Sunday, September 2, 2012

News from DragonCon about A Memory of Light

By Linda

This afternoon at DragonCon Brandon read Chapter 11 of A Memory of Light and then made comments and answered questions. It is the first of Mat’s POVs in the book, and is set in Ebou Dar. Mat manages to pass unnoticed through the guarded gates and finds an inn, the Yearly Brawl, run by Kathana (Ebou Dari) and Jame (Seanchan) (Liang). They disbelieve Mat’s elaborate back-story, thinking he must be an assassin set by General Galgan to kill Tuon. Galgan has sent a few, but so far they have been foreigners and therefore not likely to succeed. Mat hurries off the protect Tuon and deal with this threat.

Brandon is happy with the ending of A Memory of Light, It is a scene Jordan wrote and he believes it is serene and beautiful ,and feels so right to him that it will live up to fan’s expectations.

We get first time POVs of characters that we have known a long time. This was Brandon’s deliberate choice. There is a very long chapter in the book which has about 80 different POVs (some repeating) and is about 70,000 words long. It is an epic chapter.

Jordan wrote himself as a cameo as the fat smiling man holding a book, which Aviendha identified as a library ter’angreal in Knife of Dreams A Different Skill. In turn Brandon’s “cameo” is a katana with red and gold dragons around the hilt. It represents the sword he chose from Jordan’s collection at Wilson Grooms’ invitation.

Looking back over the three books he has written, Brandon wasn’t expecting Mat to be hard to write because he has known the Andoran characters so long that they were “natural” to him. In contrast, he expected Aviendha and Tuon to be bard and worked at them the most. As we know, his least favourite character is Cadsuane. He says he tries to make her awesome, but he has never liked her because “she is too mean”.


Adam said...

Eighty PoVs! Oh, that's gonna be epic. Probably too epic to handle.

And Aviendha/Tuon, probably justified, we get so little PoVs of them in the first 11 books.

Anyway, I don't doubt that Brandon's choices made the book good. From his work on TGS and ToM, I trust him :)

t ball said...

What a tease, I'm planning to take a couple of days off work when the book comes out.

Unknown said...

I found the excerpt to be distressing for several reasons. First, when Mat thinks of Rand, no swirly images. And his POV rang as tinny to me. Much too much explaining and too little action. Also the part describing his entrance into Ebou Dar was bizarre; the description of the Seanchan soldier was unique. Eventually, he reached the gate. The bored soldier there had a face like an old shovel—it was half-covered in dirt and would be better off locked in a shed somewhere. Nowhere throughout the series, has any Seanchan soldier been described as bored, let alone dirty faced! And why doesn't Randland's luckiest person use his luck to find a good place to begin his search? Also his musing that his time in the Rahad had been some of the best in his life. He actually spent very little time in the Rahad. The majority of that time was spent helping the wonder girls find the Bowl.

It just felt all wrong on sooo many levels.


TinderPride said...

A few things bugged me, about the 'A Memory of Light' Chapter 11 excerpt.

Petticoats, specifically that Matrim Cauthon doesn't recall his own interaction with Marah Anan, from Winter's Heart, Chapter 11.

What happened to the 'Sea Folk ships' in Ebou Dar's harbor, which the Seanchan were bringing up from the bottom of the ocean's floor, in Winter' Heart?

On the positive side, I do like how Brandon indirectly suggested that Murandy is under Seanchan control or leadership now, via Katherine's comments to Mat Cauthon, in this Chapter 11.

Regarding Dressageboy's points,

1. This Chapter was written by Brandon Sanderson, I'm 99% sure. Brandon's writing style isn't Jordan's style. It's bothersome to read Sanderson's version, unfortunately that's all we as readers have. Brandon doesn't grasp Jordan's metaphors & tropes completely. He and Team Jordan didn't index each of them, according to his assistant Peter. Sigh. A big mistake.

2. "Dirt" is and was a metaphor/trope Robert Jordan used previously. Who caused Dain Bornhald cloak to become dirty in Baerlon? Mat Cauthon, in TEOTW book. It's one of the important repeating themes across the whole series actually. Yes, Brandon got this one right in my view.

Eventually, he reached the gate. The bored soldier there had a face like an old shovel—it was half-covered in dirt and would be better off locked in a shed somewhere

3. Seems as if Rand al'Thor is in route to Shayol Ghul, as of AMoL Chapter 11?

Mat wished them luck. The Rahad had fought off every invasion so far. Light. Rand should have just hidden there, instead of going up to fight the Last Battle.

