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Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

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



Warbreaker thoughts -

I HAVE SEEN THE VOID! AND I CAME BACK!

What an absolutely delightful book. Absolutely loved it. I was a bit hesitant and first, but almost every aspect of it won me over.

Also - I listened to this via the Graphic Audio adaptation, my first time listening to one of their works. It took a little getting used to, and there were definitely a moment or two in the 18 hour production that had rough sound mixing that made it hard to hear the narrator, but those moments were brief and infrequent. The voices for all the characters were absolutely incredible and I found myself so immersed. I'm kicking myself for not listening to the graphic audio for Elantris, because one of my bigger problems with it was the narrator. I am a fool!

These will be brief thoughts, as my brain is still buzzing from just finishing it.

Random spoilery thoughts -

Lightsong. Lightsong. Lightsong. Easily my favorite Sanderson character ever. The scene where he and Llarimar were in cages and Llarimar broke down with the "You are a god to me!" speech... well, it's the first time a Sanderson story has made me ugly cry.

Susebron was a delightful surprise. I didn't know what to expect from that character, but it certainly wasn't what I got.

Denth was a great antagonist. All the antagonists were great and, in ways, sympathetic. I do feel like the stuff with Bluefingers felt a bit rushed at the end.

On that note - the ending, in general, felt a bit rushed. We talk about Sanderlanches and what not, but the pacing on the finale felt a bit awkward (I still loved it though). Especially with Kalod's Phantoms. The lifeless army, which has been a dangerous threat through the entire book, is dealt with in a few sentences in the epilogue. It felt incredibly anti-climactic, which is sad because everything was going so loving strong, then I feel like he kinda whiffed that part. The ending felt like a TV show that ran out of time and needed a few more minutes to wrap things up - but this is a book. I would have rather had another 50 pages or so to give a more satisfying conclusion to the lifeless threat. Overall, the ending was just slightly too abrupt.

Blushweaver's death was intensely shocking to me. Most shocking death in a Sanderson book thus far.


I've said this before, but I feel like Warbreaker is Elantris done right. In that, I mean each story has three main protagonists (Raoden, Sarene, Hrathen and Siri, Vivenna, Lightsong) that have their own plights and don't really interact much with each other until the end, if at all. Warbreaker handles this far better than Elantris, with each character in Warbreaker feeling important, compelling, and meaningful.




CURRENT SANDERSON RANKINGS -

The Final Empire
The Hero of Ages
Shadows of Self
*Warbreaker*
Mistborn - Secret History
The Bands of Mourning
The Alloy of Law
The Emperorís Soul
----------The Line of Recommendation----------
The Well of Ascension
Elantris
Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania
The Eleventh Metal
The Hope of Elantris

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Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014

Nobody Cares




if you like ugly crying, it's time to jump onto Roshar

Barreft
Jul 21, 2014



Mordiceius posted:

Warbreaker thoughts -

I HAVE SEEN THE VOID! AND I CAME BACK!

What an absolutely delightful book. Absolutely loved it. I was a bit hesitant and first, but almost every aspect of it won me over.

Also - I listened to this via the Graphic Audio adaptation, my first time listening to one of their works. It took a little getting used to, and there were definitely a moment or two in the 18 hour production that had rough sound mixing that made it hard to hear the narrator, but those moments were brief and infrequent. The voices for all the characters were absolutely incredible and I found myself so immersed. I'm kicking myself for not listening to the graphic audio for Elantris, because one of my bigger problems with it was the narrator. I am a fool!

These will be brief thoughts, as my brain is still buzzing from just finishing it.

Random spoilery thoughts -

Lightsong. Lightsong. Lightsong. Easily my favorite Sanderson character ever. The scene where he and Llarimar were in cages and Llarimar broke down with the "You are a god to me!" speech... well, it's the first time a Sanderson story has made me ugly cry.

Susebron was a delightful surprise. I didn't know what to expect from that character, but it certainly wasn't what I got.

Denth was a great antagonist. All the antagonists were great and, in ways, sympathetic. I do feel like the stuff with Bluefingers felt a bit rushed at the end.

