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158 Cobalt Guard

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  1. Hi! As I read: p7 - I like most of this conversation, but the long bit about what Ro thinks of minor characters and what he thinks they're in support of drags. p8 - I like this foreshadowing of 'if V did something that drove them to take sides'. It feels like the first time since the poisoning that there's a real sense that a catastrophe is looming. (I know there's been rumblings about a war with C and general dissatisfaction with K and magic problems, but 'what if V splits the court and causes infighting' feels like a more tangible and immediate threat) p9 - 'In all reality, I don't think even she knows' - the 'in all reality' sounds like weird phrasing. p15 - I like this new line of thought on who could be behind the poisoning and why Generally: I liked this chapter, and Ro seems like a pretty interesting character so far. From other characters' viewpoints, he's come across as a useless party boy, but here he seems like he's secretly wily? He's going drinking with these guys, but really what he's doing is politicking on a different stage than the other characters. (But he also seems to think that he and Is are close, which might be a bit of a warning sign that he's not as good at this as he thinks he is?) 1. Most of the chapter was interesting and made sense. Just thought the convo between Al and Ro could have been trimmed a little bit. 2. Ro's POV worked well, I thought, and gives a fresh angle on V and Al that I didn't see before (V seems not as in control as before, and Al's inscrutableness comes through in a way it didn't before) 3. The new angle on the poisoning is interesting, and I like that Ro gives us a more concrete sense of what's wrong with the court politics than I got from Al. 4. Hmm .... Ro doesn't seem like a major figure before this chapter, so I don't think bringing him forward would undermine a sense that he's some kind of antagonist. The first chapter with Is gives the strongest impression of what she thinks of him, so as long as you keep that in, you'll be highlighting the difference between Is's opinion of Ro and the reality. (I don't think I gave much thought to how V views Ro before this point, given that V is hard to get a read on and Ro seemed like a side character.) I think you might be able to make life easier for yourself if you use an earlier Ro viewpoint to show the political situation to the reader - if we have an understanding that different factions are scheming to put different people on the throne, various people are trying to secure favourable marriages, V is generally regarded as clever but a liar, Al is seen as a valuable but potentially dangerous unknown factor, and the whole thing is kind of a powder keg, that would be good context to have. Especially for the scenes where Al is floundering out of his depth because he doesn't know the court well enough. 5. I think the biggest problem with Part 1 is the way the political situation is presented. Sometimes (usually with Is) the political motivations are mentioned vaguely, and there isn't enough detail to latch onto. Sometimes (usually with Al) there are more details spelled out, but it doesn't seem relevant to the main characters, so it doesn't feel engaging. 6. The strongest parts of Part 1 were (IMO) the parts where the POV characters are actively engaging in a situation. The poisoning sequence, Is being frustrated at her illness, Ali trying to lighten the mood, Al chatting with Is and her friend group and (maybe) starting to build alliances. Chapter 3, with G and the oath, was attention-grabbing and cool but G seems to drop out of the story afterward and I'm not sure now whether that scene had any purpose other than showcasing that aspect of the worldbuilding. Basically, the POV characters having conflicts and alliances with concrete characters we know is more engaging than POV characters talking about conflicts and alliances between groups of people we're vaguely aware of. 7. Going forward, I'm pretty much expecting a power grab. I hope all that makes sense
  2. A Shard being in conflict with their own avatar would definitely be interesting, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. Firstly, it would be difficult to explain why Trell’s name has been around for so long (there were Trell worshippers before the Final Empire). Secondly, it would be weird that Trell could produce a metal that Sazed doesn’t recognise if they were secretly the same Shard.
  3. Hi everyone, Thank you for all of your feedback. Lots of good points were made, especially about the logistics of the escape plan, which hopefully I can iron out. Chapters 18 and 19 this week. 1) Any boring or confusing bits? 2) Do the character’s thoughts and actions make sense?
