Frustration

Unpopular Rhythm of War opinions

117 posts in this topic

A few rules before we start,

  1. This is specifically about Rhythm of War,
  2. Don't argue or attack anyone for their opinions, their unpopular for a reason
  3. be respectful, please.

So with that out of the way, what are your unpopular Rhythm of War opinions 

 

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42 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Too much Kaladin chasing nodes.

Not enough Kaladin chasing nodes!

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Too many arcs. I love all of them but the book was too busy

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Not enough “jokey” characters (like the Lopen and Lift). We had just gotten a lot of the Lopen in Dawnshard, so probably didn’t want to double dip there. But I felt the absence of levity in the book 

Not enough time spent on new radiants (i.e. the Shadesmar delegation). (I think we only saw them really interact in one of the sections?)

You know, Brandon has said that part 1 was basically the climax of the untold year time skip. I would have been cool with that being a novella if it meant some deeper looks into the Shadesmar delegation.

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1. While reading, I found it difficult to care about anything that wasn't happening in Urithiru. The Fabrial science and Fused occupation was too interesting, and the war in... I don't even remember where... was too fragmented to really hold the same weight.

2. The scene with Navani working with the dark-eyed battalion lord(who's name I'm not going to look up because I only have the audiobook), and the scene with Jasnah taunting Ruthar felt too similar and were too close together because of that.

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Not enough Dalinar, I felt like he was just banished to Emul.

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Unpopular #1

10 hours ago, StanLemon said:

Too many arcs. I love all of them but the book was too busy

This. Too many storylines that fragment even further. In the lead up to RoW Brandon talked about how the characters would be split into 3 groups and that is true. But within the two groups that don't get as much focus, Shallan/Adolin and Dalinar/Jasnah, it fragments even more.

Shallan and Adolin drop out for the last half of Part 2 and all of Part 3. When they reappear Adolin is focusing on his trial and Shallan isn't there in some of his chapters because she's off doing her own thing without Adolin. Also all those other Radiants are just gone, heck they don't even participate in the fight with Ishar's goons in Part 2. They were just there to showcase some radiant spren, but contributed nothing to the journey. Dalinar and Jasnah have the one chapter where she baits and stabs the highprince. Then there are two Jasnah chapters with no Dalinar or Renarin and some Dalinar chapters with no Jasnah or Renarin. 

Heck even the flashbacks are fragmented between a dead character and one still around. 

Unpopular #2

I don't like WIt romancing anyone. He's like 9,000 years old and should have better things to do.  He acts the fool, but he's very mission focused in his appearances he only goes places he thinks something important is happening. He tells Dalinar he is willing to, reluctantly, watch Roshar burn in order to get what he wants. Yet, he wants to romance Jasnah. We all want to romance Jasnah, but he's barely even human anymore and he has such an advantage over her in knowledge and he's gonna leave to go to wherever the next book is set. Maybe she'll join him, but it all seems unfair to any mortal he dates. 

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Not enough light on Shallan/Veil/Radiant relationship and coevolution.

 

(I have over opinions, but they are not unpopular x) )

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I actually liked the disstribution of PoV's

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26 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

I don't like WIt romancing anyone. He's like 9,000 years old and should have better things to do.  He acts the fool, but he's very mission focused in his appearances he only goes places he thinks something important is happening. He tells Dalinar he is willing to, reluctantly, watch Roshar burn in order to get what he wants. Yet, he wants to romance Jasnah. We all want to romance Jasnah, but he's barely even human anymore and he has such an advantage over her in knowledge and he's gonna leave to go to wherever the next book is set. Maybe she'll join him, but it all seems unfair to any mortal he dates. 

I actually liked this, I felt it humanized him. That just because he's ancient he's got basic human needs and desires. Though I do fully understand the reasons others don't like it

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Not a fan of the "Kaladin kills Parshendi, risking everyones lifes, and Venli/Leswhi helps him occasionally" plot.

At this stage of character development it would be more fitting for Kaladin to step down and build up resistance from the inside. I think Brandon intentionally made him step back twice for convenience and i dont like it.

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Expectations going in was that ROW would suffer from the same problem that a lot of middle books in a trilogy suffer from. Middle Game Syndrome? It has less to do with being a second book of a trilogy than it does the book having to set everything up for the finale.

ROW had to put all of the chess pieces that were planned in the first 3 books in place for the endgame. Plotting, pacing, and characterization can become secondary to making sure everything is set up for the final book.

Every flaw I thought ROW had could be explained by it being the penultimate book of the first 5. I think Brandon did a great job, but RoW does replace WoK as my least favorite SA book.