On that note - the ending, in general, felt a bit rushed. We talk about Sanderlanches and what not, but the pacing on the finale felt a bit awkward (I still loved it though). Especially with Kalod's Phantoms. The lifeless army, which has been a dangerous threat through the entire book, is dealt with in a few sentences in the epilogue. It felt incredibly anti-climactic, which is sad because everything was going so loving strong, then I feel like he kinda whiffed that part. The ending felt like a TV show that ran out of time and needed a few more minutes to wrap things up - but this is a book. I would have rather had another 50 pages or so to give a more satisfying conclusion to the lifeless threat. Overall, the ending was just slightly too abrupt.

Blushweaver's death was intensely shocking to me. Most shocking death in a Sanderson book thus far.


I've said this before, but I feel like Warbreaker is Elantris done right. In that, I mean each story has three main protagonists (Raoden, Sarene, Hrathen and Siri, Vivenna, Lightsong) that have their own plights and don't really interact much with each other until the end, if at all. Warbreaker handles this far better than Elantris, with each character in Warbreaker feeling important, compelling, and meaningful.




CURRENT SANDERSON RANKINGS -

The Final Empire
The Hero of Ages
Shadows of Self
*Warbreaker*
Mistborn - Secret History
The Bands of Mourning
The Alloy of Law
The Emperorís Soul
----------The Line of Recommendation----------
The Well of Ascension
Elantris
Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania
The Eleventh Metal
The Hope of Elantris

Hell yeah. Warbreaker is sooo good.

And yes Lightsong is the best.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010




Love to hear other people's reactions to these books. Can't wait till you get to stormlight :getin:

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

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



Yeah, I think Stormlight is basically all I have left at this point.

Barreft
Jul 21, 2014



1. Mistborn era 1 (yes I'm counting all 3, Final Empire #1)
2. Oathbringer
3. Warbreaker
4. Way of Kings
5. Dawnshard

-1. 2nd stormlight book, I can't even remember the title
-2. Rhythm of War, oof

Barreft fucked around with this message at 05:01 on May 18, 2022

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist




Mordiceius posted:

CURRENT SANDERSON RANKINGS -

The Final Empire
The Hero of Ages
Shadows of Self
*Warbreaker*
Mistborn - Secret History
The Bands of Mourning
The Alloy of Law
The Emperorís Soul
----------The Line of Recommendation----------
The Well of Ascension
Elantris
Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania
The Eleventh Metal
The Hope of Elantris

I'd have Emperor's Soul way higher

Calidus
Oct 31, 2011

Stand back I'm going to try science!

Jaxyon posted:

I'd have Emperor's Soul way higher

Emperorís Soul is funny because itís probably his strongest writing but itís very different than his mainstream works in that itís short and it doesnít have any super hero fight scenes.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

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



Jaxyon posted:

I'd have Emperor's Soul way higher

I wondered if anyone would comment on my ranking of that.

For me, everything above the LINE OF RECOMMENDATION is so good that the difference in ranking score would be fractions of percentages. The gulf between the stories above the line and below the line is as wide as the Grand Canyon. For me, I found Emperorís Soul to be a bit overhyped. Donít get me wrong, it was very very good, but many people in this thread act like Emperorís Soul is Sandersonís best work ever, which I donít think it is. Itís a very nice, concise short story. But I think I just wanted more - which is a good thing. There was a lot of cool and mysterious stuff in that story, but I just wish I had more of it. For many of the top of the ranking list, I think about moments from those books months/years after finishing them. I havenít really thought about Emperorís Soul since I finished it.

Emperorís Souls is great for a taste of Sanderson. Itís a great, self-contained story to recommend to people who are curious about Sanderson but donít want to commit to a full novel (which The Final Empire would be my go-to recommendation in that case).

For me, I felt like I had only just gotten used to the characters and then the story was over.

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



I had that initial thought about Emperor's Soul, but for me by the nature of being a short story I'm just nowhere near as invested in the characters, or as engrossed in the story. It's fantastic but I just need more pages, more time, more building.

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003







Calidus posted:

Emperorís Soul is funny because itís probably his strongest writing but itís very different than his mainstream works in that itís short and it doesnít have any super hero fight scenes.

Someone forgot about martial arts vs skeleton monsters.

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014

Nobody Cares




I definitely overhype Emperor's Soul.

I think part of my hype is that it very cleanly--at times beautifully--outlines realmatic theory without getting way too heavy into "Here's the math of it all" exposition. Which is weird because the whole book is exposition.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist




I think it's highly rated because it gives you everything you need in a concise format.

New magic system, character, motivation, political intrigue, villains and some action, and does it in a novella from a guy who likes to write billion page series.

