Can’t Wait Wednesday : Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.  This sounds and looks excellent.  I can’t wait.  Due for publication in November 2018

Skyward.jpgDefeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.



Waiting on Wednesday : Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

oathbringer“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson.  I cannot wait to read this.  Cannot.  Wait.

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Timesbestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together–and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past–even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

Eagerly Anticipated

Due November 2017


That’s right – just one word – that’s all you need!!

Last night with my pal Jenny (Wondrous Reads) I attended a book event in Watersone’s (Manchester) where Brandon Sanderson was chatting, answering questions, providing readings and giving away upcoming teasers and spoilers.  This was brilliant – plus we had chance for a book signing as well.

I must say that Brandon Sanderson is one enthusiastic guy about his books.  You could be forgiven for thinking there might be a little chink in his armour, maybe he’s forgotten the odd thing – I mean, there are quite a LOT of books and they’re not exactly skimpy on the page count.  But, nope, you’d be wrong – he is totally immersed, energetic and keen to talk about them.  He could be a really great actor, in which case I would be wrong in thinking that here is a bloke who comes across as really liking his fans.  Of course, we are buying his books so I don’t suppose he’s going to sit and sneer at us but he just seemed so genuine.  Even after signing huge quantities of books he still chatted with every person who stood in line for the signing, asking each one if they had extra questions, taking time for pictures – even when he was signing sometimes 8 or more books at a time!  PATIENCE!

I’m not going to make this verbatim as it could just become too wieldy.  I apologise upfront if I misrepresent anything here – particularly if I have the future book releases muddled – feel free to correct me.  And, be warned that there could be spoilers in the text below so read with caution (I don’t think there are but …).

We started off with Mr Sanderson telling how he still felt so surprised to find himself in his current position (with fans no less) when it seemed like only a short while ago he was practically trying to push his books on unsuspecting would be buyers as they entered a book shop where he’d set up a small station selling his books – apparently it took 12 books (13 if you count his high school one) before he actually got published.

There were a number of questions.  I won’t recreate them here but give a quick synopsis.

In terms of writing processes and in particular putting characters through tough times he said that it’s difficult.  You become attached to them.  When you start it’s a bit like being a director casting a role.  You outline your character and write them into a chapter to see how they work out.  For that matter Vin from the Mistborn series started her story as a man, morphing into an Artful Dodger type character before winding up as the girl we all now love.  Sometimes you like a character but maybe not for the particular book  which you’re currently writing – so you put them to one side.  And, sometimes you have a genuine ‘ah hah’ moment where your character develops more than you anticipated as you give them the freedom to grow.  This of course can help the plot and also prevents the characters from becoming wooden.  In terms of the tough times he sometimes puts his characters through – for example Bridge No.4 – well, he thinks of a situation which would maybe involve life and death (being interested in mediaeval siege warfare helps with that) and from there he goes to the emotions that such situations will create in the characters.  It’s tough to write such scenes with character’s you have feelings for – but if it makes you as a writer have strong emotion then it will hopefully create strong emotions in your readers alike.

As you’ll know if you’ve read any Sanderson, Gods and spirituality usually play a role.  In order for the religion in his books to work he has to embrace more than one viewpoint.  Otherwise you don’t have the full picture.  You have to see using ‘other’s eyes and use 5 or 6 different sets of feelings and thoughts in order to give a rounded feel.  In terms of this Sanderson mentioned how one of his favourite books – (which I think was Dragonsbane) helped him to look at his own mum differently or more to the point see events through her viewpoint.  He was given the book in high school.  It contains a character who makes tough choices when she becomes a mum and eventually chooses to not pursue her fantastic magical abilities.  His own mum, an accountant made a similar choice in terms of her career and he said it was when finally reading Dragonsbane that he realised the choices his own mother had faced.  Right there – a different viewpoint.

In terms of magic systems – Mr Sanderson looks for something that makes him stretch, something that makes him really think – he looks at something and thinks if this happens, or if this changes, if I change one piece of physics how does that impact upon everything else.  Sometimes that works and sometimes he just has to start writing and see how things pan out!

In terms of future books – he has a plan – to eventually write a book that will link them all together – in that respect, yes, they’re all set in the same universe, sometimes characters are referenced or flit in and out, and there are secrets and easter eggs buried within.  Of course that ‘joiny’ up book is a long way off.  In the meantime, in order not to face potential readers with an epic 25 book series – he writes other smaller novels such as The Emperor’s Soul (which, coincidentally is bloody awesome!) which give people a flavour of his style and writing.  He has a cunning plan people and he’s not afraid to implement it.

On top of all this – and there were more Q&A – we had a reading from a short story where the magic system is based on bacteria.  A person is infected and in order to keep the person alive to spread the disease the bacteria gives the host magical abilities.  On top of this we were also treated to a reading from a potential novella about Jasnah!  Exciting stuff to keep us WOR fans going in between books.  I must admit that I SO WANTED a reading about Kaladin – I was still very happy though, I think Kaladin and Syl are my favourite characters in the story so far but I do love Jasnah as well!

