Frustration

Unpopular Rhythm of War opinions

117 posts in this topic

On 02/02/2021 at 0:03 AM, StanLemon said:

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

Not enough viewpoints!

I come to Branderson through Robert Jordan so....

Actually,  as I was writing my response I realized it's not viewpoints so much as lack of characters. We have 3 main povs in this book; Navani, Kaladin and Shallan. But they all seemed to be in isolation through most of the book.

Maybe it's just due to my own personal isolation this past year, but I really wanted more team action. The little we see of Dalinar and Jasnah, who are in a war camp full of people, is mostly in a wagon, or a tent, or a flying lookout.

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I really didn't like Jasnah in this book. The way she handled Ruthar was so...jarring. Maybe that was the intention but the whole "harsher" bit felt so off to me and made me really uncomfortable. She's never been my favorite character but until that point I never disliked her either. I didn't really mind her involvement with Wit, but I'm not invested in that relationship at all either.

I feel really sad about Venli. I think Eshonai would have been so much better in her place, but I do understand why they had to be swapped. I had high hopes for her though, and expected her to actually do stuff in this book. Brandon has said he made her more passive, because he didnt want all of his characters to feel like they were superhuman, and that he wanted characters who were in over their head, but Venli was just so passive and indecisive. There was this lingering feeling of "oh no, I hope nobody discovers I bonded a spren" but I never felt any excitement or tension in her plot. I dont know, in previous books Venli seemed way more smart and capable, and the flashbacks showing that even her achievements in the past were someone else's didnt help. 

She felt like an inbetween character. She had interactions with so many other important characters, Navani, Raboniel, Lift, Lirin, Rlain, but she never really got involved with any of them. Maybe if she had one of those to really team up with plotwise and actually do something with them, actually having a goal she wanted to achieve, that probably would have helped her story. I just hope she still gets to do something cool with the listeners, or maybe she worldhops or something, but with how crowded book 5 probably is I don't she will get a bigger role than she has now. It really felt like Brandon wrote her because he felt he had to, not because he wanted to.

That said, RoW was still my favorite SA book and I loved almost everything else.

 

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The depiction of Kal's depression was lacking, esspesially given that he's supposed to be on the verge of suicide all book. WoK was much better at it.

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I'm kind of conflicted about Wit's increased presence in the story. I've never been a big fan of Hoid in general, he's okay in small doses but I find his personality to be a little overbearing the longer he stays around. I didn't really like how much the protagonists rely on his information and planning to defeat Odium either. On the other hand, one of the reasons I dislike Hoid is because he's too much of a mysterious, mythical figure, and his new role in the books grounds and humanizes him. I think that's why the epilogue is so effective and being a tense build up to the next book (although I'm not a big fan of his relationship with Jasnah, but I don't think it will last that long so I can deal with it for now).

I didn't really like Leshwi in this book. It kinda bugged me how she was the one to lead the listeners away from Odium while all Venli had to do was glow, it kinda devalued Venli especially considering she wasn't even supposed to be a Willshaper in the first place, so even that wasn't really her achievement. Also her position as a totally good and honest Fused seemed to kind of contrast with her role in Oathbringer, where she basically seduces Moash to the dark side by encouraging him to pursue revenge. I can't say that her character is inconsistent, because we didn't really know much about her in Oathbringer and it's not that strange for her to turn out different than she first appears, but at the same time I would have appreciated some moments of characterization to clarify the discrepancy.

I really love Venli, I think having a character who's a pathetic coward being half forced and half actually trying to pursue the journey of Radiance is kind of funny and also legitimately interesting..

Also on the subject of Shallan killing her spren, I was kind of disappointed by it but I think her reaction kind of makes sense. It's important to remember that while killing her parents was horrible and traumatic, it was also done in self defense. Meanwhile Testament had only ever been a friend to her and hadn't really done anything bad, and yet Shallan killed her because she blamed her for her mother's death, not intentionally but still.

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1. I wish Rlain is the one who bonded the Sibling.

