Author Topic: Warbreaker: Free Ebook  (Read 145275 times)

Kristal

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #600 on: August 16, 2007, 04:22:10 PM »
I just wanted to drop in and say Hi.  After reading Elantris, I became a fan of your writing right away.  It took me a while to get to reading Warbreaker, as I am in the middle of writing a novel myself, but I have now, and I must say, I enjoyed it very well.

 ;D

I don't know if this is mentioned anywhere else in this thread, but I wanted to poke my opinion in--as I like to do unfortunately--concerning the relationship between Siri and Suesbron (I love his name and character, by the way).  I must say, as a woman, I was a little disappointed in their first union.   ;D  I'm not necessarily into graphic sex, by any means, but the fact that he wasn't used to being touched and was so innocent, I was looking forward to his reaction when she touched him intimately  for the first time, and he finally figured out what she was doing on the bed all those weeks.

Their relationship was my favorite part of the book, by the way. 

Another great plot.  I love the way you twist and weave the stories you do, interweaving everything until the right moment.

On a side note:  I smiled when you described how she didn't notice the size between them so much anymore.  My husband is 6' 7' and I am 5' 6', so I knew exactly how she felt.    ;D   

Sybyll

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #601 on: October 16, 2007, 10:09:56 PM »
This was a comment made awhile ago by David about the sword, and having it drain the life force of Vasher, however, when I read it I felt like the sword would instead of draining lifeforce, if it could not consume breaths it woudl turn on it's master, because he/she could no longer feed the swords necessity.  And, the sword can do strange stuff to people, apparently steal their color (perhaps to keep itself awakened). I wonder if the sword has an affinity for returned becuase it was made by someone who was returned? or just because they have a tendency to have alot of breaths. I'm not sure if the sword said he only like Vivenna when she had alot of breath....maybe i'll have to go back through and track that.  It will be interesting to see how the character of the sword is developed in the next book.

achren99

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #602 on: October 25, 2007, 07:45:06 PM »
I completely agree with Kristal.  Suesbron and Siri's romance was my favorite part of the book (even though I loved all of it).  I would even count how many pages it would be until I got to read about them again.  I also found it a bit anticlimactic that you didn't get his point of view on sex -- and you didn't hear that much from them romantically after that.  (I enjoyed the end of the book, but again...their relationship was my favorite part of the book so it was sad when the end kind of skipped over it).


AlefBet

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #603 on: November 13, 2007, 12:34:59 PM »
Wow.  Quite the thread here.

I just finished Warbreaker 3.5 and I'm hoping this is an okay place to put feedback.  I also didn't take the time to read the 40+ pages of comments, so maybe some of what I say will be redundant.

I like the book a lot, although it's obvious it's still a draft.  I won't comment on the typos and small things like wrong name used or other little inconsistencies (although I work for BYU so if Brandon Sanderson wants, I'd be pleased to print out and bring by a marked copy with that stuff).

The big picture things that I think don't quite come together and leave distracting questions for me:

* Why is the God King different in being able to father children?  Similarly, how can the God King Awaken when none of the other Returned can?  The text leaves me with a few possibilities.  Maybe he really is magically distinct from the other Returned (although the book seemed to break down most other aspects of his theology).  Maybe he's not really a Returned, and the priests selected him because he's one of the rare humans that will grow to be physically similar to the Returned.  (He's given BioChroma often enough to never feel the weakness of approaching a week long interval without it, so he might not realize that he doesn't really need it to survive. . . .)  Or maybe the priests know Commands or some other aspect of the BioChroma system that allows him to do these things?  I think this is important considering that Siri takes it for granted that the God King could awaken her clothes and strangle her with them if he wanted, but the reader is otherwise given the impression that Returned can only use their BioChroma to obtain their Heightenings and perform one last miracle.

* Similar to this, how are Denth and Vasher able to Awaken, although they're Returned?  And how can they survive during the short periods when they're devoid of Breath?

