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Messages - dreamking47

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Brandon Sanderson / Re: More Art for You to Digest
« on: November 10, 2007, 11:53:16 PM »
That's a pretty ostentatious dress for Vivenna! ;)

(I assume it is Vivenna and not Siri given the sword.)

- I like the bold, colorful look of the concept -- it is eye-catching!

- I like the pose: the kneeling down, dress pooled, bloody sword...very dramatic.

- The simple composition does make the book look a little too simple, if you know what I mean: it is a complex book in terms of the multiple POVs, the mystery-driven plot, etc.  I agree with pengwenn, some sort of background depth would be nice to see because the setting does play such an important role in the story.  If Vivenna was just a bit smaller and further down on the cover, you could do something like have sketchy hints of the gray and drab slums over one of her shoulders and then the colorful, saturated Court of Gods over the other shoulder...kind of visually showing that Viv is the bridge between the two.  Maybe have a shadowy figure with a sword in the background (which readers will assume is Denth).  Just...something more, that conveys more about what kind of story it is and that gives a broader spectrum of readers something that may appeal to their sensibilities.

- Vivenna looks a little haughty, uncaring, unapproachable...which of course she is early in the book, but to have her in full SpoiledPrincess! mode on the cover may make the book itself seem unapproachable.  Over the top "damsel in distress" is bad, but it wouldn't hurt if the dress was a little dirty or perhaps if some of the color had been drained from it -- if it looked used -- and if Viv looked a little more intent/determined/concerned rather than haughtily dismissive.

Just my $.02,


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker Title Question
« on: September 03, 2007, 12:21:31 AM »
As someone who did read the story, I liked the title.  It becomes clear pretty quickly -- right from the start of the first chapter -- that "warbreaker" will refer to putting a stop to the looming war.  The fun then is trying to figure out who the "war breaker" will be: I think I had pegged three or four different characters before finally getting it right.  The title works because it not only gives a general sense of what the plot will be, but it also defines and perpetuates the book's central mystery.

Part of why it might not work -- how serious it sounds for a book that you said was meant to be lighter in tone -- will, it looks like, be alleviated by the choice of cover artist.  The slightly larger-than-life coloring of Dan Dos Santos's work is perfect for conveying the right mood, in addition to the tie-in with saturated colors and Breath. The other potential negative to the title I can see is that (spoilers)...

...the character to whom the title refers, the character on whom the critical decision rests, has the least "screen time" and is the least developed of any of the major characters.  I suppose that ideally, either the title wouldn't exclude the other characters who feature more centrally, or (probably ideal from my sense of story) we'd know a bit more about the warbreaker character by the end of the book, why they waited to do what they did and what caused them to eventually relent, which would make the title fit even better.


Strictly speaking, are we really speaking?  :D

And actually, if you look on the "excellent" page, you find:

November 2005 update: Brandon Sanderson - Elantris

This book will suck you in. It's about addictive as chocolate and a whole lot healthier! Normally, I prefer to avoid novellization of myths such as Aurther or Alantis. This book is no rewrite however. I didn't stop reading this one till my eye skimmed the last page. I recommend picking this one up!

My eyes are hurting.


P.S. That site is the highest I've seen in a while on the unintentional comedy scale.  Thanks for sharing the link.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 10, 2007, 10:44:40 PM »
Thanks.  I wasn't quite sure how the Five Scholars came to be, so guessed a bit there, but that sounds like something you could easily address in the next book.  That is, did the others know Vasher was a Returned at the time?  I was guessing not, just because Jewels recognizes his normal human form as "Tax," but Denth (now, at least) clearly knows who he really is.  Although that makes me wonder, if Vasher can change his shape, why keep a recognizable face?

Re: the title, the good thing about "Warbreaker" is that it isn't obviously a Returned name, so I remember seeing many people here speculate whether the "warbreaker" would be Siri, Vivenna, etc.  As soon as we know it is the name of a Returned from the past, the list of candidates does shrink dramatically (and the sense that history will repeat itself increases).  I can't say I would have guessed, but I do think your original instinct was most likely right.

Given that Denth does know who Vasher is, you could have Denth tauntingly call him "Warbreaker" while torturing him, or during one of their fight scenes (keeping Vasher's explanation of the name for the epilogue as now).  That would save the first mention until the end, but not the very end.


