Malazan Empire: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson - Malazan Empire

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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson Book 1 of his new 10-volume series

#41 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 02:21 AM

View PostQuickTidal, on 26 October 2010 - 08:22 PM, said:

Indeed, succinctly put. To oust the man's first book in a ten book series by saying he doesn't have enough worldbuilding/multi-plot and character threads is a tad ludicrous To be honest.


For me, at least, it's just a question of interest. If we don't get some better character PoVs, I don't know how long I'll be able to stay with the series.
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#42 User is offline   Deragoth 

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 02:20 AM

Bought the book on Tuesday and finished this morning.

I think it's a good opener. It has some good action, interesting magic system and characters that seem believable. Some of the scenes, as mentioned by previous posters, were a tad predictable. that being said, it does not detract from the overall positive rating I would give it.

I did find some of the Shallan chapters to be a bit slow, however I can see promise there. There were a lot of similarities between Shallan and Kaladin (My favorite POV). We will see if this continues in book two.

Overall i would give the book a solid 7.5/10... maybe an 8.
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#43 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:27 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 26 October 2010 - 08:22 PM, said:

Indeed, succinctly put. To oust the man's first book in a ten book series by saying he doesn't have enough worldbuilding/multi-plot and character threads is a tad ludicrous To be honest.

and completely missing my point.
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#44 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 06:14 AM

I loved this first book and cant wait to get the next.
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#45 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:08 PM

View PostCobbles, on 22 October 2010 - 08:09 PM, said:

View PostQuickTidal, on 16 October 2010 - 03:18 PM, said:

The scope needs widening? Gods, Sanderson opens up like ten different plot threads that we only tasted in this first volume! Shadesmar is only touched on, as is the history of the Surgebinders, the original knights radiant are only briefly shown and we still haven't a clue what they walked away from, the diversity of the many cultures mentioned in each area of Roshar, the origin of the storms is barely touched upon, the area where Seth is from having normal grass and plantlife that doesn't fold in on itself when the storms come, the history that Jasnah is looking into is only really briefly mentioned, the relationship between the religions and society, the fact that women have to have that safehand thing currently, when in Dalinar's visions of the past they don't and there are female Knights Radiant. There is SO much he barely touches on and hints at. I can't fathom how you came away thinking that there wasn't enough here to be in ten volumes. This is one of the best opening salvo's into a ten book series I have ever even seen, barnone.

And Eye Of The World.....most of Jordan's WOT worldbuilding for the main running storylines don't even get mentioned till the 3rd or 4th book.....so you can't tell me he made Eye Of The World so rich in his worlds history and plotlines....that's a pretty self-contained story in that book. I can even call into question GoTM....being that the whole continent and society of Lether and all it's inhabitants (KEY characters and plotlines in the series) don't even get mentioned till Midnight Tides....so I don't think that one works either.

I think that on the whole there was a LOT going on that we don't know about above and beyond the main plotlines.


Maybe I've expressed it poorly, but I did not mean that he should have laid out all his plotlines in this book. Only that (IMHO) the plotlines which are started here won't be able to carry the series for 9 more volumes.

When you read TtEotW, I agree, not many plotlines are started, but reading through it in hindsight, it is amazing how many details are in this book which at some later time develop into major issues (just to give one example: on the river with Domon, they spot the Tower of Ghenjei (sp?) which is thought to play a major role in the upcoming WoT novel which is #13). I can't really see so much of it in WoK. The Surgebinders, Knight radiants, origin of the storms, what Jasnah is studying etc. are probably central to the book, so I wouldn't count those (yet) to widen the scope later on. Otherwise, going through your list, what's left is the safehand thing and the 'normal' plantlife from where Seth is from. The latter is actually somewhat explained in the book. The place is on the other side of the continent, and the storms just aren't strong enough there.

I found the history reasonably interesting, but of course, it has to be connected to the story somehow to make it all that relevant. There's a few glimpses of things which point to a broader scope later on, such as the scene on the lake and when Dalinar travels with the storm and sees several different places. Or all the guys which are killed by Seth must have been somewhat relevant. So, yes, there is potential if Sanderson is going to branch out a bit in these directions.


Yes, but Cobbles, if you try to tell me that back when you read TEoTW (and it was the only one you'd read in the series) that you KNEW all of those characters and places mentioned in that first book would surface later on...then I say bull. No effing way. In fact, if you look at TEoTW as a book all by itself, it comes off as a pretty straightforward fantasy (farmboy needs to defeat the evil) without much in the way of extra plot threads and arcs at all. It is only once you get to the 3rd and 4th books that all the stuff Jordan put into it for the future arcs becomes apparent.

Thus, my point is that since there is only ONE book in the Stormlight Archive series out so far there is NO WAY...none at all...to talk about world building on a wide scale until later on in the series and we see what threads can all be tied back to the first book, of which I am positive there will be many. That's above and beyond the obvious once I mentioned in a previous post.

