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Mini Dragon Group (ages 6-7)

Andrew Stewart
Andrew Stewart

The Way Of Kings ~UPD~

@brentisI think that it's something that can be taken too far.I love the WOT series, but books8-10, which most people I have talked to generally consider the worst books "because nothing happens" are weaker, because the cast of viewpoint characters expanded to the point that the plot slowed to a crawl. In addition, it provides a discontinuity when the viewpoint is switched too often, often without any connection that makes it flow. sometimes it can be done well(Towers of Midnight seemed to work, so I admit, there are excpetions, and part of that is going to be personal taste) but I really think it can't work well in a first book, because for it to work, most of the viewpoint characters need to be developed and cared for in the reader's mind before you start moving away from them every 10-15 pages.Using Wheel of Time can be used as an example. Consider the plot as a tree. the first book, Eye of the World, had the first half to the first third as a continuative narrative, which introduced its characters and gave you time to get to know everybody involved in a way that you cared. this is the trunk of the tree. it has to support everything that comes after, so it needs to be strong and consistant.After the party splits, you have 3 branches coming off of there. Each branch is important, but because you have three branches, they are each at best only about a third as large, narritively, as the trunk. not only that, but there is a lot more space between them. any given point in the book is like a cross section of the tree--when there are multiple POV characters, the space between them is distracting, and makes it more difficult to cross between them, so rapidly moving back and forth is not only distracrting, but in many cases, a little confusing--it makes it more difficult to grasp the plot as a whole.Each time you spin off a new viewpoint character, the plot becomes more diffuse, and it becomes more difficult to move between them and keep a narrative thread going that the readers can follow. the branches get thinner, but they cover more space.The problem with way of kings is that Mr. Sanderson tried to start his narrative tree with 3 viewpoint characters. While this can work, those characters plot threads need to wind and braid in and out of each other--they need to strengthen each other, rather than pulling apart.This book, IMHO does not do this until near the end. this makes it a hard book to get into, and makes the story much weaker than it should be. It introduces frustration(just when I'm starting to get a handle on a character, and get interested in their story, we leave them. That makes it difficult to maintain a level of excitement about the book)and obfuscates what actually seems like an interesting story.It also doesn't help that the three viewpoint characters also have completely different tones and almost genres. One is a war story, with quite a bit of action, another is almost a spy/theft piece, and the third is a political piece. because they are so different, flipping between them at a breakneck pace also gives mood whiplash. Any of them could have stood alone as a decent book, but together, they just don't quite work in the way they were written.

The Way of Kings




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