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 10, 2007, 06:41:46 PM »
The royal family were the ones descended from the first Returned, the ones who founded the kingdom of Hallendren hundreds of years before the Manywar.  That's who Vivenna is descended from.  The chapter with Dust the storyteller has the most complete overview of the history, but basically:

- Hallendren is founded by explorers who include the First Returned -- they become the royal family.
- Some time later, whoever Vasher was dies and Returns, and is given the name Warbreaker.
- He learns to change his shape, takes a normal human form, and naming himself Talaxin (sp?) teams up with some humans doing research into Breath.
- Their research gives Hallendren a lot of military power; the imbalance causes the Manywar.
- The royal family makes Vasher a general and gives him command of the Lifeless army.
- Vasher leads the armies against the neighboring countries -- Pahn Kahl, plus the two mentioned in this epilogue.  He's now called Strifelover.
- Then for some reason -- experiencing the horror of war, perhaps -- Vasher leads the armies back to Hallendren and seizes power from the royal family in order to end the war.  The royal family escapes to the hills and founds the kingdom of Idris.  They call him Klad the Usurper.
- Vasher forces the other countries to submit to Hallendren or he'll release the near-indestructible statues on them.  He is hailed as Peacegiver by the Hallendren for ending the conflict.  Not wanting to rule, Vasher sets up a new Hallendren religion/government. 
- Vasher goes off and does other things for a few hundred years, until the start of this story.

I think Vasher has more names than Aragorn!  ;)


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 10, 2007, 12:18:08 AM »
Some of the confusion with Vasher may just stem from the Command word he uses on himself: "Return."  It was ambiguous as to whether he is making himself a Returned, commanding his Returned status to return, etc.  If what he actually had been doing was hiding his divine Breath, just changing the word ("Reveal" or some synonym) might make things clearer.

I liked the epilogue...I think it's always better to leave things unsaid than to say too much.  I did think it could have used a little more meat to go with the witty banter, though.  To wrap things up, it might have been nice to read some combination (not necessarily all) of:

- Vivenna questions Vasher a little more...what has he been doing for the past few centuries, why did he leave Hallendren in the first place, why did he come back (why would he care if the Pahn Kahl plot succeeded), and why is he leaving now rather than sticking around to make sure things work out okay?

- Vasher and Susebron talk...given all the instructions Vasher apparently left the last time, he seems remarkably uncaring about the massive political upheaval he's leaving in his wake this time.  If the next book is going to take place in another kingdom, resolving the outstanding Hallendren/Idris issues seems important.

- Vivenna and Siri talk a little more...we've had dialogue where Vivenna realizes how Siri has changed, but Siri's realization of how much Vivenna has changed was only briefly touched on.  Plus if this is the conclusion of Siri's character arc, it would be good to have a little more closure with her.

(Also, one comment on the past two chapters: in the last chapter Siri was quite willing try to hold Susebron back from trying to save Idris, even if it cost Idris many lives; in this chapter, Vivenna is quite willing to go off adventuring without waiting to see if Idris will be saved, or doing anything to help.  Cutting the cord is a good thing, but this lack of caring about their homeland didn't feel quite right.)

Anyway, wow...I know you've been done with the story for a while, but congratulations!  And thank you so much for posting all the chapters online, it was very brave to subject your early drafts to all this scrutiny but I've found it both fascinating and useful, not to mention fun.  I think I'll pause for a few weeks to clear my head, then give the whole thing a re-read at once, to read it as a novel.  I'll also definitely be picking up the book when it's released in print.


Anyway, The question I have then, is does that make Vasher her Great great great great great great grandfather? or something?
So, he was a scholar before he was Returned.

Vasher wasn't a member of the royal family -- he was called "the Usurper" after all.

I don't think it says he was a scholar before he was Returned;  he says he can't remember before he was Returned.


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 09, 2007, 06:55:55 PM »
My impression of the scene with the little girl was that whatever Vasher did was simple, one whispered step, but you're right, he does seem to travel as a drab often for stealth purposes.  Maybe normal people can't sense the divine Breath?  It's probably rather different than the biological life force of normal BioChroma.

Thanks for the explanation, Brandon -- that's how I thought it worked based on what you wrote last week, but your comments about Vasher confused me temporarily.  Confusion resolved!


