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Words of Radiance II (Spoilers): These are not the flashbacks you're looking for


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#1 Rhom

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

Continuing discussion from before. Specifically as it regards to flashback chapters. Brandon's assistant Peter clarified this with the last post of the previous thread:

Brandon has said they're not flashbacks. The characters in the present-day-narrative chapters are not flashing back or remembering the events in the years-ago-narrative chapters. Instead, it's nonlinear storytelling. Calling those chapters flashbacks is a convenient shorthand.


I don't know that I had ever thought about the distinction, but it makes sense based on how its presented in the narrative. Its not like it was ever presented as Kaladin reminiscing on his past or Shallan telling someone about her times in Jah Keved.

So if Szeth is the focus of the "nonlinear storytelling" in the next book. Will he also take a more front and center present day position as well? IIRC, to this point he has only been an interlude POV. In Stones Unhallowed will he now be having full on POV chapters like Dalinar and Co?

I think I'd like to see that. Thus far, most of the narrative has focused on the Shattered Plains and I'd like to see more of what's out there.

I do like the Interlude structures though in the way that they give us glimpses of the world at large and just what a fantastical world Roshar really is.

#2 End of Disc One

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 03:34 PM

I guess it makes sense, but in LOST we always called them flashbacks even if they technically weren't.



#3 Opisthokont!

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 03:55 PM

I don't like where this series is going. Partially because it seems to be degenerating into a superhero movie (it always had elements of that, but it's taking over more and more), and partially because it's just too clean and neat. I can't help thinking that the story would have had the potential to get a lot more interesting if Kaladin had never regained his powers, Szeth had gone insane, Jasnah had stayed dead, Moash's buddies had managed to kill the king, and Renarin had actually been sick and weak instead of yet another superhero.

 

If the next book gets rave reviews I might continue reading but if it's just more of the same I don't really think it will be worth it.

 

Oh, and that burglar boy should have stayed dead as well. You can't just kill a child in a book to get a bit of emotional oomph and then revive him immediately. That's cheating.


Edited by Opisthokont!, 17 April 2014 - 03:57 PM.


#4 Mack Kilimaro

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:15 PM

I guess it makes sense, but in LOST we always called them flashbacks even if they technically weren't.

 

I think the LOST analogy is the best thing here. Yeah, they aren't technically flashbacks in the sense that the character is neither recalling to himself nor relating to someone else whatever event is being shown, but it's the easiest word to say.

 

So given that it's actually non-linear storytelling - which is fine - it still seems to me like it would not be very good to have nonlinear  past chapters centered around a character in one book if that character were to have died in a previous book.



#5 Noroldis

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:55 AM

Here's my belated thoughts and comments about WoR.

 

Pros:

 

- I've discovered over the years that to truly satisfy me, a work of fiction must have at least one major buildup -> climax -> resolution sequence. WoK had at least one (the battle at the Tower), and WoR, by my reckoning, had three: the expedition to the center of the Shattered Plains, Kaladin losing and then regaining Syl, Shallan admitting to herself and coming to terms with what really happened to her family. So on that account, I was well satisfied with WoR, which is more than I can say for the last two ASOIAF books.

 

- Sanderson continues to write engrossing actions scenes. The arena fight, the large-scale battle against the Voidbringers, Kaladin's airborne duel against Szeth were all thriling, page-turning moments of the book for me.

 

- The great worldbuilding continues. Sanderson has obviously devoted a lot of time to his world's various elements (history, geography, biology, politics, magic system, etc.), and it shows.

 

- The characters had greater depth than in WoK. Kaladin lost his way and his powers for a time due to his hatred for certain nobles, Dalinar became more efficient at politics, but it was Shallan who changed most. In fact, I throught her change from the sheltered girl frightened of confrontation we first met in WoK to the highly skilled observer/manipulator/spy she is at the end of WoR was a bit too quick, but not totally unrealistic.

 

Cons:

 

- Wording and dialog are sometimes rather clunky. This has been covered extensively in the previous thread. I too sometimes thought that a particular word was too modern, or at least modern-sounding. However, my biggest gripe with Sanderson's prose is that much too often he just uses a bland, boring "said" when a character expresses him/herself. He could and IMO should instead add an adjective, or replace "said" with another verb like "insisted" or "snapped" to give the reader a better understanding of the character's current feelings, demeanor and/or personality when he/she speaks.

 

- Sexual content unfortunately remains at what would, in a movie, IMO be labeled K level. This is rather jarring considering that Sanderson doesn't hesitate to use graphic descriptions of bloody battles and their grisly aftermath that would be said to be PG-13 in a movie, and IMO sometimes even rise to a R rating. I'm not saying I'd like Sanderson to switch to full-blown sex scenes like those GRRM writes, but - and I find it hard to believe I'm actually typing this - I do wish he would at least increase the sexual content to the PG-13 level Robert Jordan sometimes used.

 

So, my final score for WoR is 8 out of 10. Its weak elements prevent it from being a truly great fantasy novel in the 9+ range, but for me the pros still substantinally outweigh the cons. When book 3 comes out, I'll be willing to once again pay for a physical hardcover, something that I almost never do anymore.


Edited by Noroldis, 18 April 2014 - 09:57 AM.


#6 Rhom

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:53 AM

When book 3 comes out, I'll be willing to once again pay for a physical hardcover, something that I almost never do anymore.


To TOR's credit, they make purchasing the hardcover edition worthwhile for Stormlight Archive. The detailed artwork really adds to the experience. I always enjoyed looking them over and clarifying some of the bizarre ecology of Roshar.

#7 Night's_King

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 12:44 PM

To TOR's credit, they make purchasing the hardcover edition worthwhile for Stormlight Archive. The detailed artwork really adds to the experience. I always enjoyed looking them over and clarifying some of the bizarre ecology of Roshar.

 

I won the HC-Editions of both books and they are just beautiful! And I think it would look magnificent to have all ten books in the shelf as hardcovers.

Only problem: I just moved into a flat in the third storey and getting all those books there was really exhausting :D



#8 Wizraban

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 04:56 PM

However, my biggest gripe with Sanderson's prose is that much too often he just uses a bland, boring "said" when a character expresses him/herself. He could and IMO should instead add an adjective, or replace "said" with another verb like "insisted" or "snapped" to give the reader a better understanding of the character's current feelings, demeanor and/or personality when he/she speaks.
 

That's actually a big no-no. Writers are taught that "said" is fine and emotion should be conveyed through the spoken words or body language. It probably tends to be overstated/too slavishly followed, which is how you get these results.

Edited by Wizraban, 20 April 2014 - 05:14 PM.


#9 Winter's Knight

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:01 AM

RE: upgrade

 

I thought that the Alethi would use the word naturally, considering their constant improvements in fabrials.



#10 Rhom

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:22 AM

RE: upgrade
 
I thought that the Alethi would use the word naturally, considering their constant improvements in fabrials.


That's a good point. They do have a pretty diverse technology of a sort.

#11 Night's_King

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:45 AM

- Sexual content unfortunately remains at what would, in a movie, IMO be labeled K level. This is rather jarring considering that Sanderson doesn't hesitate to use graphic descriptions of bloody battles and their grisly aftermath that would be said to be PG-13 in a movie, and IMO sometimes even rise to a R rating. I'm not saying I'd like Sanderson to switch to full-blown sex scenes like those GRRM writes, but - and I find it hard to believe I'm actually typing this - I do wish he would at least increase the sexual content to the PG-13 level Robert Jordan sometimes used.

 

I don't really miss it. It took Jordan 5 books to write a sex scene, if I remember correctly.



#12 Night's_King

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:50 AM

Another thing: Was already discussed if Lopen is a Radiant. And if yes, what kind is he going to be? I think I'm gonna go with Stoneward.

 

Sorry if this has been discussed already, I haven't read the first thread.



#13 Winter's Knight

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:34 PM

Another thing: Was already discussed if Lopen is a Radiant. And if yes, what kind is he going to be? I think I'm gonna go with Stoneward.

 

Sorry if this has been discussed already, I haven't read the first thread.

 

 

Lopen breathes in stormlight while he's hiding Elhotkar. We don't know what order he belongs to.



#14 Night's_King

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:06 PM

 

 

Lopen breathes in stormlight while he's hiding Elhotkar. We don't know what order he belongs to.

 

So you think that Elhokar is in fact bonding a Spren and Lopen could probably be only a squire?



#15 Rhom

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:06 PM

Lopen breathes in stormlight while he's hiding Elhotkar. We don't know what order he belongs to.


Yes, all we see from him is that he begins to regrow his arm and he tells his cousins to bring all the stones they have. We have yet to see any other powers from him.

#16 Night's_King

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:19 PM

Yes, all we see from him is that he begins to regrow his arm and he tells his cousins to bring all the stones they have. We have yet to see any other powers from him.

 

Yeah, but look. Most of the personalities of the other Radiants fit to their orders.

 

And since the Stonewards can use Growth and Regrowth, I would put him in this order. If he actually is a Radiant.

 

ANd I hope so, since he is one of my favourite characters ^^



#17 End of Disc One

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:15 PM

 

Yeah, but look. Most of the personalities of the other Radiants fit to their orders.

 

And since the Stonewards can use Growth and Regrowth, I would put him in this order. If he actually is a Radiant.

 

ANd I hope so, since he is one of my favourite characters ^^

 

I don't think Stonewardens can use Growth and Regrowth.  Doesn't fit with the Knights Radiant chart.

 

All orders can heal themselves I believe, but can they go so far as to regrow limbs?  I don't know.



#18 Rhom

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:38 PM

 
I don't think Stonewardens can use Growth and Regrowth.  Doesn't fit with the Knights Radiant chart.
 
All orders can heal themselves I believe, but can they go so far as to regrow limbs?  I don't know.


Well, Kaladin healed a shard severed limb. :dunno:

#19 Winter's Knight

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 05:18 PM

I think stormlight heals, no? If you can breathe it, you can heal.

 

What I want to know is, why does bonding a shardblade lighten one's eyes but bonding a spren changes the colour? Moash simply went from brown to tan but Kal's eyes changed from dark green to blue.



#20 Ded As Ned

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 09:21 AM

I think stormlight heals, no? If you can breathe it, you can heal.

 

What I want to know is, why does bonding a shardblade lighten one's eyes but bonding a spren changes the colour? Moash simply went from brown to tan but Kal's eyes changed from dark green to blue.

 

I think it has something to do with the bond.  The shardblades we see (other than Kaladin's) are "dead" (for lack of a better word) spren, and thus the bond is different from what we see between Kaladin & Syl.  The difference in bond is my best guess.