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Local Authors => Brandon Sanderson => Topic started by: Andrew the Great on September 05, 2009, 05:50:40 AM

Title: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Andrew the Great on September 05, 2009, 05:50:40 AM
The Gathering Storm Chapter One is now available for free on Tor.com. The easiest way to get there is probably to go to Dragonmount's news section, where they provide a link, which I'm too lazy to do.

EDIT: Link: Dragonmount News Article with this and other WoT related announcements (http://www.dragonmount.com/News/?p=641)
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: GreenMonsta on September 05, 2009, 05:24:47 PM
And now I begin hunting. Thanks Andrew.

EDIT: I read the first paragraph and decided to re-read Kinfe of Dreams before I went any further. You know, to refresh a little. I figured it would help me get back into the Wheel before the releas. Thanks though, I've been putting of the re-read and this is the motivation I've been looking for.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: readerMom on September 06, 2009, 01:32:29 AM
It was too short.
Brandon's voice will take a little time to get used to. It was still the Wheel of Time, but it was definitely not RJ. I couldn't put my finger on what felt different, it just did.
I already have plans to do nothing but read the end of October, my family has been warned.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Andrew the Great on September 06, 2009, 03:15:04 AM
Well for one thing, the wind was considerably more epic than usual....
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 06, 2009, 09:31:35 AM
..... WIN!!!! And I completely agree with Andrew, the wind was much more epic :D

You can tell a difference in writing styles, but ya know, I can't say I really care. Pre-Sanderson RJ was my favorite author, then I read Mistborn/Elantris/Alcatraz/Warbreaker and, well, Sanderson currently holds the trophy! As for a re-read... I've got a little over a month and I just started Shadow Rising. I'll be done!
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Ari54 on September 07, 2009, 10:13:54 AM
Go figure I skip by a new thread to post in the old thread...

But yeah, nice scene setting, it sounds epic, it sounds Wheel of Time, and while it's different, it still seems to belong.

I can totally see what all those "Brandon got a lot more descriptive to write the WoT" quotes come from. It's almost like reading a totally new author.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Publius on September 07, 2009, 02:11:35 PM
I've read peoples reaction regarding this chapter on other sites, and do you know what amuses me?

 For years, I've been reading people complain about Robert Jordan's writing style, and now they complain because it's not Robert Jordan's writing style.  They're right, it isn't RJ's writing, but i kinda chock that up to the fact that he's dead. If he wasn't dead, they of course would be complaining about his writing style. Which just leaves me scratching my head wondering why some people still bother to read this series.

My opinion of this chapter is that Brandon Sanderson did  a great job, and I'm even more excited to finish this series than I was before. I easily got lost reading the chapter, so lost in fact, that I was surprised when it ended. I was almost expecting the  whole book!
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: mccullough on September 07, 2009, 03:12:41 PM
Ha! people expect Robert Jordan, but if Brandon tried to sound like RJ they would still be mad. Some people will naysay anything. I loved the Chapter. I am now officially drooling over the The Gathering Storm.

Like others who have posted, I noticed a difference at first, but once I got into the story, it went away. I know one chapter is not much to base this on, but I expected Brandon to hit a home run and he has.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 07, 2009, 05:02:59 PM
It was odd at first but when i finnally adjusted to the new voice it was a fantastic read... i'm not sure if it "belongs" in the classic sense but with everything in flux the voice change is just another small change to Randland.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 08, 2009, 03:35:10 AM
Call me the voice of dissension, apparently, because I absolutely hated it. I read it through three times, and I couldn't stand it at all. I've never been a fan of Jordan, but I was hoping such a fantastic author as Sanderson could make the books actually interesting to read. I'd have read through all of the first Wheel books if these ended up half as promising as anything else Brandon's ever done.

But, no...This was just as boring as the writing that turned me off of Wheel of Time from the very first book. It didn't sound like Brandon's style at all. It's too descriptive...I love details, but not this much! Even when we finally do see the characters, they're barely there for a paragraph before it launches off into more melodramatic scenery. Part of what I love so much about Brandon's writing is the dry, witty dialogue, and so far I've seen none of it here.

Completely disappointed...The only good thing I can see from this is not having to read a bunch of boring books just to get to Brandon's greatness. Sigh. Will be eagerly awaiting the Stormlight Archive, I guess, and hope Brandon's style doesn't get infected by writing in this voice.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Peter Ahlstrom on September 08, 2009, 03:52:30 AM
The description of the wind is something that only happens in first chapters of Wheel of Time books. The rest of the chapters will be more character-focused.

But:
Quote
Even when we finally do see the characters, they're barely there for a paragraph before it launches off into more melodramatic scenery.
Surely you're exaggerating.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 08, 2009, 03:59:13 AM
The description of the wind is something that only happens in first chapters of Wheel of Time books. The rest of the chapters will be more character-focused.

But:
Quote
Even when we finally do see the characters, they're barely there for a paragraph before it launches off into more melodramatic scenery.
Surely you're exaggerating.

Erm, no...? There was perhaps the equivalent of a single paragraph of dialogue, then more shoveling in of unnecessary details, then another small bit of dialogue, then still more shoveling. If you want to count characters' inner voice, then the amount of non-descriptive text in the chapter increases by only a miniscule amount. Like I said, I love description and detail in books--I myself have quite a bit of it in the novel I'm editing--but at some point it starts getting ridiculous.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Ari54 on September 08, 2009, 04:08:32 AM
The description of the wind is something that only happens in first chapters of Wheel of Time books. The rest of the chapters will be more character-focused.

But:
Quote
Even when we finally do see the characters, they're barely there for a paragraph before it launches off into more melodramatic scenery.
Surely you're exaggerating.

Erm, no...? There was perhaps the equivalent of a single paragraph of dialogue, then more shoveling in of unnecessary details, then another small bit of dialogue, then still more shoveling. If you want to count characters' inner voice, then the amount of non-descriptive text in the chapter increases by only a miniscule amount. Like I said, I love description and detail in books--I myself have quite a bit of it in the novel I'm editing--but at some point it starts getting ridiculous.

That really depends how you define "unnecessary". Things like the level of body contact between characters, their reactions and feelings to the unfolding of a conversation, etc... are all rightly intertwined with dialogue in any reasonably descriptive book. Brandon's style in previous books was light on this and conveyed these details in other ways. It's fine if you like that, but all of these details relate to character development in a series as long-spanning as Wheel of Time. We also come in on a pretty introspective chapter so it's not as if this is entirely normal- we're just being reminded about all the psychological baggage the central character has picked up recently.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Peter Ahlstrom on September 08, 2009, 04:11:02 AM
I count 23 paragraphs in a row where 20 of them have dialogue or are almost entirely dialogue.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 08, 2009, 04:37:45 AM
I count 23 paragraphs in a row where 20 of them have dialogue or are almost entirely dialogue.

Alright, I'll give you that at the very end. I blocked it out already, though I will also admit that while I said I read it three times, I read it once fully then couldn't even finish it the next two times. It's that dull. Even what dialogue is there is dry and lifeless...it doesn't have any of the feeling and characterization that Brandon's own books have.

I know I sound like a fangirl, but there are other authors I enjoy just fine. Brandon's characters are just so memorable, and this only reads like some generic fantasy you'd pick up at a dollar store. For once, I think, as I've always thought about Wheel of Time, it is right to judge a book by a cover. Generic fantasy art begets generic fantasy story inside. I'm well aware I'm in the vast minority on this one, but I'm used to it. I didn't particularly like ASoIaF either, but I digress.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Ari54 on September 08, 2009, 04:51:18 AM
If you had trouble with previous WoTs and didn't finish, I can totally see how you'd not be engaged with this chapter, as it kind of depends on having read book #11.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Peter Ahlstrom on September 08, 2009, 04:56:03 AM
The great thing about Brandon is that even if you don't like the book coming out Oct. 27...you got a book from him in June, another book this month, and another book next August that have nothing to do with the Wheel of Time. :)
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 08, 2009, 05:06:25 AM
Wait, what comes out this month? o_o

And yes, that is certainly a great thing. Few authors seem to be as prolific as he's been managing!
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Peter Ahlstrom on September 08, 2009, 05:59:15 AM
Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia. It's already been spotted in the wild at a bookstore in New York.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: TyranAmiros on September 08, 2009, 06:29:34 AM
I could definitely tell it was a different author, but overall I thought it was pretty good.  Chapter one has to have a lot of description between the opening wind and catching the casual readers up after four years since the last book.  

