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BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


I thought Warbreaker was disappointing because I read the preview, which was cool and action-y like Mistborn, and then I got the book and it was basically the King and I for 400 pages and cool stuff for 30. Lightsong was a fun character but I felt like the majority of his scenes existed just because Brandon liked writing them.

Mistborn 1 and 2 were my favorites, but Mistborn 3 was a little ridiculous. I hated the "numbers" plot, the completely irrelevant side plot with Spook, and all the "clever" twists of the magic system to serve plot purposes. By book 3, Vin's character arc is basically over and Brandon had no idea what he was supposed to be doing with her, so we got Elend gaining powers, which was a very weak character arc compared to his earlier one about becoming a good leader.

I'm excited about The Way of Kings because I think Brandon has a lot of potential, and because I know he will probably finish an enormous amount of books within his lifetime.

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BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


SaviourX posted:

I don't think this is the same writer, because the first Mistborn book was plagued by all sorts of genre and first-novel trappings. Also, I don't think being descriptive being overly wordy are comparable things.

Maybe he's matured a bit or has a better focus with this one, but I'm not counting on it.

I think Sanderson has very little natural writing talent. He's had to work really hard not to be R.A. Salvatore, and I think with each book his prose gets a little better. The important thing is that he obviously is trying to improve, not just spew out the next book.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


I pre-ordered the book via kindle and it arrived while I was stuck at work. I'm currently about 30,000 words in and here are my takes on it:

* Sanderson has really improved his ability to write descriptions. Sentence structures are much more varied. Vocabulary has been expanded. Whereas Mistborn and Elantris sometimes felt as if they were written for the YA crowd, this definitely does not. I'd place the prose somewhere on the level of Joe Abercrombie or Scott Lynch(without going overboard like Lynch usually does with descriptions).

Viewpoints are used to greater effect. For instance, the way the main character is introduced is through the eyes of someone else (Cenn).

* Violence. Lots of violence and not in the playful Mistborn or Warbreaker way.

* One reused character archetype. So far Shalla is the same female lead from Warbreaker and Elantris.

* Magic Systems. Magic Systems! Mistborn had three: allomancy, whatevermancy, and whatevermancy. Warbreaker had the colors and breath system. Stormlight Archive introduces a new magic system almost every chapter. Sometimes its really well done, so you barely notice that a magic system is being introduced. Other times its Lash this, Lashed that--a hard introduction a la the Mistborn books. And who's to say that doesn't work really well for what it is. Straightforward and getting it out of the way so cooler stuff can take place.

So far the novel is only confirming the suspicion I got reading Elantris 4 years ago that Sanderson is going to be a very large figure in fantasy novels in the years to come.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Yea, well, find me a fantasy book that has a good summary. I think the pitch has little to do with the quality of the actual book, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of the times the writer wasn't even involved.

Here's a pitch where the writer WAS involved and it still turned out silly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9usnlWLK7I

My favorite line: "I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs to make the minstrels weep."

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Neep posted:

I just started the book, I'm about a third of the way through, and I'm really liking it. I could see myself loving this series and Sanderson's writing as I complete the book.

I do agree there is a bit more exposition given than needed but at least it doesn't feel repetitive.

I haven't read any other Sanderson but I was considering getting Mistborn. Is that still worth reading even though it seems people are saying he's less mature as an author and some of the characters are very similar?

I hope the next volume comes out soon as I really enjoy long narratives (as long as they have a defined progression). I was hunting for info on any start of it but haven't found it.

I'd say the first book is worth reading, and if you like that then you will probably enjoy the rest of the series for what it is.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


I've noticed a few "Smoothed down her skirt" paragraphs, but they seemed more like homage than anything. About half-way through and I think this is the best thing Sanderson has ever written. It's very anime-ish at some points, and some of the names annoy me, but its also really clever sometimes too.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Still enjoying this book a lot, and it may be my new favorite fantasy universe, but I found one thing that bothers me.

At one point Dalanar is watching Adolin duel, and he starts thinking about a tradition where anyone can pay the king a fee to borrow his armor and sword for a duel. And there are some kingdoms where there are only 1 or 2 sets of shardplate.

