Italik

What was your disappointment in this series?

138 posts in this topic

To be honest, there felt like a lot of very important scenes that didn't get done. I know Brandon said he couldn't land the first reunion of Jasnah and Navani, but that felt important to me. Jasnah and Kaladin meeting for the first time, or really, Jasnah interacting with any of her family more. But at least we did get her and Renarin at the end.

The lack of reaction around Szeth feels the most egregious to me, and very serious in my opinion. I imagine there were a lot of cuts/things Brandon just couldn't fit in OB, so altogether it paints the picture of Brandon only doing the essentials.

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15 minutes ago, Sedside said:

Well, Szeth had joined the TC battle on a totally outnumbered side and invested a lot into its result. I understand, if people wouldn't go asking him to explain himself later on. They all know he was a hired assassin and had "nothing personal" with his victims.

Yeah, we can bridge the gaps and understand that there was scene in between we didn't see.

It wasn't as critical as Jezrien's death and Vyre gaining the blade or the Odium / Mr. T scene which explained what happened with the Oathgate and the honorblade and them making a deal. 

But he killed Dalinar's brother, tried to kill Dalinar twice and nearly killed Adolin. Dalinar's a forgiving guy now, but there would be questions after the battle. 

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On 2/22/2019 at 2:23 AM, equinox said:

But there is no character that was - imo - wasted by Brandon. 

I think, when the author teases something like Dalinar's stuff from the end of Oathbringer, he makes some promises to the readers. It makes readers expect something...amazing. And if the author doesn't write it, he breaks those promises to the readers. So, for me, Dalinar not getting certain resolution of his narrative, would be a waste.

That being said, I hate what he did with Eshonai...for me, this is a waste. Now I am aware. If he already betrayed one character, nothing prevents him from betraying another one.

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My main disappointments so far:

1) Shallan.  Shallan went from being my favorite character at the start of WoK to being...very much not my favorite.  She's in the Radiant Order with the best powers and the fewest restraints.  This is boring, Mary Sue-level character creation; and the fact that she always gets her way even when she really shouldn't (Kaladin's boots, her acceptance among the Alethi, etc.), not to mention that the two most eligible bachelors in Alethkar (Kaladin and Adolin) are head-over-heels for her, and, well...I guess I'm just not fond of Mary Sues in general.  Her Hollywood mental health issues just make matters worse.

2) The Venli/Eshonai swap.  I've covered this before and needn't rehash it here, but this was a huge disappointment for me.  Very poorly handled, IMHO.

3) Oathbringer.  They say the middle book of a trilogy always sags, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if the third book of a quintet does as well, but Oathbringer was just...it was a disappointment.  It wasn't a bad book -- in fact it was quite a good book, compared to the average pulp fantasy novel -- but after WoK and WoR, I thought that SA was going to be something special: the sort of must-read, genre-changing work that comes along once a generation.  In Oathbringer, I got...a fantasy novel.  A good fantasy novel, on the whole -- but in the big picture, nothing special.

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I really hated Amaram's ending. He was such a fascinating antagonist and I thought that maybe we might actually get a POV from another morally ambiguous character but alas! I honestly wish he had been a POV character this whole time, it would have really upped the tension to hear both "sides" on the Kaladin-Amaram grudge and probably believe both of them to a degree. Amaram's story arc seems to have been "actual honorable person slowly corrupts himself over time." He clearly sees himself as the hero of his own story and he is also obviously torn up inside about what he did to Kaladin. I think going through his POV and then having him succumb to Odium in the end would have been the perfect foil to Dalinar's ending, where he rejects the offer. I still loved Oathbringer but there was so much potential to go deep that wasn't taken.

