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Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



New Yorp New Yorp posted:

Why? Blackface has been wildly offensive for far longer than 20 years. Ted Danson ate a ton of poo poo for doing it in 1993, and he did it as a joke at a roast of Whoopi Goldberg, with her permission, specifically BECAUSE it was so offensive.

I don't disagree with you! But people in this thread seem to either think that 1 - it isn't blackface (it is) or 2 - that we should look past it because it's an early work from Sanderson (which is a debatable notion).

I mean, I have a problem with Duladel and the Dula being somewhat problematic in general. We meet people from Svorden and and Jindo and they never speak with cultural slang like Galladon does.

I really like Galladon, but he's also a very token character. Raoden pretending to be a Dula, especially with pretending to be the stereotype of a Dula, is hella blackface.

That's not to say this book is bad (though it ain't great) or that Sanderson is racist (he isn't). But Sanderson was a devout Mormon in his early 20s when writing this book. Having myself lived in an area that had a very high Mormon population, I can 100% understand how this made it to page. Still made me cringe.

I might be extra sensitive to it as well because in the audiobook, the very very white narrator does a specific accent for Galladon that got an extreme side eye from me.

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Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

There's a pretty huge difference between someone doing a caricature of an ethnicity for entertainment value, vs someone adopting a costume/mannerisms as a disguise to sneak in somewhere. Whether the latter is okay depends on the context of why they need to be sneaking. As Sab said:

quote:

A white person putting on makeup to play black people in a theatrical performance, instead of just allowing black people to loving perform is a different thing than a story's protagonist needing to don a disguise to blend in somewhere.

quote:

I don't disagree with you! But people in this thread seem to either think that 1 - it isn't blackface (it is) or 2 - that we should look past it because it's an early work from Sanderson (which is a debatable notion).
What? You're the one that tried to blame it on the book's age, not other goons, dude.

Mordiceius, literally two comments down posted:

I attribute it more to the book's age than anything else. This book is drat near 20 years old at this point. This would be far more damning if it were something to happen in one of his newer books.
Nobody else tried to defend it based on the age of the book; they didn't need to, because it's not blackface.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010




Blackface isn't bad because someone literally puts on makeup to look like another ethnicity. It's bad because it's used as a tool to exclude (excluding black actors, as mentioned) and degrade (racial stereotypes as halloween costumes). If someone is putting on makeup to look like another ethnicity (especially in a made-up fantasy setting) that isn't to exclude or degrade then it's not the same thing.

You're getting upset that nobody is taking this seriously, but the problem is you're looking at a surface level detail (makeup to look like another ethnicity) and ignoring the context of why that is so often bad in reality.

Also blackface has been horrible forever and widely recognized as such for well over 50 years, that time argument is nonsense.

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!

Nap Ghost

Mordiceius posted:


I might be extra sensitive to it as well because in the audiobook, the very very white narrator does a specific accent for Galladon that got an extreme side eye from me.

This is a factor I hadn't considered. I've never been able to get through an audio book unless I was somewhere I couldn't read (motion sickness basically) and I can definitely see that changing my impression.

The first time I read it I absolutely did not get a black face impression from it at all.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Taffer posted:

Blackface isn't bad because someone literally puts on makeup to look like another ethnicity. It's bad because it's used as a tool to exclude (excluding black actors, as mentioned) and degrade (racial stereotypes as halloween costumes). If someone is putting on makeup to look like another ethnicity (especially in a made-up fantasy setting) that isn't to exclude or degrade then it's not the same thing.
Generally agreed, though once a precedent has been strongly established for a particular use, it can kind of taint the whole thing. For blackface for example, it's considered taboo for cosplayers to darken their skin to try and match a black character, even though that's not about exclusion or degradation. You get into real grey area when a cosplayer from a culture that has no history of blackface does it, though.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010




Very fair point.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



DarkHorse posted:

This is a factor I hadn't considered. I've never been able to get through an audio book unless I was somewhere I couldn't read (motion sickness basically) and I can definitely see that changing my impression.

The first time I read it I absolutely did not get a black face impression from it at all.

Yeah, I think the audiobook certainly made me feel stronger about it. As mentioned before, a lot of how Duladel was portrayed felt kind of problematic, then the narrator comes in with this very theater kid performance for Raoden-as-Kaloo which has him doing this fake almost New Orleans-like accent. I think the bigger issue is that I feel like there could have been a more clever way to get Raoden from point A to point B in the story without him having to do this Dula disguise to begin with.


