I hate you, Brandon Sanderson. With all of my soul, I hate you. How can you write such amazing novels and only publish them one at a time?! Call it an irrational request, but would it kill you to maybe not leave your readers hanging in suspense, waiting for the next book to be published with twitching hands and hungering eyes? You’ve singlehandedly planted an unscratchable itch in the minds of millions. How do you sleep at night?
On a related note, I just finished The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson after an extended plane ride. In my ever-so-reputable opinion as a book critic, I thought the book was good. No, that does not do it justice. The book was nothing short of brilliant. I’m not usually a fan of high fantasy novels which throw in overly cryptic terminology within the first few pages, but I must say that this particular novel does a good job of easing the reader into another world without feeling overwhelming. The characters are well-developed in a world which is even more meticulously planned, making for a very satisfying read. Even the king’s Wit, who takes on the role of the cliche’d wise court jester who makes fun of everyone but still knows more than he lets on, is still a good character in his own right, and even has a subtle defense of his inclusion worked into the ending chapter. Very clever, Sanderson.
So all in all, I’d say Sanderson is quickly becoming one of my favotite authors, having already read his other series, Mistborn and his standalone novels. Not my absolute favorite, mind: I still hold a special place in my heart for Homer, dead as he may be. Either way, I should probably stop my praise of Sanderson there, before I start sounding like I’ve become a rabid follower (which would not be so bad, considering the alternatives). As impossible as it may be to make a good ending to the first book of a series without any suspense, however, I still can’t help but curse him for making me wait.
No new poems for today; as I said, I spent my travel time reading (when not peoplewatching). So, here is another one fished from my previous works (A caveat: this assumes that you’ve heard the Zen Buddhist story about The Tigers and the Strawberry (I heard it without the inclusion of the mice—he was hanging by a bush over a cliff and it was slowly uprooting))
We’ve heard the story’s start, but not its end,
Where it begins with one unlucky man
Who stumbles on a tiger, runs, and then
He tumbles off a cliff, miles up from land.
But right before he makes his fatal fall
He grabs a berry bush with all his might.
Below, Death waits, above, the tiger calls,
But eating from the bush, he finds delight.
Yet there’s no ending to this fatal tale:
Does boldly he escape, or does he die,
Despite his every effort, does he fail?
Oh, does this starcrossed hero even try?
Perhaps the real adventure only ends
Whenever even better ones begin.
~Michael Danger Caskey