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Oct 2, 2003

ConfusedUs posted:

I'm about to dive in. I read the first couple chapters on my lunch break, but this time I probably won't come up for air until I fall asleep.

Early impressions:
Lashing (the magic system) is cool and I can see some awesome fight scenes coming out of it. For those that don't know yet, Lashing is essentially gravity control. The Lasher can change which direction he is pulled, which direction other things are pulled, or cause an object to pull things to itself.

Ho hum. Magic soul-sealing swords and armor built to nullify them. Like we haven't seen that kind of thing before. Still, I suppose it's a staple of the genre...

Sanderson writes a pretty good battle scene. Digging the POV from a fresh, raw recruit building up what will probably be one of the series' main protagonists. Sanderson did this pretty well in Mistborn, too, when Vin watches Kelsier kick rear end.

I'm enjoying it as well. The book gets much better after the first chapter - Sanderson has a way of being way to expository in his writing. It's like there's a technical manual for his magic system buried in every fight, and it becomes a bit overbearing and repetitious. It's almost like he doesn't trust his reader to imagine this super awesome action sequence that's playing in his head, so he goes waaaaay overboard trying to describe the mechanics of what's happening.

It's one of the things that really annoyed me about the Mistwalker series, and it's front and center in Way of Kings. That being said, Sanderson's ability to build worlds and interesting systems is here, too, so I'm sticking with it. I just hope that he lets go of writing everything like "so and so Lashes himself to the wall (OH BY THE WAY DID I MENTION THAT LASHING OPERATES THIS WAY AND THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF LASHES AND THIS IS HOW THEY ARE DIFFERENT)"


Oct 2, 2003

syphon posted:

I guess I'm at the point where I have to decide if I want to re-read Way of Kings or not. I remember the overall plot but not most of the details you guys have been discussing.

I started doing a reread and I'm having a tough time with it. I'm going to be honest - I love a lot of Sanderson's ideas, but sometimes his prose is very difficult to work through. I find this to be the case in his introductory books, in particular - it was the same way with the Mistborn series. He gets hyper-repetitive when he's trying to explain how the "rules" of his elaborately constructed worlds work, and it starts to feel like you're reading an RPG player's guide after a while. The early parts of WoK are particularly bad about this, and it doesn't really start to lighten up until you're past the mid-point.

Excited for WoR, though, because I feel like Sanderson does a pretty good job once he stops trying to codify the ground rules of his series and starts to let the world and characters breath a bit and get on with their business.

edit: Just to expand, that's why I think Brandon did a great job finishing up the Wheel of Time. The parameters of the world were in place for a long time, so he just got in there and told the story without letting it suffer under the weight of the mechanical stuff.

Oct 2, 2003

Strumpy posted:

I always felt that the writing in Mistborn felt like it was in some weird middle ground between YA and Adult. Not quite one or the other. It has some of the problems of YA (everything being spelled out), but if you can look past that the structure, world, and overall story work quite well.

Sanderson has a lot of great ideas, and he's pretty good at world building, but he's not much of a wordsmith. I enjoyed WoR, but I don't feel like his prose has gotten better over time, he tends toward pedantic explanation and his obsession with "witty" dialog between certain characters can really gently caress up the pacing of his books.

He also has this theme of building characters that have like one hangup that often defies any sense or context, and just makes them come across as kind of one dimensional. Kaladin being a fantastic example, here. Yeah, we get it, you hate light eyes. But the dude seriously can't take a dump without seething with his hatred for light eyes.

Oct 2, 2003

Sanderson's ideas and world building are very good, but his prose, characterization and dialogue always read like Young Adult material to me. He's fast, but he's mostly fast because his writing is hitting just above fan-fiction level. Worse, I don't necessarily think he's gotten that much better over time. Jim Butcher dwells in the same general sphere as Sanderson in my head, but Jim has, at least, improved his craft over time. At least more noticeably than Sanderson, anyway.

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