Think about Mistborn....and how much can be tied back from Hero Of Ages to that first book....while the first book works completely as a standalone easily...Sanderson threw in a bunch of things that don't really come to fruition till later books, but I never would have been able to sort them out beforehand.
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#46 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 05:32 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 01 December 2010 - 03:08 PM, said:

Yes, but Cobbles, if you try to tell me that back when you read TEoTW (and it was the only one you'd read in the series) that you KNEW all of those characters and places mentioned in that first book would surface later on...then I say bull. No effing way. In fact, if you look at TEoTW as a book all by itself, it comes off as a pretty straightforward fantasy (farmboy needs to defeat the evil) without much in the way of extra plot threads and arcs at all. It is only once you get to the 3rd and 4th books that all the stuff Jordan put into it for the future arcs becomes apparent.

I think the point was that there doesn't seem to be a lot to work with that is introduced in TWOK. Not very many minor characters with anything resembling development - even the crew of Bridge Four seems like the average group of sycophants surrounding Brandon's main male character (everything I've read by him has a similar male character - Raoden, Kelsier, Kaladin - I think these are the ones that are most like Brandon himself, or at least how he sees himself). I sometimes wonder if Brandon should suck it up and read SoT just to avoid going down a similar path.

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#47 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:13 AM

View PostTerez, on 01 December 2010 - 05:32 PM, said:

View PostQuickTidal, on 01 December 2010 - 03:08 PM, said:

Yes, but Cobbles, if you try to tell me that back when you read TEoTW (and it was the only one you'd read in the series) that you KNEW all of those characters and places mentioned in that first book would surface later on...then I say bull. No effing way. In fact, if you look at TEoTW as a book all by itself, it comes off as a pretty straightforward fantasy (farmboy needs to defeat the evil) without much in the way of extra plot threads and arcs at all. It is only once you get to the 3rd and 4th books that all the stuff Jordan put into it for the future arcs becomes apparent.

I think the point was that there doesn't seem to be a lot to work with that is introduced in TWOK. Not very many minor characters with anything resembling development - even the crew of Bridge Four seems like the average group of sycophants surrounding Brandon's main male character (everything I've read by him has a similar male character - Raoden, Kelsier, Kaladin - I think these are the ones that are most like Brandon himself, or at least how he sees himself). I sometimes wonder if Brandon should suck it up and read SoT just to avoid going down a similar path.


I actually think a fair amount of minor characters show up during the narrative, especially in the interludes actually. I also think things like the nature of Spren and that sort of thing are treasure troves to be mined later. Let's say what I see isn't just character planting, but idea planting. At least that's how I see it. :)

But then, I'm a pretty big Sanderson supporter, so I may be biased. :p
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#48 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:03 AM

I think that it's a pretty general consensus that Brandon's strength is in world-building. I also enjoyed those details...it made me want to work on the Wiki when I read the book. Then TOM came out and diverted me. :)

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#49 User is offline   End of Disc One 

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:06 AM

TWoK did seem like Brandon was holding back. Like he really wanted us to get comfortable with these characters before he let the plot and worldbuilding really rip.
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#50 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:12 AM

True. I wasnt really expecting a lot of light shined on things in this book to begin with. I know BS will indeed get into some hardcore shit plot and world building wise though as we get the books out.
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#51 User is offline   Raj Ahten 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 07:04 PM

Loved the begining of this series. Can't wait for # 2.

Remember this is the 1st of 10.
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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:58 PM

What's everyones opinion on whether this is a book I should pick up in hardback over epub? I was flipping through it at the local bookstore and noticed the high detail on the map and some interesting info in appendix/glossary.
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Posted 06 December 2010 - 10:19 PM

View Postacesn8s, on 06 December 2010 - 09:58 PM, said:

What's everyones opinion on whether this is a book I should pick up in hardback over epub? I was flipping through it at the local bookstore and noticed the high detail on the map and some interesting info in appendix/glossary.


I'd say if there's one book that deserves to be bought in hardback over epub, it's this one. Aside from the great map you noticed, there are roughly 20 full page pictures scattered throughout the book. There are also diagrams inside the front and back flap that--someone correct me if I'm wrong--probably won't show up in the epub version.
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#54 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:35 AM

Yeah Id def get this one in HC. As a matter of fact fuck it Im gonna get the entire series in HC.
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#55 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:46 AM

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 December 2010 - 10:19 PM, said:

View Postacesn8s, on 06 December 2010 - 09:58 PM, said:

What's everyones opinion on whether this is a book I should pick up in hardback over epub? I was flipping through it at the local bookstore and noticed the high detail on the map and some interesting info in appendix/glossary.


I'd say if there's one book that deserves to be bought in hardback over epub, it's this one. Aside from the great map you noticed, there are roughly 20 full page pictures scattered throughout the book. There are also diagrams inside the front and back flap that--someone correct me if I'm wrong--probably won't show up in the epub version.


