The Sword and Laser discussion

This topic is about Tigana
2012 Reads > TIG: A Word of Encouragement To Early Would-be Lemmers

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Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Now that we're officially discussing this book, I want to offer a quick, preemptive note to anyone struggling through the first 2 Chapters...

It Gets Better...

No Really! Chapters 1 and 2 are purposely meant to be vague. This is to help set up the delivery of the main storyline and all will be clear by Chapter 5. This applies to both the Book and the Audiobook flavors.

If you need more encouragement please see this thread which includes discussions from other readers in the same situation.

This book is fantastic, and it is worth the initial struggle to get started.

If you found yourself among the few that have already overcome the initial 2 chapters, please chime in below!

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Tamahome | 6185 comments I liked the prolog fine. But chapter one is the devil. But in chapter two you fall in love with Devin.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Tamahome, Agreed!

I still have yet to go re-read Chapter 1, but I felt I didn't have to by the end... Scared if I re-read Chapter 1, I will get hooked by it again and re-read it all the way through... not that it would be a bad thing....

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Vance | 362 comments I will second this. The best approach to the first few chapters is just to let it wash over you, to NOT try to figure everything out, just roll with it. Enjoy the setting, the language, the atmosphere and not worry about what is going on just yet.

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Tamahome | 6185 comments Um, I meant 'prologue' not 'prolog' (programming language). My geek is showing.

message 6: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 01, 2012 09:01AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Matt, Good Point. Part 2 threw me for a loop as well until I got my bearings straight.

I still say to keep going though, the book is well worth it!

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Vance | 362 comments Yes, I agree that the sudden and complete shift of scene was a bit disconcerting at first. With a book like Game of Thrones, the changes in perspective were so frequent that you adjust more fluidly. After so long with one perspective, the shift was more of an adjustment. But after a couple of shifts, it gets more comfortable.

Seawood Yes, it's a real hurdle at the beginning, isn't it! I'm about 35% through now and I still feel like I could do with going back to re-read the beginning just to get all the characters clear. It does pick up properly, though I suspect it's the kind of book that would be properly appreciated when you have several hours at a time to devote to it. And a glass of wine. :)

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Caroline, Actually, I was not able to put it down often so I may have read the book in 5 or 6 sittings... so not sure I could have done well only with 30 minutes at a time.

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Vance | 362 comments The "waitressing career", that is pretty funny! I do agree that her backstory was a bit strung out, but I really did like her main storyline at the palace.

Seawood lol, Matt - agreed, it was a bit long, might have been better delivered in more flashbacks. When she suddenly was in real time again it was a proper jerk in the story.

Nimrod> I think that's why I found it hard to get into at first; I had a couple of days of only being able to get snippets in and it all came together properly last night when I had two hour-long drives.

Javier Quintana (javier_quintana) | 43 comments Thank you for making this specific thread. I too started early reading the book and was having a hard time with the beginning, then I came here to read if I were the only one, came to the same conclusion and decided to keep on reading (I just finished chapter two, yay).

And yes, part of the problem is the multiple beginnings, you start reading, start caring about the characters of the prologue, then the story shifts, you start to make up your mind about it, then it shifts again.

Some readers need a protagonist to attach to. And even when we find Devin, the author starts telling us about his past, when we don't really care about him so much. We don't even know if we like him, and we are told of his past, and I was like: "yeah, yeah, I got it, go on…"

We are told of the peninsula and its problems, but we don't really care that much. At that point, it could be sunk to the bottom of the sea and we would think "ok, whatever".

I think I get where this is going to, and it will pay off later.

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Tamahome | 6185 comments I loved the story of Devin hanging from the tree and then his brothers trying to help.

Javier Quintana (javier_quintana) | 43 comments Individually, the little stories are great, but I was eager to know what this book I was reading was really about.

I liked the memory about the song and the only kiss from Devin's father.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Javier, Very Welcome! Just keep going, you may find yourself wanting to double check the beginning later, but until you get to Chapter 5, you won't really get a feel for the book.

Mel (booksandsundry) (booksandsundry) | 137 comments I was really doubting until I got to chapter 5 but now I'm loving the book and having to tear myself away to do other things!

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Mel, see? Glad you stuck with it! :-)

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Amanda | 1 comments Have to agree with everything said in this thread.

I was willing to give GGK the benefit of the doubt just based on The Fionavar Tapestry being my first foray into fantasy literature when I was younger and a nostalgic favorite, but in the past when I've read his other books they never grabbed me. Maybe I was too young yet?