I also thought that the whole portion in Kholinar was weird in that there are two Unmade running around but barely any of the main characters feel their effects. Shallan, who at that point in the story has the mental fortitude of wet tissue paper, is still able to resist the Heart of the Revel. None of the main characters are tempted into excess, hedonism, or corruption - not even Elhokar or Adolin, both non-Radiants. When Elhokar confronts Aesudan in the palace and she turns to him and says something like "Ashertmarn? It's just a distraction," I felt like she was breaking the fourth wall and talking to me. :P I'm not entirely sure why it was included at all. It was cool, but I felt like it was in that disappointing grey area where it was talked about and hinted at enough for me to think it was important, but it didn't actually create any new lasting character development moments/consequences for the main cast. Ah well! 

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10 hours ago, LerasiumMistborn said:

That being said, I hate what he did with Eshonai...for me, this is a waste. Now I am aware. If he already betrayed one character, nothing prevents him from betraying another one.

I actually thought this was very clever on Brandon's part! Like Venli, I totally thought of Eshonai as invincible. When she was found and discovered to be dead, I was shocked just as much as Venli. Venli's pain and disbelief were echoed in me. It made me sympathize with Venli, and while I still don't like her, I no longer think of her as pure evil.

My gripe....... I'm a pretty positive person and don't spend too much time thinking about these things:) but I was disappointed with Amaram's ending. I felt like he was cheated just a little.

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14 hours ago, Greywatch said:

To be honest, there felt like a lot of very important scenes that didn't get done. I know Brandon said he couldn't land the first reunion of Jasnah and Navani, but that felt important to me. Jasnah and Kaladin meeting for the first time, or really, Jasnah interacting with any of her family more. But at least we did get her and Renarin at the end.

Yeah, I feel this way too. I very much would like to see the Thaylen City flight. But I have some assumptions, why it wasn't shown, except for the obvious OB length reasons, so I wouldn't say I was disappointed by it. Well, I was, but I accept it was for the greater good :)

8 hours ago, galendo said:

Shallan.  Shallan went from being my favorite character at the start of WoK to being...very much not my favorite.  She's in the Radiant Order with the best powers and the fewest restraints.  This is boring, Mary Sue-level character creation; and the fact that she always gets her way even when she really shouldn't (Kaladin's boots, her acceptance among the Alethi, etc.), not to mention that the two most eligible bachelors in Alethkar (Kaladin and Adolin) are head-over-heels for her, and, well...I guess I'm just not fond of Mary Sues in general.  Her Hollywood mental health issues just make matters worse.

I agree with what you say here, but we have to remember, that this thread is about the disappointments by the series. Shallan's arc is far from being over, so I believe we will eventually see some kind of payback for this. She lied to herself a lot in OB, I think she will pay for it in SA4.

8 hours ago, galendo said:

Oathbringer.  They say the middle book of a trilogy always sags, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if the third book of a quintet does as well, but Oathbringer was just...it was a disappointment.  It wasn't a bad book -- in fact it was quite a good book, compared to the average pulp fantasy novel -- but after WoK and WoR, I thought that SA was going to be something special: the sort of must-read, genre-changing work that comes along once a generation.  In Oathbringer, I got...a fantasy novel.  A good fantasy novel, on the whole -- but in the big picture, nothing special.

Agree with this too. Actually, if I had an option to erase my memory of OB and just stay at WoR until SA4 is released, I would gladly do so :D

7 hours ago, ZincAboutIt said:

I really hated Amaram's ending. He was such a fascinating antagonist and I thought that maybe we might actually get a POV from another morally ambiguous character but alas! I honestly wish he had been a POV character this whole time, it would have really upped the tension to hear both "sides" on the Kaladin-Amaram grudge and probably believe both of them to a degree. Amaram's story arc seems to have been "actual honorable person slowly corrupts himself over time." He clearly sees himself as the hero of his own story and he is also obviously torn up inside about what he did to Kaladin. I think going through his POV and then having him succumb to Odium in the end would have been the perfect foil to Dalinar's ending, where he rejects the offer. I still loved Oathbringer but there was so much potential to go deep that wasn't taken.

Very much this. Amaram is an interesting character, I was surprised by his behaviour in a duel with Kaladin, as in some other places. I was like "what in the Allmighty's tenth name is happening in that head of his?"

