hitkay

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  1. I like this reveal. I'm one of the people who likes the cosmere a whole lot more than the actual books (yes, one of those), but one strength of the books has generally been that the Intents of the Shards involved work thematically. Stormlight is about balancing duty and passion, hence Honor and Odium, with some colonization thrown in, hence Cultivation. Wax and Wayne is about Wax as a lawman, hence a Harmony between Ruin and Preservation. Dominion and Devotion work for Elantris. The main theme of Warbreaker seems to be about how people can always subvert others' expectations as well as their own, and I'm not sure what Shard that would be but it isn't Endowment, but Endowment is at least passable. The main disappointment in this regard has been Mistborn, because the entire first book is about tearing down the status quo, and the next two books have Preservation as an ideal and Ruin as the most antagonistic force on the planet. So I really like what Autonomy brings to Scadrial, thematically. Harmony tries to forge alliances and encourage peace, while Autonomy values individual strength and standing out from the crowd, yet they both work towards individual freedom. Both use agents almost exclusively, although for Autonomy this is a preference and for Harmony this is a necessity. It's a very interesting political contrast, with some shared values and some goals in fierce opposition, and though Autonomy is clearly the antagonistic force, neither Intent is objectively better than the other when applied to Scadrian politics. It reminds me of the fundamental core of the abortion debate, whether the individual values the right to autonomy higher than the right to life or vice versa. As with the singer/human conflict in Stormlight, there's no clear answer to a Harmony/Autonomy political conflict, unless Autonomy is, you know, trying to destroy the planet. I don't think there are any two Shards in the cosmere with more interesting potential interactions than Harmony and Autonomy, except for Devotion and Dominion, but we're never seeing that. So I hope Era 3 gives us Autonomy as an influence on Scadrial in opposition to Harmony, rather than Autonomy repeatedly trying to destroy the planet. That would be such a waste.
  2. I still disagree with this. It's unlikely that Harmony has ever encountered Odium's Investiture, so it's unlikely that Harmony would recognize Trell as Odium, if Trell is Odium. I wouldn't call it explicit. Miles and the Cycle aren't necessarily warning Marasi and co. about the men of red and gold - they could be gloating. I agree, this is still the main reason why I think Trell is Autonomy.
  3. I didn't hate it, but I thought it was pretty badly written. If it was a standalone non-cosmere novel, even if it was still by BrandoSando, I think it would've been much more poorly received. It reminds me a lot of bad YA fantasy, like something James Tullos would review. The redeeming factor for the book, the main reason I don't regret reading it, is the repeated idea that people betray others' expectations of them and their own expectations of themselves. This applies to every significant character and didn't feel at all tacked on. I also found it to be the best cosmere book in terms of humor, mostly because of Denth, though that's a low bar. Other than that, most of my reflections are just criticisms. Everything Vasher does, until kidnapping Vivenna, is entirely pointless and only serves to hook the reader, which feels cheap. I would have kept his whereabouts a mystery, described by Denth and the others as dangerous and unpredictable, until he appears unexpectedly to kidnap Vivenna. That would make it much easier to assume that he's a villain and Denth is a hero, and it takes out the prologue, which just distracts from everything more relevant that happens at the start of the book - we wouldn't see Awakening yet, but this lets us learn about it with Vivenna, a lá Vin in Mistborn. The Mercystar break-in is also virtually useless, and only kickstarts Lightsong's role in the plot, which could have been done by something else. It's also needlessly confusing, as we never explicitly find out what Vasher was doing (though it's easy enough to guess), nor do we find out who followed him (the annotations reveal it to be Denth, if anyone's wondering). The fact that Awakening uses color seems to have no purpose beyond fulfilling a joke. It's a pointless complication in the name of worldbuilding. I'd keep it as a tie to differing religious beliefs, but I wouldn't make it part of the magic system. Considering a hugely significant part of the city is probably a Drab if Breath is that important to the economy, I wish we'd seen more about Drabs, as most of the interesting stuff about them - depression, disease - is only mentioned in the annotations. And the ability to change your appearance a little probably wasn't hinted at enough, unless I missed something. Other than that, the magic system is probably my second favorite in the cosmere after the Scadrial stuff with metals (though don't get me started on the names 'Misting' and 'Ferring'). The Five Scholars lore should have been more of a focus, seeing as it's the primary motivation for both Denth and Vasher; the two most