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AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

So I am reading The Way of Kings, and it's pretty good. It feels padded sometimes, especially in the first half, but I am enjoying it. I have been mostly avoiding this thread due to spoilers, but I just got to the scene where Tien is drafted into the army and Kaladin joins him.

The whole bit bugged me, just wanted to get it off my chest before I forgot, sorry for spoiler wall:
The whole thing has practically no gravity because we KNOW where Kaladin ends up and his motivation for doing so falls a bit flat. The only reason to even have those flashbacks is to tell the story after you've basically told the ending, so it better be compelling or enlightening in some way, but I didn't feel like it was.
I think it would have worked better to have Kaladin slavishly devoted to the idea of being a surgeon and holding his father up as a near god-like figure. That, and a strong devotion to family, made continuously stronger by their isolation within the village. His little martial exercises here and there should be a guilty thing, almost a frightful thing for him.
Finding out that his father stole the spheres THE DAY OF the recruitment instead of months before, changing his image of him completely, and of needing to protect his brother, all of those things swirling around would have made for something more compelling, maybe. Use his guilt over that tiny fleck of maybe getting a thrill out of the spear that surgery never gives him.
As it stands, you know EXACTLY what's going to happen during that whole scene, sure there's the red herring TIEN choice, but you know what's coming in the next paragraph or three. It's like Kaladin has been idling the whole time just waiting for this.


I don't know, haven't finished the book, it will probably work out, if all this crap is addressed by later chapters(I just finished the bit where Shallan is pursued by sketch-monsters and injures herself please tell me to just shut up and keep reading.

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AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

OK, good deal. I am enjoying it and all, I just felt really letdown by a lot of the flashback stuff. We'll see how it shakes out.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Finally finished, good book. I'd say it's about 200 pages too long and tends to repeat itself until it becomes distracting. You'd think WoT would make me immune to that.
It also feels like he knew where the ending was going and foreshadows a LOT of it really blatantly. It just becomes frustrating as a reader to basically know the broad strokes of what is going to happen, but be put through a lengthy process of it spooling out.
For example, it becomes clear what Kaladin's whole business is fairly early on, and even though the abilities we know he's going to possess have been demonstrated REPEATEDLY, including in the prologue even, we still have to sit through a rather dry exposition of him discovering them. Really, Kaladin's entire plotline is trite and kind of on rails.
To me, this is why Shallan's plotline reveals were more interesting, since they were nowhere near as telegraphed and not as formulaic.
Scenes like Dalinar confronting Elhokar are much more satisfying since they drive the story forward instead of just giving us what we already know is coming.

The wrap-up felt a LITTLE chainyank-y toward the end, very WHAT A TWIST in places, but eh, the reveals themselves were interesting enough to counter that pretty effectively.

Anyway, good stuff. Hopefully he tightens up his pacing(A LOT), I figure a lot of the troubles with this one is the new world-building, now that he's got a foundation and some well-fleshed out characters, he should be able to maintain better momentum? Quit with the flashbacks, dude.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Democratic Pirate posted:

I agree with the on rails thing, but I liked Kaladin's story because when he did do his final "power up," it was satisfying and :black101: :rock: :black101: as gently caress. In my opinion, at least.

Me too, but he's definitely the flattest character in the book. His only flaw is that he doesn't believe in himself hard enough. :rolleyes:

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Vaevicti posted:

I personally thought he was an amazing character. I can agree with you on one point though. It did take awhile for his character to go through the transformation that you just knew was going to happen. But when it finally happened, it was one of the most satisfying parts of the book. It might have been telegraphed and long winded, but I prefer a too much back-story and world-building to too little.

The main chicks character was extremely interesting, but I think Dalindar is the most interesting character. I have a theory of who he really is (posted a couple pages back), but even if I am wrong, I think he be the most interesting character in the series.

Shallan has the conflict of her motivations and her new potential along with serious self-discovery going on.

Dalinar is struggling to hold onto his beliefs in the face of unanimous opposition, his situation with his wife and oh god, I might be crazy.

Kaladin is borderline EMO, but I guess that can be excused for his situation. If it were not for his unique uhhh, nature, he would have died a miserable death full of self-doubt and loathing. The divine hand of plot-providence reaches down and gives him what he needs to overcome his obstacles. I just never bought into his scene at the chasm. Nothing ever goes into where or how he learned these leadership skills, really. Nothing ever explains his extremely powerful will.
Sure, the story around him is pretty awesome, but the character himself is just blehhhhhhh.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

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.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Conduit for Sale! posted:

I'm about halfway through The Way of Kings, and I'm curious, do people actually like Kaladin and his plot? As far as I'm concerned he's the worst part of the book. His story is going nowhere - he just decided they're going to try and escape, but I looked a few hundred pages further and he still loving doing bridge runs and poo poo and hasn't done anything. It's pretty obvious he's eventually going to go super saiyan and become Jesus or whatever (which I'm sure I won't care about either), why is Sanderson loving around with this bridgeman poo poo?

I wish this was a GRRM book so he'd die.

e: I do like most everything else about the book though. Kaladin just annoys the poo poo out of me. The only thing I like about his chapters is Syl. Rock is pretty cool too.

Yeah, I pretty much said all these things a few pages ago. People defend it a bit, but I'll tell you now, his story doesn't get any better. Just push on through.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Conduit for Sale! posted:

Stormlight 2 focusing on Shallan (and therefore also Jasnah) makes me even more excited.

I don't understand that explanation though, what does Kaladin being in WoK have to do with the 2nd book being named Highprince of War? That title suggests a focus on Dalinar. Then again Way of Kings suggests a focus on Dalinar but that's not how it turned out.

This is a giant loving relief.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

I really wasn't looking for it, but in Chapter 34 of KoD, Furyk walks in on a grouping of Seanchan leaders and kind of runs through how they're all physically pretty distinct in coloring. So apparently Seanchan is rather gigantic and unified across quite a variety of people.

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AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Potato Salad posted:

The Emperor's Soul is a treatise on how magic works.


This is far and away my favorite thing that Sanderson has ever done. Sweet brevity.

Sanderson has all the components of a really good writer except efficiency. I don't think anything he's ever written couldn't be improved by cutting 25% of it. I am saying this as a pretty big fan of Jordan's WoT entries.

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