Author Topic: Warbreaker: Free Ebook  (Read 182002 times)

Tjaeden

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #390 on: February 02, 2007, 04:51:34 PM »
Thanks for the quick response!

I remember you writing about how Warbreaker is a response, in part with the colors.  But as for the plot, during the early chapters of Warbreaker, I honestly thought Denth and Vivena were using tactics that you might not have had room to put into Mistborn.  They had almost the same goal: use small guerrilla tactics to hit the enemy, while building support for a final attack (or defense, as in WB).

I think i see the development of Siri now, and how she wants to save Susebron - however, the "real" government of Hallendren has not yet been revealed to the reader.  We only know that the Returned are a kind of figure head-puppets, but we only see the lesser "gods", nothing of the God-King.  He hasn't given any laws to his priests, Siri (as the reader) has not asked about his "job" around the palace - nothing like that.

I know the second two Mistborn books will have a different kind of theme/goal, but all us readers have to go on is 2 and 3/4ths of your published works.

I was just really wondering if this was more of an issue you feel you need to tackle, or if you think its a plot device thats fresh to fantasy.  (I want to stay 100% away from real life religious discussions in this tr head, there are others for that, and I also believe that the best literary criticism leaves the author out of the work, so the work can stand on its own).

I think that when we as readers understand more of a central theme in a book, we can understand how the characters are "supposed" to develop and grow.  I think it also adds to the suspension of disbelief, and how well we get sucked in.  =)

Thanks again,
Justin
Once I dreamt of death /
now it dreams of me,
And only rats and rotting flesh /
can hear my silent plea...

BakAttack

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #391 on: February 06, 2007, 08:51:12 AM »
First off, let me say that I am by no means a literary expert. In fact, you'll quickly notice I probably don't know at all what I'm talking about, and say little through many words. I'm a math/physics to be linguistics major at Seattle University (Which Brandon apparently visited a few days before I started reading his book), and I love fantasy.

That said, I read a lot of fantasy, tor and other, and I enjoyed reading all three of the books Brandon has available (or 2 3/4). I'd just like to put forward some of my questions, and mild criticisms.

1) I read that you want this book to be a bit lighter than Mistborn and have less self-conflicted characters (I think), but you seem to have a small case of 'Robert Jordan' syndrome. You have what could be beautifully developed characters, but after a while I think they tend to 'speak' similarly. By speak I refer to inner dialogue and actual spoken dialogue. You may or may not be planning on changing this, and that's fine. It doesn't take too much away from anything, IMO.

2) I think I would have enjoyed a few more short chapters from Vasher's POV or even sections of chapters throughout the book.  You could probably do it without over-foreshadowing what is going to happen. It could even be misleading. Even a few short paragraphs from some of the more well known minor characters could be colorful.

3) You might have mentioned pacing, if I recall (That is another Robert Jordan thingy that gets me sometimes). I can't see the complete package, so I don't really know how much it needs to change.

4) I may have read the wrong draft, but if not I agree that the maid coming to join Siri didn't work too well.

5) You mentioned you haven't finished adding all the foreshadowing yet, but I like what you have in place for Vivenna. Added some much appreciated change of pace to an already exhillerating story.

6) You may have just designed it this way, but why is it that Returned cannot Breathe things to life without dying? You may have answered it in the book, unfortunately I see more in terms of big picture, and sometimes miss details. Or maybe it is to come.

7) Character development of Peprin(is that his name?) seemed varying. I was surprised that Vivenna cared at all about who/what he liked disliked.

8) Is Idris planning anything? No short Kingly narratives planned?

I love reading this book, I think it was a great idea on your part to share it online. These forums have a very nice atmosphere as well. I look forward to your work in the future.

EUOL

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #392 on: February 07, 2007, 06:24:54 PM »
BakAttack,

Welcome and thank you so much for the comments.  Yes, I do worry about voice sometimes.  In this book, I may have leaned toward making everyone a little too glib, which I blame on Lightsong.  We shall see if I manage to write this out in drafting or not.  I agree that it's not a huge deal, but Vivenna in particular shouldn't be making many jokes.  I also plan to work on Peprin a bit more, and it's good to hear what you think about him, and also other issues.  All around very useful comments.  Thank you.


All,
New chapter:
Chapter forty-six
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amyface

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #393 on: February 08, 2007, 02:43:24 AM »
...So nightblood is an awakened object with sentience and clod (was that his name) is obviously someone inportant in the crew and Vasher's past...

Very good chapter-

I liked Vivenna's thoughts here... she's really starting to understand how stupid her actions were before. That's nice to see... Not that she was stupid, just disillusioned like I thought before... It bugs me how Vasher won't answer her questions though. I wish he would/could be more open... if even just a little about nightblood. We don't even have an idea of why he/(it?) would make her sick when she touched it. It seemed like it was a test or something from their first meeting... anybody have any guesses about him, because I don't really?
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BakAttack

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #394 on: February 08, 2007, 03:24:57 AM »
I think some important things were covered in this chapter.

