July 16, 2019, 05:33:42 AM

Author Topic: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9  (Read 8973 times)

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2016, 07:22:57 PM »
Finished on to chapter 10 now

I was a bit disappointed with Haung towards Cheng, Fighting the urge to gag sickened by Cheng's action and words.This would have worked more if he didn't have feelings for  Jiao I bet he goes running back to her

I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Chang and Jiao romance before he took his new job on as I don't feel he would feel lightness in his stomach or make his heart thump if he didn't have feelings for her yet he gave her up.
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* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2016, 07:28:37 PM »
Just finished chapter 8

I like the commander's plan to allow Hsin and Zhou discover the cattle and for them to figure out that Yaart are in pretty big trouble. I don't think they have any intention of letting Wubei have the cattle. They just want that road built.

A brilliant plan, get your enemy to waste money and men working on the road, do some sabotage so there use even more money up and when there do complete the road it be time to invade Wubei with no men lost building a road. And it be too late to realise that there is no famine it was just a big hoax to fool the Wubei

According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2016, 09:30:56 PM »
Just finished chapter 8

I like the commander's plan to allow Hsin and Zhou discover the cattle and for them to figure out that Yaart are in pretty big trouble. I don't think they have any intention of letting Wubei have the cattle. They just want that road built.

A brilliant plan, get your enemy to waste money and men working on the road, do some sabotage so there use even more money up and when there do complete the road it be time to invade Wubei with no men lost building a road. And it be too late to realise that there is no famine it was just a big hoax to fool the Wubei

heh.

BUT THEY ARE WISER THAN ANYONE!

yah -- love it.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2016, 12:00:40 PM »
Just finished chapter 9, it's been good so far for me. Definitely comparable to most trad-pubbed books I've read. The story quality reminds me of another indie I read a while back - The Shadow Of What Was Lost by James Islington - which has now been picked up by Orbit, so it's in good company there!

As the others have said, there isn't a clear plot direction at this point, but there's enough intrigue and plotting to compensate for that. For me both protagonists are fairly blank so far, but they have potential to grow as the story continues. I'm with the majority on the prologue being the only low point, though to be fair I can only remember one prologue that actually worked for me (which was for A Shadow In Summer by Daniel Abraham) so I tend to accept that they'll usually feel a bit pointless. Everything since then has been really good. :)

Hsin vividly reminded me of this guy:

Fun character to read about. He's probably been my favourite so far, simply because he's such an ass!

> The Stone Road: So my theory is that
Spoiler for Hiden:
Yaart is using the cattle a Trojan horse. They get the Wubeians to build them the road that will allow their army to march in by surprise. I guess we'll see.
+1 for that, exactly what came to mind straight away.

What I didn't want to do was confuse the reader with so much research and info-dumping that the story got lost. So everything is, I hope, portrayed from the two character's eyes. The reader sees the world as they do, learns about it from their experience rather than some godly knowledge dropped from the Jade Heaven.

So, yes, there is a fair amount of research in the three books, but not too much. I hope it was Goldilocks research; just enough.
I think you've done a good job with that - enough to give the world some flavour and a decent sense of place without it slowing things down at all. If anything, there's room for a little more, but as is it's a good balance already.

Prologue: I had the same problems others mentioned. However, as the story progressed, I now have the theory that

Spoiler for Hiden:
Those twelve men who melted and became fiery puddles are actually the Jade cattle ("From those puddles, new shapes rose"). Although that still leaves the question how that will actually damage Wubei.
If that's the case the prologue serves as a nice foreshadow, and I wonder, if it was taken out how we would react if later we find out "Wait those statues were sorcerers in disguise? How did this happen? This came out of nowhere!" So in this case it works pretty much like the prologue in GoT.
I thought that too! I had been looking out for somewhere that they could pop up, and the cattle were the obvious place. Definitely makes sense, and you're right in that is makes the prologue more of a necessity.

Huang: It actually took me awhile to realize he was working for the Yaart.
This.  ;D :-[
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2016, 01:24:18 AM »
Finished Chapter 10 today!

I haven't read any other comments, so I'm going to offer my own impressions first, then check out what other people have said.

I'm intrigued by whatever plan the Jin-Wei are hatching. I'm not sure how the gold lactating cows are involved (never seen *that* in a book before) but I'm wondering if this a ploy to get the Wubei to help them build a road. Zhou so far seems relatively ineffective, which I find a bit disappointing. Huang, by comparison, seems to be doing exactly what his commanders want, though it isn't yet clear where their scheme is going.

I hope Zhou gets some sort of win soon, or at least stops failing and feeling sorry for himself.

