Author Topic: Warbreaker: Free Ebook  (Read 172736 times)

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #330 on: January 13, 2007, 05:46:38 AM »
I don't think Vivenna has been that pathetic for most of the book, only the last bit.  She was trying quite hard to hamper Hallandren's armies (even if she was being manipulated by Denth) and was plainly not 'just accepting everything'.  It is only the last bit where she was brought low, I think because she was supposed to learn that not everything was perfectly black and white.  Brandon merely got rather over-zealous with that bit.

I also don't think she is supposed to be a likable character; she is shown as being rather prissy and self-righteous, then learns that she was wrong.
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Pterath

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #331 on: January 13, 2007, 01:49:59 PM »
I didn't mean for the whole of the book I was just meaning more recently, towards the end of part 3 and now 4.   But she has seen so many things that have already showed her things are not B&W.  I have been able to connect with almost all of Brandon's characters I am just really struggling with Vivenna.  I felt I understood her up until this last bit, perhaps Brandon will enlighten me in the next few chapters and everything will fall into place and I won't end up being so annoyed with her.

Siri is not going to recognize her sister when she sees her again and I don't mean her physical state.  But to me it's not all about being likable it is about caring about the character.  I mean hate is fine way to fell about a character like Dilaf in Elantris or wanting to hate Susebron for what he stood for and and ending up really liking him for who he is.  But I care one way or another for them; conversely, currently I am feeling very little for Vivenna.  It feels like she has given up when she let's herself be carried off by Vasher.  I mean she knows he wants her breaths which she is currently 'hiding', but to not fight it in some way, even weakly-- show something other than conceeding to defeat.

Perhaps, half of my frustration lies in having to wait to find out what happens next.....

Kel

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #332 on: January 14, 2007, 04:12:56 PM »
Pterath, my apologies for misunderstanding your post.  There were actually a couple of people who had posted similar thoughts (to what I thought you meant about Vivenna's smarts and maturity) and your post happened to be the most recent and have a good line to quote from to segui into my post.

I don't expect to like all the characters in any given book -- the fact that I don't think I like Vivenna isn't meant as a criticism of this book.  I didn't particularly like Hrathen in Elantris, certainly not at the start of the book, but he was interesting.  I agree, though: Vivenna feels rather undefined to me, there's not enough there to be interesting.  Notice how we're all constructing our own (often very different) backstories for her?

Master Bombadil, I would suggest that Vivenna's first pathetic act was coming to Hallendren in the first place -- she as much as admits she didn't really do it to save Siri, but rather almost out of inertia, it had been what she had planned for her whole life and she didn't really know what to do with herself without that future.  The big question with her, to me, is will she figure out how to live by the end of the story, or is she doomed to be the sacrifice she's always planned to be?

MattD
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

firstRainbowRose

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #333 on: January 14, 2007, 07:07:29 PM »
I don't think at this point Siri would let her take over and become the wife of the god king.  She's already acknowledged that she couldn't stand the colors and everything.  That and the fact that Siri has fallen for him, so I don't think she'll be very happy with someone else having her man...
"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 #334 on: January 14, 2007, 07:16:00 PM »
I think Dreamking has a point about Vivenna's first pathetic act being going to Hallandren, though I wonder if her whole life hasn't been a bit pathetic.  I think maybe she is disliked because she is a boring person with a boring life (at least until she got kidnapped a few times; then she is the stuck-up know-it-all who is being taught a lesson).  It makes me wonder if Brandon has based her on someone he knows in real life, though it's hard to say since I don't think he knows my sisters :-)
I am not bragging.  I am understating.

Pterath

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #335 on: January 14, 2007, 11:24:17 PM »
All is good no offense taken.  I just wanted to make myself clear.

But Vivenna lacks tough I dare say she is consistent.  I am hoping Brandon will enlighten us in the coming chapters and take and give more purpose to this character and it will all come together and make sense.  I mean he has taken a good chunk of the book thus far and dedicated many many pages to her. So there is hope that once his plans for her take shape that they give her more purpose than we can see here.  Vasher as well he has been mentioned much more than we have actually seen him in action.  Though most of those chapters have impact.