I think, it would be so cool, if Sanderson wrote a couple of such "omitted chapters", like he did about Jasnah's survival from the Wind's Pleasure.

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2 minutes ago, Sedside said:

I agree with what you say here, but we have to remember, that this thread is about the disappointments by the series. Shallan's arc is far from being over, so I believe we will eventually see some kind of payback for this. She lied to herself a lot in OB, I think she will pay for it in SA4.

Well, I mean, that was perfectly in line with the goal of the thread. Right now, it doesn't necessarily matter what's going to happen, just what's happened. @galendo Of everything in your post, I 100% agree about Shallan. I went from really liking her in WoK, and by the time we got to OB... I'm going to be honest, if I wasn't reading it on my phone, I probably would've thrown the book at times.

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2 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Well, I mean, that was perfectly in line with the goal of the thread. Right now, it doesn't necessarily matter what's going to happen, just what's happened.

All right, then I'll add Helaran issue and Sadeas murder to the table. Both things were shoved under the carpet or to the back of someone's mind and never actually addressed. I was also disappointed by Shallan marrying the wrong guy, but all those three things I believe are to change in the future books.

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3 minutes ago, Sedside said:

All right, then I'll add Helaran issue and Sadeas murder to the table. Both things were shoved under the carpet or to the back of someone's mind and never actually addressed. I was also disappointed by Shallan marrying the wrong guy, but all those three things I believe are to change in the future books.

Mm, relatable, I was disappointed the love triangle happened at all. What I wish for SA4 and beyond is a different topic, so I'll leave the rest of it quite alone, I just hope Brandon's intention becomes more clear in hindsight. :) 

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44 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

I was disappointed the love triangle happened at all.

Hear hear! 

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58 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Mm, relatable, I was disappointed the love triangle happened at all.

And to me - I loved the beginning of this romantic arc. I think of it as well posted problematic, if we take it in WoR, and very well written dialogues on the both sides of the triangle. In OB, to me, Shallan's motivation was quite fabricated, or at least not well explained. It seemed like "all right, for the story Shallan has to marry Adolin, so I will make her continue extorting the relationships with Adolin, and omit any possible interaction with Kaladin until they both are in their worst mental states, so then I will make them have one single dialogue, which will go poorly only at its end, that Shallan will use this dialogue as an excuse to marry". That's how I see it.

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11 hours ago, Sedside said:

And to me - I loved the beginning of this romantic arc. I think of it as well posted problematic, if we take it in WoR, and very well written dialogues on the both sides of the triangle. In OB, to me, Shallan's motivation was quite fabricated, or at least not well explained. It seemed like "all right, for the story Shallan has to marry Adolin, so I will make her continue extorting the relationships with Adolin, and omit any possible interaction with Kaladin until they both are in their worst mental states, so then I will make them have one single dialogue, which will go poorly only at its end, that Shallan will use this dialogue as an excuse to marry". That's how I see it.

That's definitely much different than how I read it! And definitely quite different from what I found disappointing about OB, so I have nothing that will contribute to this thread on that topic. 

Anyway, I'm trying to think of more besides the existence of the love triangle and the lack of Szeth and Jasnah scenes, but I think other than that, I'm pretty okay... Szeth and Jasnah scenes can always be had in later books, it's just I don't have them here now. :P

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On 2/22/2019 at 2:01 PM, ZincAboutIt said:

I really hated Amaram's ending. He was such a fascinating antagonist and I thought that maybe we might actually get a POV from another morally ambiguous character but alas! I honestly wish he had been a POV character this whole time, it would have really upped the tension to hear both "sides" on the Kaladin-Amaram grudge and probably believe both of them to a degree. Amaram's story arc seems to have been "actual honorable person slowly corrupts himself over time." He clearly sees himself as the hero of his own story and he is also obviously torn up inside about what he did to Kaladin. I think going through his POV and then having him succumb to Odium in the end would have been the perfect foil to Dalinar's ending, where he rejects the offer. I still loved Oathbringer but there was so much potential to go deep that wasn't taken.

