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About lu-tze

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  1. Two greats working together. My best guess is the pilot – if it gets picked up at all – will be grabbed by HBO to replace GoT, or by Amazon who has made some interesting bets on Good Omens and Electric Dreams. However, if this is a new series (and not an adaptation) it will unfortunately be a harder sell. Hopefully the sh***** that was GoT and the new Star Trek has convinced some execs that good writing is a better bet than name recognition...
  2. I had always thought that this power was always available through the nahel bond, and that the use of oaths to “gate” the strength of the bond was a later addition. That is, the Orders were founded, in part, to regulate the powers of the bonds and prevent the destruction of Roshar from unchecked surgebinding. This might explain why in Dalinars visions, pre-orders, there are still references to surgebinders. It may also explain why Honor was at his death concerned with the bonds: without the checks of oaths they would become far more dangerous. it could also be that the dawnshards had a role to play in altering the nahel bonds to link them to oaths; as the shards are known to bind everything voidish or mortal. Honors concern with finding them could come from their role as surgebinding safeguards.
  3. Is Harmonium itself an alloy? As Harmony consists of the combined powers of ruin and preservation; could one have 'created' Harmonium as an Atium+Lerasium alloy? (WoB says no; but posting it in case anyone happened to wonder):
  4. Rock's family arriving at the plains, and his youngest not recognizing him. Bittersweet. The 10th pancake is a lie
  5. "Everything has a soul" - Shai (Emperor's Soul)
  6. I recently listened through Red Sister and Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence. There are some fun ideas in these, and the world-building is initially gripping. Towards the back end of Red; and definitely throughout Grey; there's a considerable amount of action/combat (far more even than WoR). It's a bit like reading the Szeth interludes back-to-back. I'd give Red a 75, and Grey a 70. Holy Sister is the third installment; but I'm not inclined to continue... Prior to these, I went through the New Crobuzon trilogy by China Mieville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council). "The Scar" is worth a listen (as in audiobook) purely for the narration ("Iron Council" has the same narrator, but Scar has a wider cast of characters). Of these, Perdido was the most magical experience as a first listen; while The Scar is a bit more suitable for multiple listens. These stories are concept-heavy and action-light; the world is weird and the magic is inexplicable. I'd give Perdido a 90, The Scar a 92, and Iron Council a 70. I also listened through Sufficiently Advanced Magic and its sequel On the Shoulders of Titans by Andrew Rowe. These were fun; but have the feel of someone converting a well-written video game RPG into text form, with character classes, levels, skill trees, and even actual numerical "mana." That was a little bit cringe-inducing for me; and the protagonist's stated motivations sometimes seem a little forced; but I really loved the secondary characters, particularly the antagonists. I'd probably give S.A.M. a 75 and Titans a 75. For comparison, I'd give Words of Radiance a 98, Elantris a 65, and the median Sanderson score – Warbreaker – an 83. Where I'm probably the biggest outlier is Emperor's Soul, which I'd put up at a 90.
  7. One of Rock, Lopen or Teft midway through book 4, Taravangian and Moash at end of book 4, all heralds save Nale; Szeth and Nale midway through 5; Adolin and Dalinar at the end of 5.