I was just wondering if Lightsong's past self is a character who has been mentioned by other people in the story. Better said, if he is connected to Denth and Vasher at all (or anyone else)

dawncawley

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #395 on: February 08, 2007, 03:38:03 AM »
I think I understand about him not wanting to explain about Nightblood. He may be trying to be secretive about it, it may be something that he doesn't fully understand, or it could be that it just isn't something that he thinks she needs to know.

Ok first thing, since it is still fresh in my mind as it is in the end of the chapter, if it is a thin, well polished dueling blade, and she doesn't put it in a sheath, how can it be a sheathed sword when she picks it up? I think that those last couple of lines might need to have maybe her putting the sword in a sheath, or take out the well polished portion of the description unless she pulls it out of the sheath to have a look at it, or something like that.

Don't get me wrong, that isn't the thing that stuck in my mind the most, just the last thing that I thought of and I would have forgotten by the time I was done with the rest of the post. My mind is not what it used to be. ;)

What I think I liked most was the fact that Vivenna was taking that hard look at herself and her situation that was previously mentioned that she might need. I loved the internal chat with herself, and her attempts at Awakening. I think that through her discussions with Vasher she will learn everything that she needs to know about it, and I like that once he gets going on something he is more chatty. Maybe not personal information chatty, but any kind of chatty is nice from him.

I like that he can still scare her, it makes the situation more real to me. If he never made her nervous, or frightened her anymore I would have to wonder about her sanity, or intelligence. And since she is wondering about those things, I don't think she needs me thinking ill of her as well :)

I also like the fact that Vasher stays true to character and clams up at the first hint of anything that may give Vivenna too much information about who he is, where he is from, and who is important to him.

I came to the same conclusion as amyface, Nightblood is the fourth kind of Awakened object that he didn't want to discuss and warned Vivenna never to ask about again. I like that there is something there that we still don't know. And I eagerly await the next chapter. :D

Pterath

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #396 on: February 08, 2007, 03:41:13 AM »
Yes, agreed. Yery good chapter.

Vasher a scholar... it makes sense with the ease he spoke of BioCromatic Breath etc...  I had begun to wonder if he was a Priest of one of the Returned at one point or another after the break-in to get to the tunnels.  Then add the that Lightsong's deal with Allmother.  You don't just toss your Lifeless codes away without thought.  That had forethought.  She may not have made the decision before that moment but Lifesong gave her too good of and opportunity to protect their interests.  But it makes me wonder again where exactly Vasher went using those tunnels - Allmother's temple would make sense.  Gave her vital information for what was happening outside the palace grounds.  Denth's dealings and the like.  *chews on that notion a while*

Nightblood is starting to make sense, your right. The 4th type.  The question is though, is killing a part of that?  Necessity the way it gains breath to continue like a Returned needs or is it the blood that sustains it?  Hm... Or was it created by using a Returned's (god) breath, one with a dark presence unlike Lifesong's heroic one.  The name, Nightblood, is even like that of a Returned God.  Makes me ask, was there ever a Returned named Nightblood.  Was he a symbol of vengence?  Makes sense that Vasher would want to hide that. All completely suposition.

I am finally admitting a grudging respect even like of Vivenna.  She is becoming more well rounded even if she hasn't got herself figured out completely.

Kel

dawncawley

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #397 on: February 08, 2007, 03:48:31 AM »
I believe in one of the earlier chapters the background on Nightblood was mentioned, but not really given in much detail. I don't think Nightblood was originally created to do the kind of work that it now does, and it has chosen not to remember that it killed the woman that it wanted to go brag to about the "good thing" that he and Vasher had done. I know there is more, but cant' really speculate too much on that part of it.

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #398 on: February 08, 2007, 05:05:00 AM »
Great chapter.  I don't know why, but I thought Vasher saying that one broken down door does about the same thing as another was hilarious.

What really struck me was was Vasher's reaction to Vivenna's mention of Clod.  It looks like Clod was someone important to him, and I would be willing be willing to bet that Jewels is a Drab because she used her breath to Awaken him.  Perhaps he was named 'Clod' as an insult because he was an enemy of Denth's, and this would make Jewel's reference to running away with Clod make some sense.

was it created by using a Returned's (god) breath, one with a dark presence unlike Lifesong's heroic one.  The name, Nightblood, is even like that of a Returned God.  Makes me ask, was there ever a Returned named Nightblood.