This is basically like the president handing over the nuclear launch codes because someone with a little money wants to play missile command.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


A novella is 40,000 words, which is something like 100-150 paperback. I'm guessing its 50 to 60k, but knowing Sanderson he'll tool around with it until its basically a standard size novel.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Yep. And anything longer than 60k is actually considered a novel, while 80-100k is a typical size for like a walmart paperback. He wrote a standard size novel in his time off

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


subx posted:


Just for reference I think those guys in the first chapter were something that came before the Knights Radiant.



My theory is that they are basically a heroic, lightside version of the Wheel of Time's Forsaken, mixed with the heroes who are bound to the Horn of Valere. There are lots of things in The Way of Kings that are very reminiscent of some WoT concepts, like the chapter in the place where grass grows and magic doesn't work. It reminded me a lot of WoT's Steddings. Also, every time someone says "The Light send it will be so" or a similar phrase it drives me crazy, because that was a really obvious WoT thing.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


IRQ posted:

You'd probably like Robin Hobb's earlier stuff. Start with Assassin's Apprentice and work your way from there. The stories in that universe are a set of 3 trilogies (and apparently she has added some more recently but I can't vouch for the quality as I haven't read them) with the middle trilogy (The Liveship Traders) being somewhat unrelated wiki. I still liked it though and would recommend reading it, but it does deviate from the fantasy setting somewhat in that it's basically fantasy with pirates that does more to develop the backstory and tell a separate (but good) story.

But if you like the first trilogy I think you'll be fine with the other two. It's pretty compatible with WoT and Mistborn as far as tones themes and tropes but it's not completely generic or derivative, at least as far as any fantasy isn't.

A warning on Assassin's Apprentice: The first 8 pages are the main character telling you why he's about to tell you a story. Its one of the worst openings for a series I've ever read, but it picks up a lot from there. I think Liveships is the much stronger trilogy of the two.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Gamesguy posted:

I don't generally read much fiction, but I loved this book and the Name of the Wind by Rothfuss. I think I like the downtrodden youth rises to greatness genre(my favorite character in this book was the spear guy).

Does anybody know of any similar novels? I'd love some recommendations, thanks.

The Warded Man by Peter V Brett is pretty good and along those lines. It has a fairly typical fantasy with a somewhat unique magic system based around runes. I haven't read the sequel, but people tell me its good. I think of the book as Wheel of Time-lite.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is an awesome, fun fantasy novel about a group of thieves, and the main character comes from about as low prospects as possible. Too bad the sequel is the most disappointing book I read last year. And Scott Lynch is currently in some kind of Aspie / male menopausal meltdown, which he likes to post about on his blog thing.

BananaNutkins fucked around with this message at 09:35 on Nov 28, 2010

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Ithaqua posted:

Just wanted to chime in and say that I finished Way of Kings earlier this week and it was fantastic. I'm glad they chose Sanderson to finish WOT, because otherwise I'd probably have never picked any of his stuff up.

Conversely, I would have never picked up the Wheel of Time. I read the first book and thought it was too derivative of Tolkien to have any value. I remember being fifteen and tossing it across the room when the merry band of 4 farm kids gets on a ferry while being chased by orc-like creatures.

Currently on book 6, I'm still not sure I "like" the Wheel of Time series, but I'm determined to get through to the Sanderson stuff. There are parts of the WoT where the story is really great, but 90% of the rest is world building a world that is already about to collapse under its own weight, extraneous side-character viewpoints, braid tugging, crossing arms under breasts, neckline plunging, Rand\Mat\Perrin knows how to handle women, and travel travel travel ad infinitum. Sanderson knows how to cut out the boring stuff and keep what I like about enormous fantasy epics. His writing gets better with each book. Time will tell if he develops any nausea inducing cliches in his longer works, but I think he is self-conscious enough to avoid it.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


That was a pretty awesome shot at Terry Goodkind that miraculously was free of rape and diarrhea spouting chickens.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


IRQ posted:

Yeah that's a pretty cool cover aside from the mistborn being an anime for some reason.

I always got a really anime-y feeling from Sanderson's books, ESPECIALLY Mistborn. It didn't hurt my appreciation of it, but it was easier to picture in my head that way.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Mahlertov Cocktail posted:

Is that an anime thing? I thought that was just awesome and I don't watch anime at all.

Vin picking up a giant Koloss sword and swinging it around like it weighs less than a butterknife is pretty anime. Over the top violence performed by a scrawny hero/heroine is an anime staple.

Guy posted:

Being awesome and being anime are mutually exclusive, so no.

