Main Focus #1: Assault on Dread Fortress Paine (Post FM6 Mini Novel) = 60k out of 50k estimate (120%)
Side Focus #2: The Glassbreaker Goes Home (Post FM6 Novella/Mini Novel) = 26k out of 50k estimate (51%)
Back Burner #1: FM7 School Story = 0k out of 80k estimate (0%)
Back Burner #2: Super Secret Awesome Project
Ugly Step Child: Gush (Fantasy Action/Adventure) Novel, First Draft = 21k out of 100k estimate (21%)
Other Stuff I Need to Get To: FM3-FM6 concordance updates
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Real Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Link: The Way of Kings
Brandon Sanderson is one of the most creative forces in Fantasy today and I have to praise him for it. 2011 and we are still strapped down by this notion of GRITTY IS GOOD and our supposedly gifted writing minds are left to play the same stories in the same medieval worlds over and over again. But not Brandon Sanderson, not “The Way of Kings”.
This novel could have been riddled with tropes, it could have started with a farmboy, two friends, and a wizard, and I would have forgiven it. Only it didn’t. Plot = creative. World = creative. Magic = creative. Book itself = gorgeous. Paid for by Sanderson himself, as I understand it, “the Way of Kings” hardcover is worth the price alone, filled with illustrations and colored maps. If more novels looked like this instead of the paper-thin ready-to-fall-apart-on-the-second-read-through messes the publishers put out nowadays, I wouldn’t have moved over to the Kindle.
“The Way of Kings” and the Stormlight Archive will be the most influential fantasy novel/series since Martin added the Character-Killing-Wheel-o’-Death to the genre in 1996. Every page of it remembers…we’re only bound by what we can’t imagine. We can make any world we want. Authors don’t even need to pay for CGI. It marries the New Weird with the Traditional...that's an important step.
While Sanderson’s prose sometimes is mocked as awkward, here it proves workman-like and that’s to its advantage, beautiful words would have only distracted from the world he builds before the reader. Instead we’re left to enjoy and ponder over Roshar. Of Shadeplate and Shadeblades, of Stormlight and Windrunners, of Fabrials and Knights Radiant. We are plopped down on wind-swept wastelands where life only shows itself after the storm. We see unhindered shattered lands of running slave crews and assassins who seem to defy gravity.
My only complaints have to do with the Shallan character taking so long to get going, the Kaladin flashbacks that don't seem to keep up with the rest of the novel, and...that no one seemed to teach Sanderson how to curse as a teenager. Storm you? Really? Try: Stick it up your storm hole. Better...
More like this, fantasy authors, more like this. Four and a half stars and give the man a curve.