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Messages - Publius

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Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: December 08, 2009, 03:17:45 PM »
I seem to remember Lews Therin mumbling in Rands head something like, "I promised never to do that again (use balefire)".  I assumed that LT had already tried balefiring the Forsaken and it didn't work, or at least not the way he had meant it to work.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Way of the Kings
« on: November 29, 2009, 01:12:29 AM »
Read a synopsis over at A Dribble of Ink

The Way of Kings introduces the three protagonists who will be our windows on the strange and wondrous world of Roshar and the drama about to unfold there:

• Dalinar, the assassinated king’s brother and uncle of the new one, is an old soldier who is weary of fighting. He is plagued by dreams of ancient times and legendary wars, visions that may force him into a new role he could never have imagined.

• Merin, a highborn young man who has been brought low, indeed to the most miserable level of military slavery, and like Ben Hur must suffer and struggle to survive and rise again.

• Shallan, a naïve but brave and brilliant young woman who will do anything to save her impoverished noble house from ruin.

These are people we will come to know deeply and take to our hearts. But just as important to The Way of Kings is a fourth key ‘character,’ the unique world of Roshar itself, a richly imagined setting as real as science fiction’s Dune, as unforgettable as epic fantasy’s Middle Earth. Through all the volumes of The Stormlight Archive, Brandon Sanderson will make Roshar a realm we are eager to visit.

Sounds like a Great story to me, can't wait!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: November 17, 2009, 02:16:39 PM »
You lack political suave else you wouldn't quote Regean but yourself :P. Egwene needed to make the rebels apoligize or the loyalist would refuse to accept them (not to mention the apology strictly is about their actions as agressors not for the dispute over Elaida). The rebels however seem to be more tolerant and do not require an apology from the reds
(not to mention the reds are already on thin ice and an apology may destroy them).

I understand what your saying. I'm just trying to point out that there is bound to be some Reds who feel the way that I described above, and there's bound to be some Blues who feel betrayed. If she would've made the decision that I think she should have made then she would've been faced with an entirely different set of problems too. I see her in a no win situation. I feel that there's more work for her to do and would find it unrealistic if the Tower was suddenly unified now.

I went back and reread a few chapters. Check out page 762 second paragraph down. I think I'm right I don't think the Tower is unified yet. Egwene received 2 letters of disapproval from Romanda and Lelaine.

Instead the first thing she did was raise Silviana to try to win support from the Red. Egwene came off as being very needy of the their support, which is what I viewed as weakness.

I actually viewed it the opposite way: She was protecting the Reds from falling apart or being bullied by the rest of the Tower by lending them her support. She doesn't want anything back except a healthy Tower.

I agree with you that's exactly what Egwene's motive was. I was just trying to show how an ambitious Red may have viewed her actions.

I don't think you should skip any of these books. There may be a time where I come back and agree with tipbruley, and that you can skip CoT if you want, but I'm not there yet.

Its not until you go back and reread this series that you can really appreciate how well written these books are. This is not a series of instant gratification..... In the early books when the characters are being chased around RJ describes the environment around them, and then 5 or 6 books later that environment plays a large part in the story. Or they'll be hiding in the shadows and hear what appears to be a pointless conversation, only to find out several books later that the person they were talking about is a major player in the story. Of course you didn't think anything of it at the time because the characters are hiding and in danger!

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details, and theres a lot of devils in this series. There is a lot of things that happen in The Gathering Storm that is directly related to the first 2 or 3 books. There is actually a scene that is directly ties to the prologue of Book 1! You don't read this series to get to the end, you read it to savor the adventure....

Crossroads of Twilight is written differently than any other WoT book. I think you should read it because the series isn't finished yet, and I think when it is we'll find out that there was a reason that this book was written as it is. This series is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, (Winston Churchill quote) and until it's done I wouldn't recommending skipping any part of it.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: November 16, 2009, 02:18:34 PM »
I think the fact that people disagree with me makes my point. If we as readers can't agree on this then the White Tower definitely isn't going to be happy. For the record, I'm not saying the writing is bad, or that Egwene is out of character, or anything like that, just that I hope she has more more work to do in unifying the White Tower. Because there are bound to be some Rebel Aes Sedai who feel betrayed. Perhaps not a large amount but a few, and there's bound to be some Reds who look down upon Silvania.

