Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Warbreaker Group Read, Week Three

Week three! It's bigger than week two. Also, we're deep into the story now. Stuff's startin' to get real. So let's get right to the questions. Thanks again to Naithin and Amanda for hosting.

1. Lightsong is beginning to remember his past, or at least, what he thinks is his past. Why do you think this knowledge is coming to him now, after five years as a Returned? 

Well, if you believe in the divinity of the Returned, it's obviously because he's nearing the part where he completes what he was sent back to do.

If not, then it's just because he's coincidentally been roped into something that echoes his former life.

Personally, I think it might be a bit of both.

2. In this section, Vivenna has learned a lot about herself, and not necessarily to her liking. How do you think the new knowledge will change her going forward? 

She seems to be venturing down a dark road. Bitterness is not very princess-like, if you ask me. It's going to be a lot more difficult when she finally does find her sister and realizes Siri is not exactly unhappy. On the flip side, this could motivate her to get really, really badass with her Breaths. I applaud that possibility.

3. From the beginning of the book, both the Idrians and Lightsong have been telling us that the Returned aren't Gods, and that the Hallendren religion is untrue. Now, though, we've had a few other different perspectives: Jewels' vehement faith in the God King, the God King's own belief in his divinity, and finally, Hoid's collection of historical stories. Given the new information, have your ideas about religion in this book changed? How do you view it now? 

Not really. Though the Returned may be more similar to prophets than angels (as I last hypothesized). They still seem rather fragile to be gods. And very human. Though the Greek gods were pretty petty in their own right. I guess what I'm saying is: wouldn't be the first set of gods that I didn't believe in. 

4. Denth says, "Every man is a hero in his own story." What do you make of this, especially given Denth and Vasher's apparent rivalry, and Vivenna and Siri's different perspectives of life in Hallendren and the Gods' court?

First of all, I think it's great social commentary on Brandon Sanderson's part. This is an apt statement not just for the story, but for life in general. This isn't to say that everyone is self-centered, but more that we all can only experience life from our specific point of view. Everyone has their own motivations that aren't always easy for someone else to understand.

I think it's easy to see how this applies to the current story situation. There are a lot of opposing viewpoints, and we've not really been present with one clear villain. In fact, the closest thing we have to a concrete villain so far is the high priests (who cut of the God Kings tongue). Even then, they're not doing a whole lot that is blatantly evil.

Those who traditionally read fantasy will likely agree with me, rarely do we go so far in a book without clearly knowing who the bad guy is. Traditional fantasy almost always has a Big Bad established by now. Heck, we've usually seen some random merciless killings just to cement the evil. Sometimes the monster unseen is the scariest, however. I don't know about you, but I certainly feel a wonderful additional tension of "who the heck am I supposed to want dead?" I mean, someone's gotta fight someone else and die, right? This is fantasy we're talking about!

I suppose I'll just have to read on and see.

That's all for this week. More to come next Tuesday!


Looks-Mostly-Harmless said...

I like your comment for #4. It reminds me of the old adage about horror films: the audience can imagine something much worse than anything you can show them. By not showing us who is 'the Baddy' we are kept guessing and wary of all the characters that we are at all questionable. This leads us to be more aware of what is going on and we are constantly guessing about motives etc. so that we are much more engaged in the story. I like it! :)

nrlymrtl said...

Hmm... Yes. Just where are our Big Bad Dudes? I want someone to hate and someone to cheer for without feeling ambiguous.

It really is clever of Sanderson to keep us in suspense this way and I wonder if he would be surprised by who I have put on the Baddie Side (Treledees, most priests, Nightblood, Blushweaver) and who I've put on the Goodie Side (the sisters, Lightsong, Denth, Tonk, Jewels) at this point in the story. Do you think it would put him in a fit of giggles?

Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings said...

I agree with you that the hero theory of Denth's is really interesting and applicable to real life, gotta love getting a morality lesson while reading for fun :D And I think Sanderson is pulling off the absent villain and multiple viewpoints really well in this book. Often times it annoys me when authors jump around so much, but I think that it is developing the story quite well.

Naithin said...

Indeed, the absence of a clearly defined villain after so long is getting be a bit Nightblood-y.

Point me at something to stab! We must hates it! What must we hates? We don't knoow! Just something! Point, point!

...Ok, perhaps a little Gollumish too.

But yes, it's very well done. I hope we get an answer to this soon but certainly I have no problem -- and in fact appreciate it -- so far. :)

Grace said...

Great point on no clear villain yet. I like guessing about that; I think there's a conspiracy among the high priests, but I don't know what they're trying to accomplish yet.

Anonymous said...

It's often difficult to clasify someone as good or evil in real life, most people have a redeaming trait or are not obviously evil, and you cant do unspeakable evil if you are caught too early so at the very least they tend to blend in.

The baddie could concieveably be anyone at the moment but my money is still on the power hungry preists, or is that what i'm supposed to think...?

Matt said...


Disappeared for a few days, but I kept reading. Thus... thanks for the comments. Also, was it just me or did this issue get resolved like, um, right away? At least in one storyline, I think we know who the baddie is. But that's next weeks questions :-).

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