Yeah, this is a good example of a serious let-down in a book full of, well, let's just say, of places where the proverbial ball was dropped.  It's not as serious a mistake, in my view, as the Venli/Eshonai swap or Shallan's ongoing character issues, whose repercussions are going to be felt for books yet to come (though I do have some minor hope that, given a book or two to grow into her own character, Venli may ultimately grow into a deeper character than Eshonai would have.  I doubt that deeper depth, even if realized, will be enough to make up for the very awkward way the transition was handled, but at least there might be something to look forward to).

In WoK or WoR, I'm pretty certain we would have gotten Aramam's contrast with Dalinar, just as we got Moash's contrast with Kaladin during WoR.  Same dilemma, same motivations, different choices.  That would have been a great thing to see in Oathbringer, much more important than like 80% of the Thaylen City battle and about 90% of whatever Shallan was doing during the first half, but instead I feel that we got glitz and glamor rather than real meat.  The interesting character dilemmas, motivations, reasoning, and contrasts -- the very things that made WoK and WoR so great, in my opinion -- got skipped over here for flash and action.  It makes me worry for the future of the series.

16 hours ago, Sedside said:

Yeah, I feel this way too. I very much would like to see the Thaylen City flight. But I have some assumptions, why it wasn't shown, except for the obvious OB length reasons, so I wouldn't say I was disappointed by it. Well, I was, but I accept it was for the greater good :)

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the Thaylen City flight.  There was an awful lot of Thaylen City.  Too much, in my opinion, but I admit that may be because I almost always find massive battles mind-numbingly boring.  It's like, the answer to "Should we kill the giant rock monster bashing on our nameless troops?" is always, "Yes, we should kill the giant rock monster."  There's no excitement there.  It's just...dull.

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I agree with what you say here, but we have to remember, that this thread is about the disappointments by the series. Shallan's arc is far from being over, so I believe we will eventually see some kind of payback for this. She lied to herself a lot in OB, I think she will pay for it in SA4.

Shallan's arc is far from over, I'm sure.  Unfortunately.  The point is that I think that Shallan as a character is fundamentally flawed.  She has none of the interesting constraints imposed on the other Radiants by their Oaths, an issue that is becoming ever more obvious as the series continues.  I care very much about what Kaladin's, Dalinar's, and even Lift's next Oaths will be -- I expect them to come along with some measure of character development, to further refine and deepen the characters whose struggles I've already come to understand and empathize with.  In contrast, I don't care a whit for Shallan's next Truth.  Her previous Truths didn't affect her character in any way, shape, or form, so I certainly don't expect her last Truth to do any better.

Did she lie to herself in OB?  Will she pay for it it SA4?  Maybe to both, but I just don't care.

17 hours ago, Sedside said:

All right, then I'll add Helaran issue and Sadeas murder to the table. Both things were shoved under the carpet or to the back of someone's mind and never actually addressed. I was also disappointed by Shallan marrying the wrong guy, but all those three things I believe are to change in the future books.

The Helaran issue is I think a non-issue.  I seem to remember it getting at least somewhat addressed in OB, and given everything else going on it just doesn't seem that big of a deal.  They fought.  Kaladin won.  Helaran was very clearly the aggressor, and I think it would be hard for even Shallan to blame Kaladin for it, especially as it's been years since she last saw her brother.  They were siblings, but time cures all wounds and given the age difference they probably weren't exactly close to begin with.

I also happen to think that Shallan married the right guy, but this is another issue that some people have strong and wildly varying feelings about.  I'm not sure I want her anywhere near Kaladin, though: their interactions almost always seemed contrived to me, ruining my suspension of disbelief.  Though I will admit that they improved sigificantly in the latter half of OB.