* Have Denth and Vasher been purchasing at least one Breath each week over the centuries of their life?  If so, why haven't they become conspicuous from their auras?  Do Returned need one new Breath a week, or is it enough that the Breath gets passed around?  E.g. can a Returned do a "Breath swap" with another Returned and they both get their needed strength for the next week?  If a Returned gets ten Breaths one week, is there a way for him/her to use them over time to cover ten weeks?  (That last isn't really important to answer in the book, but I feel like a reader could answer it if they understood the other parts.)

* What happens to Siri and the God King?  Do they reestablish the government?  Are there changes in it now that the God King is no longer a mute puppet?  I think the reader is left a little bit hanging here at the end.  (Not that this is the first time --- I've read and loved Elantris, too.)

* I'm left wondering the proportion in land size and population between Hallandren and Idris.  At various times, I was thinking that it was 1:1 or 100:1 (in both land and people).  When whoever does the map thing gets done, that will probably clarify that, but it might be worthwhile to answer in the text.  (Maybe it was and I missed it. . . .)

Of course, a magic system doesn't have to be fully explained to work.  It doesn't matter that the reader is given all the rules so long as there are rules and they are followed.  But the things I mentioned seem to point to inconsistencies.  The explanations (of which there could be several) ought to at least be hinted at (or hinted at more strongly), or the reader (at least in my case) will be expending more effort trying to explain them to themselves, which will distract them from the plot.

Here are things I think worked really well:

* The characters were deep.  Maybe not the deepest I've ever read (some of the classics have "annoyingly deep" characters), but they're engaging, dynamic, and for the most part likable.  Dynamic is very important to me, and I feel like the changes these characters went through weren't just those changes that everyone likes to see (naive character becomes skilled and does great things, sheltered character learns about other viewpoints, etc.).  Those changes did happen, but the changes felt natural and you could see why they went the way they did.

* The surprises work well, I think, for the most part.  With the mercenaries and Vasher and the intrigues.  I really believe you can go back and read the Denth chapters and see how he was the bad guy all along.  Vasher is kept suitably ambiguous so that he can be colored by whoever is talking about him, until Vivenna starts to get the whole picture.  The factions in the Palace complex all have their own aims, so that the reader never can tell for sure who is an ally and who isn't.

* The relationships with the Princesses (Siri and Susebron, Vivenna and Denth/Tonk Fah and then Vasher) are developed well and very engaging.  I'm also left hungry for more scenes between Siri and Susebron, and between Vivenna and Vasher.  They work so well that I kind of want to stay there a while longer, but the book must go on. . . .  I will mention that I think the Peprin/Vivenna relationship doesn't really come together.  I feel that they are friends/acquaintances, but the only reason to me that they might be anything more is that the book asserts so.  But the S/S relationship is very endearing and feels deep (it feels like it's given more time in the text then it actually is, I think) and the V/V relationship is an effective counterpoint, not sweet or poignant so much as challenging and professional, yet still a bonding.  (Convenient initials, there :) .)

One detail that I'd tweak:

When Vasher explains the different types of entities created from Breath, he starts off mentioning that there are four different kinds.  Obviously that's a mistake, because a page or two later, Vivenna makes an intuitive jump that there should be four kinds of entities, two sentient and two not, two reanimated and two not.  (To add to that, this intuitive jump makes Vasher uncomfortable when he set it up in the first place.)  Clearly, Vasher will need to explain this without starting off with the mention of four entity types.  But . . . it also seems to me to be far too insightful for Vivenna to make that intuitive jump.  Why would her very first guided lesson in a magic system she's always shunned as heretical allow her to make such a significant jump?  I would expect the reasoning jump to at least happen in a different scene, once she's gotten used to dabbling and done some real experimenting or unguided thinking.

==========
Now, I'm starting to catch up on a few pages of the 40 page thread.  One comment:  I think four viewpoint characters is perfect.  I just finished "Winter's Heart" and it's really refreshing to be back down to the single digits on viewpoint characters.  But I would not throw out any of these viewpoints.  They're all essential to make the story work.
Of course, I've been wrong before and I'm sure I'll be wrong again.  So this could be one of those times.