  8. There are only so many times I can re-read The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Oathbringer in a row. I'd like to mix in some new novels before coming back at SA. So: I'm looking for book recommendations; what would you put forward as similar to SA, but different enough to be fresh? Or maybe just some recently-finished books that come to mind. I can start with some recently-finished ones Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Andrew Rowe) This has a sequel, On The Shoulders of Titans, which was recently published. I would describe these as a cross between Harry Potter and D&D. It effectively starts with the main character's entrance exam to school, during which stranger-than-the-expected-amount-of-strange things happen, culminating in a Quest. This Quest winds up being tied into Far Larger Things of an Epic Nature. The magic system is quite detailed -- perhaps a step too far for my taste (mana is, for instance, quantified numerically, there is a class system like you would find in an RPG). Compared to SA, the focus on the characters is impersonal. For instance, Kaladin's motivations clearly come from aversion to failure, and ensuing self-recrimination; Dalinar's from a sense of remorse combined with respect for discipline; Shallan's from feeling like she has to present a different face in different situations combined with the desire to define her true self. I couldn't say the same about the main five of these books; the main motivations are generally external (getting stronger, helping others). The story is much more combat-heavy than SA; but these scenes are done very well. My largest gripe is that (especially with book 2), the main characters routinely get in far over their heads (like sailboat-attacks-battleship) without significant-enough consequences. Probably 7.5/10 for #1, 7/10 for #2. Similarity to SA: Some. Positive outlook. Magic, some (hinted-at) politics, talking non-humans, involved divine entities, (largely-unknown) before-the-gods magic and history Perdido Street Station (China Mieville) This is a beautiful book, with a heavy emphasis on physical description. The world is incredibly varied, with sentients spanning the gaps between subterranean extradimensional spider-things, a race of sentient but parasitic pairs of hands, anarcho-communist tengu communes, garbage heaps with emergent AI, and actual devils. And everything in-between. Much of the plot -- particularly in the first 20% of the book or so -- feels like an excuse for more excursions into the various unique little niches of culture and history and biology found within the setting. If you liked the bit of TWoK with Shallan and the Santhid, or Rysn's interlude in the Reshi isles, or the Kaza soulcaster interlude, you might find this book appealing. There is no magic system. Magic exists in a kind of scientific form ("Thaumaturgy"), and lots of magical things happen, but the "how" is not a concern of the book. Magical creatures do this sort of a thing, and it's an instance of that kind of thaumaturgy, but nobody really knows how it functions. The character's don't extensively use the magic, and the story isn't about them learning to use it or getting stronger with it; so this approach works quite well. In contrast to SAM, the characters have clear personal motivations (needing intellectual and social validation; regaining a core component of self-identity). The story can be summarized very succinctly: Boy plays with Science, Science decides to try to kill everyone, Everyone doesn't know what the heck to do so tells Boy to fix the problem, Boy (nearly fatally) attempts to fix the problems several times before finally succeeding. None of the 867 pages is devoted to political machinations, the bulk of it is details and vignettes and interludes. I loved it -- but if you want the plot to drag you along by your ears from page 1 to page 600, this isn't the book for you. Finally, the prose itself is a world apart from SA. It is verbose, descriptive, and logophilic. I had to look up a word or two ("etiolated") for the first time in years. I think this adds to the aesthetic of other-worldliness; at the cost of feeling slower and a bit pretentious. The tone is definitely darker, coarser, and grittier than SA. Nonetheless 8.5/10. Similarity to SA: Not much. Forces More Powerful Than Us; world-building; magical creatures
  9. Siri and Susebron would give an awakened doll for their child(ren) to play with. Wax would give each a gun. Demoux would give copies of Sazed's books.
  10. When we're on book 9 of SA, we'll be in a similar theorycrafting position (and have a whole lot more context).
  11. Add to these Wit's exchanges with Dalinar. On the destruction of Roshar: (Edit) Just to be totally beat-you-over-the-head, but we know from Wit's letters that his goal is really to get Rayse out of the picture for good. Not necessarily splintering the shard of Odium, but to have it inhabit a better person (or, perhaps even better, to have it tempered by the impulses of another shard). On re-assembling pieces of a soul: So we have some foreshadowing for both theories. Perhaps Roshar will be destroyed in order that Dalinar combine Honor and Odium; with the alternative being something even worse (like the destruction of all life on Roshar). (Edit) It's also worth noting that the foreshadowing in Mistborn is necessarily incomplete. The ending is not in the prologue, but the major ending setups are there These are things that make little sense without much more context. They're obvious foreshadowing only in retrospect (which, I suppose, is what a good foreshadowing is). I worry that we're being perhaps too explicit with what we're reading into, and that the "ending in the first two books" is present in the same way. Things like UNITE THEM Sphere with purple light Scouring of Aimia Truthless Feverstone Keep And many more oddities that seem to recur. We have 8 more books for the context around these to nucleate, so I suspect that piecing together a coherent narrative likely involves much more supposition than close reading.