I think it's more likely that Vasher created Nigthblood–it was mentioned in one of the earlier chapters that he had Awakened metal before.  It would also add a level of irony to Nightblood's comments that it was made for killing.
I am not bragging.  I am understating.

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #399 on: February 08, 2007, 06:45:13 AM »
Interesting chapter.  Is the way that Awakening works a consciously different take on the Eddings Will/Word system?  It seemed similar at first (in application -- focus your will and then say the words -- if not underlying theory), but the sound factor -- which seems like it should maybe get more attention throughout the book -- changes things up.  My intuition was that something like "Hold Things" would take more Breath than "Hold That Branch" because the first requires more work.  But that seems to have nothing to do with it; in fact, with Awakening they have a system for perpetual motion (and thus energy).  A wheel Commanded to Turn would turn forever, a Lifeless horse Commanded to go back and forth between two points at certain times would do it to the dot every single day, etc.

It's purely my own preference and shouldn't get in the way of the core story, but I think it's a marvelous chance for imagination to flesh out in a purposeful way what a city like this would look like and how it would operate -- Hallendren right now feels like a typical fantasy/late-medieval city, relatively untouched by the influence of Breath.  Yet look at all the ways our world has changed in the few hundred years we've had electricity.  So do you want to emphasize the plight of the poor in the slum?  Have Vivenna see that most of the menial jobs in the city are done by Lifeless, since business owners wouldn't have to pay them.  Want to present the city as an orderly system?  Show that Lifeless are used to deliver the mail or provide public transportation at precise schedules.  Want to present the city as decaying and decadent?  Describe that those same Lifeless are starting to fall apart and the schedules falter, or have Awakened ceiling fans spinning endlessly in the houses of the rich, while poor Drabs suffer in the heat....

One thing Vasher's explanation didn't address is Drabs.  Is a Drab thus someone without BioChroma?  This may fall under the "we don't know everything" category, but why then cannot a Drab be Commanded?

Realizing that I read the version 1 edition of all the early chapters, has Vivenna's character pre-betrayal been changed at all in the later drafts?  She seems to see her earlier self a little differently than I remember her.  In this chapter she's going on about how sure of her beliefs she used to be, but my memory was that Denth started challenging her beliefs almost as soon as she arrived in the City, which is pretty much when we were introduced to her as a character.  Reading her take on herself in this chapter, I might suggest -- if you haven't already -- making her even more arrogant and sure of herself, less questioning, in the earlier chapters, delaying some of her inner doubts until a bit later.  Denth might challenge her beliefs a little less, encourage her contempt of Hallendren a little more (wouldn't that be more in his interest?).  That would allow us to see her transformation as more substantive now in these later chapters, and also better contrast her with Siri in those earlier chapters.

Edit (addition):

It bugs me how Vasher won't answer her questions though. I wish he would/could be more open... if even just a little about nightblood. We don't even have an idea of why he/(it?) would make her sick when she touched it. It seemed like it was a test or something from their first meeting... anybody have any guesses about him, because I don't really?

My take is that Nightblood is one of those "only ye who is of pure intent may draw me" type devices -- the evil you have in you, you have done to you.  But it may be something more specific.  Vasher's silence is one of those things where he really needs to have a good reason for it -- nevermind Nightblood, he still hasn't told Vivenna what his ultimate goals and plans are and who he is working for/with.

MattD
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 05:52:48 PM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

dawncawley

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #400 on: February 08, 2007, 05:02:49 PM »
But I think that is totally in keeping with his character. He is used to being alone, looked upon with fear, and being able to do as he pleases with no one to answer to, well excet maybe a higher power. I am not totally sure that Vasher is working for anyone other than himself, but wouldn't it be a wonderful twist if he was actually working for Vivenna's father? Trying to keep the Idrians in the slums from rising up against the Hallendrens sounds like something the king might be working towards. It would keep the war from being so imminent (sp?) and we all know he is very interested in that :)

DavidB

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #401 on: February 08, 2007, 05:45:41 PM »
Or maybe Denth is working for Vivenna's father, and Vasher is working for Blushweaver?

Nah.

Matt, it occurred to me also that life in Halladren could be pretty different than in an ordinary fantasy city. For example, it seems to me that an awakener chef could do some Serious Culinary Awesomeness by making meals prepare themselves (for example, by having all the grains in a bowl of rice line up in artistic patterns, or by having meat that turns itself over while it's inside the oven so that it cooks evenly.) And then there's the question of what fashionable clothing for rich people would look like, or more to the point, what it would do.