Cowboy Bebop, Akira, Deathnote, and most Studio Ghibli releases are pretty good entertainment. There's a lot of crap, sure, but there are a lot of crap live action American releases too. When used properly, animation lets you pull off stuff you couldn't possibly do in live action without an obscene budget. Done poorly, you get catgirls fondling each other and eating ramen on the deck of their bounty hunter spaceships while being chased by intergalactic tentacle beasts driven mad with the desire to probe their furry nethers.

BananaNutkins fucked around with this message at 06:07 on Apr 8, 2011

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Way of Kings is probably his strongest book, followed by Mistborn I. The sequels aren't paced as well, though they are still very good. I would rank my enjoyment of all Sanderson books like this:

1: Way of Kings
2: Towers of Midnight
3: Mistborn I
4: The Gathering Storm
5: Elantris
6: Mistborn II
7: Warbreaker
8: Mistborn III

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Mahlertov Cocktail posted:

Yeah, I agree with this completely. The best thing is that they serve as breaks from the action but don't drag.

But Shallan did have one of the coolest scene in the book Three hearbeats

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.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Oh man, if he starts describing how Shallan's neckline plunges based on how she imagines herself in Shadesmar, I will giggle.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


A Nice Boy posted:

The Malazan thread is really, really good about using spoiler tags. So just don't click any of the big black boxes. Trust me, you're going to have questions as you read, and it's a great place to get them answered.

Go ahead and read Malazan, the spoilers are the least of your problem. For me, the spoilers don't even make sense after you've read the books.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Way of Kings is really his only novel that is nearing the top tier level of fantasy. He's gotten so much better with every book, I think, when you look at when they were originally written. I'm not a fan of Mistborn 2 or 3, but that series was written all at once, so I don't think he really had much time to improve between books. You seriously have to appreciate him when he makes a 400,000 word book read as fast as a short thriller, whereas GRRM and RJ's last books felt as long as a trilogy each and moved the plot forward by inches.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


The only boring pov was the fisher dude in the ankle deep lake. I really liked the girl who went around smashing art with a hammer.

Also, I'm very excited that he's going to start posting Mythwalker chapters next week, which he says is a very, very bad book.

BananaNutkins fucked around with this message at 14:47 on Aug 10, 2011

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Liesmith posted:

Actually Stranger in a Strange Land is #17 on that list

I cannot grok how anyone would anyone put that...thing on a list

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Orvin posted:

I just finished The Way of Kings. Part way through, I decided to look for the next book in the series. I was excited to see that it is projected to be a 10 part series. Then I got all pissed off that there are no more books out and the second one isn't due out until next year. At least from this thread it looks like he is a writing machine, so hopefully the books come out in regular intervals.

I think what I liked best about this book is that by partway through, I was genuinely interested in what was going to happen next to the main characters. It seems like in these epic fantasy novels, there is usually only one or two characters that I care about, and the rest are just filler.

The boring parts for me were the Adolin perspectives. He's really only there to show Dalinar from another viewpoint, and Adolin's defining characteristic is that he dates a lot of girls, which is piss poor characterization.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Cartoon Man posted:

Yes. The question is what will be the in between book. I'm hoping he leaves Mistborn alone for a while and writes a sequel to Elantris, Warbreaker, or something completely original like a necromancer pizza delivery boy. Imagine Futurama but instead of SciFi its magic/necromancy.

I think the issue he ran into was that he wanted to write a Fantasy version of Snow Crash, because he's a huge fan of Snow Crash, but I can see how that would be difficult to pull off, especially with his writing style.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


fordan posted:

Hmm. Think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Loved Snow Crash, liked Zodiac & Diamond Age, but he really went off the deep end of the historical "look how much research I did" novel. I barely made it through Cryptonomicon, and gave up about half way through the first book of the Baroque Cycle.

Maybe I just like my plotlines simpler.

This is basically my feelings on him. I really love Snow Crash though. The Diamond Age has awesome ideas, but it is so similar to Snow Crash while simultaneously being not as good.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Ellen Page would be perfect for Vin, but that trailer was meh.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


It would work better as an animated movie. I get an anime vibe when reading Sanderson. There's this show called Guren Lagann that has so many similarities with Mistborn in terms of plot that it's eery, despite being nothing like Mistborn.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


veekie posted:

Nice Parshendi

All the fan stuff for Brandon's works have been horrible, but this one is merely mediocre. Certainly not in the same league as that Mistborn movie trailer that had me in stitches.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


ConfusedUs posted:

That's a bit too obvious. I'm betting that, since she's attached to the foremost researcher in the world, she'll discover how they're somehow far more than they seem.

