Quick Ben

Disappointing

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On 2020-12-03 at 6:23 PM, Alatar said:

I've read that statement a lot of times, and as many times people try to clarify that point, they seem to be ignored. Kaladin doesn't ORDER Yunfah to bond Rlain, he orders him to consider Rlain as he's being sidelined just for being non human, that means, discriminated because of his race. He even gives Yunfah a timeline (2 weeks IIRC) to consider it before he can move to another squire. That means Yunfah has the choice, he's just ordered to stop discriminating Rlain. And that, when Syl tells Kaladin that he could probably order him to bond.

Everyone agrees it would be unacceptable if an employer told an employee that in order to keep their job they had to date the employer's son, even though the employee has a "choice" and that is what the discussion is about (relating Nahel bonds to relationships).

On 2020-12-03 at 6:23 PM, Alatar said:

On the morals of sapient spren, that's also a common human mistake. We humanize animals, objects and, in this case, supernatural beings from fantasy books. Spren aren't human in the sense that human being, although bound by morals and upbringing, are really free to act. You can actually act against your moral principles or values, while a spren would break (die) if it tried to do so.

That is a very minimal restriction given that each spren gets to define its own morals.

As for the rest of the post, aside from speculation about how oaths work (also Navani has only sworn the first ideal), it also ignores Dalinar summoning Stormfather to get out of Vedenar among other things.  

 

On 2020-11-30 at 4:36 PM, Quick Ben said:

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.

The 1-year jump in the story not only makes very little sense it actually creates consistency problems for the story. For example Raboniel shouldn't be looking for anti-investiture and should be hunting for Nightblood instead. After one year the Fused should know that Nightblood kills them permanently yet when we see the Fused convene and the Nine consider Raboniel's plan to take Urithiru the subject never even comes up. 

I also agree that the book is way too long (Eshonai's flashbacks; Kaladin defending the nodes, ...). In the end RoW reads like a poorly edited book, which is not that unexpected, when the author is as popular as Brandon is the publisher and the editor (who works for the publisher) become much more reluctant to tell the author to revise or rewrite substantial parts of the book. 

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3 hours ago, Parallax said:

The 1-year jump in the story not only makes very little sense it actually creates consistency problems for the story. For example Raboniel shouldn't be looking for anti-investiture and should be hunting for Nightblood instead. After one year the Fused should know that Nightblood kills them permanently yet when we see the Fused convene and the Nine consider Raboniel's plan to take Urithiru the subject never even comes up. 

I also agree that the book is way too long (Eshonai's flashbacks; Kaladin defending the nodes, ...). In the end RoW reads like a poorly edited book, which is not that unexpected, when the author is as popular as Brandon is the publisher and the editor (who works for the publisher) become much more reluctant to tell the author to revise or rewrite substantial parts of the book. 

I think you could really tell that Moshe wasn’t the one editing the book this time.

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5 hours ago, Parallax said:

The 1-year jump in the story not only makes very little sense it actually creates consistency problems for the story. For example Raboniel shouldn't be looking for anti-investiture and should be hunting for Nightblood instead. After one year the Fused should know that Nightblood kills them permanently yet when we see the Fused convene and the Nine consider Raboniel's plan to take Urithiru the subject never even comes up. 

Well, so far, Nightblood has permanently killed exactly one thunderclast. Szeth has then sat in a jail cell for a year. Raboniel might know about Nightblood, but it's not a big deal, just one weapon.

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Man, having finished the book just this morning I am really surprised to come here and see so much negative feedback. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this for me was far and away the best book of the entire cosmere, which is no slight against the other books.

When you say "nothing happened" that is just flat out untrue. Let's count all the incredible scenes and revelations (this will be out of order, just writing them down as they come to me)

1) Raboniel is a PERFECT villain. Her interactions with Navani were my favorite part of the book. The revelation of her true goal was absolutely heartbreaking and handled in just the right way. It was nice to see her act as both Navani's best friend and worst enemy. The tragedy is they were working for different sides or who knows what other discoveries they would have made together?