Weakness?  In her?  Every Aes Sedai in both the Tower and Rebel camps has had abundant evidence that Egwene is anything but weak.  Her raising of Silviana to Keeper was explicitly stated as a gesture of reconciliation and unity, implying that she would not view the Reds as a separate and disgraced entity from the rest of the Tower despite their recent history.  Egwene could have disbanded the Red Ajah entirely, just like Elaida did the Blue, and she probably would have gotten away with it.  All the Reds know this.  Relief and gratitude that she didn't and that they're not in disgrace any more is likely to overwhelm all other reactions.

What I meant by weakness is if you believe that the White Tower is more of a set of  beliefs and principles, a way of life than just an actual building then the real "rebels" would be the Red. Egwene, in my mind, should have made the Reds apologize for going against the White Tower, not the Blues. Instead the first thing she did was raise Silviana to try to win support from the Red. Egwene came off as being very needy of the their support, which is what I viewed as weakness.

On the other side, Elaida was Red and favored the Red, so the Red were the most powerful Ajah in the physical Tower. Now all of a sudden they have a new Amyrlin raised without them using their own distorted laws. They are now disgraced and to a certain degree powerless. By that I mean there's hard feelings, which will limit ones influence.

That's a big change of events don't you think, going from the all powerful Ajah to the belittled and disgraced Ajah? Many Reds are bound not to like that turn of events. Now as a Red, what would I see? I see the Blue Ajah, which I helped disband, have to apologize to the new Amyrlin. As a Red, I might see that as a justification for disbanding the Blue. Then I see the new Amyrlin who appears so needy of my support that she practically trips over herself to raise a Red to get my support.

I'm not saying that Egwene is a weak leader, just that from a Red's perspective she could be seen as being weak. After all the Blue had to apologize while the Reds were raised to a high position. Of course some in the Red, I believe would view Silviana as betraying her sisters. You need a scape goat after all, and if its not Elaida then it would be Silviana.  Elaida may have been a cause for pretty much everything, but she gave the Reds a lot of power and influence, so the Reds may not blame her completely.

I'm not saying anyones opinion is wrong. I'm not even trying to change anyones opinion. I'm just trying to clarify mine. Again I just hope that the White Tower isn't one big happy family because I won't believe it. I hope Egwene has a lot more work to do in the coming books.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: November 15, 2009, 01:22:27 PM »
What is the White Tower though? Is it a set of beliefs and principles that have stood the test of time, or is it just a building? Egwene seems to be suggesting that it is just a building and you should never go against it. Egwene was raised by the Rebel Aes Sedai and the White Tower Aes Sedai, that's what I call a position of power. She should have then negotiated w/ the Red from that position.

Egwene instead without negotiations grabbed a political prisoner, one many in the Red will view as a traitor, and raised her to a high position.  I think many in the Red will see this as weakness on Egwenes part. The Blue Ajah would just have to be so....upset. They had to apologize because they were unlawfully kicked out. I'm really hoping that there is more fracture and disunity in the next book.

I can suspend disbelief for many things, but I can't suspend disbelief when it comes to people. People don't change. Laws change. Beliefs change. Technology changes. Names change. Nationality changes. People however don't, which is why everyone has heard the phrase history repeats itself.  It repeats itself because we are emotional creatures, and our first response is always an emotional one. It's why people can relate to scriptures and stories written thousands of years ago.

Here's an example of what I mean:

Homeless guy standing on the side of the road by a stop light w/ sign saying: Please help feed my family. God Bless You.   There's also a couple pics of his kids on the sign.  Which is your response?

     A) Roll up your window, Lock the doors. Don't make eye contact until the light turns green
     B) Roll down your window and give the poor guy some money, so the poor guy can feed his family
     C) Roll down your window and yell, "You got a family and this is the best you can do! Get a job, Loser!!!
     D) None of the Above. You have too much time on your hands, and don't know what your talking about...

Sorry, I got side tracked a little bit. Point being, I'm not going to buy the happy unbroken Tower scenario if thats whats going to happen.  If anything I think she may have more problems with disunity than before.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm - First Impressions *SPOILERS*
« on: November 14, 2009, 01:33:24 PM »
Just finished the book a few days ago. I never realized how  slow a reader I am until I read that some people finished this book in one sitting. This was an awesome book start to finish including the Mat chapters that some people didn't care for. Besides the first Mat chapter, I didn't think BS did that bad of a job with Mat's POV.

I'm assuming that since this thread is marked *Spoilers* that Spoilers are OK...

OK, so I was wrong and Min didn't get killed, but I was close. Almost predicted that one correctly, but no corpse.

I couldn't wait to get to the part of the book that everyone was saying was so shocking that they had to set the book down for a while. I think the scene they were talking about was the one where Rand went after Graendal. This was a powerful scene, I actually went back and reread parts of it, but it wasn't so shocking that I had to set the book down. I actually agreed with Rands decision.  It was a hard decision, but one I believe to be a correct one.