Anyways, this book started out pretty boring. Didn't really like the feel of the writing, Devin's drink and lady-related troubles didn't interest me.. but by the time you get to Chapter 4 or 5 the plot really starts rolling and all my issues with the book kind of fell away. I think I'm on chapter 7 now, and yep. This book is great! Glad I stuck with it.

message 19: by Jack (last edited Jun 04, 2012 04:08AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Lancaster | 14 comments I was enjoying this book until Dianora took center stage. I tried to keep reading, but found myself skipping pages just hoping she'd be killed or something (PLEASE!) but eventually just put the book down.

She's an incredible cliché, like Kay didn't even try modifying the archetype, just copy and pasted and I couldn't be more bored by her.

At the 30% mark, she was still the main viewpoint so I just stopped reading. Can anyone tell me when/if she goes away? Or better yet, is dismembered?

message 20: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 03, 2012 04:44PM) (new) - added it

Tamahome | 6185 comments Lol.

I'm 20 pages away from part 2.

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Jack wrote: "I was enjoying this book until Dianora took center stage."

I can understand why some may find her back story distracting from the main plot. But I actually found the inner workings and political manoevering of Brandin's court and the Saishan (including Dianora's role) intriguing. Is she a cliche? I don't think so - at least having finished the book she certainly doesn't turn out to be.

But yes, we do return back to our other friends and their story arc does continue with a lot of twists and turns to boot.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Jack, I did feel it was a bit of a sidetrack, but if you continue on you'll get back on the main story and should be very well rewarded.

P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Jack, I agree, to some extent. Devin was such a distinct break from the literary cliche of the hapless young idealist, that seeing Kay revert back to the cliched archetype of the woman-of-divided-loyalties in Dianora was a letdown. I'm sticking with it, hoping to return to the more active storyline soon.

message 24: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 03, 2012 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Would be interesting to see what those of you who are thinking Dianora is "cliche" think when you finish reading the book...

I did sense some hackneyed themes, but not enough to make me feel I couldn't enjoy the book.

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Tamahome | 6185 comments I just finished part one (very affecting by the way). It looks like you'd better get used to Dianora. She's in every even part.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Tamahome wrote: "I just finished part one (very affecting by the way). It looks like you'd better get used to Dianora. She's in every even part."

Yes Dianora will keep showing up, as she becomes more important in the plot... But I didn't feel her situation ended up being as predictable as some might think...

Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1861 comments Tamahome wrote: "I liked the prologue fine. But chapter one is the devil. But in chapter two you fall in love with Devin."

On chapter 3, and not even liking him yet. :( We'll see how it develops. I'm not one to judge a book too early.

I agree that the prologue was good, and I think that's maybe why the first few chapters are hard; I for one, am interested in seeing how the story connects to the prologue, which created a far clearer picture in my mind than anything that has followed so far - so far the series of images that have been provided feel very disconnected form anything.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Ruth, that connection is made by chapter 5

William Chinda (willchinda) | 15 comments The prologue was killer. Then it turns into some ren faire traveling musician stuff and I was a hair's breadth away from lemming. As appealing as the interaction (ahem) between Devin and Catriana is at the beginning, it was tough to keep interested.

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments It would be a shame to lem this before chapter 5. So much starts to click by then.

message 31: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 03, 2012 08:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments David Sven wrote: "It would be a shame to lem this before chapter 5. So much starts to click by then."

Agreed... I won't beat anyone over the head for lemming Tigana, but I would be more understanding if they at least get to Chapter 5. At that point, if you don't like where it's going, I can see you jumping ship.

I'm just glad not many seem to be lemming because of the ebook issue...

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Tamahome | 6185 comments Is part two hard to get through Nimrod?

Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1861 comments Nimrod wrote: "@Ruth, that connection is made by chapter 5"

Good to know; it's been driving me mad! :P Shall see if I can get there quickly. Knowing how much you and others seem to love this book, I really want to love it too. Here's hoping!

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Tamahome... I didn't find it hard at all... I mentioned before that I think it took me like 5 or 6 sit downs to read the entire book, so I pretty much blasted right through it...

That being said, I was not very happy with the abrupt change in part 2, and I thought we were not going to go back to the characters from the first part... After I started getting used to it I was getting back into the story and then part 3 changed it up again...

By the end of the book I was used to the abrupt changes, and ended up loving the story...

So I can see why people don't like part 2, but if anything before then has attracted you to the story, keep going...

Seawood Oh, crumbs. I'm getting stuck at Part 5 (about 75%) and have stopped to read a couple of shorter books! I'm just...bored. I haven't made a strong connection to any of the characters, I can't keep all the provinces straight as they don't seem to have much distinguishing them from each other and the story seems very linear despite all the looping back to explain bits of backplot. I'm not getting any tension out of it, I think that's the issue for me personally. Am I missing something enormous here? I'm hoping for some huge denoument but I have a horrible feeling it could be a damp squib.

His use of language is lovely but there's just so much of it, saying so little. I want to love it but I also want to shout "get on with it!".