Swiggly

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #604 on: November 21, 2007, 06:39:18 PM »
I just realized that I'm mentioned, for all the scant help I gave! Gee, Brandon. You just made my day. Even though I'm sick.
I want to be a publisher at Tor Fantasy when I grow up.

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Insomnius

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #605 on: December 12, 2007, 04:26:21 PM »
First time poster here - just signed up. Saw at wotmania.com that Brandon is writing the last installment of Wheel Of Time so I followed a couple of links and downloaded Warbreaker 3.5 and read it all in one day and I think Brandon is the right person to finish the series and as soon as my next paycheck I will be going to purchase the book.

Daarian

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #606 on: December 13, 2007, 01:05:54 AM »
Wow, just finished up reading Warbreaker 3.0 (link for 3.5 didn't open) and I was blown away. Amazing job there. The last time I was captivated by a book like this I was picking up a WoT book that had just been released. I look forward to reading more.
""Don't talk to me about nobleman," Vin said. "And don't say things about people you don't know.  You're no skaa-- you're just nobleman without titles." - Quote from Mistborn

Cosmic_AC

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #607 on: December 15, 2007, 10:57:17 PM »
A few things that (to my knowledge) haven't been mentioned yet:

1. It seemed strange to me that you brought in the whole thing about the colorful flower being one of the big factors in the start of the War, but that was the only time you mentioned it.

2. It seems like normal Returned are unable to go without Breath for any length of time (as when Lightsong gives his breath to Sebby, then instantly becomes a dead Drab).  However, Vasher manages to go without Breath for extended periods of time.  This, I think, it a mechanic that really needs to be worked out and explained a bit more.  To be fair to the reader, I think you should at least have some indication that Returned can subsist on "stale" Breath - they're given one a week as a ritual thing, but they could be given four per month instead of one per week.

3. I also thought it was odd that although Vasher had significantly more Breath than Vivena, she was able to perform all the same Awakenings as Vasher - and with relative ease.  There is no sign that she practiced, or that it was much trouble at all for her to make the correct mental images.  Further, once she had Awakened said garments, she trusted them completely to do what she wanted.  In the course of what seemed like three days or so, she went from knowing nothing about Awakening to being about as skilled as Vasher.

4. It's unclear whether Vasher was the only God-Scholar or not.  It is revealed eventually that Denth, Shashara, and the Steel brothers were the other four Scholars, but the explanation for having them live so long could just be that they had a lot of Breath.  On the other hand, it's also possible that all five of them were Gods.  I'm not sure if this is intentional, but if not, you may want to clarify this point somewhere in the Epilogue as well.

5. A minor thing, but Denth's name (Varatridees) is just too similar to that of the God-King's priest (Tridees).  If this is supposed to show that they're related (as with Arsteel and Yesteel) then it's fine.  Otherwise it's a little odd.  I mean, these days there are a lot of people with similar names (I happen to know three different people named Karen and four different people named John) but in the old-days-fantasy setting everyone has his own name and there's rarely a need to bother with last names.  An uncanny similarity in the first name is enough to link characters (as shown when Vivenna "guesses" that Arsteel and Yesteel are brothers)  Also, there's a sort of subconscious-alerting similarity between "Tax" and "Talaxin" that provides a subliminal hint that Vasher was one of the Scholars as soon as the reader learns both names.  Not that I managed to figure it out until a few pages before he said so, but I was close because the hint was there.