There was a scene that made me set the book down though.  That was after Egwene was officially raised to Amyrlin.  No matter how I think about it its stupid to require the rebels to apologize to her.  What a slap in the face! To me it's the same as if Germany after WWII required all Germans who helped the Allied Forces to apologize for rebelling against Germany...  What would the Blue Ajah have to apologize for? Wouldn't Egwene owe them an apology? What about all the women who Egwene recruited as novices, why would they owe an apology? Then she picked a Red to be her assistant? How is that going to promote unity when she's thrown everyone who's supported her under the bus?

The way she treated Suian I thought was despicable. Egwene left the camp leaderless by her choice, and when the camp was faced with a difficult decision, what does she do? She reprimands the one person who grabbed the bull by the horns and took control of the situation. Did Suian make the right decision? Hard to say, but someone in the camp had to step forward and make a decision, and the fact that Egwene wouldn't stand by Suians side is kind of upsetting. I'm hoping that in ToM, that Egwene is faced with more problems of unity because I will find it disappointing and unrealistic (Yes, I know I'm talking about a fantasy series) if the Tower is all of a sudden a happy family.

The Chapter Veins of Gold was one of the best chapters in the series I think

I suppose it's easier to talk about things that bug me as opposed to the things I really enjoyed. Anyways did that sequence with Egwene bother anyone else?

I disagree... I think Brandon Sanderson is handling everything correctly. This isn't BS's story it's RJ's. This isn't a broken down series that is crawling towards the finish line, even though some fans may think that. This is a series that is making a habit of debuting at #1. 

A lot of people only know BS from the Gathering Storm, and have never read any of his own work. If he starts giving himself too much credit it may be viewed as taking credit for the series or being disrespectful towards RJ.  That would inevitably turn away many potential readers, not to mention take attention away from the story.

Of course I don't think that book sales is the main reason why he's handling all the praise the way he has. He appears to be a genuinely humble person who knows that he wouldn't be getting all this praise for tGS if not for all the notes and outlines that RJ left behind. I also think he's respectful and appreciative for the opportunity that has been given to him. Everyone knows he did a great job on this book, but when everyone is patting him on the back for a job well done is it necessary for him to pat himself on the back too?  I don't think so, and I think it's very classy of him to redirect praise back to Robert Jordan.

If the tables were turned and Brandon Sanderson was the one who left the notes behind for someone to finish a series of his, how would you want that unknown author to act? If that book then debuted at #1, how would you want that previously unknown author to act? Personally, I would want that author to show the same humility and respect towards BS, as BS is showing towards Robert Jordan.

Of course, just because he's not acting like an athlete talking about his SportsCenter highlight doesn't mean that he doesn't realize he did a great job. In his previous blog post he didn't say that, "I hope Robert Jordan is smiling", or that "Robert Jordan might be smiling", no what he wrote was, "Robert Jordan IS smiling."

Brandon Sanderson / Re: What should I read next?
« on: November 04, 2009, 02:48:46 PM »
Everything by David Gemmell is pretty good. I would recommend starting with 'Legend' which is Gemmell's first book, or his Troy trilogy which begins with 'Lord of the Silverbow'.

I think David Gemmell was one of Brandon Sanderson's influences, but I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure he named a character Gemmell in one of his books as a tribute to him.

Other books that I would suggest is Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy, and the Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

Oops.  I was more directly responding to this, which I believe TMan was also referring to, and which seems to underestimate just how long it takes the wheel to turn:

Let's just say that Rand accidentally kills  Min. That would be a good way of showing how the Wheel of Time is cyclical, don't you think, since Lews Therin accidentally killed Illeyna? That way if he lives he chooses between Elayne and Aviendha, and if he dies he lives in the Dream World with Min. This entire scenario confuses me, especially if everyone survives.

I don't think I'm underestimating it. How many times is Rand reborn to battle the Dark One in any given turn of the wheel? At least two times that we're aware of, once as Lews Therin and now with Rand. So its possible that the DO and Rand battle once per age, and not once per cycle. If Rand is prone to  the same mistakes from age to age then Rand accidentally killing Min could still be seen as cyclical.

I've started reading Leigh Butlers reread of the Wheel of Time over at Tor and there's hints that he makes the same mistakes from age to age. When Rand first meets Ba'alzamon, Rand "denies" him, at which point Ba'alzamon tells Rand that "You always think it's that easy".  Just one example of how Rand tends to repeat the same mistakes.