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 09, 2007, 01:02:37 AM »
So a Returned needs a new Breath each week, even if they have a large store of Breath already?

Just trying to make sure I understand...


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 04, 2007, 03:36:43 AM »
Okay, so I know everyone's talk about Sub being able to use breaths... but my question is this:  Will he still need to get breaths from people in order to live, or will his devine breath fade after a week if he doesn't turn someone into a drab?

Susebron never actually needed to get additional Breaths from anyone, because he received the enormous store of Breaths that had been passed down (from Vasher originally) through the previous God Kings.  With that as a surplus he'd have no need for further infusions.  The priests probably kept up the ritual as a matter of tradition, a good way of keeping people respectful of their God King.

Also, I thought once you gave all of your breaths away you couldn't get more.  It seems though that Vasher and Viv are giving theirs away and getting more later all the time.  If you can do that, why don't most drabs do that?

Cost, I imagine -- drabs have sold their Breath for money, and most probably did so because they needed the money for other things.  Vasher and Vivenna aren't getting new Breaths, BTW, they're just putting Breaths into objects like their clothes and then retrieving those same Breaths when needed.


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 04, 2007, 12:47:00 AM »
I think you did a good job in the earlier chapter, where Vasher and Denth talk, of subtly showing that Denth has at least the tiniest bit of affection for Vivenna, or perhaps shame at having used her -- some less mercenary remnant of the man he used to be.  For that and the practical matters you mention, I never thought he'd just kill her (though she had just set Vasher free, who Denth had been set on getting revenge on, so he might be a little irrational at that moment).  But the point is, anything he would find to do with her would most likely be dangerous for her -- so it would heighten the tension to actually give a glimpse of that danger.  The leader telling the henchman "you can have her later" is a bit of a cliché, though it does fit the characters.  There are a lot of ways you could handle it; I was picturing something like Vasher coming upon Tonk Fah and some mercs leading Vivenna to some unspecified holding area, while Tonk talked about the ways they had tortured Peprin...

Or if Denth was going to use her against Vasher, he'd do so.


But just my $.02,


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 03, 2007, 09:38:57 PM »
But, it’s important that the reader understand that he CAN use some of his breaths, should he get his tongue back.

A lot of the confusion with Returned and Breath might be cleared up if you added a scene much earlier in the book where one of the Returned Gods does use Breath to Awaken, or even if you just have some of the Gods discussing it.  The problem now is that if they can, why don't they?  You could of course just write in that they do.  Or maybe it's considered gauche for a God to get extra Breath, given that their followers are giving up one a week already?  You could have Mercystar talking about getting some extra Breath for self-defense because she's scared after the break-in; or Lightsong saying he never carries extra Breath because his mind is too lazy to form the visualizations needed to Awaken; or some newer God actually doing Awakening while Allmother looks on unhappily and makes a snippy comment about how people will think Gods are just people with a lot of Breath, etc.

Basically it's just that because there's nothing in the text that indicates a Returned can use Breath, when one of them does it leads to the question of whether they really are Returned.

I like David's suggestion regarding Vasher, Nightblade and Vivenna a lot.  Even better if Vasher has to rescue her from Tonk Fah instead of just finding her in a closet.  I didn't mean the reference to anime to be a derogatory one, it's just that the level of seriousness and of suspension of disbelief required seems to vary wildly throughout the story.  It's hard to reconcile for example that the same people who lose control and torture Peprin to death just toss Vivenna unharmed into a closet after she damages their plans.  David's suggestion could not only add tension to the Nightblood aspect but also to the Vasher-Vivenna story -- if Vasher doesn't beat Denth, it would be clear, something bad will happen to Vivenna.


P.S. Edit: after one of the recent chapters ended, I had this charmingly funny image of this little piece of rope that was forever inching its way after Tonk Fah, through cities and forests and across deserts, over years and years, trying to fulfill its Command to grab him.  :D

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 03, 2007, 02:09:42 PM »
Welcome back, DavidB -- you hadn't posted in a while.  I was wondering whether your deus ex machina warning lights hadn't been going crazy these past few chapters.  ;)

You can tell from my past comments that I had a lot of the same questions, especially about what a Returned can do, how much they know about their own abilities and weaknesses, and whether folks like Susebron actually are Returned.  I also wonder whether Vasher can survive (and for how long) in Returned form without an intake of Breath.

