Quick Ben

Disappointing

66 posts in this topic

Let me start by saying hi all, im new to the forum bit of a lurker at times, without creating an account but now i have.

RoW like Oathbringer, just didn't do it for me, found it tedious being honest.

WoK was great, so was WoR, enjoyed everything about them, OB was just meh for me (put it down to middle boom syndrome), and this one even worse, to the point where i will read the next installment because too invested at this point, but doubt will bring myself to read the second arc.

Nothing really happened in RoW, there was a 1 year jump from OB to RoW, where not much happened either seemingly, then RoW was just repetive ? Same exact issues replayed over and over, same "science" done over and over, this book could of been 300/400 pages and contained the same amount of story as it did in the 1219 pages it actually had.

In all Brandons previous books the cosmere is abstract to the story itself, here it is nearly taking over to the detriment to the "stormlight Archive", in my opinion.

Navani becoming a bondsmith also irked me, might as well rename the series the Kholin Chronicles at this point. Got really tired of her chapters, and quite dislike her character now. For a smart woman she is seriously dumb in this book, making child like mistakes with Rabional.

Shallan is another i dislike, her whole story in RoW is repetive to the point it is like flogging a dead horse and her chapters are just cringy now, and also ruined Adolins character (he was great in WoK/WoR), with alot of potential but he has been terrible since. The whole shadesmer arc was, to put it bluntly pointless, and dragged on for the entirity of the book, with zero payoff. 

Kaladin finally swearing the 4th ideal was good, big T replacing Rayse was good, besides that its hard to find good points in this book.

Can't even articulate how disappointing i found this book.

Don't know if more feel similiar but just seems stormlight is going downhill fast imo, which i am not happy about as loved the series up until OB.

Sorry if any spelling mistakes etc using phone, 

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I'm with the OP here in that I disliked the Navani plotline as well as all the science (which is bizzarre to me as usually I love the science and magic systems in the Cosmere.) I also didn't much care for Venli at all or any of the flashbacks. I love everything else though including the Shadesmar plotline.

I find in terms of the Cosmere the book does feel a bit odd. I think this may just be an issue with the writing of the book as for some reason I feel Sanderson is hesitant just to explain things in this book series that were explained in other ones. Without any idea what Awakening is for instance you'd be lost a good bit for certain parts of the series. Rather than just have someone explain what Awakening is and breaths are though it's always kept vague frustrating anyone who hasn't read Warbreaker. I don't even think it would be difficult to explain Awakening to an audience, you don't really need specifics. Simply saying "I can animate objects made out if organic stuff with a thing called Breath" is all that's really needed.

The Raboniel and Navani plotline also just confused me as well. I just couldn't really buy that Navani could be so stupid and easily manipulated the whole time and Raboniels actions and motives elude me. I haven't a clue what she actually wanted  

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I agree that making Navani the bondsmith is a disappointing part. I was hoping Dabbid would be the one who will bond the Sibling since he was the first contact and he is not a Radiant. Also Navani and the Sibling contradicts each other since the Sibling doesn't want the spren to be "used" like what Navani is doing in her projects.

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28 minutes ago, vhaloth said:

I agree that making Navani the bondsmith is a disappointing part. I was hoping Dabbid would be the one who will bond the Sibling since he was the first contact and he is not a Radiant. Also Navani and the Sibling contradicts each other since the Sibling doesn't want the spren to be "used" like what Navani is doing in her projects.

Wasn't that the whole point though? The Sibling didn't want to bond anyone, and once it was apparent they would have to in order to survive, they chose Rlain. The Sibling is the first spren we've really seen form the bond out of pure desperation.

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Just now, Ruin's Scariest Koloss said:

Wasn't that the whole point though? The Sibling didn't want to bond anyone, and once it was apparent they would have to in order to survive, they chose Rlain. The Sibling is the first spren we've really seen form the bond out of pure desperation.

Ah, I can see your point since it was a desperate moment and they went to Bond just to survive. But still, my point is that I was disappointed since I was hoping it would have been Dabbid or Rlain. Oh well.

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I actually thought RoW was a pretty significant improvement from Oathbringer, which I didn't enjoy very much. Not quite WoR level, but pretty close. (TWoK has a different feel from the other books in the series).

I also thought RoW did a lot to rehabilitate Navani. I really disliked her characterization in previous books (especially Oathbringer) where she felt mostly extraneous. I wasn't a big fan of her scenes early in RoW, either, but her interaction with Raboniel was pretty good (though it's probably fair to say that Raboniel was more interesting). I admit I felt like the 'imposter syndrome' arc for Navani felt a bit overdone (is there anyone who doesn't have this as their primary failing? Jasnah, I guess) but I really liked her experimentation scenes. 

More than anything else, though, I felt like RoW had far more revelations than Oathbringer, and also a lot more questions. Oathbringer was in a lot of ways a wrap up of a lot of dangling threads from the first two books, and I didn't think it did it very well. RoW felt like it introduced a lot of new stuff, and getting more varied perspectives from e.g. Venli and the Fused was really good. 

Main issue I had with Shadesmar was that it felt very predictable/by the numbers, especially as soon as Adolin saved Notum. It was easy to visualize pretty much everything that was going to happen, up to Maya's testimony. Felt mostly important for plot development than character development.

I recently did a re-read of Oathbringer since RoW brought up so many interesting new points, and I found that I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I did the first go around; the issues were still there, but I found that I had forgotten or missed stuff on my first read that made the book feel a lot better (the Kholinar sequence was still not great). I'd re-read TWoK and RoW many times, but I couldn't bring myself to re-read Oathbringer until RoW made me want to go back. Just noting that there's enough stuff in the books that it might age better on a re-read.

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People mention that Navani and the Sibling are a weird Bond Pair because they're so different, but its not that surprising considering Dalinar and the Stormfather are also very different.

Dalinar is a man trying to change, to become better whereas the Stormfather very clearly does not want to change. He mentions repeatedly that he is a Storm unchanging and generally unempathetic to those caught in his path. The Stormfather is much closer to the Blackthorn than Dalinar. The Sibling wants Navani to give up Fabrials which are a cornerstone of her life so far, but the Stormfather also requires Dalinar to give up Shardblades which have been a cornerstone of his life to this point. Neither bond is a perfect fit for the Bondsmith when it first occurs, but both may grow into it as they go by changing themselves and the Spren to find a compromise.

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5 hours ago, vhaloth said:

I agree that making Navani the bondsmith is a disappointing part. I was hoping Dabbid would be the one who will bond the Sibling since he was the first contact and he is not a Radiant. Also Navani and the Sibling contradicts each other since the Sibling doesn't want the spren to be "used" like what Navani is doing in her projects.

While Dabbid or Rlain bonding the Sibling would’ve made for a great “awww” moment, I for one don’t feel like they deserved it in this book. And by deserve I don’t mean they’re not worthy, but I don’t feel like we’ve seen enough struggle and conflict from them to really feel like “yeah! This is a good choice” (granted Rlain is debatable). One of them bonding the Sibling would’ve been to convenient IMO. They’d be instantly elevated to main character status from “a minor character in the background”. Dabbid is the purest human there is and I just want to hug and protect him from all evil, but until this book he hasn’t really done much. We got little bits of Rlain so far in the story  and him jumping from minor bridge 4 ch. to main one would’ve gone more smoothly, the idea of him bonding the Sibling was plausible, but again.. something felt off for me. 
 

What makes Navani a great choice and a more interesting read is exactly the conflict between what she does with the fabrials & what The Sibling thinks about it. The great thing about these people bonding spren is the internal conflict they go through in order to advance in their oaths. Two characters being different and working towards an equilibrium that allows them to do great things, is a much more satisfying read IMO, than a pure of heart who would’ve felt like they earned it “just because they’re good & pure”.  It would’ve been another Adolin & Maya situation (where people are complaining he’s not worthy of being a Radiant or reviving it, just because he’s not broken enough and has been a relatively stable character). 

Edited by mariapapadia
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9 hours ago, Quick Ben said:

Kaladin finally swearing the 4th ideal was good, big T replacing Rayse was good, besides that its hard to find good points in this book.

Can't even articulate how disappointing i found this book.

Don't know if more feel similiar but just seems stormlight is going downhill fast imo, which i am not happy about as loved the series up until OB.

Sorry if any spelling mistakes etc using phone, 

It is nice to see some frank contrary posts.

Do you think that fans split in two camps, those that prefer the later half of SA and those that prefer the first half?

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@Oltux72 pretty sure this will be the case. as it was with Mistborn Era 1 and 2.

I have similar feeling about Navani and the Sibling. its one of the big gripes I have with the series. every Kholin is special and does something amazing. Adolin could have been the one ray of hope, but nah. hes about to do the impossible and give Maya a second life.

Navani bonding the Sibling... ugh.

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I understand you. 

But for me, Rhythm of War is perhaps one of best book of Stormlight Archive series. I know our opinions are gonna be poles apart but you are allowed to dislike this book and others would be finding their ventures here. Yes, I can take you on Oathbringer being a let down. Part 5 was amazing but there were a lot of chapters which could've been easily cut short especially Shallan's part in Kholinar which just goes on repeating for several turns of pages ending with half her heart crying for making a bigger mess than expected. But at the same time I found interesting topics during same plot like Kaladin (He is my favorite character) going and exploring city wall and then meeting freaking Azure, battling with Fused. So those parts evenly balance each other. We cannot expect everyone to be dashing action heroes like Kaladin. My issue in Oathbringer again was a personal opinion: Kaladin didn't get abundant screen time. I don't know why this writing move was approved because after RoW, we can clearly get the picture who has the maximum time in whole SA series. Getting not enough of Kal bugged me and seeing him from Bridge Four's perspective was...okay. It wasn't that good but it was okay. 

My other issue with Sanderson's novels are his romantic arcs. I would speak out truthfully. His romances suck. They really do because I'm a writer in digital platform and I don't believe that romances are not important for any book. I've seen others scribing off romances as like 'yeah, meh, it was there, they fell in love despite having other intentions, who's gonna focus on that when we have bigger stakes in picture like world's ending!' Same deal with Sanderson. I don't see how his romances just work out without have a structured direction. Adolin and Shallan are perhaps the worst pair he has ever written which makes me like you said 'cringe'. Yeah. They make me cringe. And it very much evolved into a super-cringe in this book. No, I don't care about walking under starspren to kick your real personality out. I have no problem with Shallan's personas even because for me they were the strongest points for her. It's her execution of rejecting her problems rather than facing or accepting them makes me just wanna slap her out. I'm like...you are dealing with it for years now girl-- you were chosen because you have a broken soul and nobody is asking you to fix it. You need to face them at least, be strong and confident for yourself-- take strength from your personalities, divorce your weaknesses using their strengths but her plot just dragged on and on endlessly without any improvement until BAM! During last Shallan chapters from part 4, Veil vanished. It was emotional for me, I loved it. I cried for it...but it came rather as an forced improvement for her acceptance. 

My next issue with Shallan is obvious: Testament. I would say, I have mixed feelings towards this plot twist. I mean there were little instances of foreshadowings but if Brandon actually wanted us to be surprised then we were surprised but that surprise was not good kind of surprise which a character like Testament deserves. It birthed in the book itself and concluded in the book with hanging threads, confusions regarding Truths spoken, many misconnections and continuity errors...its like there has been a vindiction to have Shallan a special character and it clearly failed. I love the Shallan who she was in TWoK and WoR but she just went downhill for me after. I just ask Brandon to push Shallan-Adolin arc back in book 5, like keep them like Dalinar-Jasnah-Renarin part in RoW because they had enough, I don't need more of cringe romance. 

I also didn't like Kholins becoming all Radiants. Because wait, at this point every Kholin is a Radiant or was on path of being Radiant or is a pseudoradiant. Gaviliar was on path of becoming Bondsmith, Dalinar is Bondsmith, Jasnah became Elsecaller, Elhokar nearly became Lightweaver, Renarin is Truthwatcher, Adolin is a special case of pseudoradiancy and now Navani...a freaking Bondsmith? 

The interactions between her and Sibling was good. I liked their banter, their polarized opinions against each other and then finally being forced into bonding because hey Towers' ending, you aren't going to get Kaladin everytime swooping in to save everyone. You gotta do something too...and BAM! Let's bond! Personally, I have hated past Navani a lot. For me she was really a misguided opportunist who chose gold and safety rather than passion and adventure. She was also a hypocrite and her initial behavior towards Kaladin makes my blood boil. Even more were her treatments towards Evi--holy heck, I hate the way she treated Evi all along who was perhaps the most beautiful and gentlest soul in SA, and now she goes and seduces Dalinar because, her husband is dead, his wife is dead so lemme just go and discover my passion.

But I would accept their romance was handled well. In fact, except Vivenna and Vasher's interaction towards a potential future romance, my favorite all time Sanderson pair are actually Dalinar and Navani. And in this book, Navani was a pleasant surprise for me. She improved in my standards. She's still a bit irritating but at least she became my third favorite female character after Syl and Jasnah. Also since I'm a science student, I loved, absolutely loved fabrial mechanics and light-frequency wave functional interaction. But at the same time, this made me deduce that a lot of things just dragged on. A lot of those science stuff was totally irrelevant to actual direction. It was like planting pea seeds and thinking about coconut plant. That wasn't a smart thing to do, Brandon. People know physics, you don't have to rewrite textbook paragraphs to propagate your pages, you could've just compiled them in fewer pages and it would've been still understandable. 

Jasnah-Wit relationship is unfavorable for me as well. I don't see them working out in future. 

Except for that, everything else in the book was amazing. I loved Kaladin and this was almost his book again. We had focus on Navani and Venli of course but I think Kaladin's part was the one everyone would just cry and struggle and bawl their eyes out yet at the same time soar in air like Stormblessed does, the force of storms. He was so beautifully  written and everytime I recall the 4th Ideal, I just cry. Yeah, Sanderson, you did what I wanted. And now I just wish he keeps doing these little surprises for Kaladin in next book and doesn't backtrack Kaladin like he did in Oathbringer. I'm sure he won't do it. Our boy deserves to be happy after everything he has been through.

 Reboniel stole the show. She was simply brilliant. Leshwi, another gem of story whom I adored. She is honorable, perhaps has some connection to Honorspren and does not serves Odium. Lezian was a good single story villian as well because as people say, yeah, he's weak and all...they need to understand that his presence was needed for Kaladin to realise that this guy is gonna come again and again and again just like Kal's depression, and just like he defeats him always, Kal NEEDS to defeat his problems as well. Someone in thread mentioned this beautiful connection and its worth mentioning again. Lezian served his purpose, well done Brandon. 

I'm skeptical about this character El cause he surely knows hemalurgy and is potentially Odium's champion. Moash, you die, I have a whole hate thread made for him, feel free to pour your haaatred out. 

I'm gonna stop here because I wanted to write about stuff that disappointed me and that was it. Overall, those disappointments were evenly overshadowed by other characters, plots and their brilliant development and themes which made RoW my second favorite book in series as of now. 

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8 hours ago, Debarra said:

I'm with the OP here in that I disliked the Navani plotline as well as all the science (which is bizzarre to me as usually I love the science and magic systems in the Cosmere.) I also didn't much care for Venli at all or any of the flashbacks. I love everything else though including the Shadesmar plotline.

I find in terms of the Cosmere the book does feel a bit odd. I think this may just be an issue with the writing of the book as for some reason I feel Sanderson is hesitant just to explain things in this book series that were explained in other ones. Without any idea what Awakening is for instance you'd be lost a good bit for certain parts of the series. Rather than just have someone explain what Awakening is and breaths are though it's always kept vague frustrating anyone who hasn't read Warbreaker. I don't even think it would be difficult to explain Awakening to an audience, you don't really need specifics. Simply saying "I can animate objects made out if organic stuff with a thing called Breath" is all that's really needed.

The Raboniel and Navani plotline also just confused me as well. I just couldn't really buy that Navani could be so stupid and easily manipulated the whole time and Raboniels actions and motives elude me. I haven't a clue what she actually wanted  

The Raboniel - Navani plot is brilliant. Of course, it's up to what everybody likes or dislikes, because this is not a plot about battles or strategies or overcoming ones failures (well, that is a bit) but a duel of the minds, Navani trying to outthink Raboniel, who in turn tries to manipulate Navani. And that's done brilliantly. Raboniel's intentions and motivations are pretty clear in the end: she's a scientist, a very reputed one, and those have sometimes a god complex, they think that with sufficient study and resources you can do anything. And the Fused have all the time in the world, as they're immortal. She tries to control the mental decay by having her daughter and herself together, hoping that Connection to anchor their minds. She fails. I can imagine her thrushing and hurting about it. But millenia have passed, she's now detached, controls her feelings completely to achieve her goal of ending the war. When Navani first asks about the other Fused and she tells her she's her daughter, she says that coldly. But when she finally gives her release she unleashes her grief. She's tired, she just wants everything to end, so that she can die and rest. That's the motivation.

The intentions are also clear: she wants to end the war once and for all and release the Fused (or, at least, herself and her daughter) to true death. She wants to end the war with a victory for the singers but she would take a victory for the humans because, as she says in the end, it's better than the war going on. She herself has lost the spark of invention and recognizes in Navani someone who has it, so she manipulates her to push her to work, with hints and prodding, subtle things. She's a master schemer and beats Navani at everything, that's why Navani's efforts seem childish, because she's a child when compared to Raboniel, who also has a deeper knowledge about everything, including spren and the Tower.

For me, this is the best written plot in the book and Raboniel is the best written character (presented as a mad scientist, then seen as a fearsome schemer, then giving respect to Navani, you don't know if she's for real or another manipulation, at the end you see her pain and sacrifice). But I also love schemes and backstabbing :)

 

Now, for the book in general, what I think its worst flaw is that it's predictable. We have several WOW moments and reveals and turning points, like Taravangian, Restares, Testament (at least for me), Ishar and Raboniel, of course, but the main plots go as most people thought: Kaladin overcomes depression and swears the 4th Ideal which is more or less what was expected, Shallan starts reintegrating personas, Adolin starts healing Maya and gets the honorspren to act...It's all fairly predictable.

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Personally I thoroughly disagree but I can see where people's disappointment with the book comes from and you're entitled to your opinion.

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3 hours ago, Alatar said:

The Raboniel - Navani plot is brilliant. Of course, it's up to what everybody likes or dislikes, because this is not a plot about battles or strategies or overcoming ones failures (well, that is a bit) but a duel of the minds, Navani trying to outthink Raboniel, who in turn tries to manipulate Navani. And that's done brilliantly. Raboniel's intentions and motivations are pretty clear in the end: she's a scientist, a very reputed one, and those have sometimes a god complex, they think that with sufficient study and resources you can do anything. And the Fused have all the time in the world, as they're immortal. She tries to control the mental decay by having her daughter and herself together, hoping that Connection to anchor their minds. She fails. I can imagine her thrushing and hurting about it. But millenia have passed, she's now detached, controls her feelings completely to achieve her goal of ending the war. When Navani first asks about the other Fused and she tells her she's her daughter, she says that coldly. But when she finally gives her release she unleashes her grief. She's tired, she just wants everything to end, so that she can die and rest. That's the motivation.

The intentions are also clear: she wants to end the war once and for all and release the Fused (or, at least, herself and her daughter) to true death. She wants to end the war with a victory for the singers but she would take a victory for the humans because, as she says in the end, it's better than the war going on. She herself has lost the spark of invention and recognizes in Navani someone who has it, so she manipulates her to push her to work, with hints and prodding, subtle things. She's a master schemer and beats Navani at everything, that's why Navani's efforts seem childish, because she's a child when compared to Raboniel, who also has a deeper knowledge about everything, including spren and the Tower.

For me, this is the best written plot in the book and Raboniel is the best written character (presented as a mad scientist, then seen as a fearsome schemer, then giving respect to Navani, you don't know if she's for real or another manipulation, at the end you see her pain and sacrifice). But I also love schemes and backstabbing :)

 

Now, for the book in general, what I think its worst flaw is that it's predictable. We have several WOW moments and reveals and turning points, like Taravangian, Restares, Testament (at least for me), Ishar and Raboniel, of course, but the main plots go as most people thought: Kaladin overcomes depression and swears the 4th Ideal which is more or less what was expected, Shallan starts reintegrating personas, Adolin starts healing Maya and gets the honorspren to act...It's all fairly predictable.

Is predictability bad?

 

I'm not sure it is. Much better than unforeshadowed unpredictable plot twists which are just pure bad writing. Plus in this day and age, everything is predictable. We analyse these stories thoroughly. If an author has written them well, some of us are gonna guess the major plot details each time. They would have done the same with every book series ever written, had the internet been around at the time they were written. If we don't want stories to be predictable, should we not stop trying to predict them?

 

 

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27 minutes ago, IndigoAjah said:

Is predictability bad?

 

I'm not sure it is. Much better than unforeshadowed unpredictable plot twists which are just pure bad writing. Plus in this day and age, everything is predictable. We analyse these stories thoroughly. If an author has written them well, some of us are gonna guess the major plot details each time. They would have done the same with every book series ever written, had the internet been around at the time they were written. If we don't want stories to be predictable, should we not stop trying to predict them?

 

 

I don't mean predictable in the way of analysing them and predicting the way they can roll, but in the way that they're very stereotypical. It's bad or wrong depending on the mood you are on, the way it's done, so it's different for everyone. Kaladin and Shallan are the absolute protagonists of this series, and it shows in their arcs, they can be really bad and down but we know they'll end up the book in better shape than in the beginning. For me, that's bad but not irredeemable, you can see for other people it's quiet bad. Fortunately, we're coming to the end of the first 5 book series, so now they can end with sacrifice or happy ending or whatever, so it'll be at least a bit of a surprise.

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37 minutes ago, IndigoAjah said:

Is predictability bad?

 

I'm not sure it is. Much better than unforeshadowed unpredictable plot twists which are just pure bad writing. Plus in this day and age, everything is predictable. We analyse these stories thoroughly. If an author has written them well, some of us are gonna guess the major plot details each time. They would have done the same with every book series ever written, had the internet been around at the time they were written. If we don't want stories to be predictable, should we not stop trying to predict them?

 

 

Yea,i dont get why people are complaining that some parts were predictable. its the natural escalation. They are still good plot points and there's literally years between each SA book that everyone theorizes stuff and we're bound to get stuff right.

 

I personally loved Raboniel,It wouldnt be hard to say she was my fave character in this book and thats surprising considering how she was first introduced. Her and Navani's dynamic were my fave thing in this book

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8 minutes ago, Alatar said:

I don't mean predictable in the way of analysing them and predicting the way they can roll, but in the way that they're very stereotypical. It's bad or wrong depending on the mood you are on, the way it's done, so it's different for everyone. Kaladin and Shallan are the absolute protagonists of this series, and it shows in their arcs, they can be really bad and down but we know they'll end up the book in better shape than in the beginning. For me, that's bad but not irredeemable, you can see for other people it's quiet bad. Fortunately, we're coming to the end of the first 5 book series, so now they can end with sacrifice or happy ending or whatever, so it'll be at least a bit of a surprise.

Why is that bad though? We are just on book 4 of 10 so we don't really know what's gonna happen but in the end,It's the way he chooses to write them. It shouldnt be bad that he wants his characters to come out on top. Tbh, if he made a redemption arc for moash,I know he'd write it in such a way as to make sense so i'm all down for whatever he writes 

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I liked RoW a lot. It is currently my 3rd favorite but could possibly become 2nd with a re-read I think. I have found I appreciate the books a lot more after a re-read. That being said I think this was clearly a setup book for the final of the first 5 and I can see how people may not like it as much as others.

I am in the extreme minority in that Kaladin is not my favorite character. I like him but I have a hard time relating to him I think. Not a bad thing though no one is going to find every character relatable. This book actually changed my feelings a lot towards him. Yes there was a little bit of the typical brooding after Dalinar relieves him of his duty but I feel like he finally really found himself in this book. I loved him taking on mental health and finding his calling while still realizing he can be there to "save the day" even if that means he cant save everyone. It really worked for me and I really liked his character growth in the book more than any of the others. 

Shallan is my favorite. I think I just have a thing for crazy redheads. This was not her best book in my opinion but I liked how her arc in it ended. I also liked Navani more in this book than any other. I think most people thought she would end up bonding the Sibling and that was exactly what happened after a little miss-direction. I actually think it is very fitting. What else will she be able to accomplish with the Siblings help? Who could have accomplished more? 

The only thing that really fell flat for me was the flashbacks except for two chapters I found myself completely uninterested. I am not super interested in Venli either so that may be part of the problem. I did really like the Fused in this book as they really felt one dimensional to me before this book. I love Raln and glad to see him take on a willing spren. 

I was really hoping to see more of the KR orders we have not seen a lot of in more action. I wanted to see Stonewards and Dustbringers in battles and thought that was where we were going with the plot in Emul so a little disappointed in that. Actually that entire plot line really fell short for me except Jasnah who is a close second favorite of mine and really really hope we get to see more badass Jasnah in the next book. I also missed Lift and The Lopen (even though Dawnshard made up a little for this) for their comic relief which I felt was really missing in this book. 

The thing that really made up for the few issues I had was all of the Cosmere bombs going on. I will say that this could be a huge negative for those that have not read all the books. I'll also say I think you cannot enjoy SA to it's full extent without reading all of the books. I know this goes against what Brandon says but I think he has kind of painted himself in a corner with what he initially wanted but has realized he cannot move the greater Cosmere story along without planting a lot more seeds. 

This book also (albeit in a really confusing way for me at least) answered the question that has been bugging me. How can this war end? As frightening as it is we now know that Spren and Fused can be killed permanently and not just by a certain black sword. Not to mention one of what I feel is Brandon's all time best twist with Taravangian taking over for Rayse. I feel like Brandon set up an amazing conclusion to the first five in a way I would never have expected. I have never anticipated the next book more than after this one and I think that was Brandon's entire goal here. 

All that being said I really do get your pint of view. I think we may be polar opposites as I actually did not like WoK on my first read of it. What Brandon is trying to do with SA is truly epic and each book has a unique feel focused on particular characters which will of course not resonate the same with everyone. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Infinitysliver said:

Why is that bad though? We are just on book 4 of 10 so we don't really know what's gonna happen but in the end,It's the way he chooses to write them. It shouldnt be bad that he wants his characters to come out on top. Tbh, if he made a redemption arc for moash,I know he'd write it in such a way as to make sense so i'm all down for whatever he writes 

I said it's good or bad depending on your mood and how it's written. Kaladin's arc hold no tension for me, I wasn't the least worried about him because I knew what the end would be, and that means bad in my book. If you like your expectations fulfilled (which I like ocasionally, too), then it can be a good experience. Granted, it's well written, even though I knew everything was coming that way, I enjoyed the details, like Tien's vision, and had some feeling about it, not just indifference. I like the book for other arcs and for the general feeling, but I can still think this part is the worst for me. Shallan and Adolin's part has the same problem, at least for me, although I thank Brandon for not healing Maya and Shallan in one go, at least, which is what I was expecting.

So, I'll repeat it at the end: it's good or bad depending on what you want at that moment, to be surprised or to be fulfilled, depends on the reader.

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RoW is easily a distant 4th best book in the SA. It had its moments and was was ok overall, but I felt like there was something off with the overall plot and pacing.  I felt like in some ways I was back to reading some of Brandon's earlier works like The Well of Ascension, which while decent just wasn't near as good overall as The Final Empire.  Can't decide if I put TWoK or WoR 1st place.  And OB is close behind them in 3rd for me.  RoW just isn't as good and that is ok.  In a 10 book series, you are going to have a few of them that just aren't as good as the others.

Negatives

I don't think the Venli/Eshonai flashbacks actually added that much to the story and were a mistake to focus on.  Yes, we learned about the Listener culture, but I felt like most of the major stuff we needed to know their past was already mostly covered in WoR and the journey of Eshonai and Venli of how they ended up where they were at by WoR just wasn't that interesting at this point, imo.  

I am struggling with Shallan overall as a character, there are times I like her and think her story is interesting(why did she become a radiant so young, what were her parents, Helaran up to) and other times I just want to skip her chapters.  I feel like overall throughout the series that she is a different character in every book, and the changes between books just seem to abrupt to me.  

And while I enjoyed seeing Shadesmar, the arc that Maya would be the key to convincing the other spren that Adolin (& Team Radiant) were ok was a little too telegraphed.

I didn't really enjoy the repeated battles between Kaladin and the Pursuer at Urithiru. And the lashing fabrial glove, while an interesting development of technology, just wasn't enjoyable to see Kaladin repeatedly use awkwardly.

Jasnah's appearances seemed underwhelming for some reason to.  For the native Rosharan that seems to be the most learned and intelligent, we got a lot of generic girl power/even though I am a woman I am your equal story.  I was hoping to get more of her knowledge and sharp mind put to use rather than someone in shardplate bashing more parshendi in battle or putting uppity highlords in their place.

Dalinar and Jasnah seemed very slow on the uptake about Urithiru being conquered, so Navani and Kaladin being on their own to save things seemed a little too contrived.

And while we all want answers about the Cosmere, I felt like a lot of the cosmere stuff was info dump and didn't play into the actual story arc that much, so seemed sort of extraneous if you aren't that cosmere aware.

Positives

Finally got to see Radiants clearly use living armor.

Liked seeing more of the Fused culture and seeing distinct characters and that they aren't just monolithic bad guys.  Enjoyed Lenwi and Raboniel, the Pursuer is a good minor villain too.  Not quite sure how I feel about Venli being a "good" guy.

Was nice to finally get the Sibling and Urithiru explained more fully.  And was interesting to see the mixing of shard investiture.

Liked Dalinar realizing he needs to figure out to be more than a Radiant battery.

Dalinar and Stormfather seeing Kaladin needs help and give him the chance to come to grips with Tien's death and see things from Tien's point of view I thought was a good moment.  And because of that he was able to save himself and his dad.

I thought the Navani and Raboniel story was good, interesting to see the motivations of a Fused who has been around for thousands of years.

Good unexpected twist to have Taravangian end up pulling a fast one on Rayse, but also seemed too easy for T to pull off when it actually happened (Nightblood seems a little deus ex machina).   Not sure what Cultivation is thinking putting T in charge of Odium.  

 

Wish it wasn't 3 years until the next one.  :(

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I really enjoyed this book. Most of it worked for me.

Navanis arc was one of my least favorite ones, given that I am not too interested in Light or fabrials (unlike most of the fandom, who loves that stuff). And Navani isn't really a character I relate to, or find interesting. But still, her interactions with Raboniel were awesome, and I really enjoyed the Navani + Kaladin team-up as well. The resolution felt a bit simple, but it was cool nonetheless. I would have preferred someone who isn't a Kholin to be the Bondsmith, but given that the Sibling is closely affiliated with the science and the tower, she makes sense as the second Bondsmith.

Kaladins arc was really good, and him trying to keep Urithiru safe during the occupation was really engaging, and had him do a bunch of cool things. I also really enjoyed Rlain and Dabbid, as well as Lezian as the primary villain of that arc. The payoff was great as well, and Kaladins interactions with Lirin made for really interesting scenes. I liked that Brandon manages to continue diving inte various philosophies, such as Lirins anti-violence, Taravangians extreme utilitarianism, Raboniels incredibly progress-focused mindset, and so on.

The Shadesmar arc was probably my favorite, to be honest. I really liked that Adolin got an arc of his own this time, and he had the best fight scene as well. His interactions with Shallan really worked for me too. I also had no problems with Shallan in this book, and her internal struggles, as well as her Ghostblood and spying plots were very interesting. Mraize finally got screen-time as well, and I really liked both Zu, Kalak and Godeke.  

Dalinars arc was great, even though it was more of a setup for book 5. Ishar and the Taravangian-Rayse stuff made it really great though.

The one thing I didn't really was Venlis and Eshonais flashbacks, which felt pretty insignificant. Eshonais final flashback was pure awesomeness though.

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The problem for me with Navani bonding the Sibling is that it seems entirely focused around Navani's journey of finding her own self-worth and railroads the Sibling into validating that journey at the expense of their very real issues about how Navani treats spren and with a heavy dose of coercement in that the Sibling has been tortured throughout the story and will be killed if they don't bond someone.

I know some people don't comparing spren bonds to romantic relationships, but I'm going to do so anyways. Imagine that you are a veterinarian, you spend your time taking care of animals and advocating for their safety. One day you learn that I am running a dogfighting ring in which I am capturing and abusing dogs, you naturally hate this and with no other form of recourse you begin sending me threatening messages hoping that I'll stop. One night you are attacked by a serial killer who begins hunting you down and in the process giving you several terrible wounds, all the while you feel your inevitable death closing in. I, a man who you hate deeply, offer to save you if you date me. You say no. I say that I've been overcoming abuse from an ex and now realize that I have self-worth and that as a result you should date me. I give you no clear assurances that I'll stop dogfighting but remind you that you're going to die. You give in and we fight off the serial killer.

This is Stockholm Syndrome and a hefty case of a Leonine contract at best.

Like I get it. Navani is an incredibly brave woman and a genius scholar who was gaslighted terribly by an absolute piece of crem and that her refinding her confidence is inspiring and a wonderful character arc. It just feels like it's kneecapping the Sibling's agency as a way to sort of crown Navani's accomplishments, and dashed my hopes that we'd either get a Singer Bondsmith as a way of truly bridging the divide between the two sides as it shows even the greatest of roles are open to Singers or that a man like Dabbid who is mentally handicapped and overlooked and ignored almost completely like he isn't even a person can in spite of that become one

Instead Dabbid is relegated back to the shadows having served his purpose as "weird guy who gets to helps Kaladin and the Sibling," Rlain finds only more proof that all the spren of Honor and Cultivation really are just anti-singer racists and that the only way he could get a spren is if a corrupted one bonds him, and yet another Kholin gets to be Radiant and make a Bondsmith power couple. Joy.

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