Archive for October, 2009

newness: in which I try my hand at honesty

First honest thing: I find wordpress a bit intimidating. I think it’s the sleekness. Blogger was sort of cheerful and goofy. It had low expectations and didn’t seem to mind whatever I said, even if it was awful. WordPress’s grey posting page has a steely, business-like look about it.

happydog1.8

Honest thing number 2: I wanted to hate Brandon Sanderson with a deep and dreadful hatred for being the non-Robert- Jordan person to write the end of the Wheel of Time series. But really, in some very specific ways, I think Brandon Sanderson may just be a better writer than poor Robert Jordan. Not a better plotter, and not a better world-builder, and not even necessarily better with character (more on this in a minute), but in sheer ability to make the now huge and cumbersome plots actually move. Remember that thing called urgency that Robert Jordan decided to forgo way back about Book 8 or thereabouts in favour of more Sea Folk customs and more low-necked green dresses slashed with yellow? Brandon Sanderson is all jumpy with urgency. And I have to sort of cheer him on for it. He clearly wants to get to the Last Battle (hint to BS: maybe spreading it into three books isn’t the best way to accomplish this?) and start the big bloodshed that some of us have been anticipating for almost a decade.

Other Wheel of Time related, possibly less true things:

1. Poor poor newly-pointless Mat, who has been my favourite person in the books all along. Give him a plot someone. Even a tiny little battle would do.  And stop trying to write him like the Wheel of Time’s sub-par version of Tehol Beddict. He used to have his own personality, remember? Ditto Thom.

2. Egwene finally justifies her existence! *drumroll* Even if all her adversaries did seem to just crumble without her having to try too hard. Still. I liked the way her civil disobedience thing played out.

3. If Perrin and Faile don’t die in the last book I am going to be very very upset. They are stupid and whiny and turn plot-gold into straw without even trying.

4. I’m not yet done digesting the many and strange metamorphoses of Rand al’ Thor. I am suspending judgement until the last book.

5. I can finally say I like Nynaeve. She has always been one of those borderline good characters for me. Sometimes she was so sneaky and clever and yelled satisfyingly at characters I disliked. The rest of the time she sort of collapsed internally and based her entire self-esteem on ugly clothes and strange power games and blamed every single person for her own stupidity. And then Robert Jordan would have some random person yell “Brave-as-a-Lion Nynaeve” and expect me to ignore the evidence of the last 300 pages.

I am happy to finally have her sensible and efficient and doing actual things.

5. The entire Aviendha plot-line annoyed me. She always comes off looking interesting from other people’s points-of-view, but her own is a bit boring. This is true for many of Robert Jordan’s women – their actions are admirable, but he doesn’t seem able to correctly describe the internal processes that end up with them doing those actions. Which makes me think that perhaps Sanderson’s nicest contribution to the series is this: he focuses on the actions of people like Egwene and Nynaeve (and even Tuon), and leaves some of their internal monologuing offscreen, for the reader to fill in.

Short version: I want to read more Wheel of Time. And I think I like this new format.

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October 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm 3 comments


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