  4. I would also like a spot for Monday, please
  5. Hi! As I read: p1 - I might have missed something, but I don't think Do has been introduced before? From context I'm guessing he's a healer? p2 - When Is is thinking about 'training with G', she means physical therapy, right? ... Right? ... she means training doesn't she p4 - So if I remember correctly, De and M are in the dark about the poisoning, and Al is playing along with trying to keep it secret? Also, I'm not clear on who M is. I'm gathering that she's a friend of Is's, and from her behaviour I think she might be close to De. A brief explanation of how she's important might be a good idea. p6 - I'm assuming M's brilliant political manoeuvre was to get Is and Al walking by themselves. Is's reaction to being left alone with Al is rather blunt. I mean, she's not wrong, but I expected her to be better at smoothing over ruffled feathers than 'sorry my friend tried to set us up'. p12&13 - It seems Is has gone and caused more damage by overexerting herself. Maybe she will learn from this?? 1. Nothing was confusing, except for feeling like I'm missing context on who Do and M are. No boring bits either IMO 2. So this chapter was pretty much all about character dynamics. I liked Is and Al's conversation once they were left alone, especially their chat about V and his overbearingness. It seemed like Is and Al were connecting (which I assume is the point?) The conversation with all four of them (Is, Al, De and M) felt a bit stilted. I get that Is is hiding important information from them, and is worried about making them suspicious, but at the same time I felt like Is was supposed to be friends with them, and that made it weird that their conversation was so stiff, if you know what I mean. 3. As far as I could tell there wasn't really any plot movement in this chapter, but getting to see the character dynamics and getting a window into how court intrigue works in practice was engaging. I think if you tighten up the section where all four of them are talking to make it clearer what the reader should take away from that part, it will be a strong chapter.
  6. Hi everyone, I’m back from break! Thank you for all your feedback so far. I’m making some trims to the laggy bits. Many of you commented on the V’s mysteriousness, and yes there is something going on there, so I’m keeping an eye on that thread while it plays out, and I’ll have questions about how that might be changed once you see more of it. Chapter 17 this week. Usual questions: 1) Any boring or confusing bits? (And anything that feels like repeated information?) 2) Do the characters’ thoughts and actions make sense? 3) What do you make of C’s plan? Does it sound like a terrible idea, or are you on board for her to try it?
  7. Same I don’t think this would work as a twist/reveal for narrative reasons. Aesudan and Elhokar are both dead. Navani has moved on. Even supposing Gavilar turns out to be not dead, there aren’t enough characters left who would care that much. A surprise affair wouldn’t add much to the story at this point IMO. I think Aesudan must have had connections to some shady people - maybe the Sons of Honor or a similar group - which would handily explain why she’s been let in on some secrets, and also why Jasnah’s shadiness radar was being set off.
  8. I’ll have a slot for Monday too, please
  9. If someone is hoarding Blades on a large scale, and they are not hoarding Plate to the same extent, then the numbers make sense.
  10. Spren whose Radiants had not yet reached the Third Ideal are presumably deadeyes who don’t have a corresponding Shardblade form in the Physical Realm. As for the discrepancy between the number of Blades and Plate that were left by the Recreance, and the number that are available in the present time - this has been remarked on quite a few times. I’ve seen a lot of speculation in the fandom that someone must have gone to considerable effort to hoard them.
  11. We have plenty of examples of people speaking Ideals even though they were not told the wording or even the general concept. (Sorry for the long post) TWoK, chapter 26 - Life before death just pops into Dalinar’s head while he’s being philosophical. TWoK chapter 67 and WoR, chapter 84 - Teft told Kaladin the words of the First Ideal, but he knew what to say for the second and third without being told. Edgedancer prologue and chapter 19 - Lift doesn’t really think about it or explain what she’s doing, but she intuits her second and third Ideals, complete with wording that doesn’t sound like her usual speech. From comments Gavilar makes, he seems to have thought that finding/knowing the right words is the sticking point. But based on other characters’ experiences I think he missed the point. When we see Radiants speak the Ideals, they are making a personal commitment to do what they understand to be the right thing, and the words just come.
