kaladin x happiness

my sister hates on oathbringer (kinda)

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my sister just finished reading the climax (part 5) of oathbringer and called it “ok” and “passable” and said shes “read better”.

 

PASSABLE!?!?!?

 

>:O

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Passable as compared to what? The emotional power of that climax is epic!!

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Posted (edited)

Here's the thing: I absolutely loved the climax of Oathbringer with Dalinar refusing to give into Odium. But at the same time some things in part 5 seem kinda rushed: For example, the entire Sadeas/Amaram army joining Odium could have used some more buildup.  Also there should have been at least a small a number of their soldiers who refuse to side with the Voidbringers. That there wasn't is a bit weird to say the least. Then after the battle Shallan's wedding, Jasnah becoming Queen, Skar and Drehy returning with Elhokar's son and even Dalinar learning to read all just get kinda rushed in at the last second. All of these thing are/should be huge events, but are quickly dismissed in a single page or even less. 

After the amazing battle you just have a bunch of important events packed into the last 30 pages or so, leading to none of them getting the attention they deserve. This is especially true of Jasnah becoming Queen. For this reason I prefer the endings of  The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, they simply feel much more whole to me. 

Edit: can add Jezrien's death to this list, too. 

Edited by Torol Sadeas
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I remember reading Oathbringer and feeling very bored until the ending. It felt like the most bloated SA book to me, could have cut a quarter of the book without losing anything of value. The ending is the only saving grace for me

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Posted (edited)

I liked the events of the Oathbringer climax, but thought that it was too drawn out with all of the perspective shifts. Too many scenes end on a cliffhanger, then you jump to another character who sees a few things, then another cliffhanger, and by the time you're back to a previous cliffhanger there's a lot of repetitiveness in phrasing and event description to get you back into the mood of that scene, the character strikes a cool pose and says a dramatic line, and then things inch forward again to another cliffhanger, and repeat.

In terms of narrative flow and pacing I preferred the climaxes of Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, even though the battle of Thaylen City was in its own right a bigger, more exciting, and more epic conflict than those others. It felt to me like a good Dragonball Z episode-- exciting for sure, but a little thin for its length. I also thought that the previous two books had more depth, worldbuilding, and poignance to them (but those are more matters of taste).

Passable seems a bit harsh and I enjoyed Oathbringer but I, too, have read better.

Edited by Returned
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12 hours ago, Torol Sadeas said:

Here's the thing: I absolutely loved the climax of Oathbringer with Dalinar refusing to give into Odium. But at the same time some things in part 5 seem kinda rushed: For example, the entire Sadeas/Amaram army joining Odium could have used some more buildup.  Also there should have been at least a small a number of their soldiers who refuse to side with the Voidbringers. That there wasn't is a bit weird to say the least. Then after the battle Shallan's wedding, Jasnah becoming Queen, Skar and Drehy returning with Elhokar's son and even Dalinar learning to read all just get kinda rushed in at the last second. All of these thing are/should be huge events, but are quickly dismissed in a single page or even less. 

After the amazing battle you just have a bunch of important events packed into the last 30 pages or so, leading to none of them getting the attention they deserve. This is especially true of Jasnah becoming Queen. For this reason I prefer the endings of  The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, they simply feel much more whole to me. 

Edit: can add Jezrien's death to this list, too. 

I completely agree with all this. While I think this criticism form the OP's sister is a little harsh this above is all fair criticisms of OB. I also too felt like it was a little slow until the ending then really rushed. There were some great moments for sure and I actually probably enjoyed the flash back sequences in this one more than the other books but in it's entirety I think OB probably ranks the lowest for me as far as favorite SA books. 

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@kaladin x happiness, you tagged this for help, so... do you want us to try to help convert your sister to the Cosmere, or is this a place to express the travesty you beheld?

My question is what does your sister like in books in general? Surprising as it may seem, some people actually prefer to read a short nonfiction book, a biography, romance, sci-fi, or a mystery rather than a 1200 page epic fantasy. I'm not sure how many I know, considering I got my wife to read Elantris last year and I've been trying to get her to read Mistborn this year, but apparently that is a thing. I didn't start my wife with Stormlight Archive because I know she doesn't have the time for it and will take probably a full year to read it. If it takes long enough that she can't keep the story lines and character development in her head it won't have the same impact as it did for me, since I read books like this in under a week and often a single day if I can get away with it. 

I guess... what kind of response are you looking for? Does your sister already read Sanderson? Did you introduce her to the Cosmere with Stormlight, or has she read other books first? Does your sister know how much you love Sanderson and is just messing with you?

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On 5/20/2022 at 11:25 AM, KaladinWorldsinger said:

I remember reading Oathbringer and feeling very bored until the ending. It felt like the most bloated SA book to me, could have cut a quarter of the book without losing anything of value. The ending is the only saving grace for me

Like what?

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On 22/05/2022 at 0:08 AM, Duxredux said:

@kaladin x happiness, you tagged this for help, so... do you want us to try to help convert your sister to the Cosmere, or is this a place to express the travesty you beheld?

yeah, just a plaec to express…

 

Quote

My question is what does your sister like in books in general?

the same books as me, actually - classics, high fantasy, thriller, adventure, mystery, you name it. she was the one who introduced me to sanderson, actually, but i enjoyed it so much that i read the series much faster than her.

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I will never understand anyone who calls Oathbringer bloated or drawn out, like, it's easily, far and away, the most eventful Stormlight book by a huge margin, if anything, it's overstuffed. Leading the story from the Shattered Plains (where it was all about one conflict between two nations/cultures) to a huge apocalypse spanning the whole world and then ending it on that epic note, it's basically a book series in one volume.

In part 1 alone, you get two complete novellas. (Shallan finding Re-Shephir and Kaladin travelling through Alethkar.) Part 3 is a whole different book with its Kholinar story which could have been as long as, say, Elantris (note the similar premise with the haunted city), with Shallan and Kaladin having separate stories within that story, akin to how full-length Cosmere novels (especially Elantris or Warbreaker) tend to work. The battle is the first really huge mid-book climax in the series, with a lot of interchanging POVs like is usually done at the end of a Sanderson book. It's literally a Sanderlanche in the middle of the novel.

Then the journey through Shadesmar is yet another story in itself. All of this is held together by Dalinar's central arc. But it's also accompanied by little story arcs about Venli (interludes), Moash (part 2), Szeth (part 4) plus the Dalinar flashbacks, with all of them becoming relevant within the same book (as opposed to Szeth in Way of Kings, where his interludes were build-up for his role in Words of Radiance and didn't actively influence the main plot lines).

At the beginning, you have seen no Unmade, no Odium, no Fused. By the end, they're at full-on war against the Fused, Dalinar has talked to and overcome Odium, and the reader has seen five Unmade on-page (more than half of them all!). This isn't even all at the end of the book: Dalinar first meets Odium in part 2, the war against the Fused really kicks off in Kholinar, and by the end of part 3, out of these five Unmade, you have actually seen all of them except for Nergaoul, who only appears in part 5).

I do not understand.

If Oathbringer drags to you, that's fair - but the reason is not that it is drawn out or anything like that.

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On 5/28/2022 at 8:24 PM, Elegy said:

In part 1 alone, you get two complete novellas. (Shallan finding Re-Shephir and Kaladin travelling through Alethkar.) Part 3 is a whole different book

[...]

Then the journey through Shadesmar is yet another story in itself.

That's kind of what drives the "bloat" feeling for me; I don't necessarily want two complete novellas and a whole different book plus an end-book style climax in the middle of the book. Not as a vehicle for what is published as one novel. I don't think that Oathbringer drags too badly, or that it doesn't have the content of the other SA books. I think that it's less focused, which is easy to perceive as drag and bloat. I've enjoyed my re-reads of the book have more than my first pass through, which is unusual for a Cosmere book for me.

We have more plot threads to follow and when a person likes some of them more than others it feels like it takes longer to get back to the ones you want. We get a lot of what are essentially self-contained segments which don't always have a ton to do with each other narratively or thematically. They're new side plots which move the main plot only a little bit and don't necessarily drive character development as much as we've seen in other SA books, and some of the transitions between them felt a bit jagged to me. Several of them begin and terminate within the book while not having changed much along the way: the overarching plot as well as characters' subplots would have been largely similar if no one went to Kholinar, for example. Some of those are certainly setups intended to pay off down the line, but until those payoffs happen the setups can consume a lot of pages. We still learn a lot about the world, but that's also true of perusing the Coppermind wiki, which wouldn't be good as a novel by itself.

And I suspect that one of the biggest issues is that multiple characters spend a lot of screen time confronting depression (which tends to change the tone of a book away from "action") and failure on a downward slide over the whole book, which can make it feel like they aren't accomplishing much. It's an important plot sequence for both Kaladin and Shallan, but I can see why people responded differently to Oathbringer than the previous two SA books.

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