*waits to be stoned*

message 36: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 04, 2012 07:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Caroline, hmm, that wasn't my experience at all... By part 5 I had understood the different provinces and felt connected to most if not all the characters... Then again, I had the exact same problem with Hyperion... Felt Dan Simmons said so much but did so little... So I understand...

I would say finish it since you go this far and let us know what you think, but maybe start a thread with a spoilers warning and ask specifics as to what you don't understand about the provinces?

message 37: by A.E. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A.E. Marling (aemarling) | 49 comments The story did not catch me until the perspective shifted to Dianora at Brandin's court. Her mission to assassinate him clashed with her growing feelings for him, at the realization that he's not an evil sorcerer but a grief-stricken father of a murdered son. Her ambivalence makes her a deep character, and I could not set aside her story.

message 38: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 04, 2012 07:59AM) (new) - added it

Tamahome | 6185 comments By the way, by chapter 5, you should know who one of the wagerers is in chapter 1.

Javier Quintana (javier_quintana) | 43 comments A friendly reminder: This topic is addressed to early readers. Please keep spoilers to a minimum.

Seawood Nimrod wrote: "I would say finish it since you go this far and let us know what you think, but maybe start a thread with a spoilers warning and ask specifics as to what you don't understand about the provinces? "

Oh, I'll finish it, don't worry (I must find out how Dianaora's tale ends if nothing else). I had the same "wordy is not a style" issue with Hyperion, too, maybe it's just something to do with that - I seem to like tight editing.

And it's not that I don't understand the provinces, just that they don't really seem to have much of an individual feel to them; to me they're interchangeable. I have more to say but I'll keep it for a later thread.

message 41: by Chaz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chaz | 32 comments I was filled with dread after the Prologue and Ch 1. The language is so florid with unlikely descriptive words and sentences that are far too long and no grasp n the situation or characters. Things greatly improve with the introduction of Devin as I have someone to hang my hat on and a plot that soon begins to unfold.

I'm still not a big fan of the prose but I am enjoying the characters, situation and plot having just finished Part 1.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Javier wrote: "A friendly reminder: This topic is addressed to early readers. Please keep spoilers to a minimum."

Was there something specific that was too spoilery?

Javier Quintana (javier_quintana) | 43 comments Not too spoilery yet, but I felt things were maybe going that way.

That said, I just finished Chapter 4, a good 14% of the book, and these are the things I learned here in this topic and not on the book (yet):

(view spoiler)

So, nothing too spoilery, and certainly nothing that ruined anything for me. I am not upset, and I do not want to end the interesting discussion about lemming the book at different points here. I just wanted to point out that we are still in the beginning of the month (officially first day), and that the topic has the word "Early" in the title, so I suggest maybe using spoiler tags for things that happen from Part 2 onwards, even if they are a pain to use and read.

Maybe I am too wary of spoilers?

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @Javier, No, you are correct, I intended this to help those struggling in the first two chapters, but it seems to be turning into an engorgement thread all around...

I did not think mentioning names and situations was too spoilery, but it is good to keep that in mind.

I just wanted to make sure there was nothing really major that was said.

message 45: by Chase (last edited Jun 04, 2012 05:53PM) (new)

Chase | 8 comments Thank you for this thread because those two chapters were unbearably dull. I literally just finished the first two chapters and haven't picked up the book since. Now I'll give it another go.

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments @chase, good luck!

message 47: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John (johntai) | 35 comments I think Chapter 1 is the only one I had problems with. The prologue was clear enough, the only problem is that there was no follow up until chapter 4-5.

Chapter 2 starts with Devin, so it was easy to follow him and his story. Ch 3 started to be intriguing and had that hot closet scene. Ch 4 is where things in the Palm are made clearer AND huge things happen!! I was surprised by the events in this chapter. Suddenly the plot seemed to leap forward. And finally Ch 5 explains all the background and the characters roles in the story.

What I really like is that many of the little mysteries are resolved quickly, instead of waiting until the end of the book (or the next book ...cough..Hyperion...cough) to be addressed.

Loving this book so far.

Amelia (ameliajune) | 31 comments I officially decided to Lem in chapter 4, so maybe I'll go back and push through to see if it picks up in 5 as many have said.

I struggled a lot and then gave up, not caring about the characters or what little plot was to be had. Hope springs eternal though!

Javier Quintana (javier_quintana) | 43 comments As an early not-really-a-lemmer-but-where-is-this-going, I can confirm that I finished the fifth chapter yesterday and I cannot wait to start reading the sixth one.

message 50: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (latepaul) Read the prologue and chapter 1 yesterday and that was a slog. With this thread in mind I'll see if I can get to chapter 5 today and make a decision.

But it really needs to improve. Life's too short to read long books that don't grab you.

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