2) I also really liked the Persuer as a kind of a foil for Raboniel. In a lesser novel he would have been the main villain but Sanderson knows he acts better as a contrast for a villain with real emotions and intelligence. Kaladin embarrassing him in part 5 was one of my favorite sections.

3) Navani is finally thrust into a central role and kills it. Her arc starts right from the prologue with her abusive husband convincing her she is worthless, and at the end of the novel she finally realizes she is a good scholar. Sanderson perfectly captures how low self-esteem can make you ignore all evidence that you are capable.

4) So many revelations about the science behind Light and Investiture as a whole. I'm a scientist at heart so I loved every part of those sections. I suppose if you don't like science or don't care about the cosmere at large these parts would have bored you. For me they were great.

5) I loved the focus on heroes overcoming their mental illnesses. I already mentioned Navani, but then obviously you have Kaladin, Shallan, Dabbid, Teft... Sanderson understands that his readers come for the magic but stay for the character growth. This was easily his best book yet in that regard.

6) How about Adolin standing his ground against 30 and Maya saving him just in time because he never gave up on her? This was my favorite scene in the series yet. The best movies and novels use setup and payoff. The set up is Adolin bringing Maya into his training exercises and as a result the pay off of that scene is uplifting.

7) All the wider cosmere elements were great. Again, if you don't care about the cosmere as a whole I can understand why you wouldn't have liked these parts. For those of us that have read the whole cosmere and love the tie-ins this was the best book so far. Shallan sending a message to Kelsier that Hoid would "slap him up again" had me rolling. We saw a reference to the Ire again and of course the seon. Another epigraph featuring Sazed. Aviars. Feruchemists. References to Cultivation's vessel being a dragon. Hoid constantly making accidental references to animals that don't exist on Roshar. I mean come on, all of this stuff was great.

8) Moash realizing that he can't fully become Vyre as long as he has a tie to Kaladin. The subtlety of that one interlude where he goes from being Vyre to Moash when talking about Kaladin.

9) Everything about Taravangian becoming Odium. Just everything.

10) The climax of Adolin's trial with Maya revealing the Recreance was not just the decision of the humans.

There's at least 10 other things I could write if I kept thinking about it. But my overarching point is that Sanderson has given us such a wonderful universe to dig into. The characters, the world, the magic system, the wider universe, everything comes together so beautifully in this novel that I'm shocked any cosmere fans didn't like it.

Edited by ScarecrowBoat716
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On 12/13/2020 at 11:34 AM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I think you could really tell that Moshe wasn’t the one editing the book this time.

After you wrote this I read "Preface and Acknowledgements" and I really hope either Moshe comes back or there is a new editor for book 5.

On 12/13/2020 at 0:53 PM, Ookla the Unnamable said:

Well, so far, Nightblood has permanently killed exactly one thunderclast. Szeth has then sat in a jail cell for a year. Raboniel might know about Nightblood, but it's not a big deal, just one weapon.

Thunderclasts are like the Fused, when they are killed they go back to Braize so even one missing should have been noticed. Also, when Raboniel presents her plan to the Nine she is worried the sooner or later humans will find a way to win the war by imprisoning the Fused in gemstones but there is no mention of Nightblood which can actually kill the Fused. 

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1 minute ago, Parallax said:

After you wrote this I read "Preface and Acknowledgements" and I really hope either Moshe comes back or there is a new editor for book 5.

Thunderclasts are like the Fused, when they are killed they go back to Braize so even one missing should have been noticed. Also, when Raboniel presents her plan to the Nine she is worried the sooner or later humans will find a way to win the war by imprisoning the Fused in gemstones but there is no mention of Nightblood which can actually kill the Fused. 

I wonder why he wasn’t this time. I can’t find any information on it.

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7 hours ago, Parallax said:

Thunderclasts are like the Fused, when they are killed they go back to Braize so even one missing should have been noticed. Also, when Raboniel presents her plan to the Nine she is worried the sooner or later humans will find a way to win the war by imprisoning the Fused in gemstones but there is no mention of Nightblood which can actually kill the Fused. 