Only Brandon knows the answers but I did have a few impressions that may work towards answering a few of your other comments:

Vasher didn't know what the plan was and whether folks like Susebron were involved before his showdown with Denth, so going to them beforehand would have been problematic. He went into the Court of Gods only to try to save Siri, remember.  But beyond that, the thing with Vasher is clearly meant to be character-driven: if he declared who he was, people would expect him to rule, and based on past personal history with the Manywar he has no desire to rule, no confidence in his ability to lead (thus the whole loner thing), and was unwilling to give up the power of the statues to Hallendren given what happened with the Lifeless.  I kind of expect all this to be dealt with more explicitly in the epilogue, it's an epilogue-y sort of discussion.  Now, whether it all works for you is another question.  Certainly he seems to cave in to Vivenna rather easily; although hey, that's puppy love for you.

With Susebron kneeling to Vasher, there's the implication that Lightsong's miracle healed more than just Susebron's physical if the healing included how to speak and knowledge of Awakening, it perhaps it also included enough historical/personal knowledge or awareness to recognize Vasher in his Returned form?  A bit of a stretch, I admit.

The book overall has something of a console RPG/anime feel to it, from the young women with funky hair colors to the giant "tentacles" of cloth at the end.  Super Power Nightblood Breath-Consuming Mode fits right into that milieu.  I think what we (and the book) are bumping into is that anime story logic and Western literary story logic sometimes clash, and we get different signals at different points regarding which the book is following.

I'd be curious to know what specific Command the Lifeless army was given.  They obviously didn't stop to kill all the Idrians in Hallendren so presumably they were told to go to a specific place and kill the Idrians there.  Just moving the Idrians someplace else would probably save them.

But...but...they're fighting zombies! With giant robots! That's some kind of ultimate, uh, something! You can't just set something like that up and then not deliver....

Maybe that's what the sequel is for?  Although the book is in a weird place right now, somewhat like Hobb's Assassin's Quest when the Elderlings are feels like there should be about 3-5 more chapters in front of us, not just a short epilogue but not a whole sequel, either.

Either way, Brandon, you may want to change the bit in the first post in this thread where you talk about the book being a stand-alone.


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: May 03, 2007, 03:38:26 AM »
Well, that was interesting.  It had seemed like you were hinting at Vasher's identity over the past few chapters, but I kept thinking "but according to the story Dust told, he was a Returned."  So this clears things up somewhat.  I like the idea of using commands on yourself, that's clever.

And I was sure something was up with those statues, but as the chapters passed without anything occurring I began to think I was just imagining things.

I'm curious whether the epilogue will cover the saving of Idris, or whether that's reserved for the sequel.  I guess we'll find out next week.

Issues?  I thought just finding Vivenna tied up in a closet was...not necessarily unreasonable, but it felt too easy and anticlimatic.  Also, at the beginning of the chapter Siri's hair is red just because she's displeased, and then a bit later Vivenna is thinking about how regal and controlled Siri is for keeping her hair black (which all seemed rather un-Siri like -- the reversal between her and Vivenna was a bit too forced).


Books / Wizards of the Coast Discoveries
« on: April 27, 2007, 10:08:22 PM »
Thought this was interesting...

"Science fiction publisher, and Hasbro subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast is launching a new imprint in 2008 dedicated to adult fantasy. Wizards of the Coast Discoveries will feature titles in a range of sub-genres including urban horror and literary fantasy; it will also publish both debut and established authors. The imprint, which will release its first book in January, Richard Dansky's Firefly Rain, marks Wizards' first foray into "adult non-shared world fiction," according to publicist Caitlin Roulston. Up until now Wizards, which has YA imprint Mirrorstone, has published only adult fantasy series fiction. "


Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: April 27, 2007, 06:50:54 PM »
Who was the Second intruder when Vasher found the tunnels?

That one is pretty strongly hinted at -- the priest who was killed (after Vasher left him tied up) was killed with a dueling sword.  Which character a) might have been tailing Vasher and b) typically uses a dueling blade?

Edit (addition):

VegasDev, you make a good point -- it seemed like Susebron was brought down to the cell to wait "for the right time" for his execution, about 20 minutes passed, and then they took him out to kill.  Why then but not earlier?


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