The difference this time around seems to be that Rand has LTT and his memories in his head. That may happen every time he's reborn or perhaps only once per cycle of the wheel. If once per cycle Rand gets old memories back then that would allow him to change the mistakes that he always makes and finally defeat the DO, which would allow a new age to start, one that mimics ours.

That doesn't really make sense, though, since Rand's question to the Aelfinn was "How can I win the Last Battle and survive?" I suppose they could have taken it to mean how can I, the soul of the dragon, survive, but I think its much more likely to be taken how can I, Rand al'Thor, survive. Ya know?

Andrew the Great got me thinking and I think he's right. Min won't die, but will get seriously injured/maimed which I think will be more painful for Rand to deal with. That is when Rand runs away and hides as a beggar. Then Cadsuane finds him and teaches him what needs to be taught.

One more thing, Rand has three wives so if he lives I think 2 of them have to die. I suppose it could end with him having three wives, but that just seems kind of messy to me. None of the women seem compatible with each other, you have a queen, an Aiel, and a woman who sees things, so if Rand does survive two of them have to go boots up, IMO. I use the term "wives" loosley BTW.

First of all, just call me Andrew. Much easier for everyone involved  ;)

Secondly, glad to have got you thinking.

What I really wanted to discuss though, is your last paragraph. I can see all of them dealing with each other, seeing as they seem to have resigned themselves to sharing Rand. Aviendha has no problems with it, and Elayne and Min seem to have given up on having him to themselves. The problem I foresee is that if everyone does survive the last battle, Rand isn't going to want to rule the world, or much of anything for that matter. Elayne, however will be Queen of Andor, and the mother at some of his children. So that's gonna be an issue for Rand, in my mind. He's not gonna want to deal with the politics, but at the same time he's not gonna just leave Elayne and the kids behind and go live with Min and Aviendha....

When I said that Rand would be king or god-like if he survived I didn't actually mean that he would want to be a king or god. I agree with you that he's not going to want to be king or anything, he'll probably wish no one even knew his name. I think that regardless if what he wants, everyone will perceive him as a king or a god. Of course, once he gets all his memories back he may have a different world outlook. Maybe Rand and Egwene get together and merge both the White and Black Towers together, and Rand sits atop with Egwene. I don't know about that one though...that seems too much like a fairy tale to me. Rand would need to do a 180 in my mind for that ending to happen, and I'm not sure I would buy it if he did.

Of the three, Min is the one that he cares about  the most IMO because he needs her by him. Aviendha I think, is the one he cares for the least because I think he's getting burnt out on battles and she's from a warrior society.  Elayne would fall in the middle somewhere.  I'm not necessarily saying he loves one more than the other, just that if he had to rank them 1 through 3 it would be Min, Elayne, Aviendha. In other words, I think it would be a mess if they all survive.

Let's just say that Rand accidentally kills  Min. That would be a good way of showing how the Wheel of Time is cyclical, don't you think, since Lews Therin accidentally killed Illeyna? That way if he lives he chooses between Elayne and Aviendha, and if he dies he lives in the Dream World with Min. This entire scenario confuses me, especially if everyone survives.

No, it's not referring to Lan, as Lan is Malkieri, and the top-knot is strictly a Shienar thing. However, the army that will be gathering in the north (though apparently it isn't yet) could very well be Lan's, preparing to meet the Shadow in Tarwin's Gap, where, in my opinion, Lan and most of his army will get slaughtered.

As to the rest, there's no way Rand will become the King of the World. If nothing else, Rand has absolutely no desire to rule the world. He just wants to unify the world enough to beat the DO.

I imagine Rand will live, but no one will know that he lives except for Min, Aviendha, Elayne, and Allana (If she's still alive, which I kind of doubt). Rand won't be particularly inclined to correct this impression.

Basically, Rand will want a simple life. So a farmer or a beggar makes sense, though in my opinion a farmer makes more sense.

Rand as he is right now would indeed be out of place in a time of peace. But remember, Rand hasn't always been like this, and he's going to go through some major psychological changes in the near future (ie learning laughter and tears, etc). He could pull it.

But if Rand dying is the ONLY way you'll be satisfied, as things stand there's a good chance that you'll be disappointed.

Nah, the only way I can think that I'm going to be disappointed in the ending is if it ends with a HUGE cliffhanger. I just love this series! I also can't wait until BS's next series comes out, so we can have more discussions like this about another ongoing series.