It's an impressive play showing his writing ability and how it's matured. Sure I want it to be longer but that's a testament to a good piece of writing, I don't need it to be longer.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

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



Still thinking about how much I enjoy Warbreaker. I just wish it was like 50 pages longer. Having the Lifeless Army get dealt with off-screen in the epilogue was a loving cop-out!!!!! :argh:

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003







Mordiceius posted:

Still thinking about how much I enjoy Warbreaker. I just wish it was like 50 pages longer. Having the Lifeless Army get dealt with off-screen in the epilogue was a loving cop-out!!!!! :argh:

Stormlight book 4 and Warbreaker spoilers Kaladin has one single line about how the old Radiants were turned to stone when they died, I think at some point we are going to get another chance to see a statue army do its thing assuming Vasher isn't just sitting on his rear end.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


socialsecurity posted:

Stormlight book 4 and Warbreaker spoilers Kaladin has one single line about how the old Radiants were turned to stone when they died, I think at some point we are going to get another chance to see a statue army do its thing assuming Vasher isn't just sitting on his rear end.

Mordiceius hasn't read Stormlight Archive yet, unfortunately :(

As for your spoiler, I don't think this will happen, unfortunately. Kalad's Phantoms work because they have real bones cast within the statues, and it's easy or "natural" to Awaken bones, or general human/animal remains. The old Radiants were soulcast into stone, and from everything we see, that means the entirety of their body has become stone. So there's no natural material for the Breaths to easily cling to, those Radiant statues will imho be just as difficult to awaken than any mundane man-made statue. Although it's a cool idea that I hadn't thought about before.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Torrannor posted:

Mordiceius hasn't read Stormlight Archive yet, unfortunately :(

As for your spoiler, I don't think this will happen, unfortunately. Kalad's Phantoms work because they have real bones cast within the statues, and it's easy or "natural" to Awaken bones, or general human/animal remains. The old Radiants were soulcast into stone, and from everything we see, that means the entirety of their body has become stone. So there's no natural material for the Breaths to easily cling to, those Radiant statues will imho be just as difficult to awaken than any mundane man-made statue. Although it's a cool idea that I hadn't thought about before.

WoB is that since it was originally a human corpse, the statue's cognitive self still remembers it and it'd work

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Tunicate posted:

WoB is that since it was originally a human corpse, the statue's cognitive self still remembers it and it'd work

Wow, that's very cool. I guess it does make sense, the spren of the temple in Oathbringer still remembered being a temple, even if it was rubble now. This would be really nice to see. Thinking about it, how good would this army be? Unless you're like the God King, Awakening doesn't have the most flashy combat applications. A skilled Awakener certainly has advantages in single combat (see Vasher with his strips of cloth against Kaladin), but without Nightblood, I doubt he could decimate whole swaths of enemy troops like a Radiant with blade and plate are able to. So while a lifeless army is very powerful in the context of Nalthis, it's less impressive on Roshar. Not to mention those blades that are tailor made to cut through an army made of stone...

M_Gargantua
Oct 16, 2006

STOMP'N ON INTO THE POWERLINES



Exciting Lemon

Still hoping Vasher becomes a dust bringer, but his status as a Returned probably prevents a spren bond

Similarly I wonder what happens if you put a hemalurgical spike in a Returned.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Torrannor posted:

Wow, that's very cool. I guess it does make sense, the spren of the temple in Oathbringer still remembered being a temple, even if it was rubble now. This would be really nice to see. Thinking about it, how good would this army be? Unless you're like the God King, Awakening doesn't have the most flashy combat applications. A skilled Awakener certainly has advantages in single combat (see Vasher with his strips of cloth against Kaladin), but without Nightblood, I doubt he could decimate whole swaths of enemy troops like a Radiant with blade and plate are able to. So while a lifeless army is very powerful in the context of Nalthis, it's less impressive on Roshar. Not to mention those blades that are tailor made to cut through an army made of stone...

An army capable of completely ignoring logistics and highstorms would be powerful even without the other benefits

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



Tunicate posted:

An army capable of completely ignoring logistics and highstorms would be powerful even without the other benefits

How would they ignore high storms? Even if they're made of stone they're susceptible to the winds of the storm picking up and slamming a boulder into them just the same as a fleshy human

Infinite Karma
Oct 23, 2004
Good as dead







Tunicate posted:

An army capable of completely ignoring logistics and highstorms would be powerful even without the other benefits
With a few radiants capable of soulcasting rock (or whatever) into food like the Alethi did with fabrials and big gemhearts, logistics is pretty easy to manage with magic, too.