I agree that Sadeas' murder should have been dealt with in OB.  I also agree that there will probably be some sort of fallout later on, though I can't see how it could happen in a believable and satisfying fashion.  The time for the fallout was in OB, and trying to shoehorn it into SA4 is, I suspect, going to go nearly as poorly as trying to shoehorn Venli into OB.  Okay, probably not that badly, but still definitely not something to be looking forward to.

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58 minutes ago, galendo said:

Her previous Truths didn't affect her character in any way, shape, or form, so I certainly don't expect her last Truth to do any better.

Umm..... Her last truth literally broke her mind. She was fairly put together in WoK and WoR but at the end of WoR when she spoke her latest truth it broke her mind and shattered her soul into three pieces.

Are these restraints? Not really. Do they affect her character? Definitely!

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I would have liked more Jasnah chapters.  I realy loved watching her interact with her fellow veristitalians people who are actually her intellectual equals.  I also liked her interactions with Kaladin I hope we get more of those in S4.

I also realy wished that Ialai Sadeas had gotten more screen time and had her motivations threshed out a bit more.  She was one of the most powerful forces working against Dalinar's coalition and not only is she ineffective but we don't even know why she was apposing him in the first place!

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1 hour ago, Steel Inquisitive said:

Umm..... Her last truth literally broke her mind. She was fairly put together in WoK and WoR but at the end of WoR when she spoke her latest truth it broke her mind and shattered her soul into three pieces.

Are these restraints? Not really. Do they affect her character? Definitely!

That's...not the way I remember it.  She started as Veil to infiltrate the Ghostbloods in WoR, and started as Radiant to train with Adolin in OB.  I'm not sure what her fourth Ideal has to do with any of that.

Yes, she had some issues about fighting with Pattern because of the way her mother died.  But remember we see evidence of this reticence as early as...well, probably as early as WoK, when she starts to summon Pattern and then doesn't.  We see this again, in WoR, when she gives Kaladin her Blade rather than face the chasmfiend herself.  This is well before her "I killed my mother" Truth.

Maybe there's some evidence that her fourth Ideal somehow caused the personality disassociation -- I certainly don't remember anything to suggest that, but I'm admittedly somewhat overdue for an OB reread -- but if neither her second nor her third Ideals caused her amnesia, I don't see why her fourth Ideal would magically cause her personality disorder any more than Kaladin's second Ideal causes his depression.  Sure, he gets depressed when he fails to protect people, and his second Ideal is all about protecting people, but it's silly to think that one causes the other.  In the same way, although Shallan might have some serious hang-ups about killing her mother, and although her fourth Ideal was about killing her mother, it seems somewhat silly to suppose that one causes the other.

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@galendoI don't want to derail this thread too much, however I do believe her personality split was caused by having to face her Truth. When she swore it she no longer could hide from it by suppressing it. So she made other versions of herself to escape. That I must say is her biggest character flaw, her inability to face her problems. 

Jashnah's seeming perfection is a little annoying..... I think it will improve once we get more of her PoV. I was really disappointed by how casual her return from the dead was handled. Or how easily Shallan caved to her authority again.

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I don't know, if these things can be called disappointments, because disappointment would imply, that I had an expectation, that wasn't met.

I suppose this could be applied to the whole romance debacle, but I believe, that the last word hasn't been written on that yet, so I'll withhold my complete judgment until that.

What I could call an annoyance though is: plot armor. Especially Adolin.

He constantly gets himself, as the one without Surges, into deadly situations and yet somehow always gets rescued in the last moment. First iteration of that is the duel in WoR, where he deliberately agrees to a 4v1 fight and, of course, gets stomped... until of course Kaladin rescues him. In Shadesmar, he is seriously injured, ran through by a storming lance and bleeding out of his gut, but of course lives long enough for Kaladin to struggle with himself to say the Words, until the Perpendicularity arrives and, of course, Renarin is also directly on standby to heal him. I could accept the duel, but the Shadesmar situation was too much for me. It just adds up and feels incredibly cheap.

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I disliked how people forgave Szeth

This guy murdered tons of nation leaders and let nations went to war and chaos. He should be dead by now

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1 hour ago, SLNC said:

I don't know, if these things can be called disappointments, because disappointment would imply, that I had an expectation, that wasn't met.

I suppose this could be applied to the whole romance debacle, but I believe, that the last word hasn't been written on that yet, so I'll withhold my complete judgment until that.

What I could call an annoyance though is: plot armor. Especially Adolin.

He constantly gets himself, as the one without Surges, into deadly situations and yet somehow always gets rescued in the last moment. First iteration of that is the duel in WoR, where he deliberately agrees to a 4v1 fight and, of course, gets stomped... until of course Kaladin rescues him. In Shadesmar, he is seriously injured, ran through by a storming lance and bleeding out of his gut, but of course lives long enough for Kaladin to struggle with himself to say the Words, until the Perpendicularity arrives and, of course, Renarin is also directly on standby to heal him. I could accept the duel, but the Shadesmar situation was too much for me. It just adds up and feels incredibly cheap.

I think this is all set up to be honest. He'll get saved a couple more times, then it'll be a really huge suprise when he dies. I think he must have to if we're going to extend Shallan across 10 books. She could drop out after book 5 (like partially drop out). 

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1 hour ago, IcaroRibeiro said:

 

I disliked how people forgave Szeth

This guy murdered tons of nation leaders and let nations went to war and chaos. He should be dead by now

 

Well, Szeth will be the flashback character for SA 5, so he’ll likely be alive until then. But yeah, the way characters reacted to his arrival was definitely a weakness in OB. I distinctly remember Jasnah thinking about him for 2 seconds during the battle for Thaylenah, refer to him as the “storming assassin in white,” and then move on. No anger at seeing the murder of her father, in fact, no emotions at all towards him at all, really. And yes, she was in the middle of a battle, but I still expected a stronger reaction than what we got. The only other time a main character thinks about him is Dalinar in Urithiru when Szeth is guarding the door. And again, no real reaction. It’s just another weakness in OB because the word count was too high and Brandon had to cut stuff.

I really hope he’ll step up his game in SA 4 when it comes to deciding what arcs/plot points to include given a limited word count. Because each book has gotten longer as Brandon juggles more and more plot points, and at OB he hit a point where he’d introduced too many to deal with properly in one novel. So hopefully he’s aware of the problem and will be able to hit a hard reset diving into the next one. 

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5 minutes ago, ILuvHats said:

I really hope he’ll step up his game in SA 4 when it comes to deciding what arcs/plot points to include given a limited word count. Because each book has gotten longer as Brandon juggles more and more plot points, and at OB he hit a point where he’d introduced too many to deal with properly in one novel. So hopefully he’s aware of the problem and will be able to hit a hard reset diving into the next one. 

I think he is, judging from how he's doing the outlining of SA 4+5 at once right now to have the firs thalf properly resolved!

As for Szeth, I had hoped for more reactions on this too. I hope for some flachbacks or at least some mention of past reachtions.

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1 hour ago, ILuvHats said:

I really hope he’ll step up his game in SA 4 when it comes to deciding what arcs/plot points to include given a limited word count. Because each book has gotten longer as Brandon juggles more and more plot points, and at OB he hit a point where he’d introduced too many to deal with properly in one novel. So hopefully he’s aware of the problem and will be able to hit a hard reset diving into the next one. 

Consider that his rise to prominence was due to him finishing WOT and thus having to sew up a thousand hanging plot threads, I'd say he's aware. And before he started his magnum epic he spoke about story bloat at length and ways to combat it. It's why he structured the books and the series as he does. It's also I suspect the reason he's going to throw in novellas like Edgedancer in, so that some of the stories he wants to tell still get told without cluttering the main timeline.

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Szeth. The whole Szeth thing. Less Shallan, she makes my teeth hurt. And please let Kaladin do something other than brood. I'd also like to see a Fused POV. 

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