It's not like I'm expecting RJ to become GRRM in the next couple books. I do believe that Rand and others will live on in some sense of the word, but not in the typical sense. I mentioned this before somewhere on this site, but this is how I kind of think it's going to end: Rand and several others will die in the last battle, everything will look bleak, and then Mat will blow the Horn of Valere, and Rand and everyone else will be resurrected and defeat the DO. This will give everyone a chance to say good byes after the battle is won. Then the series ends on a high note.

Have you ever watched the Godfather?? A Godfather ending would be cool too, but this ending doesn't have a chance of being true.  Rand battles the DO and win, but in doing so loses everything. The series ends with Rand staring over a battlefield of corpses wondering, what has he done. Oh, I almost forgot, Mat and Tuon would be staring back at him in horror before they turn and ride off into the sunset. A little bleak, but it would work.

Andrew the Great got me thinking and I think he's right. Min won't die, but will get seriously injured/maimed which I think will be more painful for Rand to deal with. That is when Rand runs away and hides as a beggar. Then Cadsuane finds him and teaches him what needs to be taught.

One more thing, Rand has three wives so if he lives I think 2 of them have to die. I suppose it could end with him having three wives, but that just seems kind of messy to me. None of the women seem compatible with each other, you have a queen, an Aiel, and a woman who sees things, so if Rand does survive two of them have to go boots up, IMO. I use the term "wives" loosley BTW.

I would have a hard time with the ending if Rand doesn't die.  Here's a guy that's been built up to be god-like if not a god. He's been sent to battle the Dark One, and people are scared to even say the DO's name. If he wins and lives, he's king of the world, god of the world. If people were scared of the DO they'd be petrified of the Dragon Reborn who defeated the DO, IMO. It's not like Rand is viewed favorably by the general public, he's not looked upon as a hero, more of a necessary evil. Rand is one of my favorite characters I don't want him to die, but the thought of the series ending with him being a king, farmer, or beggar isn't satisfying to me. He was born for war he'd be out of place in a time of peace, IMHO.

This entire series is built upon the belief that certain characters are reborn to do certain tasks. You can even talk to some of the characters before they're reborn in the dream world (Birgette Silverbow as an example). I think it would be a shame not to use those elements to create a dramatic conclusion. It's another reason why I'd find an ending with Rand surviving to be less than satisfying.

One of the more interesting ideas I've seen is that Graendal, in her attempts to emotionally hurt Rand, tries to attack Min. She can't kill her (as per various viewings and prophecies), but she could seriously injure and/or maim her. That would really freak Rand out. I almost hope it happens. It could definitely spark a moment like the one on the cover of TGS (though this one would actually be cool, as opposed to cheesy).

That's an interesting thought. That would freak him out, and it would be a nice intro into a big battle scene.

On a different note, I have a question about the prologue, so if you haven't read it you may not want to  read any further.

In the prologue there's a scene where a blacksmith and his wife come over a hill, and it's told that his father fought in the Aiel War, and he doesn't wear a top-knot anymore. The blacksmith then tells a farmer that he's heading north where an army is assembling, and a battle will take place. Doesn't Lan have a top-knot too? I'm just wondering if this is the beginning of Lan's kingdom being reborn again, or if I'm just misremembering things?

When I read the glossary for LoC, saw that there was an entry for Moiraine Damodred, and it was something along the lines of, "An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, supposedly dead," that was more than enough to tell me that she was coming back at some point. Which made me very happy, because Moiraine = Awesome.

Just a thought, but for Min's viewings about Rand's not death (however that works) to work out, all three of his Wonder Girls have to stay alive. So it won't be any of them. That leaves Nynaeve as the only other person I can think of that's particularly close to him. I hope she dies. That would make me very, very happy.

If Cadsuane died, I'd be quite thoroughly depressed. She's pretty awesome, in my opinion. Although she can be a tad annoying at times.

I thought about Min's visions also. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Min's ability to have "future viewings" has never been explained. We've been under the impression that there always right because they've always been right up until now.  Now that the end is near, and the dead are getting up and walking around, maybe now her visions won't be quite as accurate.

Even if you don't follow all the visions and prophecies, I think most people get the feeling that this series is headed for a pretty clean, clear cut ending. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe all her visions will be 100% accurate, no one dies, and everyone lives happily ever after at the end. However, I believe every good story has several unexpected twists in the end. With the end near, the authors are starting to show that what was isn't necessarily what will be.

This series went from 3 books to 6 to 12, 13 briefly, and finally to 14 book, so if RJ was planning on axing characters in the final battle he would have have to of dragged them along until the final book. The thing is, even if several major characters would die, you could still have a big going away party in the dream world.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« 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.

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