interesting characters are held back because we barely understand why they're doing what they're doing. We never really understand what Denth has done that haunts him, or why Vasher killed Arsteel and Shashara, and though we have a rough idea, we shouldn't have to guess the reasoning behind their primary motivations. There are also a lot of unexplained connections that kept distracting me - there's a reference to Vasher's current name being a joke but that's never explained, the last part of Denth's real name VaraTreledees is shared with a priest, a few others. The only one I thought was a good sequel hook was Denth having the Royal Locks, although every time I read 'the Royal Locks' I feel like laughing. Probably most egregiously, we only know from annotations that Arsteel is Clod, which definitely should have been a bigger part of the book. You could argue that all of this could be explored in a sequel, but Denth's character arc is already over, an Arsteel/Clod reveal has been spoiled by the annotations, and any new information about Shashara is less poignant now that the villain most motivated by it is dead. According to the annotations, the stuff with Siri and Susebron was inspired by BrandoSando's wedding night and honeymoon, but it feels like something out of Twilight. I still can't believe that Susebron is fifty, and I don't see why all the nudity was necessary. I'm not opposed to nudity in books and I thought the scenes felt a lot more natural once they actually started banging, but the earlier scenes read like a preteen's smut on DeviantArt. I also feel like the priests should have explained sex to Susebron if they wanted him to have a kid, but apparently this sweet buff fifty-year-old who looks twenty and only sees the beauty within, who definitely isn't ripped from a bad YA novel, is too pure for that. I can't take any of Siri and Susebron's scenes seriously until about halfway through the book. Nightblood is fun, but underwhelming when he's finally drawn. I didn't dislike early Vivenna as much as most of you guys seemed to, honestly I was just glad that she felt like a real person and not a caricature like I was expecting. Lightsong and Llarimar are good, and Blushweaver is fine, but as with everyone else, they're too stagnant in the first half of the book. Very little actually happens until the Denth twist. The opening is messy. The ending is very rushed and very open, and tonally it reminds me of the end of a show's first episode, rather than a show's first season, if that makes any sense to anyone. I like the cosmere much more than I like BrandoSando's books, so I guess the lack of cosmere connections in Warbreaker made me less engaged. But if this had been put out under a pen name, with no cosmere connections, I really doubt it would have been warmly received. But hey, I read it fairly recently, maybe it'll grow on me.
  4. Rashek can Compound speed, strength, weight, awareness, healing, and whatever else, so I think he could probably beat a dozen Susebrons at once, very easily, if he was motivated enough and free from Ruin's control. As mentioned, his skillset is very combat focused.
  5. The problem with this is that from what we know of Avatars, Autonomy creates them, she doesn't possess people, though the Patji situation makes this more confusing than WoB seems to imply. Possession is more of Odium's forte, and meanwhile the Dor have no Vessel and might want one. I really wouldn't read into this because we don't understand enough about what it refers to. Trell is associated with gold as well as red, so unless Autonomy has associations with gold (which is entirely possible), the evidence is actually tilting towards Odium. Trell was "narrowed down to Autonomy", yeah, but Harmony has never encountered Odium's Investiture before, so knowing of Odium would not help him recognize Trell, if Odium was Trell. Similarly, Cultivation remains a potential candidate, although her motive would be unclear, and the Dor is technically on the table, although it's unlikely to be Trell. This is true. If it's Odium, then it may serve to bridge the gap between the two Stormlight halves, and there's also a theory that Cultivation will be the villain in the second half, allowing Odium to be the villain of Era 3. You could also make the argument that it makes no sense to build up a mysterious threat if we've never encountered the mysterious threat before. I could be wrong, and don't quote me on this, but I think the only time we've actually seen the name 'Autonomy' in a novel so far is from MBSH - "Ruin, Preservation, Autonomy, Cultivation, Devotion...There are sixteen of them". All other knowledge of Autonomy, I think, comes from Arcanum Unbounded or WoB, though we do get an unsigned Patji letter in Oathbringer and a reference to Bavadin in Way of Kings. A reader who isn't extensively familiar with the cosmere lore would probably read the reveal and wonder who on earth Autonomy is. I do agree with you, and I think it's Autonomy, but Odium is still in the running. It's important to remember that Harmony corresponds with Hoid years before the events of Alloy of Law. It's unclear what their relationship is in Era 2, and Harmony may not know the terms of the contest of champions, so he could believe that Odium is still focused on Roshar.