Brutor Fartknocker
Jun 18, 2013


RoW/warbreaker note. Had a woah moment when Vasher took the memories of the little girl that Denth kidnapped, hadn't thought much of it the first time I read it. Always cool to see stuff pop back up years later in another book entirely, and that Hoid and Vasher both know some crazy ways to utilize breath.

Fun Times!
Dec 26, 2010


It's cool y'all are talking about Warbreaker, because I just finished it and it was my first book by this guy. I've mostly read literary fiction, nonfiction and classics, but I love videogames with DND rulesets and magic and whatnot, so I wanted to try reading some fantasy stuff. I was told to try Warbreaker since it's kind of standalone, but I want to read Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy now. I haven't breezed through hundreds of pages like this since reading Harry Potter as a teen.

Bad: These princesses are labeled as protagonists while being useless without the men they fall in love with (and surprise, at the end the book's title is revealed to be another name for Vasher, a male character). It was interesting how each sister became more like the other throughout the story, though. No idea why a third sister was mentioned at all, she never appeared or impacted the plot. Halfway through reading I learned Brandon is Mormon, and it left a bad taste in my mouth when Lightsong, a character I loved, near the end of the book describes Blushweaver as being more beautiful when she wore clothes that covered herself up. It's like the Mormon values tried to poison Lightsong's character.

Good: Lightsong's arc took a long time to get there, but it was tragic and wonderful how learning of his sacrifice enabled him to do it again and save the day. Right as he learned who he was and that he had a brother all along, he gives it up to save everyone. What a guy. He is a god.

I also liked how many times the characters were just wrong about stuff. Thinga didn't go their way all the time, sometimes their plans were just bad and in the moment they realize that yeah, that could've gone better. It made them feel more real, you know?


I have many more thoughts, but yeah. It's hard to tell how much of my criticism was informed by learning that Brandon is Mormon. I loving hate Mormonism and the dude has a section on his website dedicated to it. So of course every time a female character is deferring to a male, I think, "It's the Mormon in him writing this part." But is it truly? It's hard to separate my bias and I hope I can read more of his stuff without being bitter about it.

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 Times! posted:

I have many more thoughts, but yeah. It's hard to tell how much of my criticism was informed by learning that Brandon is Mormon. I loving hate Mormonism and the dude has a section on his website dedicated to it. So of course every time a female character is deferring to a male, I think, "It's the Mormon in him writing this part." But is it truly? It's hard to separate my bias and I hope I can read more of his stuff without being bitter about it.

He is pretty good about not forcing his beliefs everywhere, though faith and religion and resurrection and redemption etc are all big themes of his work because that's what interests him.

Elantris is rough but a good debut and it has Hrathen who is awesome. Emperor's Soul is very good. Those are the two other standalone novels that you can get into without too much more commitment.

Mistborn Era 1 (Final Empire) is a good trilogy to start with. He gets much better at writing women from Stormlight Archive onwards. Jasnah rocks and is atheist.

Best character in his entire canon is Steris who is just all kinds of awesome (she's in Wax and Wayne, or Mistborn Era 2).

Calidus
Oct 31, 2011

Stand back I'm going to try science!

Dark one novel co-written with Dan Wells sounds cool.

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003







His Mormonism is something he is aware of and actively works to avoid, his earlier books have much more of it bleed through then his later ones. Also if you enjoyed Warbreaker you are in for a good ride because it's often near the bottom of the ranking lists along with Elantris.

Overall I enjoyed Warbreaker a bunch considering it was mainly written to be backstory for another book series mainly Stormlight Archives characters

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

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

The Mormonism bleeding through for Hrathen is actually great though

Louisgod
Sep 25, 2003

Always Watching


Bread Liar

I remember being disappointed learning Sanderson was/is mormon knowing that his views do seep into his books though he's gotten very good at not letting it affect his later works. There are still prudish moments here and there, like the traditional courting components between characters, but I write that off as being aligned with the type of era he's trying to emulate (old english, victorian times, etc.). Wax/Wayne definitely gets a bit more racey though, and I think even in Oathbringer there was mention of a gay Bridge 4 member and in the end, nobody really gave a poo poo in that they saw it as just another relationship like any other, which was fantastic.

