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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson


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#61 Grogsmash

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:29 PM

Is it really "storm you"? (I haven't gotten the book yet). I could see "storm take you" or some variation on that maybe working, given what I've heard about the peculiarities of the world, but storm you? /ack.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':ack:' />


I don't understand how Storm you is any worse of a curse than all the other faux curses that we hear in fantasy. It is no different than Frak you, Blight you and the many others in fantasy and sci fi. They all sound off without some suspension of belief.

#62 Curethan

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:34 PM

Using words that have broad or unclear definitions (like actual swear words) works better.

#63 Mathis Waters

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:01 PM

I don't understand how Storm you is any worse of a curse than all the other faux curses that we hear in fantasy. It is no different than Frak you, Blight you and the many others in fantasy and sci fi. They all sound off without some suspension of belief.

Not being worse than other things that are terrible is not the same thing as not being terrible! (I agree with the earlier poster that "storm take you" sounds fine.)

#64 Trencher

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:35 PM

As I said, I understood where Sanderson was coming from. Sometimes that works (eg "burn you," and to a lesser extent "frack," though more for the cheese factor), but "storm you" is flat-out egregious. Have you tried saying that out loud? Could you imagine a movie in which characters, during a dramatic moment, screamed "storm you!" at each other? It's really pushing the limits there.



That may work for you, and if it does, great. For me, I don't think it's a mark of talent when the audience has to go out of their way to tolerate scenes in a book. I like Sanderson's works well enough, but I'm not going to defend his faults.

And the premise of going with some species of lameness just because "their world is different than ours" seems way too permissive. You could apply that to anything. Does the romance seem artificial? Maybe that's just how it works in this particular fantasy land. Did X dramatic scene come off as false and dull? Maybe that's what serves as exciting in this fantasy land...etc.

I think it's appropriate to call a spade a spade in this instance. I'm lauding Sanderson for his virtues (the bridgemen scenes are fucking cool as shit, for example), but call him out for the vices as well.


Actually I agree for the most part. I was really only referring to humor. It doesn't bother me if some characters find a comment witty or funny even though I do not.

#65 Migey

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:42 PM

Shallans wit is annoying to no end. Brandon managed to pull it off okay with Lightsong in Waarbreaker, with the humorous side, but he goes too far with Shallan.

I find myself thinking that alot of Shallans lines are fairly amusing - but he takes them too far. We end up hearing big monologues that are meant to end in a punchline rather then a small one liner that it starts with anyway that could be amusing.

#66 pat5150

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:41 PM

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

#67 CryHavoc

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:31 PM

I don't understand how Storm you is any worse of a curse than all the other faux curses that we hear in fantasy. It is no different than Frak you, Blight you and the many others in fantasy and sci fi. They all sound off without some suspension of belief.


I don't think it's because it's a faux curse. Like I said, my main problem was with the wording people mentioned (I haven't read the book yet). It honestly just sounds jarring to me. I think it has to do with parts of speech. I was not an English major, so I apologize if this doesn't make a lot of sense; also, sorry for the length.

But, in English, at least, there are a two main templates for cursing at people that I have experienced. There are curses that emphasize a nasty/aggressive/mean action--"damn you", "frack you"--and curses that emphasize a nasty or evil noun--"devil take you", "to hell with you". In the first case, the emphasis is on the act, whereas in the second case it's on the person/place/thing. (These obviously can be combined: "damn you to hell"; also, there are curses as interjections "damn!", "shit!", etc., which are usually just undirected outbursts; "bloody ashes!" takes this form)

For example, "frack you" fits this construction well. The point is the action, so the curse takes the form of the action being done to the person you're cursing.

"Blight you," (which I honestly don't recall, but I'm assuming it's WoT-related because of the Blight), is a kind of in between example. Obviously blight is a noun and a verb, but honestly in this case "blight take you" feels more appropriate to me than "blight you", because in WoT the Blight is a place; it's like saying "to hell with you". If Blight were instead most commonly a verb in the world, for example if Blight were something that might afflict someone personally, then the other construction would work too. Since "blight" in English tends to be both noun and verb fairly commonly, this isn't that jarring.

Similarly, storm is a verb, yes. But I've heard it used as a verb very, very rarely, and almost never when referring to the weather (and never as an action against an individual person). In my experience the point is typically the storm as an object. Since storms are a major force in the Way of Kings world, it does make sense that they'd be a curse, but due to personal experience, it seems to me that "storm you" feels wrong because of the construction. It's like saying "hell you." The construction's wrong because it's not a verb--"damn you to hell" or "to hell with you" or "what the hell?" or even "aw, hell" all make more sense. Likewise, "storm take you" or even just "storm" feel a lot more appropriate to me than "storm you" for two reasons: Because I've only rarely heard storm used as a verb, and because if the point is the storm itself as the bringer of destruction, it seems like curses involving it should take the form of curses involving things like hell or the devil in English in order for them to be best understood by an English-speaking audience.

Of course, if everyone walks around for the vast majority of the book using construction in which "storm" is nearly always a verb--"it stormed" rather than "the storm raged"--then it does sort of make sense from an in-world standpoint (though unless individual people are regularly "stormed", it's still iffy). But it still feels wrong in English.

Edited to clarify

Edited by CryHavoc, 11 September 2010 - 11:34 PM.


#68 Liadin

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:37 PM

I hear "it stormed," "it was storming," "it's going to storm," etc., a lot. I've never heard someone say "the storm raged" in real life.

#69 CryHavoc

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:28 AM

I hear "it stormed," "it was storming," "it's going to storm," etc., a lot. I've never heard someone say "the storm raged" in real life.


I've always heard "there's a storm going on", "the storm is coming", "there was a storm last night", "it's stormy outside" (okay, adjective, not noun) most often in common usage. In a narrative sense I've read construction along the lines of "the storm raged" and "a storm is coming/gathering" most often. You're right, though; now that I think about it, I do hear the gerund and infinitive forms more often than I'd realized, though honestly still not that much.

But one of my main points, which I guess I failed to articulate, was that I've only rarely heard it as a verb, which makes it feel weird, and never heard it used as a verb against an object, which makes it feel really weird (when referring to weather). It doesn't storm at you or your car or your cat, it just nebulously storms. The storm doesn't storm you personally. Whereas in "damn you", the person I'm cursing is the one being damned. A person can be damned (theoretically), or fucked, (or fracked?) but not usually "stormed", (well, a castle can be stormed, but usually not by a storm /smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> ).

It sounds weird to me to use it as a verb-emphasized curse because: 1) I'm not used to hearing it as a verb most commonly, 2) It's not normally directed at a target in verb form, and 3) if the point is the power or horror of the storm itself, the curse should emphasize the object, like when we curse using hell or the devil. I guess I didn't make the second part clear before. Or it makes way less sense than I think it does, which is probably the case. /unsure.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':unsure:' />

The other thing that I'm just realizing as I write this is that it also might have something to do with the implied subject. When I say "damn you" I mean that someone is damning you, but I've chopped off the subject--it might be "God damn you", for example. But who's storming you? Would the unspoken subject be "storm storm you"?. Or are these storms sent by a sentient agent--"God storm you", maybe? I have no idea. If it's the latter, it works on an in-world level, though it still seems really freaky to me to read. Without knowing specific aspects of the world building, and without going through some weird mental gymnastics to come up with the phrase that got shortened into "storm you", it seems a little off. Sorry if I'm rambling, as I'm trying to reason this out myself.

#70 peterbound

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:32 AM

I can see the use of Storm You in the context of the novel.

One of the most horrid things that can happen to an individual of that world is being caught in/left out in a Highstorm. So i can kinda get behind the Storm You in terms of profanity. But i'd rather then just say fuck you.

#71 Nous

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 01:25 AM

I really, really liked this. Sanderson is definitely my favorite living fantasy author. He really shines at plot construction and foreshadowing. He has this trademark style of putting in foreshadowing in the form of those short entries that start the chapters, as well as in the actual prose. Then he delivers these sucker punches that hit with a lot of weight built up behind them, but still manage to surprise. The one at the end of the second Mistborn book actually gave me physical chills and creeped me out. The ones at the end of this book were also great. There were many, but, for the impact, I particularly liked:
Spoiler

What I wonder is how the hell is he going to keep this up, with nine more books to come!

The wittiness was not Oscar Wilde level, but I liked it well enough.

#72 Nous

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 01:42 AM

The major theme in this book was morality and honor, and whether ends justify the means. It was the common thread uniting the arcs of all the different characters, and examined from multiple directions.
Spoiler

This barely scratches the surface. Sanderson's answer to the ends-versus-means question is clear journey before destination.

I wonder whether this same theme will continue in the next book.

#73 Migey

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 05:44 AM

Im a little bit in, and enjoying it, but what the hell is with all the 'spren' ? The windspren things are ok, and some other spren might be cool, but it seems like there are spren for EVERYTHING? What next? He squatted down and crapspren cralwed out of the ground? He saw a spider and arachnophobiaspren fell from the sky?

#74 peterbound

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:17 AM

I really, really liked this. Sanderson is definitely my favorite living fantasy author.


That Sir, is a bold statement. He's entertaining, but he wouldn't even make my top ten.

He's getting better, but i still can't get over the complaints we covered before. Not to mention his characters just don't feel fleshed out to me.

#75 The Evil Hat

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:10 AM

Brandon Sanderson just did a pretty interesting gust blog on Whatever about Way of Kings and "postmodern fantasy." I see where he's going with what he says, but I think that Way of Kings is still too standard a narrative to say that it pushes past your average fantasy tropes. It has the potential to be one, and I'm quite intriuged by many of the late game developments, but, as others have pointed out, many of the stories in this book are still more in the twisted archetype camp than the wholly original. Sort of like how Wheel of Time, to me, doesn't feel like it's breaking new ground, but is rather doing the same thing on a far, far, far large scale.

#76 Nous

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

That Sir, is a bold statement. He's entertaining, but he wouldn't even make my top ten.

I am a bold man, with some dash and a sprinkling of debonair. /smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#77 MattL86

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:23 PM

I really, really liked this. Sanderson is definitely my favorite living fantasy author. He really shines at plot construction and foreshadowing. He has this trademark style of putting in foreshadowing in the form of those short entries that start the chapters, as well as in the actual prose. Then he delivers these sucker punches that hit with a lot of weight built up behind them, but still manage to surprise. The one at the end of the second Mistborn book actually gave me physical chills and creeped me out. The ones at the end of this book were also great. There were many, but, for the impact, I particularly liked:

Spoiler

What I wonder is how the hell is he going to keep this up, with nine more books to come!

The wittiness was not Oscar Wilde level, but I liked it well enough.


I would bet that at least one of those things in your spoiler tag isn't true. We're supposed to believe that, but sanderson likes to keep the twists coming. Both are great impact punches while reading the first book, but I bet they will change again.

Also on the spren: These to me remind me of Abraham's poses. It's an easy way to make describing stuff simpler. Abraham wants to show that someone is submitting but with annoyance, he just says that was their pose and doesn't have to go into facial expressions. Similarly, spren let Sanderson quantify stuff really easily. If a drawing is awesome, he just has to say there were dozens of creationspren, and we can compare that to other times in the book when there were like two or three. It's actually kind of genius, allowing him to quickly quantify HOW afraid someone is, HOW much pain they are suffing from, etc.

Although, at some points it is a touch distracting, which sort of defeats their purpose.

My biggest complaint about this book is Hoid. I don't know where Sanderson is going with including this character in all his books and it's starting to turn me off. I'm not up for reading a 10 volume set of 1000 page books to find they are actually part of some bigger story.

#78 Migey

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:17 PM

Finally finished. Must say i enjoyed it immensely. I've always liked Brandon Sanderson, and despite flaws in all of his books have yet to find a book by him (with the possibly near-exeption of Mistborn 2) that i havn't enjoyed reading. tWoK was a definate step up in terms of characterization (albeit still slightly bland) and prose, and brilliant foreshadowing. I can see some very interesting developments to come in book 2.

I still think the spren are annoying, and i don't understand what a reverse lashing is, or the nature of soulcasting or what version of the book i have and weather or not it has all the art, but despite those gaping deficiencies, good work Brandon, your best so far,

Keep them coming. Im desperate for book 2.

And supurb ending (as in last 300 or so pages... so not really ending. But anyway. Supurb.)

Edited by Migey, 15 September 2010 - 03:20 PM.


#79 Returned

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:15 PM

That Sir, is a bold statement. He's entertaining, but he wouldn't even make my top ten.


That's not a bold statement at all, I think. If you'd ask me, I don't think I would even have a top ten favorite fantasy authors. What is your top ten? I really can't figure such things out.

#80 Returned

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:24 PM

and i don't understand what a reverse lashing is



I believe the lashings and soulcasting is further explained in some detail on the last pages of the book.


I believe reverse lashing is when a windrunner infuses an object, or structure and yanks other objects towards it.(Might be wrong, my mind is already getting fuzzy around these lashings)


I suggest you re-read the Szath chapters for better understanding.