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Abyss'mal Essalieyan read thread Now reading THE SHINING COURT... already shinier than Tiste's thre

#21 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 06:40 PM

The Hobb comparison is on point and part of the problem for me specifically because it's a style of writing i have never particularly enjoyed and why i don't read Hobb. There's enough here to work with, i'm not gone, but the adjustment in pace and expectation requires some discipline on my part. The big finale to Broken Crown was one self-immolation and a nifty speach. Darujhistan at the end of GotM this was not.

It is pretty amazing that House War was written AFTER early Sun Sword, because so much of what Jewel and related characters do is clearly based on a well developed background. Maybe House War was already sitting in a folder in her computer when she wrote this, i dunno, QT's post above suggests not so credit to West for thinking thru her characters' backstories to this extent.

Your point Pat re doing this by earbook is interesting. I can't speed up the narration because of not wanting to miss those same interesting bits i mentioned. Put another way the book is not bad enough for me to want to speed up the narration.
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#22 User is offline   Whisperzzzzzzz 

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 06:53 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 30 May 2023 - 03:09 PM, said:

View Postpat5150, on 30 May 2023 - 02:52 PM, said:

Your criticism about Jewel is not without merit. And I doubt that having read the first 3 House War books would lessen that.


It would. And I'm the only one who's read both so I can say that! LOL

I'm not joking, those books go a long way for Jewel.

View Postpat5150, on 30 May 2023 - 02:52 PM, said:

It's obvious that Jewel is West's darling.


Actually, from what I understand it was the FANS who read Sun Sword and loved Jewel that wanted to see more of her and know more about her, and West obliged. Like she was a fan fave character given a much bigger part to play in the overall series. House War is the answer to that fan favouriting.

View Postpat5150, on 30 May 2023 - 02:52 PM, said:

And as such, everything involving her is always a little overdone. I understand that the author needed to set up the following series, but every section focusing on Jay and her den is basically overdone and overwritten. I guess that if you like Jewel, this is no big deal. But for someone for whom she's far from his favorite protagonist of the series, this can get annoying.


She is inarguably my fave character. I don't see how anyone can't like her. It baffles me. Every time she's "on screen" it's like magic for me.



View Postpat5150, on 30 May 2023 - 02:52 PM, said:

As far as action scenes are concerned, though there are many spread across the series, do not expect balls-to-the-wall action in any shape or form. This simply isn't West's style.


Indeed. Someone once said "West's character attention makes Robin Hobb's Farseer books look plot-driven"...and yeah that's true.


Ahem! I've read both and also agree that getting to know Jewel, her history, and her Den in House War makes you a lot more understanding of her actions and worries in later books.
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#23 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 08:31 PM

View PostAbyss, on 30 May 2023 - 06:40 PM, said:

Your point Pat re doing this by earbook is interesting. I can't speed up the narration because of not wanting to miss those same interesting bits i mentioned. Put another way the book is not bad enough for me to want to speed up the narration.


Well, that's good then. There's plenty of good stuff coming your way, so just hang in there. :)

For the record, it's not that I "hate" Jewel. It's just that I don't "like" her. And it's not because she lacks depth in any way. If anything, she is the character with the most depth of the entire Sun Sword series with Diora. Absolutely no other character gets that much background info about here throughout. No one. Sure, the first 3 House War books would give me more details about her and her den. But in the end, it wouldn't make her more likable. She is exactly as Abyss described her through the entire 6 installments. She is Michelle West's Nynaeve. Instead of pulling her braid, she complains about her hair getting into her eyes in virtually every chapter she appears in, says she would like to punch someone or throw something at them, and worry about her den. Like Nynaeve's, I love her story arc, especially beginning in The Shining Court. Jewel plays a key role in several important plotlines and we know from the start that there are even bigger things coming her way. Same as Nynaeve in the WoT. But as much as I enjoy her story arc (and what I love has more to do with Avandar and the companions she picks up in the third volume), there is no denying that all that angst and bitching is extremely annoying. Add to that the fact that she goes through no character growth throughout the Sun Sword (which is weird considering everything she goes through) and it makes her harder to like than other characters like Teresa, Diora, Kiriel, or Margret.

I'll still read the House War novels, but I doubt I'll learn to like Jewel more than I do now. 14 WoT books didn't make me love Nynaeve more than I did in TEotW, so I doubt that 16 West books will make me love Jewel. I figure that there is character growth for her in the first 3 House War books because we first see her as a youth. But as an adult in the Sun Sword, she's no different in The Sun Sword than she was in The Broken Crown. Still, I can't wait to see West has in store for her and everyone else when her role in the war in the Dominion is over. :)

Without spoiling anything, it is obvious that the author already had at least the major details of Jay's youth and what happened during that fateful henden in the imperial capital worked out. There are so many refrences to them in all Sun Sword books. Pages and pages worth of it. And if the first 3 House War books perhaps came about due to fan interest and the fact that Jewel is West's darling (it was supposed to be a single novel that turned into 3), groundwork for the last 5 House War books began to appear in The Uncrowned King. And it must have been an uphill battle with her editor at times, because in the Sun Sword the vast majority of those hundreds of pages featuring Jewel and her den have little/nothing to do with that series.

Loony theory: Ever since I first encountered Jewel, I was sure that at some point she would become the new Evayne. And more than 4000 pages down the line, nothing has made me change my mind thus far.

So I guess that everyone's mileage will vary. I acknowledge that Jewel's storyline is important and can be fascinating, but I often find myself wanting for someone to bitchslap Jewel. She is one of the threads that form this great tapestry, but personally there are quite a few characters that I like more than Jewel. That's the way love goes, I guess. :)

And as long as we get more people the experience Michelle West's world and characters, it doesn't matter who we like the most! ;)
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Posted 31 May 2023 - 03:18 PM

Less you think i'm all about the whining, two scenes just read that i really enjoyed...

Ramiro and Phillipo's meeting w Anton... nicely done. Short, on point, everyone's in character, there is tension, conflict, common and diverged goals, the plot advances, and out. Phillipo flat out contradicting Ramiro to tell Anton about what happened during the demon attack was a nice touch, it reminded the reader that despite the loyalty there Phillipo was stuck in the Empire for a decade or so while his bro was doing the rich noble thing back in the Dominion.

Anton and Val's confrontation at the fountain was also very well done. Incredibly brief (for this book), VERY significant for their individual conflict and the wider ones they act in.

As to Jewel, too early for me to speak to her growth but i can speak to her predictability to this point. Her plotline - now at least - is obvious, it's tropey, there is little new there and stacking her with a dozen or so interchangeable sidekicks doesn't help. West is clearly trying to give the sidekicks individual traitsbut they're so here and gone it hardly matters. They all love and care about Jewel, ok, we get it. The flightly girl and the dude w the hair and the sketchy guy w the knife could have all been the same person for all the difference it made in the last 50 pages. Devon stands out and that's mostly because it seems like he's the one who grew up and got a life.


Jewel's seer power is interesting and i give West credit for how it's handled... when she's sure she's sure so when she's not the reader knows anything can happen.

The confrontation w Isladar wasn't bad, but brief and also we get more Kiriel angst and then a much longer, very near painfully long, blunt subplot w the healers and Angel's injuries and Devon running around trying to convince someone to heal her and who are we kidding she's not going to die so this could have been a LOT shorter and i don't know if the other other healer (the cranky 'i hate politics!' guy who was meeting w the Queen's healer) needed the character development but hey, he's getting it anyways and all the debate is a bit thin 'this girl', 'this girl' FFS people she's the only Seer you have and she saved your stupid city and your kings will quite rightly beat your stupid heads sideways for letting her die so could we please move along with this?
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#25 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 31 May 2023 - 04:05 PM

That's what I mean when I say that everything that has to do with Jewel and her den is overdone to a certain degree.

All those scenes are always longer than they need to be, for some reason.
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#26 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 31 May 2023 - 04:18 PM

I figure that all the den scenes (as well as the first 3 House War books) are a set-up for when they become the only people Jewel can trust down the line.

But you're still in the early part of the series. Wait till you learn more about Avandar, and till you meet Celleriant and the stag, and all of a sudden Jewel's storyline really picks up!
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#27 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 01 June 2023 - 02:41 PM

So Kiriel and Al go hunting for Kin and they fall into a clever trap and shit's going down and this is all very cool and things are looking bad and wait wtf the ring from the last book took her powers wtf oh hi Cal, hi Evayne, can we go back to the wtf just happened please she's used her powers like six times since she got the ring oh five magic rings that just do whatever the rings feel like doing and also Evayne is Marvel comics' Cloak.... oooOOOOOoooookay. Well, i can't complain about nothing interesting happening. The level of random there was high, but things are happening.
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#28 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 01:28 AM

Not really a spoiler, but just in case:

Spoiler

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#29 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 04:26 AM

The ring was introduced falling from Evayne by its own choice or something.
It's an interesting hint at larger powers in play.
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#30 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 07:49 AM

View PostAbyss, on 02 June 2023 - 04:26 AM, said:

The ring was introduced falling from Evayne by its own choice or something.
It's an interesting hint at larger powers in play.


Did it fall to the bottom of a river for 1000 years or so?
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#31 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 11:31 AM

View Postpat5150, on 02 June 2023 - 01:28 AM, said:

Not really a spoiler, but just in case:

Spoiler




View PostAbyss, on 02 June 2023 - 04:26 AM, said:

The ring was introduced falling from Evayne by its own choice or something.
It's an interesting hint at larger powers in play.


Need I say it? Need I say again that the relevant bits of info you both crave are from another book West wrote in this universe....one which she says you should read first (and in this case the one she wrote BEFORE any of the others including Sun Sword)?

Nah, I'll just button my yap this time.

:p
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#32 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 01:26 PM

View PostTsundoku, on 02 June 2023 - 07:49 AM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 02 June 2023 - 04:26 AM, said:

The ring was introduced falling from Evayne by its own choice or something.
It's an interesting hint at larger powers in play.


Did it fall to the bottom of a river for 1000 years or so?


When the text mentions five rings i instantly thought 'hey, one, three, seven, nine... someone wants to complete the set'.
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#33 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 01:27 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 02 June 2023 - 11:31 AM, said:

View Postpat5150, on 02 June 2023 - 01:28 AM, said:

Not really a spoiler, but just in case:

Spoiler




View PostAbyss, on 02 June 2023 - 04:26 AM, said:

The ring was introduced falling from Evayne by its own choice or something.
It's an interesting hint at larger powers in play.


Need I say it? Need I say again that the relevant bits of info you both crave are from another book West wrote in this universe....one which she says you should read first (and in this case the one she wrote BEFORE any of the others including Sun Sword)?

Nah, I'll just button my yap this time.

:p


Wait now i'm confused, what books are you ref'ing?
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#34 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 01:31 PM

Nice to see Aidan again.
His sequence in the crowd w Evayne, then Merle and Cal and finally Val was very well written.
This leading immediately to his being in just the right place awake at just the right time to foil the assassination attempt is over-playing the point, but hey, fantasy, i'll roll w it.
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#35 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 01:55 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 02 June 2023 - 11:31 AM, said:

Need I say it? Need I say again that the relevant bits of info you both crave are from another book West wrote in this universe....one which she says you should read first (and in this case the one she wrote BEFORE any of the others including Sun Sword)?

Nah, I'll just button my yap this time.

:p


QT refers to the Sacred Hunt duology.

QT, I have a question for you. There is only one thing that the majority of West fans seems to agree on and it's that there is no need to read the duology to enjoy either or both of the Sun Sword and the House War series. Especially given the fact that one of the House War book is a retelling of that story through a different set of POVs. It will be important for the last series West is writing at the moment, but not for anything else. Do you agree?

I'm trying to figure how when will be the "right" time to read them.

@Abyss: There's a lot more to come for Aidan, all of it good! :)
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#36 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 02:12 PM

View Postpat5150, on 02 June 2023 - 01:55 PM, said:

QT, I have a question for you. There is only one thing that the majority of West fans seems to agree on and it's that there is no need to read the duology to enjoy either or both of the Sun Sword and the House War series. Especially given the fact that one of the House War book is a retelling of that story through a different set of POVs. It will be important for the last series West is writing at the moment, but not for anything else. Do you agree?


It gives you more info on Breodanir, and Evayne and Kallandras specifically. And the HOUSE WAR book that covers the same events only covers them during Jewel's time in that story....so the stuff with Evayne, and Co. on their own in their region of the world is not covered in that book.

So no you don't NEED to read them to get what's going on, but some of Abyss's comments would be rectified by having read them. If there were nits to pick (as it were). I would definitely read them before the final arc she's writing...and if you read them before HOUSE WAR as a series, it will seat Evayne in your head better...because she just kind of shows up in those books fully formed as she is. So yes and no?

This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 02 June 2023 - 02:13 PM

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#37 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 03:18 PM

Oh, I plan on reading them, don't worry!

But I'm a bit concerned because everyone seems to agree that they are by far West's weakest works to date. I'm on such a high after reading the Sun Sword that I don't want to read anything subpar. Started the new Max Gladstone yesterday and I just can't get into it. I was so invested in the Sun Sword, it's hard to reach the same level on interest with anything else.

It's also why I'm torn about whether or not to skip the first 3 House War books and jump straight to number 4. I know I can do it and won't miss that much in the greater scheme of things and then come back to the first 3. But another part of me wants to read them in order, even though Jewel is far from my favorite character.

Woe be me. . .
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#38 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 03:28 PM

View Postpat5150, on 02 June 2023 - 03:18 PM, said:



It's also why I'm torn about whether or not to skip the first 3 House War books and jump straight to number 4.



Don't skip them. You'll rob yourself of some REALLY great stuff and characters.
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#39 User is offline   Whisperzzzzzzz 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 05:16 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 02 June 2023 - 03:28 PM, said:

View Postpat5150, on 02 June 2023 - 03:18 PM, said:



It's also why I'm torn about whether or not to skip the first 3 House War books and jump straight to number 4.



Don't skip them. You'll rob yourself of some REALLY great stuff and characters.


Agreed. Don't skip!

This post has been edited by Whisperzzzzzzz: 02 June 2023 - 05:17 PM

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#40 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 02 June 2023 - 06:36 PM

i swear the reading order w this series is it's greatest challenge.
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