6. Another thing that was sort of foreshadowed but not fulfilled was that each of the Scholars seemed to have a different field of study or special talent.  Denth/Varatridees' inhuman speed (he's like The Flash or Quicksilver or something) was shown repeatedly, as was Vasher's extensive knowledge of Awakening.  Shashara was obviously an expert at forging metals and would have been the one who further imbalanced the war by sharing her knowledge of how to imbue weapons.  Yesteel is, apparently, some sort of chemist.  But Arsteel is dead (so he's not likely to show any sort of power any time soon) and the only skill he's been shown to have is in dueling.  That seems suspiciously similar to Varatridees, though his ability could be some sort of variation on that (i.e. Vara had super-speed so Arsteel had super-strength or was just really good at dueling without any sort of special power).  And of course, now I'm assuming that the Five Scholars were really "special" and that they weren't just (very powerful) normal people who studied their field for so many centuries they just seemed inhuman.  Bah, I guess what I'm saying now is that I don't know what I'm saying.

7. The last apparent semi-inconsistency that occurred to me was that Nightblood was "programmed" to destroy evil, but he didn't know what evil was, but he had special evil-judging powers anyway, but they were activated by leeching breath, which is sort of "soul-sucking" like the One Ring, but Nightblood wasn't evil, but he was so innocent he did a lot of things that were apparently evil.  In short, it was odd that although Nightblood couldn't distinguish good and evil, he had the intrinsic ability to...distinguish good and evil.  That is, anyone who was "pure of heart" or "strong of mind" would not be tempted to draw Nightblood and would not go insane just from picking up the sheath.  I'm not really sure how else to explain it.  Sometimes I'm worse with words than Vasher.

EDIT: Some other things just occurred to me:

8. There's a lot of buildup about the conspiracy with the Priests.  Although it is revealed that Vasher is the one responsible for the tradition of muting the God-King, and Bluefingers is responsible for the instigation of the war between Idris and Hallandren, Tridees and his priests do seem to be manipulating the God-King somehow.  There must be some reason for their arrogance, secrecy, and deceit, but it is never shown.  In that moment when Siri realizes that it was Bluefingers pulling the strings all along, she (along with everyone else) seems to suddenly forget how sleazy Tridees is.  While most of the book is wrapped up nicely in a neat package by the end, this is one of the questions left hanging: If Tridees was really just trying to protect Siri and Seb, why did he act so evil?  And what was their plan for the God-King and his son?  In that climactic moment (okay, those four or five hundred climactic moments) that particular conspiracy is just forgotten and Siri suddenly trusts Tridees completely.  At least, that's what it looked like to me (and I may have to read it again because nobody else is commenting on these things.  Maybe the answers are obvious and there is no issue.)

9. There is also no explanation given for how the God-King passes down his Uberbreath without a tongue, or whose son ends up becoming the next King - Susebron's or someone else's.  I get the feeling it is someone else's son, though, since the other Returned cannot produce children, and the King hasn't been an exception so far.

10. Yet another mystery: why is it that when a Returned gives away its Uberbreath, the recipient gets completely healed instead of getting the Breath?

11. It seems like not all Breath is equal - a Returned's BioChroma alone (by what seem to be the rules of this magic system) is enough to achieve the Eighth Heightening, but fifty normal Breaths are required to achieve the First Heightening.  However, sick people seem to have "weak Breath" while healthy people have "strong Breath".  If that is the case, wouldn't it take, say, eighty "weak Breaths" to reach the First Heightening?  And since illness seems to be related to Breath, if you gave a sick person (one with weak Breath) a healthy Breath, would they be cured?  Why is it that Drab people don't get sick all the time?  (I would think that they would have a weaker immune system or something).  I guess all this is relatively minor, such as it is.  If you don't already have an explanation, you could probably get away with just saying that this aspect of BioChroma is still not understood well enough!
« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 12:20:38 AM by Cosmic_AC »

kasper11

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #608 on: December 17, 2007, 05:02:26 PM »
First, let me say congrats on the WOT announcement. Besides getting to write the last book of a series that you are obviously a fan of, you couldn't ask for better publicity (I am sure that I am not the only one discovering your stuff as a result).

I really liked Warbreaker a lot. I think it was a great read, and I am planning on picking up MB right after the holidays (assuming nobody buys it for me, is already on my list).

There were a couple of things that I felt were left unanswered, maybe I missed something so if anyone wants to point it out, would be appreciated.