  6. I'd like to discuss this WoB. I think it's been overlooked. Who exactly was this referring to? According to the full WoB there are at least two Shards who are notably defying their Intent. At this time, Ati and Taravangian were not Vessels, so they don't count. We've seen nothing to suggest that Cultivation is defying her Intent and plenty to suggest that she's fulfilling it, and Rayse deliberately chose the Odium Shard so I think we can safely rule him out. Ambition and Honor are Splintered. The Dor has no Vessel. Given what we know of Autonomy, she is a very unlikely candidate. As Valor is responsive to Hoid's plea for help, showing that she is neither indifferent nor cowardly, she probably isn't defying her Intent either. Note that this all implies that the Vessel is at least partially in control, unlike Ati, who had become a "puppet" to Ruin after influencing it towards entropy rather than random destruction. But I think we can be reasonably sure that the other Shards are influenced by their Vessels, as we see them make personal statements and decisions, and we see their preferences (even with Virtuosity and Valor who haven't even appeared: Virtuosity preferred to move around and Valor's Vessel passed along a message to Hoid). Ati, fairly weakwilled and handling one of the most corruptive Shards, had his personality completely (or almost completely) overridden, which does not seem to apply to anyone else. This is why I think that if one of the Shards I've mentioned was a Shard that the WoB refers to, we would have seen evidence of this, or in the case of Virtuosity and Valor wouldn't have gotten evidence against it. So I think our only candidates are Whimsy, Invention, Mercy, Endowment, and the survival Shard and/or the Shard with an Intent related to 'wisdom', depending on whether Invention is one of them (but we know it isn't both). Whimsy's Vessel could be fighting in an attempt to act rationally, and could be one of the Vessels that regrets becoming a Shard. Invention's Vessel could be wary of the power of developing technology in the cosmere. Think nuclear missiles. Invention could be the Shard who was forced to leave their planet after it was destroyed by their own doing, which may have led to the Vessel trying to defy the Shard's Intent. This event may have been the reason why Harmony was unable to locate Invention again, or maybe Invention is moving around to try and avoid influencing a planet's advancement as much as possible. Mercy "troubles" Harmony and was involved in a battle with Odium and Ambition, though we don't know which side they were fighting for (but we know Odium is allied to a non-Autonomy cosmic power). This seems to imply that Mercy is either unstable or antagonistic. In either case, that could potentially be a sadistic Vessel rebelling against a merciful Intent, for better or worse. Say the Vessel wants revenge on Odium for the Threnody battle, but cannot act against him because of the Shard's Intent, which is why Harmony is troubled. Or say the Vessel is a murderous psychopath who finds that despite the godhood they yearned for, they are hindered by their Intent, so they've allied with Odium, and that's why Harmony is troubled. Or maybe the Vessel was injured by Odium, or maybe the Vessel just has a twisted concept of mercy, and that's why Harmony is troubled. We'll see, eventually. We haven't seen much of Endowment, and though her magic system is reminiscent of a creator granting things to the populace, Edgli rejects Hoid's plea for aid, so while she's an unlikely candidate, I don't want to rule her out completely. It may be worth noting that Edgli does not seem to regret becoming a Shard at all, and seems to condemn Hoid for rejecting his chance. However, we also know that Endowment is the Shard that Hoid would have chosen, so it's possible that if Edgli is rebelling against Endowment's Intent, then she resents Hoid for inadvertently causing her to be in that situation. But again: unlikely. The survival Shard's Intent is only tangentially related to its desire to survive, but as it has recently realized that this may not be its best option, it may currently be defying this Intent to do something else. We really just don't know enough about it. Hopefully, at least two of these are somewhat accurate. If I've missed something, please let me know.
  7. I agree that he doesn't seem to have anything left to do, but was he really all that important in Rhythm of War? And why make him blind if his narrative is complete? Is it possible that we haven't really seen his true narrative purpose yet? Maybe Oathbringer and Rhythm of War are just BrandoSando struggling to find a use for him but wanting to keep him relevant because he'll be important later.
  8. Exactly, a metal reserve of atium is essentially a way to release Ruin's Investiture until it's equal to Preservation's. Harmony's Intent is about finding harmony between Ruin and Preservation, so I doubt his God Metal would be unbalanced between them.
  9. There should be equal amounts of Ruin and Preservation in ettmetal. There is technically more Ruin than Preservation in Harmony, because Scadrians are more of Preservation than of Ruin, but WoB implies that Harmony is doing something with this extra Ruin (possibly atium, actually), so we'd still expect a hypothetical ettmetal split to give equal amounts of atium and lerasium.
  10. Trellium contains a God Metal that isn't atium, lerasium or harmonium. It could be an alloy, but it has to contain Investiture from another Shard, not an avatar of Ruin and (probably) not 'Discord'. If trellium is an alloy then I think it's pretty obvious that the God Metal comes from the sixteenth Shard, the one with an Intent similar to 'wisdom': Law. The first book of Arc 2 is literally called Alloy of Law, wake up sheeple.
  11. This is an obvious point that I somehow missed, thank you. Oathbringer tries to do several things with Moash and doesn't give any of them as much focus as they need, so I wonder if BrandoSando had no idea what to do with him and was trying things out, then just gave up in Rhythm of War and had him surrender to Odium's will. At one point it almost looked like Vyre would be Odium's champion, but his characterization is so hollow now that I can't see that working.
  12. The problem with Moash is that his depth has been systematically removed to make him easier to hate. At the end of Words of Radiance, it was easy to empathize with Moash: he had the potential to be a good man and a great hero, but his (justified) hatred was driving him to make bad choices. He was a foil to Kaladin, whose arc in that book was about accepting that if he wouldn't use his strength to protect those who needed protecting, then he didn't deserve it. And since Moash's fatal flaw is essentially hatred, it made sense that he'd join the forces of Odium in Oathbringer, albeit doing "good" by becoming a Kaladin-esque figure to the rest of his group. Oathbringer has some great Moash moments, like when he abandons his Shardblade to fight with a spear, or when he salutes Kaladin after killing Elhokar, or when he chooses to pull supply sledges. But Oathbringer begins stripping away what made Moash work. In a complex narrative, Moash was his own man, a character following his own path rather than falling definitively on either side. The textbook example is when he ignored the rest of the battle in Kholinar and focused only on killing Elhokar, while Kaladin was trying to save his friends on both sides. Moash never felt like part of a system: he stood out from the rest of Bridge Four - Skar, Drehy - because he was somewhat autonomous, visually emphasized by getting his tattoo on his shoulder rather than his forehead. But in Oathbringer, he starts to believe that he's a product of a system, which is awful for his character, because the entire point of Moash is that he's so unrelenting that he can never truly be part of a system. His new outlook is completely at odds with his character. And then he's renamed Vyre, which is also terrible for his character because it undermines his individuality. Was this the point? Probably. But it still doesn't work. And Rhythm of War killed Moash. It killed Moash in the scene where Renarin showed him what he could have been, and Moash couldn't take it and fled. Moash should have been unaffected. He'd made his decision to betray Bridge Four and he'd do it again, that's why he worked. He's not good, he's not evil, but he refuses to compromise his own agenda for the sake of others (and hey, everybody loves Hoid). He's an individual who isn't blinded by hatred but rationally prioritizes it over honor, which is an invaluable foil for the protagonists in a series focusing on the conflict between the forces of Honor and Odium. Moash is understandable, and only by understanding a character like that can we start to see how important it is that, like Kaladin, we don't follow the path he followed, a path that initially seems to make so much sense. So when Moash is confronted with the ramifications of the choice he made and he breaks, his entire character is undermined, because if he doesn't believe in his decision, then the entire point of his character is gone. He's just a fallen hero, a hate sink. It doesn't need to be Moash who kills Teft, it could just be some random new dickhead called Vyre, because we aren't seeing the logical extension of Moash's ideology as a way of demonstrating its flaws, we're just seeing how far he's fallen. As of the end of Rhythm of War, Moash is a broken man who willingly allowed himself to be blinded by hatred so that he wouldn't have to see the reality of what he'd become, until it's no longer willing and he's literally blinded. This is not a bad character to have in Stormlight and I'm interested to see how his story continues in SA5. But he's not Moash. He's Vyre. He hasn't changed, he hasn't developed, he's been gutted and stuffed full of straw so the reader can delight in watching him burn. It's cheap, it's easy, and it's a waste. #moashdidn'tstartthevyre
  13. Agreed. Trell might be Odium, but we almost certainly won't see Dalinar. Or if we do, it'll be a Thaidakar situation where we won't know it's Dalinar. I think the evidence points towards Trell being a Shard, a Splinter or an Avatar, not an individual, from Harmony's description in Bands of Mourning. The only way I can see it being an individual is if the Ire took up part of the Dor using that orb thing, and in terms of likelihood, I think that's a distant third after Autonomy and Odium.
  14. Doesn't that refer to Ati and Leras rather than Ruin and Preservation? We understand those Intents pretty well and neither of them encompasses creation.
  15. Would Dalinar still be a Bondsmith if he became a Fused?