I'm holding my final opinion until I read the entire book, but at this point I just want to see WoT finished, one way or another.  
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 08, 2009, 06:35:52 AM
Reading Jordan is like drinking beer or coffee: it is an acquired taste :P. As for dragging on and no dialogue... lies all lies. The inner struggle with LTT is crazy now!!! Rand actually shouting at him IRL?! Everyone will think he's insane, yada yada, and then Bela will be the Creator. After reading Chapter one I'm GOING INSANE!!! insane enough to be really close to buying the leatherbound edition of TGS for $180....Anyhow, RJ is an acquired taste, and there is nothing generic about him.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Cynewulf on September 08, 2009, 07:42:06 PM
I think Sanderson did wonderfully with this chapter. This has laid any of my lingering fears to rest, I am relieved to say. In terms of quality, I would say that his prose has improved leaps and bounds, and stands head and shoulders above anything he has done so far. I am happy to note that he seems to be moving away from the film-like, snappy dialogue scenes of the Mistborn trilogy. I really see this as an author maturing very quickly, and I am overjoyed to see it.

Also, must disagree with Jakobus, saying that Jordan is an acquired taste. His instant success in the early 90s prove otherwise, and his extreme sales-figures shows that he is a few sizes bigger than any other fantasy author.

Also, there are apparently some misunderstandings that Kestrel needs to have cleared up, really to many to go into in any great detail. Basically, I would recommend the person to learn to read more widely. Jordan really is not very descriptive. He may appear descriptive compared to your run-of-the-mill Fantasy writer. Jordan, however, attempts much more than to write an adventure story. Consider Dumas, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, hell, even Dickens. Jordan's description really are quite economic, and serve a variety of functions, such as accentuating and setting moods and developing rather intricate symbolisms and other themes. That you are not able to keep up with or recognise such things reflects more on you than on any mistakes of the author.

I think Sanderson did really well in achieving a balance between Jordan's style and his own, and it is obvious that he has improved considerably prose-wise. Offering such negative criticsm to a writer when you clearly do not know what you are talking about, is ludicrous. Again, some might consider reading more widely than just their exciting Fantasy novels. With all due respect, certainly.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 08, 2009, 08:09:49 PM
Cynewulf, I think you need to scale back a tad, and not come across borderline rude. Just because Kestrel said that the chapter was boring doesn't mean that you need to say that Kestrel is, essentially, ignorant. For a fantasy novel, Jordan is very descriptive (in my opinion, overly so). Certainly if you compare Jordan to Russian Lit. you will find WoT less descriptive, but I don't recall Kestrel stating that WoT was more descriptive than EVERYTHING. Each person has a level of description that they feel is "a lot" or "too much." Both you and Kestrel have your varied opinions--no need to insult anyone by saying they don't know what they are talking about.

To me, sales figures have nothing to do with whether an art form is an acquired taste or not. For WoT, many of these readers are loyal reader...in business terms, the Love Group. For many people now days, becoming a new reader of WoT IS an acquired taste. WoT just doesn't have the same impact on new readers now as it did when it first came out. Different eras.

There is nothing wrong with criticism of a chapter of a novel. Kestrel pointed out the things he (or she, not quite sure) that he didn't care for. You better believe when I review this book that I am going to hammer the parts I thought were lacking...regardless of Brandon being my personal friend. I'll praise the good, and kick the bad. It doesn't mean that I'm ignorant, and Kestrel's not liking it doesn't mean that he is either. It's all in personal taste.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: readerMom on September 08, 2009, 08:27:58 PM
After having a couple of days to think about it, the chapter seems more interesting than when I first read it. Of course like all the Wheel of TIme a second reading helps. It is nice to know that the layers of complexity are still going to be there.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Cynewulf on September 08, 2009, 08:41:28 PM
Kestrel pointed out the things he (or she, not quite sure) that he didn't care for. [...] It doesn't mean that I'm ignorant, and Kestrel's not liking it doesn't mean that he is either. It's all in personal taste.

Well, she did quite a lot more than just state her opinion on what she thought was bad, in my view. She made a long string of rankling categorical statements, primarily about Jordan and The Wheel of Time, but also about Sanderson. Categorical statements are well and fine in some contexts but not when they are so clearly based on ignorance and personal bias. I felt that merited at least the brief comment above, and I do feel that when someone "goes out" as hard as Kestrel did in this case, they should expect some opposition.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 08, 2009, 08:54:35 PM
But not rude opposition. There's no need for it. You could have stated your point in a much more civilized manner. It's OK to defend the books you like, but understand that you can do it in a nice fashion.

Personally, I can't stand WoT. I'm buying the next novel (from England) to support Brandon, and to review it in a professional capacity. I feel the novel is the epitome of 90's epic fantasy, but that it doesn't pull it's weight in the modern era. I don't think that--all conditions being the same--if Jordan's novels had started being released today they would be as popular. I certainly wouldn't give a crap about them, and hundreds of readers I sold books to wouldn't either. In my opinion, it lacks complexity. It lacks any real sense of danger. In the latter half, it lack character development. It lacks good pacing. I'm looking at Brandon to salvage this series, and I think he will, but that said, I feel his own work is already better. I just feel there is much better work out there now than WoT, and it's not a crime to criticize a work--it gives a broader perspective to potential readers.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Cynewulf on September 08, 2009, 09:10:43 PM
Interesting statements. I certainly disagree with every single one of them, and discussing them in full here would probably take more time than we both have. I would, however, be interested in briefly seeing your positions fleshed out a bit, as some of them seem quite outrageous. This holds especially true for the comment about Sanderson, although I realise  he is your friend. It does hurt somewhat saying this, seeing how nice of a guy he seems to be, along with the effort he is putting into WoT, but Sanderson's published work is clearly inferior to Jordan's by any yardstick.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 08, 2009, 09:37:32 PM
Sanderson's published work is clearly inferior to Jordan's by any yardstick.

Clearly not by my yardstick. "Any" is a bit definitive don't you think? Perhaps any of your yardsticks, because you value different things than I do. That is the beauty of having opposing opinions and expressing them professionally. I respect your opinions just like I respect anyone's. You obviously connect to Jordan's writing on a deep level, and that is fantastic for any reader. I don't. I connect more with authors like Sanderson, Abercrombie, Bakker and Erikson.

I also think your use of the word inferior is misplaced. Inferior is comparing VHS to DVD, not Sanderson to Jordan. I personally think that Sanderson is much more innovative. His characters are more easy to relate to, and they grow though-out the novels. You see, I enjoy a real sense of danger. Will the characters live or die? I just don't feel that in WoT, because none of the main characters have ever been in a situation they didn't get out of. I also feel like in WoT most of the character development was front-heavy. Without that constant progression, the latter half of the series has felt flat compared to 1-6. I'm very interested to see how Brandon handles this in his new series.

I do agree with you that WoT has caused Brandon to improve quicker. I think he was great before, but there was room for improvement. I am his friend, certainly, but I am also a book critic. I review books honestly, regardless of the author, or their current fan-base.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Comfortable Madness on September 08, 2009, 10:05:30 PM
Of course the character development seemed a tad front heavy. The main characters were teenagers that never ventured any further than the outskirts of their tiny village. Thus, after leaving the village and growing up they changed very rapidly and quite a bit. The changes the characters go through now are just way more subtle by comparison. There is just too much substance (ie the hundreds of side-characters) for any more rapid or highly noticable changes in the any of the main characters.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 08, 2009, 10:20:31 PM
I see what you are saying, and to a degree I can agree. However the "huge" events that have transpired should have larger effects on the characters. It's the way they have changed that bothers me. The psychology. Other than a throw-away line here and there, Rand has relatively few psychological scars from Dumai's Wells. Mat rarely thinks about the queen he got killed. Perrin's thoughts can be best summed up as "grr." In fact, lately all the characters seem to be centered around the Eddings philosophy of "one trait makes a character." See where I'm coming from? The emotional complexity that made these character's great in the beginning, to me, has been erased.