I enjoyed the trick with the ink and the "fake" corporal death. I thought that was a good bit of worldbuilding - it shows the common people are aware that magic exists (people believe in it) but also shows the Fang-shi are smart enough not to waste it when it's not needed. Why cast real magic, when you make the trainees believe you did and then scan them to see if any might betray you? So far, Yaart is running rings around Wubei on the spying front - or maybe we just aren't seeing the countermoves Yaart is making.

I almost wish we could see a spy on the Wubei side (someone as clever or connected as Huang).

Offline DrNefario

Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2016, 01:52:30 PM »
I finished part 1 last night. It's pretty short, so I don't think I can really draw too many conclusions yet.

I didn't mind the Prologue. It did at least let us know that it was definitely a fantasy rather than a historical, so it wouldn't just be a surprise when Huang uses magic in the inn.

I don't feel I really know Zhou and Huang yet. Zhou seems a bit of an idiot, and a really terrible diplomat, being unable to control himself at the negotiating table. My favourite character so far is probably Hsin, but I think he's turned into a bit of an idiot too. Wubei probably deserves what's coming to it, right now. (My guess is in line with Lanko's spoiler.)

Edit: Oh yes, I almost forgot: Donny Yuen. Really? ;)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 02:41:28 PM by DrNefario »

Offline Victoria Hooper

Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2016, 11:10:46 AM »
Some stuff came up this month so I'm a bit behind with my reading, but when I did manage to start this I found myself going through pretty quickly, so that's a good sign  :)

I'm enjoying this so far. Like others, the prologue didn't really work for me. I don't have anything against the presence of a prologue itself, but they are very hard to get right. But after that I got into the book quite quickly. I had a bit of a different reaction from others here because I actually found Zhou more relatable than Huang - he feels a bit more human to me, and I quite like it when there is a character who isn't 100% likeable but at the same time isn't a full on antihero or anything (though of course that might change!). I do like the choice to tell things from two POVs, one from each side of the conflict.

I also really like that the plot hasn't dived straight into an epic war story or save the empire story. It's taking time first to build up the setting and characters and to set up an interesting situation that seems sure to lead to trickery (as others have mentioned, it definitely feels like a Trojan Horse situation). Starting with a diplomatic mission to forge a peace treaty feels unique and interesting to me, and I haven't seen anything like the cattle before either. I'm still not sure what kind of story this will ultimately turn out to be, and I'm very intrigued by that.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about our main characters, particularly Huang, as I still don't feel that I know him very well yet - eg, what drives him and what his own personal feelings on current events might be.

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2016, 06:50:13 PM »
Edit: Oh yes, I almost forgot: Donny Yuen. Really? ;)

Yeah, well, why not? Some will get it, and some won't :)
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2016, 07:52:24 PM »
Some stuff came up this month so I'm a bit behind with my reading, but when I did manage to start this I found myself going through pretty quickly, so that's a good sign  :)

I'm enjoying this so far. Like others, the prologue didn't really work for me. I don't have anything against the presence of a prologue itself, but they are very hard to get right. But after that I got into the book quite quickly. I had a bit of a different reaction from others here because I actually found Zhou more relatable than Huang - he feels a bit more human to me, and I quite like it when there is a character who isn't 100% likeable but at the same time isn't a full on antihero or anything (though of course that might change!). I do like the choice to tell things from two POVs, one from each side of the conflict.

I also really like that the plot hasn't dived straight into an epic war story or save the empire story. It's taking time first to build up the setting and characters and to set up an interesting situation that seems sure to lead to trickery (as others have mentioned, it definitely feels like a Trojan Horse situation). Starting with a diplomatic mission to forge a peace treaty feels unique and interesting to me, and I haven't seen anything like the cattle before either. I'm still not sure what kind of story this will ultimately turn out to be, and I'm very intrigued by that.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about our main characters, particularly Huang, as I still don't feel that I know him very well yet - eg, what drives him and what his own personal feelings on current events might be.

Everyone finds different things they like or dislike it seems... but that's the nature of books. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far!
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 9
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2016, 10:28:09 PM »
I actually found Zhou more relatable than Huang - he feels a bit more human to me, and I quite like it when there is a character who isn't 100% likeable but at the same time isn't a full on antihero or anything (though of course that might change!). I do like the choice to tell things from two POVs, one from each side of the conflict.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about our main characters, particularly Huang, as I still don't feel that I know him very well yet - eg, what drives him and what his own personal feelings on current events might be.

Haha, welcome to the Zhou Snow team  ;)
Slow and steady wins the race.

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