I do like it when authors keep romance pretty high level though and find it kinda awkward reading about intimate sex scenes in books, especially those written by cis white dudes. I want to experience the story god dammit!!

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003







I'll take Sanderson's prudishness over Butcher's leering/rape descriptions anyday.

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



I just started reading Dresden Files, and yea man he is hornnnny.

RC Cola
Aug 1, 2011

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain






Sab669 posted:

I just started reading Dresden Files, and yea man he is hornnnny.

she boobily walked down the stairs in a way that made her boobs move in an eye-catching way. her luscious supple breasts gleaming with sweat in her low cut t-shirt. "if only she wasn't 14 Harry thought to himself. I hope she doesn't see my boner"

^summarized the entire Dresden Files

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003







You forgot the part where she wanted to bone Harry, because every woman does.

RC Cola
Aug 1, 2011

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain






socialsecurity posted:

You forgot the part where she wanted to bone Harry, because every woman does.

Oh yeah. Pretend I said that. Also she's the sexiest lady ever. Even more than the sexy lady from 1 chapter ago who is literally more beautiful than Aphrodite and also loves Harry

CK07
Nov 8, 2005

bum bum BAA, bum bum, ba-bum ba baa..

Having read Sanderson's page about his connection with Mormonism, I get the sense that he has a relatively clear view of its problems, and is perhaps part of the church largely because it is his cultural background. He seems like he doesn't believe blindly, and largely considers his religious beliefs to be a private affair, which I appreciate. In my experience, having a religious life and upbringing usually means that there is a lot of unlearning to do when you need to interact with the larger world, but I have been happy with what I've read about his growth in that way. My general sense is that he listens to his fans, is open to discussing and considering issues that are important to others, and doesn't just fall back on "because my faith says so."

Honestly the place where his Mormonism makes me most nervous is in the ways that he has established a lot of Cosmere stuff to be loosely based on Jewish traditions and Hebrew language. I assume that his longtime editor Moshe Feder is of the chosen people, so I hope that they've had conversations about appropriation and about past harms by the LDS toward Jews.

That said, I feel like the setup of the Cosmere (specifically, the part where each Shard of Adonalsium gets their own planet to do with as they wish) was clearly inspired by certain aspects of Mormon religious lore.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

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

Potato Salad posted:

if you like ugly crying, it's time to jump onto Roshar

Especially a certain sequence of events late in RoW. :cry:

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

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

CK07 posted:

That said, I feel like the setup of the Cosmere (specifically, the part where each Shard of Adonalsium gets their own planet to do with as they wish) was clearly inspired by certain aspects of Mormon religious lore.
Very loosely inspired at most imo, and even that's a stretch. The fundamental differences are huge, the only real connection is the idea of "a person may ascend to planet-controlling godhood" which I'm guessing is far from unique to the Cosmere.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


His Mormonism clearly influences his writing to some degree, but I don't mind it usually. It's prudish at times, but as others have said, sex scenes can be distracting, I don't miss them in Mistborn or Stormlight Archive. He's also not that good at writing drunk people, but that's also an acceptable failing when the rest of his writing is so good. I also appreciate the fact that his characters struggle believably with their faith. If your gods are provably real but also provably not infallible, what does that mean to your faith? It's nice to see an author explore that question.

And one of the (future) main characters of Stormlight Archive is gay, another is asexual. He's improved a lot in this regard since writing a single sentence about gay men also existing in the setting in the Wheel of Time books. Which, as far as gay male representation went, was actually an improvement over Robert Jordan's writing.

He's also gotten quite a bit better about writing women. But if this point noticeably bothered you while reading Warbreaker, don't read Elantris next. That book is pretty bad overall, and female characters don't fare well at all. Mistborn is better, on account of having a female protagonist, but women are still underrepresented.

Stormlight Archive is much better in that regard, and also has the main viewpoint cultures being notably non-White.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013





Cicero posted:

Very loosely inspired at most imo, and even that's a stretch. The fundamental differences are huge, the only real connection is the idea of "a person may ascend to planet-controlling godhood" which I'm guessing is far from unique to the Cosmere.

yeah the Shards are a much older narrative concept than anything in mormonism, mortals killing God and taking their power

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Calidus
Oct 31, 2011

Stand back I'm going to try science!

Butcher and Sanderson have both moved towards the middle as the age they just started at opposite ends. Your going from reading mid 20 year grad students turned professional writers to guys in there mid/late 40s with kids.

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