed them, didn't realize she also dabbled in haxx0ring.

Moghedien was an investment banker who did a bunch of industrial espionage and ran a spy network, I assumed he was talking about her.

aparmenideanmonad fucked around with this message at 16:48 on Jun 18, 2018

Henrik Zetterberg
Dec 7, 2007

Lord of Chaos: Egwene being raised as Amyrlin came out of loving nowhere and still has me wondering what the gently caress a couple chapters later.

calandryll
Apr 25, 2003

Ask me where I do my best drinking!



Pillbug
I think it's talked about more later on but they had hoped that she was easily manipulable because she was so young.

enigma105
Mar 16, 2004

His record...it's over 9-7!!!

calandryll posted:

I think it's talked about more later on but they had hoped that she was easily manipulable because she was so young.

Also they knew that if the rebels failed whoever they set up as their leader would be executed.

Henrik Zetterberg
Dec 7, 2007

Just finished Lord of Chaos. Those last 5ish chapters were great :hellyeah:

And it's about goddamn time that Perrin started using his wolf powers again. Goddamn that took way too long.

SoldadoDeTone
Apr 20, 2006

Hold on tight!
I have a question that has absolutely been asked before, but this thread is 250 pages, and there's no way I'd ever find it.

I'm almost done reading Elantris, and I very much enjoy the story. However, I often find the writing style to be cringeworthy (much as the OP indicated), and some of the world building ideas seem rather unrealistic to me.

How much does Sanderson's writing improve in his other books? Are they worth picking up, or should I find another author?

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!





SoldadoDeTone posted:

I have a question that has absolutely been asked before, but this thread is 250 pages, and there's no way I'd ever find it.

I'm almost done reading Elantris, and I very much enjoy the story. However, I often find the writing style to be cringeworthy (much as the OP indicated), and some of the world building ideas seem rather unrealistic to me.

How much does Sanderson's writing improve in his other books? Are they worth picking up, or should I find another author?

Yes, he improves in almost every regard.

Elantris was literally his first book. Comparing that to, say, The Way of Kings...it's almost like it's not the same author.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012

quote:

How much does Sanderson's writing improve in his other books? Are they worth picking up, or should I find another author?
If you want to go to the other pole of his writing, The Emperor's Soul is set on a different continent of the same planet, and is a LOT better written.


ConfusedUs posted:

Elantris was literally his first book. Comparing that to, say, The Way of Kings...it's almost like it's not the same author.

Technically his first published book. He'd written drafts of seven others before that point, and realized they were pretty awful. Since then has been mining each of the early books for the two or three good ideas in them. He keeps doing that, too. His first version of The Way of Kings (which he wrote just before Wheel of Time) is pretty awful, and got a complete rewrite from scratch, and earlier this year he decided not to publish a Steelheart spinoff, because he didn't like how it came together.

insider
Feb 22, 2007

A secret room... always my favourite room in a house.

SoldadoDeTone posted:

I have a question that has absolutely been asked before, but this thread is 250 pages, and there's no way I'd ever find it.

I'm almost done reading Elantris, and I very much enjoy the story. However, I often find the writing style to be cringeworthy (much as the OP indicated), and some of the world building ideas seem rather unrealistic to me.

How much does Sanderson's writing improve in his other books? Are they worth picking up, or should I find another author?

He improves with every book. The only thing he still does that is 'cringeworthy' is his handling of romances but he knows he sucks at those so it doesn't come up that often. The improvement from Elantris to Mistborn especially is huge, and again from his other books to Way of Kings is another huge leap.

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003





Makes me glad I started with Way of Kings

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SoldadoDeTone
Apr 20, 2006

Hold on tight!
Thanks for the advice! I picked up The Way of Kings and am looking forward to it.

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