  12. I don't really buy it. In the first place the succession is recent, and can be undone with the revelations that Taravangian was behind the assassinations and civil war in Jah Keved. In the second, Szeth himself can confirm who gave him his orders. In the third place, Dalinar seemed far less troubled by Taravangian's attempts to murder him than by Sadeas' attempt. Not to mention the threat his presence poses to the coalition: would Azir want to work with the man who had their previous prime assassinated? Not to mention the other regions who faced assassinations (to which we haven't had direct reference yet). Furthermore, all Dalinar mentions is "Everything he’s done so far has been to secure a safe Roshar—if through brutal means. Still, I have to wonder. I can’t afford to be too trusting. Hopefully that’s one thing Sadeas cured in me." Again, if Dalinar's opinion of Amaram crashed because of revelations that Amaram had killed a handful of his own troops (also to secure a safer Alethkar, and Roshar); then why can Taravangian get away with far worse? Where's the "we are forced to work together but I don't like it" speech (a la Sadeas)? It doesn't strike me as consistent. And if Jasnah found out? She was ready to kill Renarin, surely she'd see that Taravangian's pragmatic history makes him a severe threat. Did Dalinar just not mention this to anyone else? And decide he'd prefer not to hear Szeth's side of the history?
  13. I've finished yet another re-listen of Oathbringer, and this time I find myself intensely confused why Taravangian is alive at the end. After telling Dalinar that it was him behind the Assassin in White (now Dalinar's bodyguard) – and therefore behind two attempts on Dalinar's life, and the death of several members of Bridge 4 – he just...walks away and is hanging out in Urithiru. Why wasn't Taravangian's next appearance in a cell awaiting trial and execution? In addition, Dalinar should immediately have asked Szeth what he knows about Taravangian that Taravangian decided not to reveal – and have learned about the death-rattle genocide chamber. Amaram kills some soldiers and gets put on Dalinar's rust-list; Taravangian orders the assassination of dozens of world leaders, engendering civil wars; and he attempts to have Dalinar himself killed...yet is still welcome in Urithiru. Why?
  14. I dunno. The typical Radiant journey involves a personal struggle on the part of the human. Where's Adolin's? There's plenty of room for Something Else, in the way of requirements for restoring an oath. I imagine that Dalinar may be able to overwrite the broken oath with Adolin's living oath; but Adolin has to do all the legwork to 'convince' the spren-husk that he is worthy. The backdrop for all this discussion is Shallan+Adolin; and specifically how likely it is for Adolin to die in the next (or subsequent) book, thus reviving the Shallan+Kaladin ship. Much effort has been devoted to arguing the point "Adolin is set up for slaughter" with "What about Maya?". There are two general points 1) These are not mutually exclusive. In fact the "climax" of this arc could well result Adolin's death -- some act of self-sacrifice could be required to revive the spren. 2) From the perspective of the topic: there is a non-trivial chance that Adolin will die. Certainly more than the other main characters. How likely is it? I'd guess somewhere between 5% and 35% that he dies in the very next book. If you agree in principal, but think it worthwhile to disclaim that 5% is too low or 35% is too high, you are haggling over price. My own prediction is that Adolin will survive the next book (so long as it is < 550,000 words; i.e. not much longer than OB); but that there will be a buildup of tensions between Adolin and Shallan. In this scenario, I would like to see Jasnah/Kalladin as a juxtaposition of Adolin/Shallan; which would lead to internal conflict, jealousy, and self-chastizing on Shallan's part. If Maya revival happens, I think Dalinar will serve as the catalyst, and that the arc will be parallel to but separate from Adolin & Shallan's conflict. Lift will fall in love with a bakery.
  15. Can we get back to the more important topic which is: Who should Kal romance: Jasnah or Syl?