Now, much of what I'm saying can be redeemed.  I'm big on endings. A fantastic ending can make me forgive a lot. I don't just mean, "Weeee battles!" I mean character's lives scarred and shattered. I mean characters really learning and showing us who they really are. If the ending really makes me say, "there we go, this should have been the attitude of the WHOLE series," then I will revise my opinions.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Comfortable Madness on September 08, 2009, 10:36:12 PM
I suppose I can see what you're saying and I agree...to a point. You summed up Perrin pretty acurately with "grr". Maybe that's why he started off as my favorite character but now not so much. Mat on the otherhand has definately become, far and away, the most interesting/complex character out of the group. I agree the death of Tylin kind of got shoved aside and buried but that in no way diminshes his complexity. Some of my favorite scenes are of him stumbling his way through his attempted relationship with Tuon and Aludra(for a little bit). He is steadily going from the reluctant hero to a full on hero. His steadily increasing awareness of his importance/responsibility in stopping the Dark One is IMO the best character arc in the story. As, for Rand he is conciously trying to become a "one-trick pony". He actively tries to avoid feeling anything. So, his attempt to become more emotionally wooden is well....making him wooden.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 08, 2009, 10:58:28 PM
Actually we agree 100% on those 3 people. Mat is the only one I care about because he is an agent of, and affected by change.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Andrew the Great on September 09, 2009, 12:47:57 AM
I don't know. I connect with Rand, too. Mostly because I feel so sorry for the poor guy, and his emotions really are quite complex. They just aren't normal. And, as Jason from Dragonmount said, they just continue to get worse. Jason's review states that there is a scene in the middle of the book where Rand hits a new low, or something like that, and that the emotions Rand is feeling at this point were among the most deeply interesting points in the book. That's all paraphrased, FYI.

Mat, I agree, is the only one of the main 3 who still has regular emotions. Perrin..... A little of his slow but deep thinking from the beginning would do much to salvage his character for me. As is, the one word the best sums up Perrin's thoughts is Faile. Hopefully, now that she's back we'll begin to see some real character development from Perrin again.

While the main 3 do seem to have slowed in how they change, they still have the opportunity for lots of character development, and they are all still changing. Just not as noticeably as before.

As a side note, there are several other, smaller characters who also have fairly good character development going on at the moment. The best example I can think of right now is Nynaeve. She's had her whole "Learn to be Aes Sedai" arc, and she's had her "be annoyed at everyone else and find out that I'm not inherently superior just because I'm Aes Sedai" arc. Now, she gets to show us some of her motivations for following Rand around, when she could leave whenever she wants, and we get to see her move slowly from being a whiny, annoying girl to being a much more dignified and controlled woman. She's becoming an Aes Sedai in truth.

We saw much the same thing with Egwene earlier. Now Egwene is developing from an Aes Sedai to the Amyrlin. I expect we'll get more character development from her in the next book that will make it very interesting. After all, she'll have some very important decisions to make, and the results of her actions will affect at least all of the Aes Sedai, if not the rest of the World. That's the kind of pressure that's been working to (at least in part) drive Rand insane.

Now, granted, there are other characters who don't change much. Elayne is a good example of this, which is, I suspect, a large part of why so many people find her so annoying. Faile and Lan are also good examples of this, though Lan may be getting some development sooner or later. Especially when he finds out that Moiraine isn't dead.

The Seanchan are getting more and more development as a whole, which tends to be very interesting as well. The more I find out about them, the more I like hearing about them.

So while character development in this series has slowed, it really hasn't stopped. At all. It's just moved to other characters who didn't get developed as much. I'm sure there are others that could be named that I haven't really been discussing.  The point is, while the huge events in the series may not be affecting the characters as much as you think they should be, they are still affecting them. Some of the main characters have seen pretty much everything, and would be hard to shake with even the largest of events. The smaller character changes are probably a result of that.

Wow. Sorry for the incoherence of that post. I've been reading Act I of Hamlet, memorizing virtually every Trig identity known to man for a quiz in Calculus tomorrow, and reading for AP Gov. My brain really isn't thinking very clearly. If you have trouble following me at some point, just ask me to clarify, and hopefully I'll be able to think by the time I reply.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: mtbikemom on September 09, 2009, 02:23:08 AM
Personally, I can't stand WoT. I'm buying the next novel (from England) to support Brandon, and to review it in a professional capacity. I feel the novel is the epitome of 90's epic fantasy, but that it doesn't pull it's weight in the modern era.  I just feel there is much better work out there now than WoT, and it's not a crime to criticize a work--it gives a broader perspective to potential readers.

That is an interesting perspective to me.  Realize, though, that some of us are completely stuck in the 90's.  The 1890's.  Ha ha.

What I mean to say is that, in my selective universe of violent-but-Victorian taste in books and movies, RJ and Brandon provide a welcome departure from the stuff that is entirely too modern.  For me.  Any morphing of the two is a dream come true, so I am disposed to be very forgiving.  I don't think I'd have said anything nice if I had reviewed the stinker that was CoT in print, but I enjoyed Knife of Dreams much more than I should have, probably, and intend to embrace almost anything WoT on the horizon.  My only complaint was that I finished the chapter before I finished my bowl of soup today, but I was eating out of Brandon's hand.   = ]... 
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Batchman on September 09, 2009, 04:29:13 AM
My only complaint was that I finished the chapter before I finished my bowl of soup today, but I was eating out of Brandon's hand.   = ]... 

Didn'tthat kind of affect the flavor of the soup?

I hope Brandon washed his hands before returning to the keyboard.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 09, 2009, 04:45:27 AM
Steve your critism of WoT was informed and polite, Kestrel's was needless raving that i found offensive, i didn't start reading WoT until 2004 or 05 and fell in love with the series... and i do understand why people dislike the begining of the books but that problem exist also in Malazan Books of the Fallen at an even slower pace. WoT is clearly more complex than your average fantasy novel and while i think Brandon is a more skilled writer i would rather read WoT than any other series on the market. Plus my family has mental illness in every generation so it's easy for me to connect with Rand.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 09, 2009, 05:09:37 AM
I get that Kaz. To each his own. You had/have a reason to connect to characters in WoT that I don't have. Of course, we have discussed this before, and you know I get bored by WoT.

All of which makes me curious since Brandon said I would enjoy this one. I guess when the superior British edition comes in the mail, I'll find out. Don't worry, when I review it, I will be fair.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 09, 2009, 05:49:41 AM
I concur with Caz. Compared to some other fantasy novels I've read, this one is much kinder... (heh heh) and more complex. Everyone I've spoken with has hated WoT because of it's complexity. I don't understand why they have such a hard time, I followed the story perfectly. Anyhow, I feel slightly noobish asking this, but why wait for the British edition?
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: mtbikemom on September 09, 2009, 06:17:25 AM
My only complaint was that I finished the chapter before I finished my bowl of soup today, but I was eating out of Brandon's hand.   = ]... 

Didn'tthat kind of affect the flavor of the soup?

I hope Brandon washed his hands before returning to the keyboard.

Ewwww. . . .

I mean, ha ha. 

I really hope you are not much older than 12, Batchman.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Chaos on September 09, 2009, 07:04:26 AM
I concur with Caz. Compared to some other fantasy novels I've read, this one is much kinder... (heh heh) and more complex. Everyone I've spoken with has hated WoT because of it's complexity. I don't understand why they have such a hard time, I followed the story perfectly. Anyhow, I feel slightly noobish asking this, but why wait for the British edition?