1) What was Vasher doing in the tunnel and who followed him? This was a major issue as it led to Lightsong's path to self-discovery and Mercystar giving up her lifeless, which helped accelerate things. What was he searching for? And who followed him?

2) Why did the priests need an heir at this time? Siri thinks that it is because a stilborn has already been returned, but it was months before they even began pretending that she was pregnant, which means the stillborn would have been returned for over a year before they could swap it for Siri's kid, so it was probably already too late.

infamousdot

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #609 on: December 18, 2007, 07:26:23 AM »
Erm. I didn't particularly feel like reading all 40-something pages to see if this has already been said, but...

I've read two paragraphs so far (the content is great!), and already I have a problem with how Vasher's thoughts are put forward.

When I write (and I do, just not where most people can see it), I always ended up having my character's thoughts in italics. Underline just seems a bit too jump-out-and-scream-in-your-face to me.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll comment more as I continue reading, but that's what I've got so far now.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #610 on: December 18, 2007, 08:09:52 AM »
Underline is a standard manuscript format indication for "put this in italics when you make the actual book." (It's easier for a copy editor to notice underlines than italics.)

(If the underlines really bother you, you can do a find/replace in Microsoft Word and replace all underlining with italics.)
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

Cosmic_AC

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #611 on: December 18, 2007, 08:26:38 AM »
First, let me say congrats on the WOT announcement. Besides getting to write the last book of a series that you are obviously a fan of, you couldn't ask for better publicity (I am sure that I am not the only one discovering your stuff as a result).

I really liked Warbreaker a lot. I think it was a great read, and I am planning on picking up MB right after the holidays (assuming nobody buys it for me, is already on my list).

There were a couple of things that I felt were left unanswered, maybe I missed something so if anyone wants to point it out, would be appreciated.

1) What was Vasher doing in the tunnel and who followed him? This was a major issue as it led to Lightsong's path to self-discovery and Mercystar giving up her lifeless, which helped accelerate things. What was he searching for? And who followed him?

2) Why did the priests need an heir at this time? Siri thinks that it is because a stilborn has already been returned, but it was months before they even began pretending that she was pregnant, which means the stillborn would have been returned for over a year before they could swap it for Siri's kid, so it was probably already too late.

1) It seems like he was looking for that tunnel so he could expose the whole Pahn Kahl scheme early on.  it seems likely that the one who followed him and killed the servant was Denth or Tonk Fah.  However, this is just my guess because it's never really spelled out for the reader.  This is probably something that should be explained at least a little bit more in later editions.

2) Again, you're right: it's never explicitly stated why the whole heir thing is happening now.  All the reader has to go on is the endless guesses Siri and Susebron make, none of which are confirmed.  Although the Big Evil Conspiracy is revealed to be the work of some hundreds of Pahn Kahl agents, at least one faction of the priesthood is also somewhat shifty and their motives aren't as well explained.  It's a good thing there's still 6-9 more drafts to go through!  :)

infamousdot

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #612 on: December 18, 2007, 09:16:15 AM »
Underline is a standard manuscript format indication for "put this in italics when you make the actual book." (It's easier for a copy editor to notice underlines than italics.)

(If the underlines really bother you, you can do a find/replace in Microsoft Word and replace all underlining with italics.)

See, you learn something new every day! I never would have known that otherwise.

I'll take your advice, though, and change it so I can read it without being distracted.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #613 on: December 18, 2007, 05:17:25 PM »
Actually, I do the same thing. :)
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

diabloblanco18

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #614 on: December 19, 2007, 09:51:02 PM »
I just finished reading Warbreaker yesterday, and since it's a work-in-progress, I figured I'd give my opinion.

Overall, I liked it well enough. The prose, as with both Mistborn books, is competent. Often uninspired, perhaps, but it gets the job done and rarely knocks me out of the story. The first few chapters could use some extra polish, though; they seem a bit stiff and halting compared to the rest.