  12. I think the ‘ancient spren’ that Gavilar found is the Stormfather, which is why Aesudan goes on to talk about how Gavilar could never figure out how to bond the spren. I can’t think of another spren that fits the bill. Which is fascinating, because it implies that Gavilar confided in Aesudan rather than any of the other people he had around him. He didn’t mention the Stormfather to Jasnah, Navani, Dalinar or Elhokar. So what was special about Aesudan? Does it have something to do with why Jasnah was concerned about her (to the point of considering assassination)? I think a lot of Gavilar’s strange behaviour is a result of his efforts to bond the Stormfather. Given his emphasis on ‘words’, I think he had a vague idea that the First Ideal was the key, and he was searching for it (hence the fascination with The Way of Kings, the Listeners’ songs, and other ancient texts), but he never found the exact wording. I think he also knew that how a person conducts themselves has a lot to do with bonding spren - hence the fascination with the Codes and his interest in diplomacy over violence. The aspect of his personality shift that doesn’t seem like a result of his knowledge is his increasing cruelty toward Navani. The best explanation I can think of is that he was always a bully who pushed around people he saw as beneath him, and towards the end, he began to think of himself as being above Navani. So it’s not really a change in who he is, just a consequence of Gavilar’s inflated self-importance and feeling of grandeur. I agree that Gavilar’s Stormfather visions predate the encounter with the Listeners, but I would push it further back than that. If Gavilar’s interest in diplomacy and politics was caused by these visions, then the onset of the visions should be shortly before this change in behaviour was noticed. So, my guess: Gavilar started to get the visions in (or shortly before) 1150, when his leadership style changed and he started to talk about Radiants, words, history, and the importance of unity. Yes, I know that this theory leaves an enormous amount of time in which Gavilar is trying and failing to bond the Stormfather, and there needs to be a reason for that. We know from our main characters’ experiences that, if the right spren is taking an interest, then trying to live up to the Ideals will make the Words pop into the prospective Radiant’s head. This did not seem to happen with Gavilar. I think the reason Gavilar never became Radiant was because he just wasn’t cut out for it. The Stormfather took an interest because Gavilar was unifying Alethkar, but ultimately, Gavilar wasn’t Bondsmith material. He was always more interested in his own glory and legacy, not unity or good leadership.
  13. As I read: p1 - I'm getting a good sense of the lies W is telling herself, which is good p2 - W seems to have very high expectations for what would be expected in a romantic relationship between a couple of high schoolers. I think this is part of her tendency to accidentally create drama out of everything, but she knows that not all relationships are really really intense, right? You can just casually date someone? p3 - 'Factors wouldn't understand.' - Missing word? p3 - I was just thinking that it was unlike N to be pursuing W while she's giving him this many mixed signals, but it looks like Plot has happened offscreen, and this is driving his behaviour? p5 - It sounds like N is just trying to be her friend rather than her boyfriend. Which is probably a good idea for these characters right now, but I'm not sure why N doesn't just use the word 'friend'. p6 - Dungeons and Dragons?? This ought to be good! I liked what I think this chapter was going for, but some of it gets bogged down with more wallowing than is needed to make the point. Some of the emotional beats would have hit harder, I think, if some of the repetitious back-and-forth were trimmed. The conversation between W and N especially has this problem - I like that they're making an actual decision on what to do with the situation, and I like the hint that there's something bigger going on with N that we don't know about, and I like W's emotional train wreck, but it feels like there is fluff in there that could come out.
  14. Hi! As I read: p1 - I like this intro to Ali's character. It sets the scene without feeling like it's putting the story on hold. p3 - Why is R considered relatively non-threatening? Isn't being heir to the throne enough to intimidate people? p5 - Is references a mage rebellion. I think it would be useful to have a tiny bit more context for what this is when she brings it up. Is it recent history, or from ages ago? Is this connected to the event that killed Al's parents? I'm not suggesting you add much, just a few hints to orient the reader. p7 - Given that the mage rebellion apparently almost wiped out the royal line, I'm guessing it may have something to do with why there are such stringent magic laws? p10 - I'm guessing the 'others' being protected that the queen is talking about are Is-n and his mage friend? Presumably they might get in trouble if it got out that they healed Is? I thought this chapter worked very well. 1. I like that Ali is pointing out the human cost of all the politicking going on. It's a lot easier to invest emotionally with this shift in perspective making the plot feel more personal to the characters involved. 2. I thought the new information was absorbable, no issues on that front this time 3. The only thing I feel I'm missing is a sense of timeline on that mage rebellion. It sounds important but I haven't quite placed where it fits in this world's backstory. Everything else was fine. 4. I like Ali. She's sweet, and I enjoyed the levity she brought to the scene. I also like how much she contrasts with the other POV characters we've seen, and gives us another angle to view Is and her choices from. Ali seems like a bit of a busybody, but it works for me, because she seems like a busybody who gets involved in interesting people's business, which is not a bad thing at all! The queen, though, comes across a little bland. She seems to be coming from the same place as Ali, and she comes across kind of like an older and less interesting version of Ali. If the queen isn't going to be an important character, that's probably okay. If I'm supposed to care about her, I need something more to latch onto. 5. I liked the sisters bonding, Is's stubbornness, and the tension between Ali's sense of what's right and V's functional-but-shady way of conducting politics.
  15. The point I was trying to make is that the Sibling’s injury and Ba-Ado-Mishram’s imprisonment are not currently dependent on each other. As in, fixing the Sibling does not free BAM, and freeing BAM does not fix the Sibling.