Mainly so he doesn't have to have the American cover with Khan on it.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: TyranAmiros on September 09, 2009, 07:22:31 AM
Quote
So while character development in this series has slowed, it really hasn't stopped. At all. It's just moved to other characters who didn't get developed as much. I'm sure there are others that could be named that I haven't really been discussing.  The point is, while the huge events in the series may not be affecting the characters as much as you think they should be, they are still affecting them. Some of the main characters have seen pretty much everything, and would be hard to shake with even the largest of events. The smaller character changes are probably a result of that.


Also, the amount of time each book covers has shrunken, so while Eye of the World or Fires of Heaven cover months of times, Crown of Swords or Crossroads of Twilight only cover a couple of weeks.  I don't know how much character development we might expect in Perrin, for example, over the 40 or so days he's been hunting Faile, even if that represents four books of story.  I think we'll see major character development for Rand in this book, and hopefully for Egwene as well. 
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Anulith on September 09, 2009, 02:15:18 PM
Also, the amount of time each book covers has shrunken, so while Eye of the World or Fires of Heaven cover months of times, Crown of Swords or Crossroads of Twilight only cover a couple of weeks.  I don't know how much character development we might expect in Perrin, for example, over the 40 or so days he's been hunting Faile, even if that represents four books of story.  I think we'll see major character development for Rand in this book, and hopefully for Egwene as well. 

An excellent point and one I don't think many readers consider.  I've been rereading the series all year (I'm a slow reader, I would much rather take my time and be ensconced in the series rather than rush through it) and am currently about a third of the way into Crossroads of Twilight.  Perrin just mentioned that it had been something like 22 days since Faile had been taken.  That was a book and a half ago.  http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/1000_NE
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: apbadd on September 09, 2009, 06:05:22 PM
Anulith - I scream Jinx.

I too have been reading WOT all year (slow reader here too) and am not about half way through COT.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 09, 2009, 06:29:39 PM
Oh I realize that less time has passed. I don't, however, feel that it absolves the need for character change and development. Time changes people slowly, events change them quickly. Static characters are boring to me. Obviously we can go back and forth on this for days. I also am not taking into account (as some of you are) the predicted development of characters like rand in the next book. It hasn't come out yet, and I'm not assuming it will be awesome. The jury, as they say, is still out.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: WriterDan on September 09, 2009, 08:20:43 PM
Oh I realize that less time has passed. I don't, however, feel that it absolves the need for character change and development.

Spot on, Steve.  Time doesn't matter.  Story does.  And if a story doesn't affect a character?  Man, what's the point?

That said, I love WoT.  Though I won't be reading anything that's "pre-released".  Will wait for the actual book, and am planning an entire re-read of the series over the next two years.  Excited and hopeful.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Andrew the Great on September 09, 2009, 11:21:22 PM
I'm impressed with your self-control. I found out chapter one was out, and was over there shortly afterward, even though I was planning on waiting until the whole thing came out. My thoughts went something like this.

Me:"Must .... wait....."
Tempting voice from nowhere/internet-land: "Chapter one.....
Me:"Must....Wait......"
Voice:"Chapter One......"
Me:"Chapter One......"

Yeah, my resolve lasted about 3 seconds when it came down to it. And though I don't typically like buying things twice, I already know I'll end up buying the prologue later this month, too.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 10, 2009, 09:24:42 PM
Quote
Also, there are apparently some misunderstandings that Kestrel needs to have cleared up, really to many to go into in any great detail. Basically, I would recommend the person to learn to read more widely.

Haha, oh wow. Wow. I'm sorry for laughing, because I haven't posted here often enough for anyone to know much about me, but to even suggest I need to read more widely. Dear, I read everything from Dickens to Murakami, from Nabokov to Saramago to Yoshikawa, to any more "pulpy" fantasy you'd pick up on a Barnes & Noble shelf. My reading experience has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I think Jordan is overly wordy. It's the same reason I can't stand Tolkien. It's too bloody dry.

Quote
Just because Kestrel said that the chapter was boring doesn't mean that you need to say that Kestrel is, essentially, ignorant...Kestrel pointed out the things he (or she, not quite sure) that he didn't care for...

Thank you. :) I didn't think I was coming off as overly inflammatory, though I am aware that Wheel of Time fans seem to be incredibly devoted--after this many books, I'm not surprised. Hell, I dated a hardcore fan for three years, I'm aware of people's love for the series. And it's she, just to clear that up.

Quote
I do feel that when someone "goes out" as hard as Kestrel did in this case, they should expect some opposition.

Don't worry, I did. xD I wasn't trying to troll or anything, but I certainly expected disagreement.

Quote
Sanderson's published work is clearly inferior to Jordan's by any yardstick.

Agreeing with Bookstore Guy in saying "not by mine." I've read nearly everything Sanderson's released by now barring the Alcatraz books, and I'd choose him as the more enjoyable and more capable author than Jordan any day--no offense to Jordan, of course. Like I said, Brandon seems much more capable when it comes to his systems of magic (though I do enjoy what exists in WoT), infusing characters with life, and the amount of detail put into his work in general. By detail I don't mean how I complained about Jordan's descriptions, I mean how things all connect--such as the ending result of Sazed's religious studies in Mistborn.

Quote
Kestrel's was needless raving that i found offensive

I explained exactly what I found to my displeasure about the chapter, my post was hardly "needless raving." I understand some Wheel of Time fans are to literature what console fanboys are to video games, but I've been as polite as possible in the matter--I would appreciate if you did the same, regardless of differing opinions. I'm not attacking you for your love of a book I find dull, am I? I fail to see how you could find that 'Offensive' unless you'd been the author yourself.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 10, 2009, 11:36:11 PM
Your sense of manners is that of a child who got away with saying almost anything that came to mind... what is offensive is the fact of how you say it not the meaning behind it.


P.S. I am not saying my manners are good but then again i don't defend them...ever
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: IngtarWhoStoleChristmas on September 11, 2009, 12:15:53 AM
Quote
I understand some Wheel of Time fans are to literature what console fanboys are to video games, but I've been as polite as possible in the matter--I would appreciate if you did the same, regardless of differing opinions. I'm not attacking you for your love of a book I find dull, am I? I fail to see how you could find that 'Offensive' unless you'd been the author yourself.

I'm not sure how many different ways I should be offended here. I am a fan of both WOT and Console video game systems. Your comments seem to be disparaging and attack anyone who doesn't agree with you as somehow being less than you. I believe that is what other people's overall objections to your comments has been.

Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 11, 2009, 12:22:12 AM
Your sense of manners is that of a child who got away with saying almost anything that came to mind... what is offensive is the fact of how you say it not the meaning behind it.


P.S. I am not saying my manners are good but then again i don't defend them...ever

...Excuse me? I'm sorry, but I really didn't say anything out of line at all. Then again, I'm not the one calling people ignorant and getting personally offended over a book that I'm a fan of. ._.

Quote
I'm not sure how many different ways I should be offended here. I am a fan of both WOT and Console video game systems. Your comments seem to be disparaging and attack anyone who doesn't agree with you as somehow being less than you.

-How-? I love video games, but if you can seriously defend the irrationality of the most hardcore fanboys in -any- system's camp, well, I don't know what to say. As for how I've once attacked someone, I'm at a loss. It's becoming quite clear that very few people here can handle differing opinions. All I've done was point out why I didn't like WoT and I may as well have burned down an orphanage.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: jjb on September 11, 2009, 12:49:28 AM
You burned down an orphanage?!?!  That discredits you even more!
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Mennis on September 11, 2009, 03:20:28 AM
I read it, I liked it mostly. I thought the tease the wind gave of reviewing several major plot threads quickly with it blowing so far was, at first annoying as a Trolloc at a dinner party, but then I realized something. I was annoyed because I was immediately expecting each new paragraph to grow into a focus on that thread, so I guess Brandon's use of the technique worked. I was hoping for more in Chapter one on Egwene, as her story line has shown more growth than 2 of the boys. She's in far and away the most interesting position of any Edmonds Field character now, including Rand.
         Rand seemed much more insane than last book, but that might just be a result of the cat being out of the bag. Since Semi outed his malady, he no longer has to try to maintain an appearance of sanity with those close to him. I was already feeling sympathy, and from the Dragonmount description of the book that was posted there, he'll be in hell in Randland soon.
        I thought the whole must find Faile sequence should have been deleted from the novels, as I just don't see it at this point as anything other than a distraction. I haven't gathered how any of  its events drive the plot forward.
       Mat is growing nicely, but what's next for him and the Band now that he's spending his honeymoon on the opposite side of battle from his bride. What's he gonna do next?
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 11, 2009, 03:57:53 AM
When did i venture comment about ignorance can someone kindly point that out for me? Get your fact's straight if you wish to point the finger. Also, if that comment wasn't directed at me then i will rephrase what i stated earlier... you phrase things poorly your intent isn't what has people upset...we get it you dislike WoT but so does Steve and no one cares about the comments he put forth... how you say something is rather important, and the fact that you don't understand what you did that got such a reaction doesn't reflect much on you or your upbringing. So please either think about your aproach and find out what was offensive on your own, or stop playing the victim and just accept that you don't think highly enough of those around you to care if they are offended.

P.S. i have many faults but i can almost certainly tell what i did wrong on reflection my problem is justification.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 11, 2009, 04:23:23 AM
...we get it you dislike WoT but so does Steve and no one cares about the comments he put forth...

But, but...no one cares? I thought I was was special? My mom said I was...
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Peter Ahlstrom on September 11, 2009, 06:30:56 AM
I still don't think Rand is insane. Well, Lews Therin is really there. Rand certainly has issues--needing to be steel, his obsession with dead women's names/faces, but that's not insanity in my mind.

His really dangerous problem is the dizziness etc when seizing Saidin.

(And no, I have not read the book early.)
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: mtbikemom on September 11, 2009, 02:32:49 PM
...we get it you dislike WoT but so does Steve and no one cares about the comments he put forth...

But, but...no one cares? I thought I was was special? My mom said I was...

Yet another victim of the self esteem movement.   :'(     

Amen to everything posed by Ookla and Mennis.  I really loved the way Brandon wrote the wind sequence.  I usually breeze over that stuff to get to the action, especially when the prologue has been less than engaging, but Brandon got me looking at the map and really connecting the breeze to what was happening in relation to the geography.  I liked that a whole lot.  My book is pre-ordered and  hope I have the discipline to wait until then to read the prologue.  Probly not.

Kaz, can't we all just get along?  Don't worry, be happy!  O.K., now I'm stuck in the eighties. . . .
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Anulith on September 11, 2009, 05:20:25 PM
Oh I realize that less time has passed. I don't, however, feel that it absolves the need for character change and development. Time changes people slowly, events change them quickly. Static characters are boring to me.

I agree wholeheartedly that static characters are boring.  However, I would not agree that Perrin has become static and underdeveloped.  I think that is what we are discussing here.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Perrin has reacted to the events in his life.  He has been pushed the entire way into becoming something he never wanted to be.  The major change in his life has been Faile.  He loves her.  A deep, blind love that changes a man into something he normally doesn't even understand himself.  Nothing else matters to Perrin but Faile, be it Rand, Tarmon Gai'don, or the Dark One.  With Faile by his side he has the courage and will to deal with those things.  However, if he loses Faile then there is no point to go on and he won't.  In all likelihood he would either kill himself or retreat to within.  That is the reason he spends so much time trying to get her back.  It does add to the plotline.  It shows us just how much Perrin is infatuated with Faile and where his loyalties really lie.  We are a very short jump now from Perrin as he is to a Darkfriend Perrin who is forced to the follow the will of the Dark One because Faile is in danger or because Faile leads him astray.  She has more influence over him currently than anyone else and it has taken all this to show just how strong those bonds are so if something like the aforementioned were to happen it wouldn't seem out of character for him to suddenly be willing to give up the world for his love.

I have no knowledge of the coming books and haven't even read chapter one, for that matter I'm about half way through CoT and can't even remember what else happens in this and the next book.  I'm not saying either of those things will happen, just that something like that could be where the current character development of Perrin could be leading.  Was the chase in the books boring to read when compared with everything else that is going on in Randland?  Without a doubt.  Was it necessary.  I'm going to say probably.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Comfortable Madness on September 11, 2009, 06:41:50 PM
Oh I realize that less time has passed. I don't, however, feel that it absolves the need for character change and development. Time changes people slowly, events change them quickly. Static characters are boring to me.

I agree wholeheartedly that static characters are boring.  However, I would not agree that Perrin has become static and underdeveloped.  I think that is what we are discussing here.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Perrin has reacted to the events in his life.  He has been pushed the entire way into becoming something he never wanted to be.  The major change in his life has been Faile.  He loves her.  A deep, blind love that changes a man into something he normally doesn't even understand himself.  Nothing else matters to Perrin but Faile, be it Rand, Tarmon Gai'don, or the Dark One.  With Faile by his side he has the courage and will to deal with those things.  However, if he loses Faile then there is no point to go on and he won't.  In all likelihood he would either kill himself or retreat to within.  That is the reason he spends so much time trying to get her back.  It does add to the plotline.  It shows us just how much Perrin is infatuated with Faile and where his loyalties really lie.  We are a very short jump now from Perrin as he is to a Darkfriend Perrin who is forced to the follow the will of the Dark One because Faile is in danger or because Faile leads him astray.  She has more influence over him currently than anyone else and it has taken all this to show just how strong those bonds are so if something like the aforementioned were to happen it wouldn't seem out of character for him to suddenly be willing to give up the world for his love.

I have no knowledge of the coming books and haven't even read chapter one, for that matter I'm about half way through CoT and can't even remember what else happens in this and the next book.  I'm not saying either of those things will happen, just that something like that could be where the current character development of Perrin could be leading.  Was the chase in the books boring to read when compared with everything else that is going on in Randland?  Without a doubt.  Was it necessary.  I'm going to say probably.

Good point. But what you're really trying to say is.......

Down with Faile, up with Berelain! ;D ;)
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 11, 2009, 06:50:44 PM
I like Berelian much more that she isn't trying to get into Perrins pants.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 11, 2009, 08:06:15 PM
As I said, I believe that Perrin has become static. Both him and Rand have become one-trick-ponies and single minded. You're right, for Perrin all he thinks about is Faile regardless of what else is going on, and I feel that is boring. It used to be when we saw Perrin we saw his internal and external struggles and growth. We saw him learn. Perrin stopped learning after he became "Lord Perrin." Same with Rand. You know that when it gets to a Rand section all we get to see is him recite a list of names, and say, "I need to be harder." Regardless of what is happening to them, they act the same. Perrin growls while Rand lists names (much like Arya in Martin's novels). Mat is the only character I feel is actually growing, and consequently the only character I care about.

I also feel that the female characters have all had their personalities meld to closely. I want individual characters, not a group that share one brain.

What I need to see is these characters growing the heck up. After everything they have seen and experienced, they are still the most narrow-minded characters I have ever read. It's like I reading the one-trait characters from an Eddings novel again. This was fine when I was twelve, but I'm almost 30 now. I need some complexity in the characters, and only Mat shows any sign of that.

Edit: I also agree with Ookla, the insanity (which really isnt insanity at all here) isnt the danger. His control over the power is the problem. I would like to see a character close to Rand die because of his issue so he, you know, has to have a reaction of some sort. In fact, having a main character die would be a great way to actually shake up the series a bit and lend some sort of ACTUAL DANGER to the people.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: darxbane on September 11, 2009, 09:03:47 PM
I think static is an unfair term.  Stretched is more accurate, I think.  In both Rand and Perrin's case, they are holding onto something way too hard.   I feel most people who dislike these books are those who have become jaded by the sheer wait that had to be (and is still being) endured to finally get a resolution to the story, and  I certainly understand how they feel.  I like that Bookstore has left room for the finale to possibly change his opinion of the  overall story.  After all, the story is static as of right now.  It has been 4+ books worth of build-up over 15 years.  That can get frustrating for anyone.  Personnally, I have only been reading the series since '03, so the books fit together better for me simply because I didn't have to wait to read a book until KoD.