Yes, but it's still only one thunderclast. She might not even have noticed, or maybe she simply assumed that the thunderclast had fallen into a slumber after the battle.

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On 12/15/2020 at 9:16 AM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I wonder why he wasn’t this time. I can’t find any information on it.

Personal reasons maybe?

On 12/15/2020 at 4:21 PM, Nameless said:

Yes, but it's still only one thunderclast. She might not even have noticed, or maybe she simply assumed that the thunderclast had fallen into a slumber after the battle.

There are Thunderclasts that know the missing one and will notice that it is no longer around. Falling into a slumber is different from no longer existing and we know checking is easy (as Raboniel does it with her daughter). 

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5 minutes ago, Parallax said:

Personal reasons maybe?

There are Thunderclasts that know the missing one and will notice that it is no longer around. Falling into a slumber is different from no longer existing and we know checking is easy (as Raboniel does it with her daughter). 

I’ve been hearing that he’s retired. I hope not; he’s an amazing editor. So many little things that just make these books work are due to him.

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On 11/30/2020 at 11:36 PM, Quick Ben said:

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.

I agree with most of what you said, but this was easily the worst part of the entire book for me. Not the Bondsmith part, but the fact that Navani is actively helping Raboniel with her research after what happened with the Sibling's gemstone in the well. I couldn't believe that a character that I've learned to love was actually singing with the enemy while being held hostage. Full Stockholm syndrome.

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I just realized that Navani's story in this book was very similar to Shai's in The Emperor's Soul.  It's an interesting contrast because I still feel that The Emperor's Soul is the highest quality writing Brandon has produced to date, and in almost every regard I found it's story and the character of Shai more interesting/sympathetic than Navani and her story in RoW.

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15 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I just realized that Navani's story in this book was very similar to Shai's in The Emperor's Soul.  It's an interesting contrast because I still feel that The Emperor's Soul is the highest quality writing Brandon has produced to date, and in almost every regard I found it's story and the character of Shai more interesting/sympathetic than Navani and her story in RoW.

I felt the same. Aside from not being too interested in the scientific worldbuilding, I felt that I'd already read a better version of "hostage working with enemy to achieve enemies goals all the while planning an escape as both enemy and hostage learn no respect and even care for one another" and by Brandon nonetheless! 

And Emperor's soul is my favorite of his writings as well. In a way I wish he wouldn't  write a sequel as Its hard for any future novella to match it.  

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On 12/1/2020 at 11:41 AM, 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.

I, like pretty much every one else I've spoken to, loved Raboniel as a character. But I think that the Raboniel - Navani plot was the single worse moment in the entire series for me which is why can't understand why people are calling it brilliant. It completely broke my immersion for the first time ever in the series. This of course wasn't because of Raboniel. Navani is indeed trying to out-think Raboniel and she fails, in the beginning at  least. This comes at a great cost. The Sibling is only one gemstone away of being corrupted and Navani still helps Raboniel uncover the secrets of mixing different types of light, while being held hostage in a situation that can result in the loss of the war, should the Fused claim the Tower. I know that Raboniel probably already knew, but was't the sound component of the process supposedly a Thaylenah trade secret? Yet she freely goes through everything with her and manages to uncover a tremendous scientific breakthrough in front of her while singing like they're friends. How am I supposed to believe that this is Navani? (This happened in chapter 76 for those wondering)

Remember Teofil and his soldiers? Who bravely sacrificed themselves in order to get a chance to save the tower from falling? And Kaladin who might well be dead somewhere? All the Radiants? It seemed to me like they were all worthless and secondary to Navani's curiosity. 

I also think that it's incredibly foolish and not believable for Navani to ever trust Raboniel, even if Raboniel was genuine about her goals. 

I get it that the author needs a plot device in order to expose the reader to the new light concepts and technologies but I think that Navani's character suffered immensely because of it. 