I don't think this is an unpopular take, but...yeah

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I just don't enjoy reading about how fabrials work. I'm interested in character ramifications of, say Navani capturing unwilling spren and the Sibling thinking she's a monster because of that.  But I find the inner working/mechanics of fabrials rather dull.  

I'm all onboard with the weirdness of Jasnah+Wit!

14 hours ago, StanLemon said:

Too many arcs. I love all of them but the book was too busy

I completely agree with this. While I love (nearly) all the characters, I want more from each of them! If I had to vote someone off the island, it would probably be Venli. Sorry. 

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The conversation between Kalak and Shallan should have come out where he tells her all about the Ghostblood, Kelsier, other planets of the Cosmere and the seon. I found it anticlimactic that this conversation was not shown, but I understand that it adds more emotion to the final conversation between Shallan and Mraize

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I think the interludes in RoW were the weakest as a whole. It definitly has the craziest interlude(Taravangian killing Rayse) but there isn't much that is distinct from the main storylines. Most of the interludes in previous books are from the viewpoint of a person who isn't really close to the main storylines, kind of like a respite from those storylines. But I think every interlude in RoW besides Chiri Chiri was in service of the main story. It's kind of why I think this book fatigued me more than the others. We didn't really get any distance from the dire straits all of the characters are in, it felt like a marathon with no breaks. 

Edit: After my reread I now realize Taravangian didn't kill Rayse in an interlude, it was all just set up there. 

Edited by Harrycrapper
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I have a few, though I'm not sure what's unpopular and what isn't:

-Shallan's 'secret.'  Really, that's it?  You killed your spren?  After the reveals in WoR I expected something so much worse.  The whole plot point with Formless and even the trial fell flat.  There was a decent amount of time spent on promising looking side characters as well that ultimately went nowhere.  

-All of Venli.  She barely did anything with or learned anything about her Radiant powers, and she was at best an unsympathetic hero.  Her flashbacks were easily the most unnecessary of the four flashback viewpoints, and she is basically a bystander for all of the important plot points.  I expected so much more, both from her and Willshapers in general.  She could be written out of the story right now, and nothing would be lost.

-Navani's 'science' - the nitty gritty details of discovering the anti-magics felt a little too hand wavy and not as clean as I'm used to from Brandon.  My eyes kind of glazed over when the 'technical' details kept coming up.

-A general lack of lighthearted moments -   I feel the story really missed the normal doses of Rock, Lopen and (as of OB) Lift.

-The part three Dalinar and Jasnah scenes - while they contained some interesting moments, it felt like filler, a plot excuse to get them away from Urithiru.  I see why it was done, but I can't help but feel the story would have been so much better if the two of them were at Urithiru the whole time.

-A general lack of 'high' moments:  Completely personal preference here, but nothing in this book came even close to 'Honor is dead, but I'll see what I can do' or 'You cannot have my pain!' or the Tower or the fight at Thaylen City or the onset of the Everstorm/Kal's arrival.

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39 minutes ago, What's a Seawolf? said:

-All of Venli.  She barely did anything with or learned anything about her Radiant powers, and she was at best an unsympathetic hero.  Her flashbacks were easily the most unnecessary of the four flashback viewpoints, and she is basically a bystander for all of the important plot points.  I expected so much more, both from her and Willshapers in general.  She could be written out of the story right now, and nothing would be lost.

I knew I was forgetting something here. Venli is a failure of a character in my opinion. I feel absolutely nothing for her and can't help but feel her storyline would have been much more interesting if Eshonai were in her place. Moash at least inspires hatred or disgust, but Venli inspires nothing and no one.

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5 hours ago, Rashekin said:

The conversation between Kalak and Shallan should have come out where he tells her all about the Ghostblood, Kelsier, other planets of the Cosmere and the seon. I found it anticlimactic that this conversation was not shown, but I understand that it adds more emotion to the final conversation between Shallan and Mraize

Also, said conversation probably would have necessitated spoiling Mistborn, which Brandon didn’t want to do. And, if those of us who think Kalak is... not a very good person are right, then the conversation could have spoiled it. So I think there were good reasons not to show it. But I would have loved to see it.

Although I’d rather have seen the one where Hoid tells Jasnah.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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Honestly, to me, I found Wit and Jasnah to be acceptably platonic or platonic-adjacent (hand-kissing, scandalous).  I mean, she's a colossal heretic NERD who didn't never need no man in her life, and he's a class-clown immortal worshiped as a god (who also may be worshiped BY at least one god), so I'm pretty sure this sentence ends not with "AND THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW THEY FELL IN LOVE", but with "TOGETHER, THEY FIGHT CRIME".

 

Unpopular opinion(at least for this thread):  I actually really liked the Venli chapters and flashbacks, but then I'm a sucker for worldbuilding and the turn-to-good (I mean, seriously, how can you NOT feel for Leshwi during her last scenes).

Edited by Aliroz-The-Confused
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Die Hard: Urithiru could have been done differently. Defense nodes felt very video-game-y. I would've liked it more if the story was more 'human' - you can't fight an entire army, it's simply impossible. Kaladin just casually slapping around Fused seems like a level of power he's reached now, and I'm not sure I like that! I would have preferred the Kaladin Urithiru stuff having contained very little combat and simply a lot of dialogue / conversational character interactions. 

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I really liked Venl as a character (the start was boring a bit, but I like her as a person)i.

I love Navani, her science, her sismance with Raboniel. And her becoming a Bondsmith. I like the Sibling too and I get why they disagreed and I think they had all the right to do so, but the situation (mostly Moash) forced them and now it's awkward for both them and Navani, which is very interesting.

I didn't like Kaladin swearing the 4th Ideal, I really don't like that Kaladin followed his character fault (overprotectively took Teft from the Fused which had a big chance of getting them both killed and the situation seemed like Teft would be a lot safer given to the Fused) and it turned out it had been the right thing to do and Teft died besides that, not because of that and generally, nothing bad came out of it. (But I don't like Kal as a general rule.)

I'm totally OK with the Wit/Jasnah thing, though I'd be same level of OK without it. I just… it's not that I don't care, because it's good. I just don't have a preference about it. (Though I don't think this relationship will last, unless they both change how they approach it, ie start trusting each other more.)

I loved the "Shallan killed her spren" twist, but I hoped that more drama will come out of it.

I found Moash quite boring and I'm still not in the "storm Moash!" camp. He would one of the less interesting to me characters now, if not for the fandom reactions around him.

I still find the interactions between Shallan's personas, and the personals themselves, rather boring.

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Shallan killing her spren needed more of a response from the spren who were saying 'humans killed squillions of spren so storm them'. I still don't know why Cryptics are lining up to bond her, either.

Honor+Odium=/= War. The Rhythm name seems to be due to the fact it was discovered by opposite sides of a war working together. Dalinar should not ascend to the Shard of War (everyone remembers the last time he was consumed by the idea of war controlled by passion/hate, right?).

Lirin was (mostly) right, in that Kaladin's actions very much could have led to mass retributions. Kaladin worries about it, and it's a miracle it didn't go worse.

Moash could still have been redeemed after killing Roshone. Out of 'unpopular opinion mode', he squandered that pretty much as soon as he tried to make Kaladin commit suicide.

Navani bullied the Sibling into the bond, and I'm not sure I like the idea (not sure how unpopular this is. I've seen some people say this, but it's overshadowed by the 'journey before destination you bastard' fans).

Edited by jamesbondsmith
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1. Lirin.

In the previous books I liked how strong and convincing he came across in his dedication to healing rather than warring. An inspiring surgeon, husband and father.

In RoW I found him too much of a bootlicker and a weakling, a coward perhaps. 

 

2. I was surprised by not going "Ehh another Shallan chapter" a lot in my head, like in the previous books. I actually liked her storyline/quest this time around.

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1. Im a non-cosmere SA reader who is aware of it and find myself pretty seasoned fantasy reader. Remember when Brandon said he is aware of the problem of how to bring Cosmere tidbits into SA without making it feel confusing and feel like you read just a part of multiverse and not complete book?

I think Brandon tried to make it feel good but he failed pretty hard here. I dont like any of Cosmere tidbits except for Prologue one, how they feel alien to the world in a bad way, how they shift the focus away from more immersive story parts. I like some mystery otherwordly stuff, but only if its actually feels treated as something mysterious and otherwordly (like hints on interplanetary stuff in Malazan). With Brandon's method of explaining a lot of stuff it didnt feel mysterious enough nor like something truly importan for the plot. It actually felt like clog in the drain while reading. I dont try to exaggerate things, its not a major flaw but its still feel heavy handedly managed by Brandon.

2. I feel like Leshwi stuff being relegated to Venli with some extra work on Brandon's part would work way better. None of two had enough presence on their own, but Venli having some more focused drive for Kaladin would feel more fascinating and active character. While being Urithiru Venli had that weird minor push to Kaladin, and it went pretty much nowhere. It'd be way more fun to read if Brandon let them two interact more.

3. People have already pointed out but seriously - Shallan killed her spren IS the big reveal? Part 1 made way too hard emphasis on last Shallan secret being BIG and set up unrealistic expectations. People had all these "Shallan IS someone/something X" theories while Part 1 was on going for a good reason. Killing spren didnt feel like something as bad and influential as killing parents to me.

Edited by Harbour
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