All the maps and pictures are in the epub book. Its just really hard to sometimes view a map in epub
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#56 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:10 PM

View PostCause, on 07 December 2010 - 09:46 AM, said:

View PostEnd of Disc One, on 06 December 2010 - 10:19 PM, said:

View Postacesn8s, on 06 December 2010 - 09:58 PM, said:

What's everyones opinion on whether this is a book I should pick up in hardback over epub? I was flipping through it at the local bookstore and noticed the high detail on the map and some interesting info in appendix/glossary.


I'd say if there's one book that deserves to be bought in hardback over epub, it's this one. Aside from the great map you noticed, there are roughly 20 full page pictures scattered throughout the book. There are also diagrams inside the front and back flap that--someone correct me if I'm wrong--probably won't show up in the epub version.


All the maps and pictures are in the epub book. Its just really hard to sometimes view a map in epub


Hardback, definitely. It's probably one of the most gorgeous books I now own. The illustrations and maps and whatnot just make it moreso. Well worth your money.
"When the last tree has fallen, and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no." ~Aurora
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#57 User is offline   acesn8s 

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 04:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Next trip to the bookstore I'll pick it up.
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#58 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:20 PM

I bought two copies of it. And shamelessly scanned all of the maps and such for the Wiki.

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#59 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 04:50 PM

By the way, if you dig the art and stuff for Brandon's books, one of the artists has a nifty net store. Fantasy publishers in general are very friendly toward the research-oriented fandom on the net about scans and such, and if you make decent money, you can buy a poster or something to help keep it that way. I met Isaac Stewart (colored endpages, maps, Navani's notebook) and Ben McSweeney (Shallan's Sketchbook) briefly at a small signing in Atlanta, and it's hard to go on first impressions sometimes, but Ben seemed like the kind of guy that I would normally like to punch in the face, which means that he would probably get along famously with most people here. Isaac is so sweet and adorable that you just want to take him home and make him dinner. I honestly don't know if he remembers me, but he has followed me on Twitter since the TWOK tour because I helped organize the madness that was the Great Hunt for TOM chapter titles and unlocking chapter 8. I still need to make a decent final version of it, but I burned myself out on that just a little bit.

It occurs to me that Brandon and his team are like pod people are something. They all went to BYU together and they're all hardcore Mormons. It's like Brandon is trying to share his success with all of his old reading group buddies (and various others), and they are a really talented bunch in general, so it's working pretty well for them. Peter Ahlstrom, Brandon's full time assistant, is a whiz. And probably the most entertaining person in my Twitter feed since Brandon has been on hiatus. Dan Wells, who was at the aforementioned signing, shamelessly self-marketing...I find his books to be incredibly brave, simply because the writing is so obviously intended for children, if older ones, but the subject matter is not something most parents in the US would go for (a sociopathic kid who lives in his mother's mortuary and likes playing with dead bodies). From what I gather, his books are far more popular (among older kids) in Europe than they are here.

Anyway, I find myself liking what they have going on quite a bit, even though they are in a crazy cult and wear magic underwear. They are pretty liberal for Mormons - free thinkers in a lot of ways - which makes me happy.

This post has been edited by Terez: 13 December 2010 - 04:51 PM

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#60 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:25 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 01 December 2010 - 03:08 PM, said:

Yes, but Cobbles, if you try to tell me that back when you read TEoTW (and it was the only one you'd read in the series) that you KNEW all of those characters and places mentioned in that first book would surface later on...then I say bull. No effing way. In fact, if you look at TEoTW as a book all by itself, it comes off as a pretty straightforward fantasy (farmboy needs to defeat the evil) without much in the way of extra plot threads and arcs at all. It is only once you get to the 3rd and 4th books that all the stuff Jordan put into it for the future arcs becomes apparent.

Thus, my point is that since there is only ONE book in the Stormlight Archive series out so far there is NO WAY...none at all...to talk about world building on a wide scale until later on in the series and we see what threads can all be tied back to the first book, of which I am positive there will be many. That's above and beyond the obvious once I mentioned in a previous post.

Think about Mistborn....and how much can be tied back from Hero Of Ages to that first book....while the first book works completely as a standalone easily...Sanderson threw in a bunch of things that don't really come to fruition till later books, but I never would have been able to sort them out beforehand.


Ok, this is what I said in one of the spoilers which I think started the discussion:

Quote

I cannot imagine how this series should span 10 books unless the scope is widened by a large amount. I think we saw a bit of that in the interludes. But having a story focus only on those four characters for ten books will become very tedious, I think.


I never said that this one book should be wider in scope. Just that the scope needs to be widened in later volumes (such as WoT or Malazan did). There's a bit in the interludes, but not really much more to see in this one book.

Malazan wouldn't be great if it were just Whiskeyjack campaigning through Gennabackis for ten volumes. WoT would be much more tedious if it were just Rand and the gang taking out one Forsaken at a time without all the other stuff going on (although some of that is pretty boring, too). Stormlight archive won't be great if it's just those four main characters for ten volumes. That may be enough for a trilogy but not for 10 volumes. Trust me there has to be much more going on in later volumes.
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