 

On 12/1/2020 at 11:41 AM, Alatar said:

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.

If she's a master schemer that has lived for millennia, how can we , the readers, honestly believe her true intentions? I couldn't believe my eyes, that the strong intelligent and mature Navani character that we got to know over the years was freely helping her uncover a way to mix Voidlight and Stormlight. 

On 12/1/2020 at 11:41 AM, Alatar said:

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 :)

 

I agree that Raboniel was amazing.

This is just my opinion and I'm definitely projecting, but not at you of course. Just something I wanted to get out. :P

Edit: Grammar

Edited by Luck Spren
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On 12/22/2020 at 7:21 AM, Luck Spren said:

I couldn't believe my eyes, that the strong intelligent and mature Navani character that we got to know over the years was freely helping her uncover a way to mix Voidlight and Stormlight. 

It's explained that she is trying to find a way to create the explosion that killed the ardents. Navani knows her best hope is to conceal her true purpose behind other research. In the end the explosion doesn't end up killing Raboniel but it was the best plan she had. The alternative was to do nothing while the Fused slowly found and destroyed each node.

Plus Navani is realizing throughout the book that she is in fact a scholar at heart and the pure joy of learning is hard to give up. I don't understand why so many people are accusing her of being stupid. Her internal and external motivations for helping Raboniel are sensible.

 

On 12/22/2020 at 7:21 AM, Luck Spren said:

Yet she freely goes through everything with her and manages to uncover a tremendous scientific breakthrough in front of her while singing like they're friends. How am I supposed to believe that this is Navani?

What other choice did she have? She's trying to uncover a way to defeat the Fused. She can't do all that research without letting Raboniel in on some of it or else Raboniel would not let her continue doing the research. Both Navani and Raboniel know the other is hiding certain things from them, and they both know that the other knows they are hiding things. Still they have to work together so that their true motives have a chance of succeeding. In fact both of them end up getting what they want because they were willing to work together and share smaller secrets in favor of the greater good. Which part of that plot is unrealistic to you?

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6 hours ago, ScarecrowBoat716 said:

It's explained that she is trying to find a way to create the explosion that killed the ardents. Navani knows her best hope is to conceal her true purpose behind other research. In the end the explosion doesn't end up killing Raboniel but it was the best plan she had. The alternative was to do nothing while the Fused slowly found and destroyed each node.

That's not Navani's initial motivation right after Raboniel returns from the well. Doesn't seem to me like she was even considering the explosion topic on this particular segment. 

Chapter 76 - Harmony: "Navani considered it, though storms, she knew she shouldn't have. It was another trick - another catalyst added to the system to push the reaction forward. Yet Navani couldn't lie to herself. She did want to know. As always, questions teased her. Questions were disorder awaiting organization. The more you understood, the more the world aligned. The more the chaos made sense, as all things should."

I must disagree with you that that was the best plan. Not only because it could backfire very hard, but also because it looks like an incredible stretch ,and hardly believable that Navani would virtually single handedly get the upper hand on Rabobniel after being so easily manipulated by her.  Of course that, in the end, all ended up working out fer her to fit the plot, but it's simply not credible for me that Navani would ever think that she could out-think a several thousand year old "immortal" scholar. 

 

6 hours ago, ScarecrowBoat716 said:

Plus Navani is realizing throughout the book that she is in fact a scholar at heart and the pure joy of learning is hard to give up. I don't understand why so many people are accusing her of being stupid. Her internal and external motivations for helping Raboniel are sensible.

I don't think that Navani is stupid because I didn't believe that the character I was reading was Navani, at all. Which is why it was so immersion breaking for me.

Also, like someone already stated, I never felt like Navani was a truly a scholar at all in the previous books. Not because she lacks intelligence, but because she has much more of an active role financing and directing projects, not actually developing them. But that's besides the point here. 

 

6 hours ago, ScarecrowBoat716 said:

What other choice did she have? She's trying to uncover a way to defeat the Fused. She can't do all that research without letting Raboniel in on some of it or else Raboniel would not let her continue doing the research. Both Navani and Raboniel know the other is hiding certain things from them, and they both know that the other knows they are hiding things. Still they have to work together so that their true motives have a chance of succeeding. In fact both of them end up getting what they want because they were willing to work together and share smaller secrets in favor of the greater good. Which part of that plot is unrealistic to you?

Chapter 76 - Harmony: "Navani said. 'I think it is time for me to accept your initial offer and start carrying water.' "

Quite literally carry water. Which would actually be an insane contrast for her as a character. It would be nice to see how her character would develop if she was put doing the job of a parshman.

They do not have to work together, at all. Navani is a hostage. If Raboniel really wanted any sort of information that she suspected that Navani already knew, she could easily have threatened her, her scholars or the humans in the tower. And yes, I know that Raboniel believes in keeping friendly terms in order to exploit Navani as much as possible, which is of course believable because Raboniel is in charge.

Absolutely not buying the "greater good" argument, particularly after Navani was so easily outplayed by Raboniel. As a reader, I am not inclined to believe any of Raboniel's intentions simply because she is, quite literally, a master schemer. She killed, captured, kidnapped and manipulated her way through the tower, which Navani seems to forget. (On a side-note: It is not uncommon for Brandon Sanderson to "deceive" the reader with regards to certain character's actions/motivations)

I don't want to repeat myself, (which I already did multiple times, so I'm sorry for that). But I genuinely believe that Navani choosing to carry water over continuing her research, while being held hostage, was the only realistic outcome for me. The Navani I thought I knew, would think that uncovering anything too dangerous that could harm the fused would get her immediately killed by Raboniel. That's why she would never do anything to help her. 

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On 12/20/2020 at 11:16 AM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I’ve been hearing that he’s retired. I hope not; he’s an amazing editor. So many little things that just make these books work are due to him.

An additional factor: he has been Brandon's editor from the beginning so it would be much easier for him to disagree with Brandon and ask for changes and revisions. Others don't have that relationship, that plus the publisher wanting to get Brandon's books out as soon as possible points to the books being under-edited from this point onwards. 

On 12/22/2020 at 8:21 AM, Luck Spren said:

I, like pretty much every one else I've spoken to, loved Raboniel as a character. But I think that the Raboniel - Navani plot was the single worse moment in the entire series for me which is why can't understand why people are calling it brilliant. It completely broke my immersion for the first time ever in the series. This of course wasn't because of Raboniel. Navani is indeed trying to out-think Raboniel and she fails, in the beginning at  least. This comes at a great cost. The Sibling is only one gemstone away of being corrupted and Navani still helps Raboniel uncover the secrets of mixing different types of light, while being held hostage in a situation that can result in the loss of the war, should the Fused claim the Tower. I know that Raboniel probably already knew, but was't the sound component of the process supposedly a Thaylenah trade secret? Yet she freely goes through everything with her and manages to uncover a tremendous scientific breakthrough in front of her while singing like they're friends. How am I supposed to believe that this is Navani? (This happened in chapter 76 for those wondering)

Remember Teofil and his soldiers? Who bravely sacrificed themselves in order to get a chance to save the tower from falling? And Kaladin who might well be dead somewhere? All the Radiants? It seemed to me like they were all worthless and secondary to Navani's curiosity. I also think that it's incredibly foolish and not believable for Navani to ever trust Raboniel, even if Raboniel was genuine about her goals. 

Navani's actions would be believable if she ended up joining the Odium's forces at the end. That what drove her to work with/for Raboniel was her passion for knowledge, her obsession with what Gavilar was doing at the end and her wanting to prove herself as a scholar. 

On 12/22/2020 at 8:21 AM, Luck Spren said:

I get it that the author needs a plot device in order to expose the reader to the new light concepts and technologies but I think that Navani's character suffered immensely because of it. 

Agreed and it is not the first time this has happened with a character in this series. 

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