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[Reading Group] February 2014: Prince of Thorns Discussion

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    OK, I am on chapter 25. I feel like the book just got pretty interesting in the last couple of chapters or so. Now I want to see where it is going.
     
  2. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    That's good to hear. I actually quite like the stripped down writing style so I'm interested to see how things turn out.
     
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Only a few more days before discussions start. So I'm going to posit a couple of "starter" questions to get things really right off the bat.

    1. What is your feeling about the novel so far? (If you've read the whole thing, you can give your SPOILER free overview. If you're only read the required Chapter 1-12 for the first week, then you can give initial thoughts.)

    2. What is your opinion of Jorg based on the first block of chapters (1-12).

    3. Does the writing style appeal to you?

    4. How do you feel about the more controversial aspects? Did they turn you off on the novel early on or did they have no effect on your reading?

    These are just some questions to get us started. We don't have to discuss these, but they can be something to jump start the discussion in any case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Phil,

    May I suggest some questions? (I'll assume the answer is, "Yes." :) )

    5. Did the writing draw you into the story? If so, what was it about the writing that drew you in? If not, what about the writing kept you at a distance?

    6. Did you respond emotionally to any part of the first block? If so, which part and why?

    7. Was there any part of the first block that dragged? If so, which?
     
    Philip Overby likes this.
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I finished it. By the end I quite liked it. For the first 20 or more chapters, I could have set it aside at any point and gone on to something else.
     
  6. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Strange... You and I had complete opposite reactions.
     
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Interesting. I look forward to the discussion on the book, just to see how everyone felt about it.
     
  8. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I finished it last night, and I felt the same. By the end I wanted more. I'm buying the rest of the series.
     
  9. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I think I'm more in line with T.Allen. The writing kept me turning the pages, but, when I put down the book, I discovered that I really couldn't care less about the character.
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't have to care about the characters, but they do have to be interesting. In Monument, which is a good book, I not only didn't care about the viewpoint character Ballas, I wanted him to die.
     
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I meant "care" in terms of the opposite of apathy, not as in "like." If you wanted the character to die, then that character at least created an impression.

    Regarding Prince of Thorns, I literally don't believe it would have made a difference to me if the character achieved his greatest ambitions or died horribly.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I didn't much care if he achieved it or died trying, but I still found the book interesting and I'll read the next one.
     
  13. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    OK, February is almost here! Remember not everyone has read the whole book yet, so let's avoid anything that could be construed as spoilers (not that anyone has done that yet, but just keep that in mind).

    For Week 1 we will discuss some overview kind of questions and Chapters 1-12.

    I'm really glad we have some divergent opinions on this one. I'm rereading it at the moment and I think I'm on Chapter 8. The previous farthest I'd gotten was Chapter 14. So it's interesting to hear that some think things pick up later and it hooked them to buying future books.

    That said, I have heard a lot of praise for this series overall and people say the books get better as it goes on, always a positive sign.
     
  14. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I think that, had I read this book three or four years ago, I would have definitely continued the series. It meets one of my two criteria for enjoyment - it kept me turning the pages. With ebooks and the ability to search through so many different options, I'd rather search for a book/series that fulfills both my first criterion and my second - that the book produces some form of emotional response.

    Not trying to say that the book is "bad" in any way, just that there was nothing about it that made me care enough to continue the series.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The idea that you have to have an emotional response to a book is foreign to me. It's along the lines of "all things have to be like X." I hope literature never reaches that state of uniformity, personally, though everyone has their own view of what they want literature to be. I do think we've been moving in the direction of greater diversity, not only in content but in style and purpose, and I expect we'll continue to do so.
     
  16. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I get where you're coming from, BW. I've read several "Book 1s" as of late I picked up and enjoyed, but I don't really see me continuing the series. I can't say if Prince of Thorns is that kind of book yet, but I always appreciate a page-turner in fantasy where I feel there are so many dense books that take a lot more investment to stay with. As of now, I'd say I lean toward getting other books in the series, but that's only because I like the writing style.

    Also interesting to note about Mark Lawrence's writing, he says he does minimal editing. (I was going to find the blog link, but damn, I can't find it!) Anyway, I think his sort of minimalist style allows him to have less of a job editing and therefore a faster time writing his books, therefore faster turn over, therefore happy fans! Not a bad model, in my opinion.
     
  17. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    For me it's never really had to be about having an emotional response to the book. For me it's a lot more about whether the story itself is interesting or not.

    Prince of Thorns (PoT) is case and point. I'm at chapter 14 or so and yeah, I'm not 'emotionally connected' to the characters, but I'm still intrigued by the story that surrounds them. For me that's the most important thing of any book. Good characters don't turn pages for me, interesting stories do.
     
  18. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    My response had little to do with characters and more to do with pacing and story structure. I won't say more than that for now since I don't want to give spoilers.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I can go with either. If the story line is sufficiently interesting, then that can hold me by itself. Alternatively, good characters can make a mundane story line work. But everyone has a different personal preference when it comes to such issues, which is all well and good. If we all had the same preferences, literature would be boring :)
     
  20. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Did you read into my response an implication that I'm claiming that production of an emotional response is a necessary factor for anyone's enjoyment other than my own? If so, that was not my intent.

    I know what I like: character-driven page turners that make me care in some way.
     
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