I also didn't like that Raoden's healing of Elantris suddenly "healed" Adien's neurodiversity.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



Hoping into “Hope of Elantris” sure is weird since the narrators switch, all the names are pronounced differently and everyone speaks far differently.

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!

Nap Ghost

Mordiceius posted:


I also didn't like that Raoden's healing of Elantris suddenly "healed" Adien's neurodiversity.

I mentioned it elsewhere but Brandon explicitly felt terrible about that. He had a friend on the spectrum who he originally disliked but grew to love once he understood them and wanted to include someone like them in his book, and what better way to show that love than "curing" your friend?

In hindsight he realized how terrible and awfully insensitive it was, and swore to do better. There is at least one neurodivergent character in later stories, and their presence on the spectrum is generally accepted and treated as a crucial part of their identity.

Renarin in Stormlight Archives

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


this backs up my belief that audiobooks are an insanely bad way to read books

His Divine Shadow
Aug 7, 2000

I'm not a fascist. I'm a priest. Fascists dress up in black and tell people what to do.


Mordiceius posted:

I also didn't like that Raoden's healing of Elantris suddenly "healed" Adien's neurodiversity.

Personally it made me happy. I'd love it if someone could rewrite my personality.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


DarkHorse posted:

I mentioned it elsewhere but Brandon explicitly felt terrible about that. He had a friend on the spectrum who he originally disliked but grew to love once he understood them and wanted to include someone like them in his book, and what better way to show that love than "curing" your friend?

In hindsight he realized how terrible and awfully insensitive it was, and swore to do better. There is at least one neurodivergent character in later stories, and their presence on the spectrum is generally accepted and treated as a crucial part of their identity.

Renarin in Stormlight Archives

One shows up in Mistborn Era 2 as well:
Steris, who is awesome

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!

Nap Ghost

Leng posted:

One shows up in Mistborn Era 2 as well:
Steris, who is awesome

poo poo I knew there was a second one and I was blanking completely

Yes, that character is incredibly awesome

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.



DarkHorse posted:

In hindsight he realized how terrible and awfully insensitive it was, and swore to do better. There is at least one neurodivergent character in later stories, and their presence on the spectrum is generally accepted and treated as a crucial part of their identity.

Renarin in Stormlight Archives

Also Dabbid in that series.

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


I'm about 2/3rds through Oathbringer. I like it a lot. It feels like this was supposed to be two different books, though.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Fun trivia, Oathbringer was a change from what Sanderson originally outlined (in an alternate universe, book 3 became Szeth's book instead, Stones Unhallowed).

It's also structured differently to the previous 2 books!

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

I just finished both Elantris and Way of Kings and loved both. I got chills listening to Kaladins:bravo2: thing at the end. Of course now I have to wait 5 weeks until Words or radiance or mistborn two.

Elantris was a little different but I can see Sanderson promise, progress, payoff plot progression. :allears: The way of kings gave me a semi wheel of time vibe when I realized the breadth of what he was trying to do.

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014

Nobody Cares




Spoiler but really not actually a spoiler: Kaladin is going to keep saying :words: and you're going to get chills every time he tries.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



Finished “Hope of Elantris.” It was fine. Didn’t really add much. Felt more like a deleted scene rather than anything of meaning.

The backstory behind the writing of Hope of Elantris is better than the story itself.

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004



I still think that the end of Way of Kings at the Tower is probably one of the top all time scenes from any of his books. I think Oathbringer was maybe my general favorite novel, but drat does the Tower just slap. Also Dawnshard is the best novella and you’ll have to fight me to change my mind.

Barreft
Jul 21, 2014

A stallion like me only comes around once a year.

I completely ignored this thread and any reviews I wanted to go in blind. Kindle says I'm 90% through and I'm really struggling so here are just some vague thoughts.

I made this specifically because I hit into yet another kaladin and pursuer fight. I'm so drat tired of reading about Kaladin fighting in this book. It's just over and over. Which goes to my no. 2,

Can Navani do anything else? She's been just researching this whole book. I get it.

I loved the beginning of the book but after that? It's been spinning wheels every chapter. Like nothing is moving at all.

Chop out the middle 60%, mostly Navanis Science 101 and Kaladin fighting the same drat fight like a dozen times and I'd be okay.

Okay back to reading about Kaladin fighting the Pursuer. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of flying around and such like every other one.

Oh btw I love the first 3 books, and Dawnshard and Edgedancer are both really good.

This book has just been very repetitive for me.