Logically,
Periodic Table of BioChromatic Entities
AliveDeadOrganicInorganicIncorporeal
HeightenedAwakenersGod King??Nightblood?Austre
SentientHumansReturned?Nightblood?Ghosts
MindlessPlants, animalsLifelessAwakened stuff??
DrainedDrabsOrdinary dead stuffOrdinary cloth, etc.Ordinary swords, etc.Nothing

firstRainbowRose

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #402 on: February 08, 2007, 06:02:58 PM »
What really struck me was was Vasher's reaction to Vivenna's mention of Clod.  It looks like Clod was someone important to him, and I would be willing be willing to bet that Jewels is a Drab because she used her breath to Awaken him. 

I think she actually yells at Viveena at one point that she gave up her breaths to the God King himself, and considers it an honor, and that's why she's a drab.  (I can't think of which chapter).

I don't think Vasher is currently a priest because of running with Denth and everyone, however I could see him as having been one (maybe to the Goddess that Lightsong loved so much before she died?), and then when Denth and everyone found out they became extreamly buddy-buddy with him to find out all they could.  When he found out about this, he dropped them like a ton of bricks... that's just an idea that came to me and I thought I'd throw out.
"The custom of royalty in referring to oneself is to naturally employ the royal 'we'. We are very happy, we are very sad, we are bored and suffer from ennui. For a royal prince there's no such word as 'me', It's always 'we'. So rightfully I should be two or three, don't you agree?"

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #403 on: February 08, 2007, 06:08:58 PM »
I really can't see Vasher working with the king of Idris (can anyone remember his name?), partly because the king thinks that war is inevitable and can only be delayed.  Vasher seems like a loner, and I don't get the idea he has much contact with anyone as far north as Idris.  I don't know why, but I've always had the idea that he recently came from somewhere to the southwest of Hallandren.

Speaking of Vahser, how old is he?

firstrainbowrose,

Now I think about Jewels did say that, but we can't be sure she wasn't lying.

I absolutely cannot see Vasher being a priest.  Priests have to follow rules and respect deities and such, none of which Vasher seems capable of doing.

David,

I don't think that humans are BioCromatic entities, because they are able to give up their Breath and still live.  If humans are not BioCromatic, but are able to Command BioCroma, I wonder if Austre is the same.  Perhaps he is not BioCromatic or human himself, but is able to Command both Breath and a human soul to Return?
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dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #404 on: February 08, 2007, 06:31:13 PM »
But I think that is totally in keeping with his character. He is used to being alone, looked upon with fear, and being able to do as he pleases with no one to answer to, well excet maybe a higher power. I am not totally sure that Vasher is working for anyone other than himself, but wouldn't it be a wonderful twist if he was actually working for Vivenna's father? Trying to keep the Idrians in the slums from rising up against the Hallendrens sounds like something the king might be working towards. It would keep the war from being so imminent (sp?) and we all know he is very interested in that :)

I think if Vasher were working for Vivenna's father he wouldn't have pondered whether to kill her in the earlier chapters.  I think Denth working for the father is more likely (although the simpler story of for Blushweaver more likely still), in that as I mentioned before, the father has the most obvious reason to want war: reclaiming the country he might feel is rightfully his.  What reason does Blushweaver have to want war, given her exalted position already?  Unless there's some twist like it's her child that will be groomed as Susebron's successor?  (Cue dah-dah-DAH sound of ominous revelation.)  And/or maybe the royal blood would for some reason (are royals BioChromatic entities of yet another sort, given their funky hair color powers?) allow a union between a royal and a Returned to conceive where others would fail?  Several aspects and possibilities would then make (more) sense: everyone's certainty that Siri can conceive; Blushweaver's vague comments about the children of Returned; Blushweaver's dislike/jealousy of Siri; a possible alliance with Blushweaver and the Idris king.

dawncawley, I think I'm more sensitive than some to feeling like an author is delaying information as a device to increase tension or make the plot work rather than because the plot/characters require it.  Stories that many other people like, such as the fourth Harry Potter book, I find very lacking for that reason.  I'm not saying that's what is happening here, I'm just saying I will want there to be a good reason for Vasher's silence as well as the aspect we've discussed before, Vivenna's lack of questioning about his silence.  Obviously Brandon can do with my comments what he will.

MattD

P.S. I read Vasher's hesitation when Vivenna mentions Clod as indication that Vasher killed the person who Clod was, although it's also possible that it was someone Vasher knew (I just can't think of any candidates).  The former links back to the Clod-as-Arsteel theory, although there were some problems in the text that seemed to reject that.  Maybe it was just an issue of drafting that has been clarified in later drafts?  We'll just have to wait and see....

Edit:

P.P.S. DavidB, while you were thinking of the culinary arts I was thinking about all the cool ways Awakening could be used to assassinate someone (shows you how twisted I am).  Command their clothes to strangle when donned, command their food to kill them from the inside when eaten, etc.  Um, yeah, anyway I'm gonna go eat lunch now... (shudder).
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 07:55:56 PM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker