Mierinx

[OB] The problem I'm having with the series

41 posts in this topic

Moved to the Oathbringer board, now that you have finished the book and are discussing it.

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Mierinx, I could write some, like about your Shallan complaints but from what I read and skimmed of your posts, it seems like you're determined to hate the book and not listening

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On 4/20/2018 at 1:41 PM, Palindrome said:

This WOB happened several years ago and someone in the fandom has not figured out where the ending is hidden? Is there a thread on this?

One of the Death Rattles seems like a safe bet.  They're so vaguely written that it's hard to tell if they're referring to past or future events though.

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11 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

One of the Death Rattles seems like a safe bet.  They're so vaguely written that it's hard to tell if they're referring to past or future events though.

He said it was spread out between the two books, rather than in epigraphs, I think.  Making it even harder lol.

Back to the topic:  It sounds like maybe Stormlight isn't to your liking.  Which is fine.  Not everyone must like every book :) I hope SA4, or Brandon's other books and stories works better for you.

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17 hours ago, Mierinx said:

You said that the reader is given the perspective from Windrunners through Bridge Four. We saw them in the late in the book and some at the end. I don't think they were any different from what Kaladin went through. After all, they are all Windrunners... There's nothing specific there. 

I really enjoyed the various Bridge 4 viewpoints, although not because I thought they'd help characterize the order of Windrunners. The Teft chapters were heartbreaking, Rlain's was too although also heartwarming, and I'm just really interested to learn more about Rock. 

17 hours ago, Mierinx said:

What did Jasnah do in the third book? What did she achieve that no one else but Jasnah could? The only thing that I can pinpoint is the scene with Renarin at the end, but it could have been someone else at that point. If she "returned from death," I would like to know more about that process. Where did she come from? What did she do? How is her psyche effected by this experience? How does her spren react to all this stuff? 

I'm not really sure what you're looking for here with Jasnah. She's gathering information via her spy network, wreaking havoc in the battle at Thaylen City, but it seems like her big political action is largely being saved for a later book. As for her 'death' she didn't die at all, so there isn't any big characterization there. She says to Shallan, you should know that it takes more than a stab wound to kill a Radiant - her stormlight healed her. She's an Elsecaller and was able to slip into Shadesmar to escape, and then she reappeared in the WoR Epilogue for a little jaunt with Hoid. There is a deleted chapter from WoR you might enjoy - Jasnah and Hoid Deleted Scene.

17 hours ago, Mierinx said:

He suddenly turns to vengeance; and starts training the Parshmen. Then we don't see him or the Parshmen he's training for like half of the book until he shows up at the end. How did they do the training? Do they really trust Moash now? Was Moash's transformation so completely finished that the reader was not given another chapter into his psyche? Or was it enough to set him on a vengeance path? 

I don't think that Moash is on a vengeance path, beyond having always wanted to kill Elhokar. That particular bit of vengeance is pretty straightforward. To me, his arc has been largely about giving up and feeling resigned. Initially he struggles with what he's done, betraying Kaladin and Bridge 4. He tries to find new camaraderie with his new Singer buddies, but he soon learns that classist cruelty isn't unique to humans. He's consistently prodded to just let go, give up his emotions, it's not his fault, etc. which is obviously Odious influence, so by the end he's becoming a villain not because he's really choosing the path but that he's become resigned to his fate. His arc mirrors and contrasts Dalinar's throughout the book. 

17 hours ago, Mierinx said:

In the first book, through one of the Interludes, we saw 3 people looking for a man named Hoid. What happened to them? Some interlude characters may be repetitive, and the characters develop there. What happened to those 3 man? and the man they hired to look for Hoid? What happened next? 

Brandon has said he uses the interlude chapters largely for worldbuilding, intentionally using one-off characters so he doesn't end up with some massive sprawling story with tons of little threads he needs to reconcile (*coughASOIAFcough*). The Purelake interlude serve two purposes: 1. it introduces the Purelake which seems like it will be relevant later in the story since there's apparently some mysterious sickness or plague spreading over there. And 2. it introduces the 17th Shard, which is also referenced in the letters between Hoid and Frost in the TWOK and WOR epigraphs. Where that goes, who knows!

I know overall you're enjoying the books, so I hope I don't come off too critical. Part of the fun (for me) with Brandon's novels is that sometimes things don't make sense at the time that you read a certain passage, because they're cleared up later on with subsequent information. I enjoy the suspense, the speculation and the twists. If that's not your thing, I can understand it, but it's a mistake to think it's a lack of explanation and not withholding information for a future payoff. Hope this helps!

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Sanderson is telling a smaller story than he created.  I think that's what you're feeling.  He's intentionally leaving things out to both keep the books accessible and to provide more fodder for what is planned as two 5 book series.  This creates plotting issues like "wtf happened to Jasnah through WOR?" and "Why don't we know how Shallan first bonded Pattern?" and "why did Moash suddenly go nihilist?"

The answers to thr first two are: If we knew those things, we would have to know too much that BS wants to reveal later on.  The answer to the last is: Odium was successful with Moash exactly where he failed with Dalinar; he convinced Moash to join his team, which, as a god, results in a pretty powerful shift in one's Spirit Web.

In any case, different readers are going to react to these holes in different ways.  I love them because they provide so many ways to use my own imagination to fill in the gaps, allowing my mind to create a world that I'd otherwise wait for the author to do.  The world I create may not be the one revealed later, but that's even more fun.

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2 hours ago, Strifelover said:

1. it introduces the Purelake which seems like it will be relevant later in the story since there's apparently some mysterious sickness or plague spreading over there.

Actually the plague in the Purelake is just the common cold, which was brought over by the three worldhoppers in the interlude.  I am interested to learn more about the magic fish though!

Quote

stormfather (paraphrased)

Does the plague on the Purelake has anything to do with the fact that the magic fish form symbiotic bonds with spren?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, worldhoppers brought a disease to Roshar that they didn't have before. It's the common cold. Rosharans' Investiture makes it so they're usually a healthy bunch so something like the cold is kind of frightening. "It's a plague of the sniffles."

stormfather [Alternate wording from ZenBossanova's report] (paraphrased)

Another person asked about the plague in the Purelake.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Turns out, that was a pathogen introduced by worldhoppers. People on Roshar normally have greater health than elsewhere in the cosmere because they are more invested (stormlight and all that). This plague was what we call… the common cold.

source

 

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17 hours ago, Angsos said:

Mierinx, I could write some, like about your Shallan complaints but from what I read and skimmed of your posts, it seems like you're determined to hate the book and not listening

Not really. I've read the rest of the books by Sanderson and enjoyed them.. I also HAVE enjoyed these three books as well, but I have some questions. That's what I'm sharing. Nobody around me irl has a tendency to read such books, so I'm here trying to vocalise my thoughts.

I'll definitely keep following the dude. 

I'm happy to find some group of friends here that I can discuss such things with. 

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On 4/13/2018 at 10:41 AM, Stormlightning said:

At least in Way of Kings, just about every line becomes more significant upon reread after the later books.

Remember, it is ten books. There's a lot of backstory that will be covered that hasn't been covered yet. Not just the flashback character for the book--we also get short memories and explanations for behavior outside the flashback characters. We learn a little more about Kaladin's past in OB, for example. Just hang in there and don't be on the lookout for problems! The man has a plan.

This is one of the (many) things that I really love about Sanderson.  I am not the type of person who rereads books, but whenever I have gone back to skim through previous installments of a cosmere series I am stunned by how much I didn't notice before.   

I thoroughly enjoyed WoK and WoR, but reading Oathbringer, I have to admit that I did share some of the concerns expressed by @Mierinx . More so than the previous two Stormlight books, Oathbringer seemed a bit more scattered, confusing and poorly planned.  I even began to doubt while reading Oathbringer that Sanderson really knows where he's going with the series.  However, I think it's important to remember a few things.  First of all, as @Stormlightning said, there are ten books in the Stormlight series.  I personally did not love Oathbringer, and it is probably my least favorite Sanderson book so far, but that is okay.  It's okay if some of the books are less-than-excellent, because Sanderson knows where he's going in the end.  I remember having similar feelings while I was reading the first Mistborn trilogy - I found them rather cumbersome and uninteresting at times, but when I finished the third book I was totally blown away by the way the plot threads came together.  Almost all of the things that bothered me about the earlier installments in the series were completely resolved.  I am trusting that the same will be true for Stormlight (and it does require trust, since I'll be faithfully purchasing and reading these books for years to come, and I'm not the type of person who lightly reads volumes of this size).  While reading any Sanderson books, and in particular the Stormlight series, I think it's important to remember that first of all, Brandon knows where he is going with the series, and that you will probably be blown away by the end of it, and that second of all, even if you might think that certain chapters or even entire books (like Oathbringer) are less-than-excellent, in general most of the books will be (and have been) very well-written and enjoyable. 

2 hours ago, Leuthie said:

In any case, different readers are going to react to these holes in different ways.  I love them because they provide so many ways to use my own imagination to fill in the gaps, allowing my mind to create a world that I'd otherwise wait for the author to do.  The world I create may not be the one revealed later, but that's even more fun.

I think that it's good to remember this too - just relax, and enjoy the books, and speculate about certain plot holes or loose ends but don't become stressed out or annoyed by them.  Oathbringer is my least favorite Sanderson book so far and it left with more questions than any of his other books, but that's fine - with so many novels and such an expansive universe, a few of the installments are bound to be more mediocre in the eyes of some readers.  

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Reading OB really helped to take off the rose-tinted glasses I was wearing with regards to Brandon's writing.  He has a lot of talent in many different areas of writing, but I believe he weaknesses revolve around his characters, and his dialogue between characters.  The originality and creativity of his plots, worlds, and magics are second to none, but he has a ways to go in other areas.  But you know, that's ok.  Some authors you go to when you want to really read and enjoy a description of a sunrise cresting over a beautiful and intricate landscape.  Others for when you want to absorb clever or thought provoking dialogue.  Others you read because the concept of the narrative conflict, and the plot revolving around it are just so intriguing.  

There are many such elements to stories, and authors aren't always going to hit on all of them.  Perhaps Brandon will get better at things that he misses as he grows as a writer and gets further in the SA, perhaps he won't.  I would say so long as you are still enjoying your journey, then keep reading, and then let it go as soon as you don't.  Sounds to me like SA may just not be doing it for you, and that is ok.

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7 hours ago, DeployParachute said:

Reading OB really helped to take off the rose-tinted glasses I was wearing with regards to Brandon's writing.  He has a lot of talent in many different areas of writing, but I believe he weaknesses revolve around his characters, and his dialogue between characters.  The originality and creativity of his plots, worlds, and magics are second to none, but he has a ways to go in other areas.  But you know, that's ok.  Some authors you go to when you want to really read and enjoy a description of a sunrise cresting over a beautiful and intricate landscape.  Others for when you want to absorb clever or thought provoking dialogue.  Others you read because the concept of the narrative conflict, and the plot revolving around it are just so intriguing.  

There are many such elements to stories, and authors aren't always going to hit on all of them.  Perhaps Brandon will get better at things that he misses as he grows as a writer and gets further in the SA, perhaps he won't.  I would say so long as you are still enjoying your journey, then keep reading, and then let it go as soon as you don't.  Sounds to me like SA may just not be doing it for you, and that is ok.

This is good. I like this. I agree with this. 

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16 hours ago, DeployParachute said:

Reading OB really helped to take off the rose-tinted glasses I was wearing with regards to Brandon's writing.  He has a lot of talent in many different areas of writing, but I believe he weaknesses revolve around his characters, and his dialogue between characters.  The originality and creativity of his plots, worlds, and magics are second to none, but he has a ways to go in other areas.  But you know, that's ok.  Some authors you go to when you want to really read and enjoy a description of a sunrise cresting over a beautiful and intricate landscape.  Others for when you want to absorb clever or thought provoking dialogue.  Others you read because the concept of the narrative conflict, and the plot revolving around it are just so intriguing.  

There are many such elements to stories, and authors aren't always going to hit on all of them.  Perhaps Brandon will get better at things that he misses as he grows as a writer and gets further in the SA, perhaps he won't.  I would say so long as you are still enjoying your journey, then keep reading, and then let it go as soon as you don't.  Sounds to me like SA may just not be doing it for you, and that is ok.

What sticks out to me is that I feel like over time his characterizations and character motivations have become more influenced by stereotypical "nerd culture."  This expresses itself the most in interactions between characters.  It's not always there, but you can catch the hints of it a lot of the time.

What I mean by that is there is a group of people who are super fans of sci-fi and fantasy to the point where they don't have many other interests.  I am not saying these people are bad, heck I'm probably halfway in that category myself.  However, they are small group and they don't represent the way that most people interact.  I think most of us who care enough about a book to be on this site know what I'm talking about and either have friends who are like this or we are like that ourselves.  I feel like over time Brandon may interact with people outside that "bubble" less and less, resulting in a shift in his reference point for how people in general act and what motivates them.  Then again, I could be completely wrong about this as I have no knowledge (and no desire for knowledge) of Sanderson's personal life.

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On 4/25/2018 at 6:53 PM, RShara said:

He said it was spread out between the two books, rather than in epigraphs, I think.  Making it even harder lol.

Back to the topic:  It sounds like maybe Stormlight isn't to your liking.  Which is fine.  Not everyone must like every book :) I hope SA4, or Brandon's other books and stories works better for you.

I think it's in Dalinar' s visions or in someone's dreams.

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I think it might be the vision where Dalinar stands by a ruined Kholinar.

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Personally, I find myself agreeing a lot Llarimar on this subject, although I did thoroughly enjoy Oathbringer. The first Sanderson books I ever read were the first Mistborn trilogy and initially, probably halfway through the second book, I was kind of confused about why anything was happening. But as I stuck with it, it all came together in the end, and being able to look back on everything I had read and fully understanding the significance of it was extremely satisfying. I think that seems to be the way most of his stories go. They start with all these seemingly disconnected events that slowly wrap themselves around before finally revealing how they all come together in the end, and that's kind of how I view SA. At the end of the day SA is meant to be read as one continuous story, just like Mistborn, and while things seem disconnected now, I know from past experiences with Sanderson books that they'll somehow tie together in what will hopefully be an immensely satisfying conclusion.   

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On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 4:49 PM, vikorr said:

I wonder why anyone would think that 'each book focuses on a different character'? Because Sanderson said so? It's almost impossible to have a coherent storyline if:

- THE major character (of each book) keeps falling off the face of the earth to become a bit player for the rest of the series; and

- We only get the story from the new major players perspective

I guess Sanderson could have used Dalinar/Jasnah/Taravangian/Hoid etc to tie the story thread together, and keep Dal/Jas/Tar etc bit players...but...he planned on some of them having their own flashback sequences..

 

Shallans character does to me seem rather less substantial than Kaladin's. I don't think that Sanderson could have done huge amounts with her flashbacks. Being broken by your family is quite different (to write about) to being broken by your own principles / your brothers death / slavery / bridge running. Same with character development - Shallan dealt with being broken by burying it and putting on a face - it is so much harder to relate that to character development than Kaladin's open/honest/truthful perspective (you see the difference right?). But even Shallan's scenes for 'advancing' are much less dire/imminent/impactful than Kaladins. To me WoR makes Shallan a little properly interesting, but it is only OB where Shallans character becomes more interesting. I think Sanderson did an alright job, but painted himself into a corner with Shallan's character type. In many ways, during the first two books, she reminded me of the girls in Wheel of Time (that's not a good thing in my view). In comparison, Jasnah is currently much more interesting, even though she gets so much less screen time. 

 

I am not a Shallan fan or anything, but I have to say, if her character seems less substantial than Kaladin's....well, it is probably because she doesn't even know who she is anymore.  She may never have known.  Her mental instability and her multiple personality disorder make that extremely difficult.  

It seems to me that people's problems with her may just be because they are expecting to much from her to soon.  She's got a loooong way to go I think.

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