The thing is with roughly 10+ chapters give or take can all of the loose threads be taken care of without seeming too contrived. 

I understand teaching Vivenna the hard way (probably the only way she'd learn and not just be repulsed by T'Telir/Hallendren society)  but it's time she stood up and did something about it instead of being swept along with it.  She sorta started doing that with escaping Vasher, then Denth and then the robbery but she doesn't feel committed to it wallowing the pathetic existence that she chose.

*Sitting here waiting on the next chapter as patiently as possible.*

Kel

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #336 on: January 15, 2007, 02:14:25 AM »
I don't see what you mean by Vivenna lacking purpose; it is basically all there has been to her the entire book.  First she is being prepared to become the God King's wife, then she is going to attempt to cripple Hallandren, but she does not have much personality.  I liked the scenes where she was escaping Vasher and Denth quite a bit, and it seems to me that her character is good for action but not for personality, if you know what I mean.

She has been spending her entire time in T'Telir 'standing up and doing something about it.'  Again, 'do' seems to be the only thing she does since leaving Idris, more machinery than actual personality.
I am not bragging.  I am understating.

Tjaeden

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #337 on: January 15, 2007, 08:11:02 AM »
What I am still concerned with is - why hasn't Vivena even *asked* about a way to contact Siri?

I don't know...  I'm feeling that Vivena's character has always been 'telling' the reader what was going on in the city.  The mercs pretty much took care of most of the action, and the one time we get to see some fun (the break in during the day at the records house) it's brief and Vivena 'thinks' about the events, rather than have the reader experience them.

She has had a few shining moments - but too few to be effective.  If Siri is our political/emotional plot line, and Lightsong is the religious plot line, then Vivena has to have the action plots to break up all the theistic talk and political intrigue.  I think that is what most of us are trying to express.  Each of the main characters have a role in the world to show/tell the reader, and only Vivena is failing.

How does that sound?
Once I dreamt of death /
now it dreams of me,
And only rats and rotting flesh /
can hear my silent plea...

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #338 on: January 15, 2007, 08:53:37 AM »
I think the action plot line is mostly Vasher, but there will be more action with Lightsong soon.  I can't really tell WHAT Vivenna's plot line is supposed to be; it's almost as though she exists to become more open-minded and Hallandren.  That is the most important thing that she has done so far.

Also, the mercs have a definite action role, but Brandon can't write from their perspective he'll spoil the mystery.  It seems as if Vivenna is there to tie up loose ends: show the mercs, what is happening in T'Telir, random other bits of information relevant to the plot (such as Vasher's and Denth's rivalry) and learn to be open-minded (a moral lesson Brandon seems quite intent on including).
I am not bragging.  I am understating.

Miriel

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #339 on: January 15, 2007, 06:53:32 PM »
Perhaps I'm the only one, but Vivenna has always been my favorite character.  I never thought she was stuck-up.  She is, after all, a very devout woman trying to learn how to live in a world that rejects her religion.  The fact that she doesn't give up that religion all together but slowly learns which truths are actually important to her and which ones she's willing to sacrafice...that's interesting to me.  The fact that her faith is being so bombarded in this strange place makes her sympathetic to me.  I don't think she's unintelligent.  I think she's very smart, just not good at compromising her standards.  Even though it gets her in trouble, that makes her more likable to me, not less.  If she'd jumped straight into immodest dresses just to blend in better, well, it may have been smarter, but it also would have made her someone else -- someone less devoted.  And it would have taken away her biggest struggle, in my opinion: reconciling her religion with this strange world.

As for the prostitute issue, I also thought that was a bit heavy.  At this point, after only a week, I think she'd be more likely to look over there and shiver.  It took a few days for her to decide to steal.  How many more weeks or months or years would it take for her to become that desperate?  I think she would have a feeling of perhaps pity them and dread for herself.  I would like it if there was at least something of her religion that she could cling to, esspecially in her desperate situation.