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014

Nobody Cares




KKKLIP ART posted:

Also Dawnshard is the best novella and you’ll have to fight me to change my mind.

but, but Emperor's Soulllllll

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


KKKLIP ART posted:

I still think that the end of Way of Kings at the Tower is probably one of the top all time scenes from any of his books.

:same:

It's funny because the comparable scene from the end of Rhythm of War was what Sanderson has been wanting to write for like 20 years or something. But I gotta say, that the Tower hit me way harder emotionally.

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

Fun Shoe

Potato Salad posted:

but, but Emperor's Soulllllll

ES is a better standalone book and I'll continue to rec it to new people, but Dawnshard is better written and more meaningful in the context of his corpus. It really shows how he can do things well that he fails at to some degree in larger/earlier books.

acumen
Mar 17, 2005


Fun Shoe

Potato Salad posted:

Spoiler but really not actually a spoiler: Kaladin is going to keep saying :words: and you're going to get chills every time he tries.

Every time. They're pretty predictable but goddamn if they aren't some of the best moments in BS's works or even fantasy in general. I'd love to get these in animated form one day.

Fezz
Aug 31, 2001
You should feel ashamed.

aparmenideanmonad posted:

ES is a better standalone book and I'll continue to rec it to new people, but Dawnshard is better written and more meaningful in the context of his corpus. It really shows how he can do things well that he fails at to some degree in larger/earlier books.

You make some good points.

RoW was definitely too long and weirdly paced with a lot of repition and things that could have been condensed or trimmed. Similar to Elantris, sometimes he's too concerned with what he's doing to consider how it appears on the page. There will be a lot of skimming on a reread.

External Organs
Mar 3, 2006

A cheerful person, he is known as the king of vulgarities (cursing?)

I really think Mistborn Era 2 is a sweet spot in terms of narrative length for him. The novellas usually just leave me wanting more - definitely good, but Era 2 hits so many fun notes.

Also skyward is great.

Tokelau All Star
Feb 23, 2008

THE TAXES! THE FINGER THING MEANS THE TAXES!



I'm about halfway through Era 2, when is a good point to read Secret History? I already know that Kelsier is alive and the leader of the Ghostbloods somehow, is that the big spoiler to avoid?

External Organs
Mar 3, 2006

A cheerful person, he is known as the king of vulgarities (cursing?)

Tokelau All Star posted:

I'm about halfway through Era 2, when is a good point to read Secret History? I already know that Kelsier is alive and the leader of the Ghostbloods somehow, is that the big spoiler to avoid?

Given you already know that, whenever you want.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Tokelau All Star posted:

I'm about halfway through Era 2, when is a good point to read Secret History? I already know that Kelsier is alive and the leader of the Ghostbloods somehow, is that the big spoiler to avoid?

that thing you spoilered is still a brand new revelation -- you can read Secret History right after you finish the first trilogy

edit: oh i forgot, secret history was technically published a few days after Bands of Mourning, so that's the order. but i really don't think it's a big deal given what you know

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



Next up for me is The Emperor's Soul. After that, should I go to Warbreaker or Mistborn Era 2? I was thinking the former.

Tokelau All Star
Feb 23, 2008

THE TAXES! THE FINGER THING MEANS THE TAXES!



What is the thread consensus on White Sand? Worth it to pick up the paperbacks? I'm bummed that I'll be out of cosmere stuff soon but I've been reading everything on my Kobo Clara.

Mordiceius posted:

Next up for me is The Emperor's Soul. After that, should I go to Warbreaker or Mistborn Era 2? I was thinking the former.

Mistborn Era 2 has been very enjoyable to me so far, I'm finding it much more fun than Warbreaker was.

Tokelau All Star fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Feb 26, 2021

Jorenko
Jun 6, 2004

I think you're just mad 'cause you're single.

Tokelau All Star posted:

What is the thread consensus on White Sand? Worth it to pick up the paperbacks? I'm bummed that I'll be out of cosmere stuff soon but I've been reading everything on my Kobo Clara.

I don't think the transition to graphic novel did it any favors. It felt rushed to me, like it was just progressing from plot point to plot point without getting time to breathe. That said, it's still an interesting setting and it's fun to see the origins of characters like Khriss. Has anyone read the original unpublished novel? I wonder if the pacing feels better in that format.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Jorenko posted:

I don't think the transition to graphic novel did it any favors. It felt rushed to me, like it was just progressing from plot point to plot point without getting time to breathe. That said, it's still an interesting setting and it's fun to see the origins of characters like Khriss. Has anyone read the original unpublished novel? I wonder if the pacing feels better in that format.

i gave it a shot and basically gave up, it definitely reads like a first draft and there's not really anything, as far as i can tell, that you'd get out of it that you wouldn't from the graphic novel

and yeah, the graphic novel is rough, to be charitable.

feel like as a whole, white sand is way way down on the list of Cosmere stuff to read. not well done, not complete, and not important to other things yet (though this may change in some upcoming books)

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Mordiceius posted:

Next up for me is The Emperor's Soul. After that, should I go to Warbreaker or Mistborn Era 2? I was thinking the former.

I'd read Mistborn 2 next. Those are three books (of four), and reading the series now would leave Warbreaker (and Sixth of the Dust plus Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell) as a breather before going into the Stormlight Archive, where every main book had over 1,000 pages till now, plus the various novellas set between the main titles.

Rosalie_A
Oct 30, 2011


Jorenko posted:

Has anyone read the original unpublished novel? I wonder if the pacing feels better in that format.

I liked it, but it definitely needed a second pass. It wraps up way too quickly, but at least the way there is better paced than Elantris.

The best thing about it is that just like Mistborn 1 is "What if a heist film, but Sanderson", White Sand is "What if a "save our school" film, but Sanderson". Also, it's got a better cast overall than Elantris. That's not hard, to be fair, but it's still worth noting.

RC Cola
Aug 1, 2011

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain






KKKLIP ART posted:

I still think that the end of Way of Kings at the Tower is probably one of the top all time scenes from any of his books. I think Oathbringer was maybe my general favorite novel, but drat does the Tower just slap. Also Dawnshard is the best novella and you’ll have to fight me to change my mind.

"You cannot have my pain!" Is up there with the Tower scene and the WWE pro wrestling scene in Words of Radiance.

RC Cola fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Feb 26, 2021

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Jorenko posted:

Has anyone read the original unpublished novel? I wonder if the pacing feels better in that format.

I have read the unpublished prose novel and I like it better than the published graphic novels (of which I have only read White Sand Volume 1; I hear Volume 2 got better and there were some eyebrow raising reveals at the end of Volume 3 but they are pretty minor in the scheme of things). It's an early first draft novel, but I'd still rate it better than a lot of published novels out there, it's just not up to par with the rest of Sanderson's published works.

The art style for the graphic novel really put me off, then the original artist dropped out partway through the project so like the last 2 pages or something have a completely different art style (which I honestly liked better) but it was really jarring. The artist also wasn't great at translating what Sanderson had written into a visual format, so the dialogue all reads pretty much the same as the unpublished prose novel but you miss all of the internal reflection and backstory via description etc that you get in the prose.

My recommendation would be read White Sand Prose and Aether of Night (both are free, via subscribing to his newsletter or on 17th Shard) if you've already finished reading all of his other published Cosmere works and you're desperate for a Cosmere fix. The magic systems are more or less still canon and they've had cameos in the mainline Stormlight books already (though he's going to change some stuff especially around aethers). If you have a library that has the White Sand graphic novels, I'd read them through there, but you get the same story through the prose novel and there's posts on the 17th Shard or Coppermind that go through the changes between the prose and graphic novel version.

If you're really really desperate for a Sanderson fix and you're curious about his process AND you've read everything else, then you can read Way of Kings Prime, which was released for free as part of the Way of Kings leatherbound kickstarter and is now on his website. It's not canon anymore but it was interesting for me from a craft perspective, to see what he tried to do initially and compare it to what he ended up doing successfully with publication.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Mordiceius posted:

Next up for me is The Emperor's Soul. After that, should I go to Warbreaker or Mistborn Era 2? I was thinking the former.

Torrannor posted:

I'd read Mistborn 2 next.

Tokelau All Star posted:

Mistborn Era 2 has been very enjoyable to me so far, I'm finding it much more fun than Warbreaker was.

Mistborn Era 2 rocks though, so I'll be contrary and recommend Warbreaker next, since Mordiceius will have just gone through Emperor's Soul. That spreads out the rougher works between more awesome works.

Note that Warbreaker has some surface similarities to Elantris, though you will not have Sarene levels of annoying in there. If that potentially might bother you, then yeah, ok do Mistborn Era 2 next. But it will kinda suck going from the awesome character work and character-based comedy in Mistborn Era 2 back into Warbreaker.

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External Organs
Mar 3, 2006

A cheerful person, he is known as the king of vulgarities (cursing?)

I feel like Warbreaker has way better pacing than Elantris, but Lightsong is also one of my favorites because I couldn't stop hearing him in my head as Zapp Brannigan.

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