2. I...don't feel much about the Jasnah+Wit relationship, I wasn't even aware of it being a romantic relationship until the scene they share. And I still don't think it's going to get anywhere.

3. I feel like we spent too much time with Shallan&Adolin in part 2. I wasn't really that interested in her secret, I was more like "Oh, she had another secret, whatever" I just want her to remember it and get it over with. I was more than frustrated with the time she spent searching for the spy, it just doesn't add much to the story. When they finally got into Lasting Integrity, I thought things are finally starting to speed up, and then... we got switched to another POV.

4. I don't care about Navani. Imo she's just a lighteyes who happened to be kind of interested in fabrial, and because she's married to important people, she gets to study them. Yeah, that's okay, I guess. But it's not okay when she gets a bunch of screen time to rant about how this and that works, I don't really care, and I skipped most of them. And she's so...ignorant. You would think someone this old would know that Raboniel is planning to make anti-stormlight, she didn't. And claims to know about politics plus wishes to be a scholar. When I was reading that, I thought after she make anti-voidlight, she would make anti-stormlight. I thought she thinks there's some great use for the two anti-light.

5. This might be a plot hole, but it might not be. I think they found the third node way too quickly. When reading it, it felt like they found the node the second Sibling told Navani about the spot. Unless they have some way to instantly communicate, and Raboniel's soldier just so happen to pass the spot, there's no way they could have done that so fast.

Edited by The One Ring
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The nodes just felt like a video game to me.

Too much talking about the magic and how it works.

Too much cosmere stuff.

The scene with Wit and Jasnah just made him look like a moron and Jasnah look like a stereotype.

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I can finally get this off my chest:

I never would have thought that Brandon would allow himself to use such a lazy, convenient, stupid and useless plot device as the nodes. He clearly didn't know what to do with Kaladin in Part 3 and had to find something for him to do while other characters move the plot along. So he introduced a random number of crystals with no obvious in-world reason to exist that have to be destroyed.

It's so far below his story-telling ability, it baffles me. I'm not used to that, at least not in his Cosmere works, and especially not in Stormlight.

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4 minutes ago, Ahriman said:

The nodes just felt like a video game to me

I can see that, I didn't think of it in those exact terms, but I felt similarly. It kind of killed the suspense for me that we were told there were 4 nodes. When Kaladin was going for #3 near the well I was like "man this fight sequence is going on forever, I know this won't resolve here since there is another one."  

As a reader I know Kaladin isn't going to die mid-book anyways, but those sort of things fall by the wayside when I'm caught up in the moment reading the text for the first time. But the in-universe fact that there's another node after this one made the long third node sequence drag for me. 

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1 hour ago, Elegy said:

I can finally get this off my chest:

I never would have thought that Brandon would allow himself to use such a lazy, convenient, stupid and useless plot device as the nodes. He clearly didn't know what to do with Kaladin in Part 3 and had to find something for him to do while other characters move the plot along. So he introduced a random number of crystals with no obvious in-world reason to exist that have to be destroyed.

It's so far below his story-telling ability, it baffles me. I'm not used to that, at least not in his Cosmere works, and especially not in Stormlight.

 

1 hour ago, Child of Hodor said:

I can see that, I didn't think of it in those exact terms, but I felt similarly. It kind of killed the suspense for me that we were told there were 4 nodes. When Kaladin was going for #3 near the well I was like "man this fight sequence is going on forever, I know this won't resolve here since there is another one."  

As a reader I know Kaladin isn't going to die mid-book anyways, but those sort of things fall by the wayside when I'm caught up in the moment reading the text for the first time. But the in-universe fact that there's another node after this one made the long third node sequence drag for me. 

The node-thing was where I most clearly felt Moshe’s absence. It feels like the kind of place where he would have told Brandon ‘make it three, not four, and cut the sequence down.’

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RoW has a tough spot between Oathbringer (a satisfying book with an appropriate high point etc) and a severely hyped central book and the last of the first pentology. For being a bridge between major plot point books its good for what it is- it sets up characters, it explores abilities, it foreshadows, it resolves plot points, etc. But it definitely left me lacking in a few plot lines

Kaladin/Navani - overall not bad plotline. I cant argue with Navani as a bondsmith (Rlain is far too outcast/brooding, eshonai could have done it, as could have venli) or kaladins fourth oath but its a jarring rocking plot line that lacks proper buildup but takes a lot of detours to setup world building items.

Adolin/Shallan Trial - Interesting setup. No complaints except the most interesting dialogue seems to happen off screen

Venli/Eshonai - This is my major beef. the setup here seems a bit hamfisted and the Venli flashback scenes feel like they should have been revealed before eshonai died. These chapters seem out of place and dont really work, I think. I really wish these chapters had been released as a side novella and the space was dedicated to building other story elements or current venli character building.

 

 

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On 2/2/2021 at 8:28 AM, StanLemon said:

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

I get being weirded out by it because of the age and craziness reasons, but I totally agree with you here.

He has to carry millennia of worries and plans, and if he doesn’t screw around, have fun, and get truly involved with people, he’d likely go just as crazy as every Cognitive Shadow that tries to live above humanity instead.

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Well, since so many seem to dislike the nodes, I guess that makes my opinion not really unpopular! :D That was the reason why I didn't pick Hoidnah, because ouch.

On the other hand, I might have a positive potentially unpopular opinion: I liked the Shallan-Adoline plotline the best of them all. If you just took those chapters and published them as a 100,000 word book (which is the typical length for Way & Wayne, Skyward, and Reckoners books), it would be a really tight, strong and satisfying narrative. Shallan is at her best with her constant back and fourth with her personalities, and Adolin is not just carried along for once but has his own conflict (in contrast to Oathbringer's Shadesmar journey, where he was just the third wheel on a bike beside Kaladin and Shallan). The only thing I disliked about that arc was how more than half of the team just vanished between parts without having done anything. I guess it was nice to meet some non-main character Radiants, but give them something to do!

Probably not that unpopular as well, but I feel like many on here prefered other arcs.

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Not that I don't like Kaladin but.... I'm kinda hating the whole I'm going to kill myself and then boom magical revilation and super powers and life is good. It was good the first time or two but now it seems.... Boring maybe? I can't really find the right word right now.

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Probably will get a lot of flak for it, but hey, to me it really felt like that:

Part 1 of RoW is like an amazing 10/10 free trial for the overall 7/10 game.

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5 minutes ago, Harbour said:

Probably will get a lot of flak for it, but hey, to me it really felt like that:

Part 1 of RoW is like an amazing 10/10 free trial for the overall 7/10 game.

I'd rate it higher than 7/10, but I definitely agree that Part 1 was the highlight of the book. Reading the first 10 chapters on the evening I got the book was unreal.

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6 hours ago, Retrac said:

Not that I don't like Kaladin but.... I'm kinda hating the whole I'm going to kill myself and then boom magical revilation and super powers and life is good. It was good the first time or two but now it seems.... Boring maybe? I can't really find the right word right now.

I rather agree with you, here. I obviously don't want to make is appear as if I'm "bored" with Kaladin's mental illness or anything, and I realize that his representation of depression is really meaningful to a lot of people. But I also feel like Sanderson laid it on a bit thick with this book. It's like he has a list of "Bad Things I Haven't Done to Kaladin Yet" and he's just going through it one by one. Struggling with depression and survivor's guilt? I'm on board with that. It's made him a really interesting character. But when you go on to say "oh and then your old best friend tells you to commit suicide and your dad hates you and you're fired and all of your friends leave and you're having magical dreams in which the entire world hates you and now your other best friend has been killed by the first one and - " I mean, at some point enough is enough, right?

In a similar vein to this, Shallan's revelation this book didn't really have an impact for me. I know this has already been discussed in this thread, so I won't go into too much detail, but it just wasn't very meaningful with everything else that was going on. My very first reaction when she dropped her first "I have another secret" thing in the book was "haven't we already done this?" I was legitimately frustrated upon learning that because I thought we had finished the whole "Shallan killed someone in her past but can't remember" bit. Plus, the beginning of the book really sold the Three as a workable solution for me - having her plotline then be about merging with them didn't seem nearly as much like progress as he clearly meant it to. There were parts of Shallan's arc that I really liked this book, but most of it was undercut by the fact that I really wasn't interested in hearing another mysterious secret about her past.

Upon reflection, these aren't unpopular opinions so much as just my criticism, but there you go.

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There should have been more death, on the Radiants side, The Fused Seize Urithiru turn it on the Radiants have everyone outnumbered and the only Radiants dead are Teft and some unnamed individual, really?

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Rlain should have bonded the sibling      Brandon did a like a triple flip finally ending up on the person you thought it would be the whole time ; the main character ( surprise ?)

Kaladin had way way to much fighting against a enemy I couldn't see ( the nodes) whenever I try to think of it it just gets mixed up in my head 

shallan traitor scene was very similar to 

mistborn spoilers

Spoiler

Mistborn WoA when vin is looking fo the traitor and it's the person you never expected

Adolin was to easy did no one seriously ever try to befriend a deadeye? Maybe it was in the time skip but it felt manufactured 

all inall it was one of the best books I ever read:D this is just me venting

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Kaladin's depression made me really depressed.

As usual I wish Dalinar would be hit by a meteor and I never have to read about him again. Dalinar just keeps getting worse and worse. "I'm Dalinar. Slaves good. Considering other peoples opinions bad."

Didn't really like the Shadesmar section. Maya was good. Pretty much everyone else was boring to me.

I agree with some other people that this book didn't have humor or high points and it really needed it.

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4 hours ago, Frustration said:

There should have been more death, on the Radiants side, The Fused Seize Urithiru turn it on the Radiants have everyone outnumbered and the only Radiants dead are Teft and some unnamed individual, really?

Tbf, I'm pretty sure some other Radiants got hacked to pieces at the end. Bloody axes and all.

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Don't like what's happening to Bridge Four. Was basically Kaladin's family in the first two books but has been reduced to just another group of expendable soldiers and relegated to the background. Rock is gone, Teft is dead, and most of the original members are hardly getting any scenes. Dabbid and Rlain had a chance to shine but got the Sibling stolen by Kholin.

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Venli. I mean, we might as well switch the focus on Timber, as she is the one who actually takes all the decisions. Venli appears to be there only to slow down Timber.

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11 minutes ago, Thaumium said:

Venli. I mean, we might as well switch the focus on Timber, as she is the one who actually takes all the decisions. Venli appears to be there only to slow down Timber.

Timbre. I wouldn’t normally care about the spelling, but in this case the homophone meanings are completely different and I suspect that difference is important.

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41 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Timbre. I wouldn’t normally care about the spelling, but in this case the homophone meanings are completely different and I suspect that difference is important.

Oh you're right sorry. Damn you Italian keyboard auto-correct! :angry:

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Unpopular opinions;

1. The story has become glacially slow (politics in OB,and then fabrial science in this one) nothing much happened in the book (or the time skip seemingly)

2. Cosmere is talking up to much of the story now

3. Navani - being so naive to the point wasnt believable

4. The view of the world is becoming smaller and smaller each book, 

5. They left herdaz fight alone, cos assumed they would lose even though kept holding out, meaning with support they might not of lost atal

6. Navani bonding the sibling, thought this was a terrible idea, leaves Adolin the only radiant worthy of all the kholins the only one who actually isn't even though stormlight archive is now the kholin chronicles

7. The nodes - 90s video game stuff

8. Wit - is in the story too much plus i don't overly like him like everyone else seemingly does

9. Not enough pov/radiants - sure we see there is more, but no interations, no stonewards etc

10. Rlain - finally gets to bond a spren but wait its a corrupted one (figures)

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