Pterath

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #340 on: January 15, 2007, 07:35:25 PM »
Perhaps, lacks purpose was the wrong way of putting it but I think lost is better.  All the same whether she has made mistakes or not pathetic as it may have been for her to make that first stubborn headstrong decision to chase after Siri, as she was telling herself, at least she was not wallowing.  She made a decision and has had to live with the consequences.  She has just been delt so many that it seems to have weakened her, possibly too much.  But there is that need to know where Brandon is going with this because he obviously has a plan or he would not have invested so many pages in her. 

Kel

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #341 on: January 15, 2007, 07:51:51 PM »
What I am still concerned with is - why hasn't Vivena even *asked* about a way to contact Siri?

The lack of communication in general is something that's puzzled me.  Siri has had no communications from and has made no attempt to communicate with her father -- and there are apparently no Idris diplomats in Hallendren for her to talk to, either.  The father has made no attempt to communicate with Lemks and the spy network, and has apparently not noticed his disappearance.  And the spy network apparently consisted of just Lemks.

However, two things occur to me:

1) This is only a first or second draft, and it'll be easy enough for EUOL to address many of these concerns in a subsequent draft.

2) Based just on reading Elantris, EUOL seems to be an author who likes to make his readers think a character or briefly-mentioned plot element is gone for good, and then bring it back at the end in some sort of twist.  Especially with so many characters still unknown (Vasher, Lightsong, etc.), I kind of want to wait until the end to see how things go.

MattD
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #342 on: January 15, 2007, 08:59:58 PM »
It is hard to draw conclusions without having the whole picture.

On communications and the spy network:

I'm fairly sure Lemks was not the only member of the spy network, just the only one that Siri knows about.  Spy networks are secret, after all.  The lack of Idris diplomats is odd, though...

As for Siri contacting her father, I doubt she would even think of it.  She never got along with most people in Idris very well, and was at least a little angry over being sent.  I would have expected her to look for diplomats for advice, though.
I am not bragging.  I am understating.

firstRainbowRose

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #343 on: January 15, 2007, 09:56:32 PM »
I've always wondered why Viveena didn't try to get in touch with her sister.  I mean, she goes to see the talks (and check on Siri) and then after that she just... drops it.  If her main point was to get her sister out of there, and take her place (which it was at the beginning) then she hasn't done much in way of getting that done.  I'm wondering if maybe she did try to send something out, but it was intercepted or something.  I mean, I would love to see it be handled as a "Denth, will you see this gets to my sister?" and he never send them.  It's logical, and simple to understand, but you never actually see until the end when her and Siri talk and she's all like "Didn't you get my messages?!"  But that's my thought...
"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?"

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #344 on: January 16, 2007, 05:13:24 AM »
The fact that Vivenna never really tried to get in contact with Siri is actually the easiest non-communication to accept for me.  I can accept that psychologically Vivenna just didn't really ever want to, that she came to Hallendren more for herself than for Siri.  After going to check on Siri in the Court, she probably realizes that whatever vague plans she may have had for switching places and recapturing her destiny just wouldn't work, and that's when she and the mercs really start to work on hurting Hallendren -- which I imagine for Vivenna had a psychological component as well.

Anyway I'm sure Denth would protest against it (no way to get a secure letter too her, Vivenna too visible now with the rumors to go back to the Court, etc.) and something could always be added to that effect.  The mail thing is a good idea, too, though.  I could also imagine Denth intercepting mail from Vivenna's father to Lemks and the spies...could be something that factors in later, or something else Vivenna sees along with the dead pets and dead Peprin.

With Siri...no matter what the personal relationship she had with her father, I guess I'd have expected him to say to her before she goes something like, "war is coming no matter what, and you need to use your position in the God King's Court to help us.  You need to discover what you can about their attack plans, troops, line of command, etc., talk to the diplomats of other the countries, and report back to us via X diplomat or Y spy or using Z code."  From a logistical point of view I understand this is tough -- Siri isn't a political animal a la Sarene, and too many scenes of her sitting in on the priest debates would be as boring for the reader as for Siri.  Still, as things are now I end up feeling that Siri has been woefully neglectful in looking out for her home country.

MattD
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker