Words of Radiance and other Sanderson books

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Arcanist Lupus
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Words of Radiance and other Sanderson books

Words of Radiance, the newest Brandon Sanderson book coming out in less than a week, and I may be a bit overly excited about it, so I thought I'd start a thread for all the Sanderfans here to discuss the book, and other stuff.

 

I'm not sure what everyone considers spoilers, so we'll have to figure that out.  I'm willing to discuss all the books, the Cosmere, Hoid, the WoR preview chapters that Tor has released, the Glimpses of Radiance, and all the magic related tidbits Brandon has revealed, but I realize that that may not be universal.

 

Is anybody else going to WoR signings?

 

All of the released chapters can be found here.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Edited by: Arcanist Lupus on Feb 28 2014 - 11:20am
Paul
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I love Brandon Sanderson's books, in particular the Cosmere stories, and consider him one of my all time favorite authors. However, I never begin reading a series of books until the entire series is published; I've found that my personal enjoyment of a series is significantly increased if I marathon through the whole thing start to finish the first time I read it, rather than re-reading or taking years long breaks between books. Anyhow, the upshot is, I've not read any of The Stormlight Archive yet, and will be avoiding spoilers for the better part of the next decade.

Though it is a tough call, my favorite of his books to date is probably The Emperor's Soul.


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

Arcanist Lupus
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Hm...  I generally would name Mistborn as my favorite (yeah, that's 4 books.  So sue me), but Emperor's Soul comes pretty close.  Also, if what I've read from other reviews is any indication, Words of Radiance may soon be taking first place.  (Also, I probably shouldn't read it in a public place.)

 

Also, how do we do spoiler tags on this forum?  I tried [spoiler]this is a spoiler[/spoiler], but it didn't seem to work.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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The only thing of his I've read is the end of The Wheel of Time saga.

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WE HAVE NO SPOILER TAGS HERE. INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE.

Steelheart is awesome, Elantris is awesomer, Mistborn is awesomest. Also Warbreaker is awesome.


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BlueHairedMeerkat wrote:

WE HAVE NO SPOILER TAGS HERE. INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE.

Or it just wasn't included as base functionality in the forum software.

*sigh*

 


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But you can use [ color=white ] Words go here [ /color ] to create hidden bits

Like this Call me 007 good enough?

 

Some poeple also hide messages in posts this way


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With my crappy touchpad I end up highlighting everything as I read, so I've caught most of those.

 

 

I've never read any of his books!  It's a Spoiler!

Arcanist Lupus
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We can talk about the Cosmere, though.  That doesn't spoil anything from any of the books.  (Well, it could.  But it won't if we're careful)

 

Is everyone here familiar with who Hoid is?


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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Brandon Sanderson has been on my radar ever since he took up the Wheel of Time mantle and I've heard nothing but amazing things concerning The Way of Kings.

Maybe now that the second book is out, I'll nab the first.

Although, I'm 350 pages into the third book of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, and feel I should finish that series first before diving into something new.

 

EDIT:  Also, I'm hearing a lot of "Mistborn is awesome" not only in this thread, but among friends.  Is this a trilogy I should look to get into as well?  Is there any continuity between Sanderson's other books? (I know Stephen King uses a handful of his characters from other stories to make cameo appearances in his other works, including the Dark Tower)

Arcanist Lupus
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Mistborn is definately a trilogy to look into.  It's my favorite completed Sanderson series so far, and will likely remain so until the Stormlight Archive is completed.

 

Brandon's books are definately connected.  All of his non-YA books (excluding Wheel of Time) and the novella The Emperor's Soul take place in the same universe, known as the Cosmere.  There's one character named Hoid who has shown up in every Cosmere book (although not always by name), despite the stories taking place on different worlds, hundreds of years apart.  However, Brandon has been very careful to make sure that understanding the connections between the worlds is not important to enjoying the books - you can pick up any series as your introduction to his books and not have a problem.  And being part of the same universe hasn't stopped Brandon from making each world it's own unique environment, with it's own unique magic.

 

It's kind of like how Tolken built the languages of the various races in his books.  If you understood the languages you could get a little added bonus, but you could fully enjoy the books without bothering with them.

 

On a related note, Mistborn will eventually be a trilogy of trilogies.  The first one is fantasy, and the next two will be urban/modern fantasy, and the last will be scifi (apparently Brandon built faster than light travel into the magic system).  Alloy of Law is not the beginning of the second trilogy, it's part of a mini-series in between trilogy 1 and trilogy 2, at about industrial revolution/late 19th century technology.  But each trilogy is entirely self contained; they're just set in the same world.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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The Way of Kings is one of my favorite books.

I eagerly look forward to Words of Radiance.

I know a great deal about Hoid.


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jsz2 wrote:

Mistborn is definately a trilogy to look into.  It's my favorite completed Sanderson series so far, and will likely remain so until the Stormlight Archive is completed. Brandon's books are definately connected.  All of his non-YA books (excluding Wheel of Time) and the novella The Emperor's Soul take place in the same universe, known as the Cosmere.  There's one character named Hoid who has shown up in every Cosmere book (although not always by name), despite the stories taking place on different worlds, hundreds of years apart.  However, Brandon has been very careful to make sure that understanding the connections between the worlds is not important to enjoying the books - you can pick up any series as your introduction to his books and not have a problem.  And being part of the same universe hasn't stopped Brandon from making each world it's own unique environment, with it's own unique magic. It's kind of like how Tolken built the languages of the various races in his books.  If you understood the languages you could get a little added bonus, but you could fully enjoy the books without bothering with them. On a related note, Mistborn will eventually be a trilogy of trilogies.  The first one is fantasy, and the next two will be urban/modern fantasy, and the last will be scifi (apparently Brandon built faster than light travel into the magic system).  Alloy of Law is not the beginning of the second trilogy, it's part of a mini-series in between trilogy 1 and trilogy 2, at about industrial revolution/late 19th century technology.  But each trilogy is entirely self contained; they're just set in the same world.

Sounds like a busy guy.  It seems he can churn out books at an alarming rate.  Though, considering it's probably going to be another decade and a half before the Song of Ice and Fire series is finished, I could use an author who is speedy and timely in his book releases ;)

Thanks a lot for the detailed info; I'll likely nab the Mistborn trilogy sometime alongside The Way of Kings (though, like Paul, I'd rather marathon the books than wait years between their releases).

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You mean like Martin's 6-year vacation before A Dance With Dragons?

Arcanist Lupus
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Heh.  Since 2005, Martin has written 3 novels (2 aSoIaF, 1 coauthored), 3 novellas, and a quote collection.

Brandon's first novel was published in 2005.  He has written a total of 10 novels, 6 YA/middle grade novels, and 4 novellas, with one more of each to be released in 2014.

 

Brandon has advantages (Martin's time was eaten up with the TV show, and Brandon had a lot of written material to draw on from before he was published), but still.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

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I've found that as invested I am in the Song of Ice and Fire series (as well as how captivating it is), I don't particularly enjoy GRRM's storytelling.  The story itself is absolutely enthralling and I'm in love with the characters, allegiances, and backstories, on top of the entire world he's constructed.  But the way he delivers the narrative over the course of the series is (to me) lessing "wowing" than mere existence of such a cool universe.

Parts that shouldn't drag on really drag on.  Fantastic moments that should linger suddenly happen and then disappear, leaving the reader scratching their head.  Don't get me wrong, that's part of the thrill of reading the SoIaF series; you turn the pages, scrolling through a lengthy chapter in a half daze, wondering when things are going to get interesting and then BAM something drastic happens and the chapter ends, forcing you to pause, question what you just read, then flip back a few pages to make sure you understood what just went down.  And then just when you're excited to see what that was all about, the next chapter takes place an entire world away from the viewpoint of characters you're not currently interested in ("Because WTF happened to ____?!? I need to know!")  Then the subject is seemingly dropped until you finally get back to the viewpoint you were waiting for, only to find out it's been so many weeks since the big reveal and most of the characters have moved on and are focused on something else.

It's just too much and it fuels my love/hate relationship with the books.  I love so much about them, but the writing style just frustrates me (and perhaps that's his goal, because it has certainly kept me hooked).  The reason I keep reading is due to the vague promise that these stories and revelations all eventually lead somewhere, and no matter if it's good or horrible for the characters, it (at the very least) has to be crazy interesting or epic beyond words.  Right?!

Siiiigh.  Sorry.  Long GRRM rant.

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@danmarshall14

I agree. I read a bit of GoT, and then decided to watch the TV show instead (which I think is actually better at storytelling), which is something I almost never do.


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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It's funny, because I feel that exact way about most of Sanderson I've read so far; enjoy the world building and concepts, but have a hrd time getting sucked in to the way he writes.  I'm planning on reading the second Stormlight Archive because I really thought there was a lot of interesting stuff in the first, but man did it drag in places

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OMG OMG OMG

 

How did i miss this? Stormlight Archive 2?????? YES YES YES

 

i just started rereading Way of Kings this morning, thinking how much I have forgotten since I read it 2 years ago (I have a horrible memory. If more than 3 months go by since I last read a book, its almost like reading it anew. This is my most favorite flaw I have ever had! xD) and now I have a reason to really plow through it this week so I can be ready for the next one!!! ( id ont get paid till friday can't afford it till then :P)


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The ability to forget books after a few months?  That is an awesome super power, Lynkfox.  I'm pretty jealous.  Though I can see how frustrating that would be when getting into a series early and waiting several years between each installment.

And maybe someone who has read The Way of Kings can confirm/disprove this, but I've heard (despite the book's mountains of praise) that the characters could be considered a bit one-dimensional in the sense of fitting into traditional hero archetypes.

If that's the case, as long as it's not too hammed up, I'm actually okay with that.

In the last handful of years there has been a huge influx of "complicated/flawed" heroes or "anti-heroes", and though it's been entertaining, I personally feel a bit exhausted from it.  While it's fun to dive into the complexity of a character's psyche and find surprising decisions being made at every turn, it's also nice when a character is so purely awesome and good that you can invest in the story and root for them until the end.  It gives makes it more of a "fantasy" when I clearly see that one side is good, one side is evil, and they're going to clash.

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I wouldn't say they're one-dimensional. I'd say they feel like tropes you might be familiar, but then there are things which happen that break them out of those tropes.

Then again, I'd (narcissistically) say the same things about some of my favorite superheroes from a certain card game. So, I have my bias.


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Christopher wrote:

I wouldn't say they're one-dimensional. I'd say they feel like tropes you might be familiar, but then there are things which happen that break them out of those tropes.Then again, I'd (narcissistically) say the same things about some of my favorite superheroes from a certain card game. So, I have my bias.

Ha!  Well, I'd say that's half the fun.  Getting to know a character that fits into the archetype you know so well creates a sense of comfort.  And once that character starts making decisions that go outside of that, it's a much bigger "wow" moment.

A complicated anti-hero with a dark past betraying his friend for the greater good isn't surprising.  However; the whiteknight with a heart of gold who always finds a way to accommodate for everyone and is upheld by a firm sense of honor?  When he/she does something dark and unexpected, it really hits you.  I think allowing characters to slide into an archetype takes advantage of the reader's familiarity is a smart (and devious) move.  And when you finally pull the rug right out from under them, that makes for some memorable storytelling as they watch a hero they know so well go down an unforeseen path.

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So I went to Brandon Sanderson's book signing last night in Dayton Ohio.  I might have mentioned Sentinels to him since I knew he was a fan/player of Magic the Gathering.  I was curious if he'd heard of Sentinels.  He hadn't but wrote it down to look it up.  So who knows, maybe he'll become a fan/player.  I just wish I'd brought some cards to show him.  I doubt he would have had time for a game but it would have been cool to show off the cards to him.

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That's really cool!  Sounds like a down to earth guy.

I picked up the Mistborn trilogy and am 120 pages in.  So far it's quite the page turner; he really doesn't waste time in building things up.

I'm still getting used to his writing style.  It's very straight-forward and he almost never draws out unimportant details.  It can leave me yearning some more description at times, but it has been a breath of fresh air from The Dark Tower series, which is great, but takes a good book and a half before things start to pick up.

In Mistborn, Sanderson seems to be saying "I know you don't really understand this world yet; we'll get there later.  For now, here's some action!"  And it has me hooked.