Back to Perrin; I agree with Anulith, and would like to add that Perrin's "growth" has been negative, but is still occurring.  The thoughtful, gentle giant has been replaced by a dangerous and desperate man.  A man who list his entire family, and so holds onto Faille as his last real connection to humanity.  It feels like he honestly believes that Faille is the only thing keeping him from becoming Feral, for lack of a better term.  RJ has stated that there will be a significant consequence to Perrin spending all that time rescuing Faille.  With any luck, it will be worth the wait.


Kestrel,
Couldn't your extremely high praise of Brandon also be considered "Fanboyism"?  Also, don't you think one chapter of a book, especially one that requires reading of prior books in order to understand it, is too little a sampling to make a sound judgement?  As hard as it is for me to believe that a Fantasy enthusiast would be unable to at least read through and respect Tolkien, never mind Jordan, I respect your opinion.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 11, 2009, 09:32:01 PM
RJ has stated that there will be a significant consequence to Perrin spending all that time rescuing Faile. 

And see this is what I'm waiting for. Consequences. Danger. Change. Cause right now the only consequence is me being bored to death. I mean really, do you actually worry about any of these characters? I find it impossible. Even when the characters DID die in book five, Rand pressed the magic reset button. Lame. Since then, There has been no need to feel worried. Compare this with how I feel when reading Abercrombie, Martin, Erikson, Sanderson, etc. A character bites the dust, and suddenly I wonder, "oh crap, who is next?"  See what I mean?

Also, don't you think one chapter of a book, especially one that requires reading of prior books in order to understand it, is too little a sampling to make a sound judgement?  As hard as it is for me to believe that a Fantasy enthusiast would be unable to at least read through and respect Tolkien, never mind Jordan, I respect your opinion.

This is actually a great point. I am making my judgments and opinions based off several read-throughs of the series. This is why, as a book reviewer, I read the whole book/series regardless; it adds weight (imo) to my arguments while letting me see the other side's views as well.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Anulith on September 11, 2009, 09:49:20 PM
As I said, I believe that Perrin has become static. Both him and Rand have become one-trick-ponies and single minded. You're right, for Perrin all he thinks about is Faile regardless of what else is going on, and I feel that is boring. It used to be when we saw Perrin we saw his internal and external struggles and growth. We saw him learn. Perrin stopped learning after he became "Lord Perrin." Same with Rand. You know that when it gets to a Rand section all we get to see is him recite a list of names, and say, "I need to be harder." Regardless of what is happening to them, they act the same. Perrin growls while Rand lists names (much like Arya in Martin's novels). Mat is the only character I feel is actually growing, and consequently the only character I care about.

I agree that neither Rand nor Perrin are as fun to read as they once were but I still must disagree that it is because of character stagnation.  I believe with Perrin, at least, it is intentional to show just how obsessed he is with Faile.  In the beginning we got to see Perrin grow considerably, mostly him exploring his new "powers" and the transition from simple blacksmith to nobility.  Then we saw Perrin change again into a married man and we started seeing some of the issues that come along with being married, however boring they may be to read about in a fantasy series.  Lately, however, Perrin's character has been developed into a different person.  Something has threatened what he loves more than anything and he is reacting to that.   Because of that he becomes very snappy with people and has a very clouded mind.  Just think back on Aram, how many warning signs did we have that Aram's loyalties to Perrin were faltering?  Yet he didn't see that because he was consumed.  His character has developed, it just may be into someone that you don't particularly enjoy reading about and I can't say that I blame you for that.

As for Rand, honestly, I'm hoping the last three books brings some sort of change in him.  I could almost believe that Jordan didn't know how to have him behave once he accepted his place as the Dragon Reborn, but I have more respect for him as an author and like to think Rand is intentional as well.  There has been plenty of foreshadowing with Cadsuane saying that she is going to teach him to laugh and Min saying Cadsuane must teach Rand and all the Asha'man something.  I think that Rand is doing what he thinks he must but it will be Cadsuane who teaches him that he must be more than just the Dragon Reborn, he must be human as well.

I also feel that the female characters have all had their personalities meld to closely. I want individual characters, not a group that share one brain.

I miss Moiraine.  It seems Jordan struggles to write women from their POV and not make them come across as simple sometimes.

Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 12, 2009, 06:29:35 AM
Kestrel,
Couldn't your extremely high praise of Brandon also be considered "Fanboyism"?  Also, don't you think one chapter of a book, especially one that requires reading of prior books in order to understand it, is too little a sampling to make a sound judgement?  As hard as it is for me to believe that a Fantasy enthusiast would be unable to at least read through and respect Tolkien, never mind Jordan, I respect your opinion.

I don't know if I'm a fangirl. It's hard to say where one is just a huge fan and where one's love is more irrational. I also am not entirely sure if I'd agree that one needs more than a single chapter to judge a book by. Maybe for a more detailed judgment, but I think one can tell from the outset if they'd at least -possibly- enjoy a book.

As for Tolkien, I don't like him for the same reason I don't like Jordan--dry, overly wordy, etc. I don't see being overly verbose as any sign of intelligence or a hallmark of great literature. I'm also just not a fan of Tolkien-esque elements in fantasy--regardless of the author, I have little interest in orcs, willowy, woodsy elves, hobbits/halflings (*shudder*), the list goes on.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Isabel on September 12, 2009, 08:30:46 AM
And see this is what I'm waiting for. Consequences. Danger. Change. Cause right now the only consequence is me being bored to death. I mean really, do you actually worry about any of these characters? I find it impossible. Even when the characters DID die in book five, Rand pressed the magic reset button. Lame. Since then, There has been no need to feel worried. Compare this with how I feel when reading Abercrombie, Martin, Erikson, Sanderson, etc. A character bites the dust, and suddenly I wonder, "oh crap, who is next?"  See what I mean?

Ok, tell me how RJ could have done it differently. He started a series in which foreshadowing is a huge point. In book one you have a lot of foreshadowing about the main characters. Basicly you know they can't die, unless the foreshadowing has happened. So would you want RJ to ignore everything he wrote before, just to kill of a few characters?? Jordan is consistent in what he wrote before.

If RJ had a chance to write another series and wouldn't have killed off anyone, than you should have the right to say that he doesn't kill off characters.  BTW, you don't know if he has planned to kill a few characters at Tarmon Gaidon.

And another point: You are criticing RJ about a series he started in the 80's. Abercombe, Martin, Erikson and Sanderson all wrote their fantasy series after RJ. So their series can be seen as  a reaction on what RJ wrote.

Besides: everyone has things they like in a series. It would be boring if every author kills off the likeble characters.
I, for example,try not to care that much about characters from an author who kills of a lot of characters. Like Erikson. (although you can say, he reincarnates a lot of people as well)




Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Batchman on September 12, 2009, 03:38:43 PM
I don't plan to argue the like Jordan, dislike Jordan thing. I like Jordan, I felt he wrote a great epic fantasy series, and I lok forward to seeing the conclusion, even if it comes from another author. I do not feel that Jordan is one of the best authors ever ... but he seems pretty darn good at the genre he chose to write in.

But talking about things changing and prophecy and foreshadowing and all the rest, I just had some thoughts that I wanted to share. We all know that Balefire is some incredibly powerful stuff, and too much of it could destroy the world, and the Dark One cannot bring back his servants that were destroyed by Balefire.

But it seems that prophecy can take balefire into account. Even when characters get killed, prophecy can see that they will be brought back to life, and show what happens to them after they were killed, and then unkilled. It would seem that the foxes and snakes (sorry, can't remember the exact names of the races) knew Mat would be brought back to life. Min saw things about at least a couple of characters who were dead, and then weren't.

It just seemed kind of interesting to me. Any thoughts? I know from the Hoid threads that some of you can igure some of these things much more in-depth than I can.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 12, 2009, 08:30:11 PM
Yes as ridiculous as it may sound, i am defending Steve...
@Isabel you need to read all of what Steve (bookstore guy) says before you critic him because while he believes the series has become static he also mentioned how he had a great deal of respect for what RJ has done for the genre.

@Steve which books do you enjoy of the series the first three surely? I don't think anyone could call the characters anything less than dynamic at the begining.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: yakumo fujii on September 13, 2009, 07:00:19 PM
I see what you are saying, and to a degree I can agree. However the "huge" events that have transpired should have larger effects on the characters. It's the way they have changed that bothers me. The psychology. Other than a throw-away line here and there, Rand has relatively few psychological scars from Dumai's Wells. Mat rarely thinks about the queen he got killed. Perrin's thoughts can be best summed up as "grr." In fact, lately all the characters seem to be centered around the Eddings philosophy of "one trait makes a character." See where I'm coming from? The emotional complexity that made these character's great in the beginning, to me, has been erased.


I just completely disagree.

Rand has few psychological scars from Dumai Wells, really? He scoured the entire battlefield and memorized the face and name of every dead maiden. He thinks and obsesses over them and all the other women who have died in his service all the time. And lets not forget the mental scars from being locked in a box and beaten, it's the root cause for his ever deepening paranoia.

Perrin is also a man obsessed, although in this case the obsession is with his wife, an obsession that is leading him down a brutal path. One only has to look at his treatment of the Shaido prisoner he tortured to see how much he's changed and how strong the inner conflict is between the good man underneath, his obsession and the more primal violent instincts that lay close to the surface in him.

Mat has matured from the boy he was in the beginning of the series, but he's still a man who lives in the moment, it would be way out of character for him to brood over Tylin's death.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Bookstore Guy on September 14, 2009, 05:34:30 AM
Yes as ridiculous as it may sound, i am defending Steve...
@Isabel you need to read all of what Steve (bookstore guy) says before you critic him because while he believes the series has become static he also mentioned how he had a great deal of respect for what RJ has done for the genre.

@Steve which books do you enjoy of the series the first three surely? I don't think anyone could call the characters anything less than dynamic at the begining.

Exactly. I don't think I have ever said RJ is terrible. I respect him greatly. Especially his ability to plot long-term, and for his initial...pushing of the genre. I just don't think the current end of his series has been up to par with the beginning. Eye of the World was published in 1990 as I recall, and at the time, it was great. Book 2 is still one of my fav. novels--as I have said repeatedly--and book 3 has a terrific end. It is also in book 3 where Rand's female issues begin, not Dumai's Wells.

I wish he would have evolved his characters more. I do agree 100% with Kaz in that they were dynamic at the beginning. I'm pretty sure that has been my stance forfreakingever. I feel that the characters were pushed out of focus after book 6 (though I could include the cheap use of balefire as a reset in book 5 as where my problems begin). Death of characters just for deaths sake isn't what I'm arguing at all. The death of a character is waste if it doesn't affect the other PoVs in a deep way. I never said "kill all of them." I said that a strategic death could have given the readers a real sense of danger when reading these characters. Remind us of their mortality. After book 6, the series becomes more about the world, and less about the characters...this is an observation made by Brandon that I fully agree with.

As for psychological scars, they are relatively bleh so far. Mat is the only one who really worries about what has been done to him (the whole "looking though my eyes" thing--I like it). And I still think Mat should have more issues with Tylin dying. Living in the moment doesn't cut it for me. Getting someone killed isn't something he should gloss over--he didn't for a bit, and then it was like that switch was flipped off--and it wouldn't be out of character.

I rather think with Rand, the cause of his paranoia has to do with being chased around for the prior 5 novels and almost losing his friends in book 5 (which he reset) than being in a box. And honestly, his paranoia isn't really that huge yet--rather minor really. He has minor claustrophobia, not major.

Once again, I'm not criticizing the series RJ started in the 90's. I'm criticizing the lack of focus in the characters and their lack of growth in the last 5 novels. And I'm also pretty dang sure that I'm not pointing fingers saying "your an idiot for liking WoT." Isabel--please don't ever suggest that I would even consider that. I have been very open with my feelings on the WoT, as well as being realistic about thinking the series can be redeemed for me. I've said this is the beauty of being informed about the series (remember, I've read through it several times)--we can discuss things without insulting each other.

As for balefire, I'm glad it isn't used much anymore. It was overused, and is a get-out-of-jail-free card. A magic bullet, if you will. Though I certainly see your point about it being taken into account in prophecy. Interesting. All the hooplah, and it was already figured into the equation.

Kaz--It is never ridiculous defending me. It just shows you see I'm being objective and non-insulting with my PoV. Believe me, a good end to the series is what I want. If one thing can be said of me (besides being very blunt...and awesome...and handsome...and crazy-humble) it's that I crave a good story. A good ending could make me like this series again.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: mtbikemom on September 14, 2009, 11:35:33 AM
Wow, BSG, you must be as handsome as I am beautiful.  And humble.  We are like a cosmic brother/sister act. 

Seriously, though I think I am more emotionally invested in WoT than you are, I agree with everything you've said.  The one thing that cannot be denied in defense of balefire is that it accomplished the removal of certain characters without chance of reincarnation.  Of course, then RJ just added fifty-or-so additional minor and eventually insignificant characters for each balefired bad guy.  (sigh)  But I also persevere with hope. 

Knife of Dreams wasn't "good," I think, as much as it was a huge relief that it didn't totally stink.  And stuff happened.  But the shift in tempo was a bit jarring.  Here's hoping Brandon strikes a good balance.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 14, 2009, 09:28:50 PM
I think a lot of people share your perspective BSG. Most of my friends stopped at book 8 because it got so boring. I like reading the political crap Elayne goes through. I didn't like Perrin's part, while at the beginning he's my favorite character. In AMoL RJ is opening up a few other plot lines that will be epic! I agree with you that the characters have remained pretty stagnant throughout the last few books, but I don't care that much. I'm in love with the story, and it's been moving along just fine IMO.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Roberts on September 15, 2009, 04:06:27 AM
I think it's fascinating that somehow I knew that specific sentences were Brandon Sanderson-style prose. I guess I'm more familiar with his books than I thought? For example, I think there was a sentence about how the White Tower was a metaphor, and it seemed straight out of Mistborn. It's just me nitpicking because I have no real complaints. :)
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Ari54 on September 18, 2009, 11:23:03 AM
Kestrel,
Couldn't your extremely high praise of Brandon also be considered "Fanboyism"?  Also, don't you think one chapter of a book, especially one that requires reading of prior books in order to understand it, is too little a sampling to make a sound judgement?  As hard as it is for me to believe that a Fantasy enthusiast would be unable to at least read through and respect Tolkien, never mind Jordan, I respect your opinion.

I don't know if I'm a fangirl. It's hard to say where one is just a huge fan and where one's love is more irrational. I also am not entirely sure if I'd agree that one needs more than a single chapter to judge a book by. Maybe for a more detailed judgment, but I think one can tell from the outset if they'd at least -possibly- enjoy a book.

As for Tolkien, I don't like him for the same reason I don't like Jordan--dry, overly wordy, etc. I don't see being overly verbose as any sign of intelligence or a hallmark of great literature. I'm also just not a fan of Tolkien-esque elements in fantasy--regardless of the author, I have little interest in orcs, willowy, woodsy elves, hobbits/halflings (*shudder*), the list goes on.

One chapter lets you judge narrative voice. If narrative voice is a bottom line for you, then you may only need a single chapter to decide a book isn't for you. I would caution you that narrative voice changes as authors grow, so if it's voice you need to like, then it's hard to say a whole series is wrong for you just because the first book is.

You're right about verbosity not being an advantage. I think brevity is actually one of the biggest reasons I like Brandon's books.

My bottom lines tend to be on plot and theme, and thus I need at least a whole book to decide whether I like an author, but I tend to not be disappointed moving from a book to a series. :)
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Wielder on September 18, 2009, 07:15:00 PM
I really want to read this chapter, but I still haven't had time to.  Yet.  I'm happy that they are releasing pieces early.  I hope we get another two chapters (and the prologue, of course).