Or there will be a conflict between Jasnah and Shallan because Jasnah wants to unlock the secrets of the Monado. Sorry, wrong seriesthe shardblades and give them en masse to her country's soldiers, and Shallan thinks it will lead to an evil empire dominating the world. Kinda like the Einstein A-bomb situation.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


I think its another magic system based on destroying things of beauty. Probably some kind of chaos magic.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


10k is still ridiculous. Steven King only does 2k, and that's Steven Friggin' King.

I had a week off from work and decided I would set 2k as my writing goal per day. I finished the week with 14k done, but I felt wasted by the end of it all. I guess Sanderson has just built up incredible mind muscles for it or something.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Just found this linked in Brandon's latest blog post: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982781245?tag=monkeyslothst-20

I want it so bad.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


AlternateAccount posted:

I don't know. He wasn't in the army THAT long, and for most people, learning to lead effectively is a hard-fought skill, with Kaladin it just seems to come unnaturally easy, especially when his earlier flashbacks give no hint of it. In his introductory chapter, he's already this revered leader.

Blah, I am not going to keep bashing on the guy, and I will pre-order the next book. I'd just like a little more depth on the next go around.

He talks about how he led several groups of guys in his many failed escape attempts. Part of the reason his character works for me is because Kaladin is a guy who has failed doing the same thing over and over again--forming a band of men who can help themselves--and is ready to give up. His plot is a very nice trend breaker in modern fantasy where the more noble a person is, the more they get screwed over. GRRM would have let him get to the point where he thought he was going to succeed, then knifed him in the back.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


veekie posted:

Likewise, the flashbacks are basically stealing screentime from the 'current' plot, which made them feel worse than they were.

The flashbacks work on more levels than people give them credit for. Most important is the establishment of the light eyes, dark eyes animosity, and then thr general world situation before the various armies temporarily united to go after the Parshendi after the king is murdered.

We get some of the same information from Dalinar and Adolin's perspective, but it would seem superficial coming from them, because they are privileged and there is no real emotional investment in their class situation like there is for Kaladin.

And another thing, I liked how telegraphed the thing with Kaladin's brother was. I think that was intended by Sanderson, because I had a real sense of dread waiting for it. The last time I felt that kind of dread was with Susan in Wizard and Glass by Steve King. King did it better, to the point that I actually felt sick, but Sanderson's effort worked too.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Harriet is the general editor, not a copy editor. While she probably does point out mistakes when she finds them, she deals with larger picture stuff like structure and the placement of chapters.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


SageSepth posted:

So I just finished the first 2 books in the Mistborn trilogy, I'm torn on weather or not to get the third, the second ends on such a down note and is a pretty depressing book throughout that I'm not sure I want to sit through what would likely be 3/4ths more making GBS threads on characters I like before it all works out in the end, should I get the third or not?

Don't get it. Read Way of Kings instead. Only the first Mistborn book was really good. The next two just kind of treaded water for me. I'm a huge Sanderson fan, but if book two didn't grab you, you'll probably hate book three.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


Maytag posted:

Don't listen to that guy.

If book two didn't grab you, that's because it was the weakest book. Read book three.

It's not like you're gonna read one more book and die (probably). Read Way of Kings after.

I just read your posts in this thread BananaNutkins, your favorite DT book is Wizard and Glass. The correct order is 1 2 3 4 7 6 5

Alloy of Law was kinda mediocre.

I unapologetically love character focused fantasy. Using that as a measuring stick, I think you can see why Wizard and Glass was my favorite DT book, and why I liked Mistborn 1 the most, followed by 2, followed by 3.

All the good character arcs are completed by the end of 2, after which its just silly magic system/lore conflicts and Matrix: Revolutions inspired fight scenes. I have a lot of problems with the Elend and Spook arcs that the third book focuses on. Vin is almost interesting in book two, until she chooses the most boriing love interest character development-wise.

And the correct Dark Tower book order is as follows:

4 2 go blow yourselves other books in the series, you sucked.

BananaNutkins fucked around with this message at 14:21 on Mar 17, 2012

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BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

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


The part with the bread and jelly had me cracking up.

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