I think I’m right in saying the next Stormlight archive book is due out 2016 with a Mistborn book next Autumn and a Steelheart book maybe Jan 2015.  There was more info but I’ve waxed lyrical for long enough so if you want more info check out Mr Sanderson’s blog!





Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 10


Okay, this is the final week and chapters for Words of Radiance.  I confess that I feel sad that it’s all over and even more sad when I think of the insufferable wait we now all have before we find out what’s going on!  As in previous weeks, feel free to jump in with any comments if you’ve already read this and, of course, if you haven’t then beware of spoilers below – dishonourable spren are lurking with malicious intent.  This week, Sue, over at Coffee Cookies and Chilli Peppers is our lovely host so stop on by and check out the other comments and links.

1. Phew! Kal proves to be the honorable hero that we wanted him to be and decides to save Elhokar. Did you agree with his reasoning? Do you think the king can actually improve, or will Lopen’s mother need to beat him with a spoon?  I think there could be potential spoon beatings, however, I think Kaladin did the right thing – you can’t assassinate someone for being useless after all!  I think Elhokar needs to grow up a little is all.  He clearly wasn’t ready to be king and didn’t want to take over what he thought of as his father’s role.

 2. Dalinar has bonded with a very grumpy Stormfather: I have to admit that I did NOT see that coming! Were you more surprised to find that the Stormfather is a spren or that he would agree to bond with Dalinar?  That was the biggest surprise for me.  I truly didn’t see that coming at all .  I suppose now, with the beauty of reflection, there were hints, not least of all in the name.  Still, I just didn’t see it.  Is Adolin going to be the odd one out then??  I think he could start to feel resentment which would be a shame because I like him and hope he doesn’t turn a bit more evil.

3. Shallan is now a fully recognized Radiant and has saved pretty much everyone we care about. Then we discover that she killed her mother, but that her father took the blame. Were you surprised by this revelation? Does it make you more sympathetic to her father or not? I actually toyed with thoughts that Shallan had killed her mother.  Something didn’t sit right about the way she would stand up for him when her older brother was becoming more aggressive towards him.  I can’t say it makes me have any sympathy for her father to be frank.  I’m sure he had ulterior motives for taking the blame.  He probably wanted to ensure that Shallan would have a good marriage that would assist the family.

4. Eshonai has fallen into a chasm and the Parshendi seem to have been defeated on the Shattered Plains. What do you think of their chances for the future? Will the Parshmen rise as an army of Voidbringers because of the Everstorm? It seems so – I suppose there has to still be some threat as the storms are still raging and it appears that the storm transforms the Parshmen?

5. There were plenty of revelations about plots and plans. Do you have a clearer picture of how it all fits together and who is doing what? Do you think that Moash will survive far into the series?  I think Moash still has a part to play somehow.  I must confess I was disappointed with him!  I need a little bit more time to think about all the plots and plans.  Not quite got my head around the ending yet but it will be interesting to read everyone’s thoughts.  Perhaps it will help me untwist a few things.  Need to go and analyse in a bit more depth.

6. Yay! Syl has returned, and now Kal is a full Radiant. Please discuss the epicness of his transformation and subsequent fight with Szeth.  That was the other big surprise.  I didn’t realise that the sprite became the blade.  It was awesome.  The whole scene.  I mean, we knew, didn’t we?  that Kal would come good and that Syl would not be gone for good but even so, there was air punching!  The fight scene with Szeth was Sanderson’s usual unbelievable style and quality and just brilliant to read.  All that fighting in the clouds and darting here and there!

7. The strange man in black is revealed to be the Herald of Justice. Any comments upon him, his nasty talking sword and his decision to resurrect Szeth?  I’m just going to say – I got a bad feeling about this!  Don’t know why.  Can’t justify myself and he’s called the Herald of Justice so I’m hoping he’s going to be a force of good.  We’ll see.

8. Argh! Jasnah is back from the dead! Discuss, with many exclamation marks!!!!  Yep, I danced a jig!  Did you read my predictions last week!  I knew that she wasn’t out of the story.  I was trying to justify in my head why I thought so but all I could come up with was that the scene where she died was too quick – almost brushed over. The other thing I did wonder is if she maybe has talents similar to Shallan – in other words she was able to replicate herself somehow so it wasn’t her body that we saw being murdered?  She would still have had to survive the shipwreck, etc, but it could be a possibility?  So happy though.

9. Finally, this book ended with lots of questions. Will killing Sadeas alter Adolin? Why is he called THE Lopen? Why are the other Oathgates locked? So many questions that I now seem to have – more than answers for sure!  I just don’t know how we’re going to stand the wait!!!  And Adolin.  I’m gobsmacked.  No.  Really.  I am.   Did you see that coming?  I don’t like Sadeas but I’m not sure of what to make of that scene.  Something felt almost a little bit off about Adolin.  I hope he’s not going to become all resentful of the others abilties or jealouse – or worse!

And so, the end!  It’s been an amazing readalong – I’m so happy to have read this in company because I think I would have missed so many details reading it alone.  It’s a mega epic book and it deserves good company and plenty of debate.  It’s been brilliant.  😀

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 9

537a7-wordsofradgroupread250We’re now on to week 9 of our readalong and the action and tension is so immense it really has been difficult to put the book down after the allocated chapters.  This week’s chapters are, just, frankly, really excting!  So usual obligatory sentence about bewaring of spoilers below – catoutofthebag spren are flitting about like nobobdy’s business.

So this week, Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia is our host and without further ado lets get to the Q&A.  If you’ve read the book and want to jump in with your thoughts you’re absolutely more than welcome:

1. What did you think of Dalinar’s tactics, proving Kaladin correct by catching Amaram in a lie? What will happen, do you think, when they attempt to “try” him?  To be honest this is exactly when I expected Dalinar to do.  I thought he would play a tactical game with Amaram in order to catch him in a lie and this plan worked perfectly.  Not sure how well a trial is going to go – I have a feeling that there is something here that Amaram isn’t quite revealing, it could be that he’s neither good nor bad – some sort of neutral force.  It’s going to be curious to say the least.  As Dalinar said himself, you can’t exactly imprison a man who has a shardblade!

2. Navani offers her services to Shallan with her mission to find the Oathgate. What do you think Navani’s intentions are? Will she help or hinder Shallan’s mission? This was a really interesting turn around.  I thought it felt genuine and I was pleased that Navani admitted she’d been avoiding Shallan because of her own feelings of grief.  At the end of the day Navani will be interested and intrigued to know what’s going on, plus as Dalinar’s partner she has an added interest in finding this hidden kingdom that Shallan is seeking.

3. Moash’s group is still planning to assassinate Elhokar. Do you think Kaladin will allow him to go through with it? I actually don’t think so.  Kaladin is definitely conflicted by this himself – perhaps that’s why Syl left.  If Kaladin really believes that killing Elhokar is the best course of action then that changes things slightly.  However, I still think Kaladin will really struggle to come to terms with that particular course of action and this is why it’s not honourable.  If it felt like the right course of action he wouldn’t have any qualms about it would he?  There simply has to be another way!  Perhaps Elhokar is cut out to be a King but being useless doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be poisoned, thrown off a balcony or have your throat slit in the night – does it?  Am I just too soft?

4.The king approached Kal and asked Kal to teach him to be a hero? Do you see Kaladin attempting this? Does this change your opinion of the king? How? What a very strange development indeed!  I don’t think Kaladin is going to have chance to attempt any such thing and besides which it’s not really something that can be taught is it.  Perhaps Elhokar will simply be faced with a difficult challenges and make the right move.  That could change things for him.  It must be awful feeling so useless (even though he does kind of deserve to feel like that).  Perhaps he will step up to the plate now – maybe he’ll simply step down as King – can’t see it somehow though.  I don’t know if it does change my opinion of him really.  I don’t particularly dislike him and I don’t think he deserves assassination however he is pretty bloody useless!

5. Dalinar tells Shallan to find the Oathgate, and that he might need to use the pathway as a retreat for the army. (No pressure or anything, though.) Do you think Shallan will find it? Do you think Dalinar will need to make use of it. Where do you think it will lead?

I think that the Oathgate will be found although exactly how I’m really not sure.  I wonder if some from of words has to be spoken by a Radiant in order for this to happen – a bit like the gate to the Mines of Moria – wouldn’t open until somebody spoke the answer to the riddle.  I hope they can make use of it – it seems like it might be their only chance although I could just be getting caught up with all the nervous excitement!

6. The battle action is very high where we left off. What do you think will happen when the Parshendi song ends? Will the high storm show up in full force and destroy the Alethi army? Will Dalinar’s troops manage to interrupt the song? Other predictions?

Oh my God!  I really don’t know what to think next so my prediction will be that Dalinar’s army try to stop the Parshendi finishing the song, the fighting is starting to go very badly for the Alethi army, men dropping like flies as the storm begins to rage and all looks lost, Shallan finds the oathgate but doesn’t know how to open it! Simultaneously Kaladin prevents an assassination attempt on the King, Syl returns  and Kaladin, powers restored, manages to fly to the assistance of the army.  Unexpectedly, Jasnah, who was never really dead but faked her own death so that she could continue her search for the Oathgate unhindered has actually worked everything out and is one step ahead of Shallan – she’s managed to open the gate!  There.  How’s that for a prediction.  Fanciful? yes, Possible? yes – this is fantasy after all!  Oh, and I forgot – Szeth also turns up for his last ditch assassination attempt so we could possibly have four Radiants to face the voidbringers???  Unite them!

And, I’ve just had a really horrible thought – perhaps Mr Sanderson isn’t planning a triangle – perhaps one of our heros is going to die!!!!!  Noooooooo.

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