As for Tolkien, I don't like him for the same reason I don't like Jordan--dry, overly wordy, etc. I don't see being overly verbose as any sign of intelligence or a hallmark of great literature. I'm also just not a fan of Tolkien-esque elements in fantasy--regardless of the author, I have little interest in orcs, willowy, woodsy elves, hobbits/halflings (*shudder*), the list goes on.

To be honest, I'm actually one of the few people I know who dislike Tolkien.  (Nice to meet you, Kestrel. :))  I took a course on the subject (we did a close reading of the entire series, along with a few additional works), and even though I see the literary significance of his work, I still think the story itself is completely un-fulfilling.  I've also turned into one of those people who almost immediately drop a book if those Tolkien-esque creatures start to appear.

But for some reason, I still like Jordan.  The thing is, even though I like Jordan's work, I still haven't finished it, and probably never will, because I think he drags thing out for far too long halfway through the series. 

And yay all the Mat love.  Mat for chief Ta'veren!
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 18, 2009, 07:23:47 PM
As for Tolkien, I don't like him for the same reason I don't like Jordan--dry, overly wordy, etc. I don't see being overly verbose as any sign of intelligence or a hallmark of great literature. I'm also just not a fan of Tolkien-esque elements in fantasy--regardless of the author, I have little interest in orcs, willowy, woodsy elves, hobbits/halflings (*shudder*), the list goes on.

To be honest, I'm actually one of the few people I know who dislike Tolkien.  (Nice to meet you, Kestrel. :))  I took a course on the subject (we did a close reading of the entire series, along with a few additional works), and even though I see the literary significance of his work, I still think the story itself is completely un-fulfilling.  I've also turned into one of those people who almost immediately drop a book if those Tolkien-esque creatures start to appear.

But for some reason, I still like Jordan.  The thing is, even though I like Jordan's work, I still haven't finished it, and probably never will, because I think he drags thing out for far too long halfway through the series. 

And yay all the Mat love.  Mat for chief Ta'veren!


I'm with you too. I can't stand Tolkien anymore. I worked at a scout camp for the summer and EVERYONE up there were obsessed with Tolkien. While they were yelling about the White Hand and other LotR things I was screaming Manetheran! He is too descriptive, and that really irritates me. He did have a huge impact on fantasy, there is no doubt about that, but newer authors are far superior to him.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 18, 2009, 09:50:31 PM
Bad choice of words, you may prefer many authors to Tolkien but it is impossible to be superior than the Father of English Fantasy.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 19, 2009, 12:13:25 AM
Bad choice of words, you may prefer many authors to Tolkien but it is impossible to be superior than the Father of English Fantasy.

It is possible. In my opinion, his story is not as captivating as others, and story is what I care about.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Patriotic Kaz on September 19, 2009, 04:20:15 AM
I could argue with you all day about this..but that would be a waste of time.

Undisputed Fact: J.R.R. Tolkien paved the way for English (and through it American) Fantasy to become main stream... and even if you don't like his work for this (which i believe proves he IS the bar) you should be thankful.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Kestrel on September 20, 2009, 08:02:28 AM
I could argue with you all day about this..but that would be a waste of time.

Undisputed Fact: J.R.R. Tolkien paved the way for English (and through it American) Fantasy to become main stream... and even if you don't like his work for this (which i believe proves he IS the bar) you should be thankful.

Paving the way for modern fantasy has nothing to do with whether or not his work is actually objectively enjoyable.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Publius on September 20, 2009, 01:32:01 PM
I could argue with you all day about this..but that would be a waste of time.

Undisputed Fact: J.R.R. Tolkien paved the way for English (and through it American) Fantasy to become main stream... and even if you don't like his work for this (which i believe proves he IS the bar) you should be thankful.

Paving the way for modern fantasy has nothing to do with whether or not his work is actually objectively enjoyable.

I find J.R.R. Tolkien to be boring, I have never found elves, dwarves, and magic staffs to be that interesting. To be honest, I think there generic and boring. With that being said, I think you need to give credit where credits due, at one point J.R.R. Tolkien was cutting edge fiction.

Without Tolkien, Robert Jordan may have wrote all westerns, which could have led Brandon Sanderson down the road of Dime Store Romance Novels.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: douglas on September 20, 2009, 04:06:50 PM
I find J.R.R. Tolkien to be boring, I have never found elves, dwarves, and magic staffs to be that interesting. To be honest, I think there generic and boring. With that being said, I think you need to give credit where credits due, at one point J.R.R. Tolkien was cutting edge fiction.
You have to realize, though, that they're generic and boring specifically because Tolkien did them and everyone imitated him.  As far as those things go he is the original, and when he was writing and being published they were anything but generic because he was the only one using them.  They only became generic later because he was so spectacularly successful and got imitated so many times.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: happyman on September 20, 2009, 08:35:27 PM
I find J.R.R. Tolkien to be boring, I have never found elves, dwarves, and magic staffs to be that interesting. To be honest, I think there generic and boring. With that being said, I think you need to give credit where credits due, at one point J.R.R. Tolkien was cutting edge fiction.
You have to realize, though, that they're generic and boring specifically because Tolkien did them and everyone imitated him.  As far as those things go he is the original, and when he was writing and being published they were anything but generic because he was the only one using them.  They only became generic later because he was so spectacularly successful and got imitated so many times.

I've known this for a while now, but I wonder if my own intense wonder at Tolkien's world was because my father read them to me before I had a chance to absorb all the inferior imitators?
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 21, 2009, 03:10:17 AM
His books are dull. I'm sorry, but that's what I think. Sure he paved the way for modern Fantasy, but he's still boring. Hate me or love me, Jordan>Tolkien. "Inferior imitators" I laughed a little. I know people of the atheistic type who would rather read the bible than Tolkien. I give credit where it's due, so here's to you Tolkien! *clapping maniacally*
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: happyman on September 22, 2009, 03:47:47 AM
His books are dull. I'm sorry, but that's what I think. Sure he paved the way for modern Fantasy, but he's still boring. Hate me or love me, Jordan>Tolkien. "Inferior imitators" I laughed a little. I know people of the atheistic type who would rather read the bible than Tolkien. I give credit where it's due, so here's to you Tolkien! *clapping maniacally*

Here's a hint:  I loved the books.  They sucked me in and enthralled me.  Whenever a chapter finished, we (my sisters were also there) would always ask to keep going (just one more!)  Being chased by the Nazgul scared the daylights out of me.  The fact that the book bores *you* means absolutely nothing compared to these memories I have.  You can have a different opinion.  Just don't act like I'm stupid for having a different one, especially when it comes to something as subjective as aesthetic taste.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: JCHancey on September 22, 2009, 06:20:53 AM
Calm yourself, I'm giving my opinion and my experience of the books, as you have. I never meant to imply that you're stupid because of reading them (and I don't see how I could have...).
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: happyman on September 22, 2009, 07:34:22 PM
I'm not going to say much more except to note that I was not including Robert Jordan when I talked about inferior imitators.  I was noting how our experiences differed in relevant ways and refering to the many imitators who are inferior.
Title: Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
Post by: Braus on September 27, 2009, 03:49:54 PM
Ive read Tolkiens Ring Triology 1.5 times.

Jordans WOT at least 3 times all the way from new spring to knife of dreams, and ive listened to the books in audio two times straight and repeated alot of chapters for fun except that :) So enough said. The only other author that even comes near when it comes to entertainment reading for me, is Patrick OŽBrian's series about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.

Im not saying that Robert Jordan is a better Author than Tolkien, that Wheel of time is better than tolkiens work etc. Even if i might think so, that is i rather read it/buy the books. BUT if someone starts Jordan bashing(going on all sorts of forums, even had this guy who created a account on dragonmount.com and started spamming how much jordan sucked and threats that if the moderators deleted his posts he would hack all jordan fansites. He was named binaryworm i think) all hell will break loose :)