The characters are done quite well. Above all else, they're distinctive. Their personalities come across loud and clear through their dialogue, enough that with many of them you could remove the stage directions in a dialogue and I'd still have a good idea of who was speaking. Most are developed well, and dynamically so. They change and adapt, though at times it seems like their development is a series of big personal revelations in this direction or that, one after another. Vivenna was this way, and I found myself often wishing that the changes would be more subtle. Less "I was this, now I'm this, and here's why" and more showing the change through related thoughts and actions.

The plot was a bit...confused. Most of the issues are holes in the worldbuilding that others have already pointed out. Siri's plotline was strong, if slow-moving, but the others meandered a bit. Lightsong was very entertaining, but his chapters were more exposition than anything else until he decided to solve the "mystery." Vivenna's POV was more eventful, but she changed her purpose and direction often enough to make things vague and confusing. It went from rescuing her sister to protecting her homeland to helping her impoverished people and so on. Given all these changes, I would have expected more conflict with Denth/Tonk Fah, as their goals never changed. That said, most of it did the job and kept me reading until the end.

Until the end...which is the one part I seriously disliked. I know that the statues were mentioned often and foreshadowed and whathaveyou, but I still feel that using them is a deus ex machina, and an ugly one at that. Two reasons:

1) The statues were mentioned, but there was never any intimation that they might be something more than expensive ornaments. No air of mystery to them. It seemed like you could have simply chosen anything and used it to solve the Lifeless problem.

2) It doesn't make sense with regards to the magic system. IIRC, part of the reason why Lifeless are so cheap to create is that they have a human form and were once alive. The statues are in human form, yes, but were never alive. In terms of breath cost, shouldn't they fall somewhere in between the cost of a regular Lifeless and that of Nightblood (the former filling both requirements, the latter filling neither)? Whether that's 50 or 100 or 500 breath, it's still a lot, and even with the God King's vast store of Breath (10-20K?) that would only net you about 400 statues at most. Far fewer than the thousands that were in the city, though I'm not sure as to just how effective they'd be against the Lifeless. Maybe even a few would be enough. Still, there should be some sort of explanation in the book for why the never-living status of stone isn't a problem.

Also, with regards to the end, the big reveal of Pahn Kahl as the conspiracy fell flat for me. There's very little impression given in the book as to why they would orchestrate something like that. Sure, they had their land stolen from them in the distant past, but if they're still so pissed off about that, why do they never show it? Little is shown of the world outside Hallandren, so having everything hinge on a power that does reside outside the city doesn't carry much weight.

The setting (as usual) I think is the book's strongest point. Obviously, it's still very unpolished and all the holes in the worldbuilding need to be patched. In terms of ideas, though? Quite impressive, even if the magic system doesn't allow for amazing kung-fu showdowns like in Mistborn. I particularly like the fact that the magic is much darker this time around, that it carries a price as well as moral complications. The one thing I'd suggest improving here is the world outside Hallandren. The city itself is vivid (heh) and well-drawn, but it almost seems to stand alone in the world. There's little mention of trade or foreign policy or anything of the sort that isn't about Idris.

A couple other thoughts:

Nightblood. The sword was originally created to "destroy evil," but from the beginning you pass it off as evil in its own right. It is evil, of course, but I'm sure Shashara didn't think so, when she created it. So why did she make the sword black? Why name it Nightblood, a rather evil-sounding name? It's better to create an impression of the sword as something noble, like it was intended, so that when it's shown to be something very, very different, the effect on the reader will be all the more powerful.

Vasher's explanation of Breath and BioChroma and everything in the beginning comes off rather poorly. Not only is it a rather glaring infodump, but it also makes the magic system seem like one from a video game. He says he needs this number of Breath to do this and that number to do that, and I'm thinking I could just switch Breath for mana and nothing would change. It does change, once you get to Lightsong at least, and are shown the price of that magic. But it would work better if you could somehow work that price (and show it, not just have Vasher think about it) into the prologue.