4. It's no accident that it is "sunny" in Ebou Dar, in AMoL Chapter 11. Why? It's a direct clue that the true blind Dragon soul has been re-born and knows who he is.

Huh? You mean Rand isn't the Dragon? Yes. Indeed.

Brandon Sanderson does a decent job in AMoL Chapter 11 of hinting indirectly through character dialogue, clothing, and who's in Ebou Dari of where and who the Dragon Soul is presently.

“Sometimes, people will only listen to what they want to hear.”

To Linda,

6. The Chapter with 80 different POVs could be the expected grand wedding scene in the basement of an Inn (Watch Hill?), Nine Second's of Mayene wedding Mat Cauthon... and 1 or 2 other men (Logain; Valan Luca are good candidates).

FYI, a Theory -- Nynaeve al'Meara and Valan Luca are very likely to fulfill sections the Dark Prophecy of The Great Hunt book, Chapter 7 'Blood Calls Blood':

“Daughter of the Night, she walks again.
The ancient war, she yet fights.
Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.
Who shall stand against her coming?
The Shining Walls shall kneel.
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

Claim = Nynaeve is the true 'Daughter of the Night'. Not Mierin, nor her alias Lanfear.

Claim = Valan Luca shall be Nynaeve's "new lover" in AMoL book. The Moon and the Sun shall make love; Nyneave and Valan shall make love.

Who's the true Dragon Soul's father?

Claim = Who once could have been a First Prince of Andor? Gareth Bryne's son by blood, now known as Valan Luca.

Adam said...

TinderPride, on what grounds is Nynaeve 'The Daughter of the Night'? Why not Lanfear, whose name actually means 'The Daughter of the Night'? (Seriously, what clues do you have?)

And I seriously doubt that Rand isn't the Dragon. I mean, he fulfilled the Prophecies by taking Callandor, being twiceXtwice marked and many other things, the least of which is that he is the reborn soul of Luz Therim Telamon - the Dragon.

Please, do explain more.

Unknown said...


Your 'responses' to my post don't bear any relation to what I posted, Tinderpride.

1) I'm pretty sure we all know that BS wrote this excerpt, I never alluded otherwise, in fact, that was the basis for much of my post, so what was that all about?

2) My point about dirt is; this represents a serious deterioration of the structure of the Seanchan Empire. Mat had nothing to do with that soldier being dirty OR bored. It speaks to DECAY. I'm not complaining about it, I'm pointing out that even the vaunted Empire seems to be succumbing to the rot/blight/thinning of the pattern.

3) What in my post led/leads you to the conclusion that Rand is enroute to SG? Because I surely never mentioned it.

4)Sorry, it is NOT sunny in Ebou Dar. “How’s the weather, to the north?” Jame asked, eyes still straight ahead.

“Dreary,” Mat replied, honestly. “As everywhere.”

Did you read the same excerpt I read, Tinderpride? Because your conclusions don't seem (with respect) to be based upon what I read.

Thanks again Linda for a great update!


Anonymous said...

I'd rather like to know if TinderPride is reading the same SERIES as the rest of us, never mind the same excerpt.

With respect (and amusement)


Fragrant Elephant said...

Thanks for the update, Linda! I think Brandon does a good Mat in this chapter excerpt. I was delighted at the Nynaeve reference.

Speaking of Nynaeve: "Daughter of the Night" = Lanfear. That was a pretty loony theory.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting a bit tired of people bashing Brandon for doing such a "poor job" of writing this final book. Frankly, I'm very happy that he has more of a strait forward writing style then RJ. RJ did a wonderful job with the story and characters but could often go on for many pages describing the most inconsequential topics. I just want to say a big "thank you" to Brandon for finishing this epic series.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful to him as well....but I very much miss Robert Jordan's style. I liked how he described the story. It made it complete, many one side, instead many. Kind of like how life is. At points Brandon's literary voice seems rushed & leaves it open to the imagination. I started reading this series because of the attention to detail. You can very much tell the difference between the literary voices & it has been distracting. I had hoped it would get better at each book, but it seems to be more separated. How ever, I am still grateful that Brandon Sanderson took on this project so we can get to the end.