The Way Of Kings

Cover Art by Michale Whelan

Or.. there is no escaping escapism, at least for me. The Way of Kings is one of the best High Fantasy books I’ve ever read. Its got the usual mixture of kings and court intrigue, heroes with special powers and weird magic systems. Elements so hackneyed that they can easily get boring in the hands of lesser writers.

But Sanderson works them like a man making extremely complicated looking pottery with clay. The clay the elements, the book the extremely complicated bit of pottery, just to make sure you’re with me here.

There are powerful shin warriors that walk on walls, float and are lifelong slaves to cruel masters. More slaves in the form of strange black and red marbled humans who are generally demure but who also sport a mysterious warrior like alternate community that wages war against a corrupt and power hungry human (and probably Caucasian) feudal power structure to bring on confusion and the emergence of chaos.

Add that to a mysterious past, strange talk of ‘Voidbringers’ and constant storms that are like tsunamis in the sky that strike without warning and bring strange visions along with them and you’ve got some curiosity going. Dying people say strange things as they give up their life, scholars search for answers in mouldy libraries and a general begins to realize that maybe the shit is just about to hit the fan. Anyway, just read the synopsis on the wiki page will you. Its the first book of a planned ten. Should be interesting.

This could also have been a post about Mahinda Rajapaksa (I was told specifically that his name ends with an ‘a’ and not an ‘e’) but what is there to be said? I’m kind of tired of Mahinda and the whole court politics arena. Mervyn’s been appointed into post that needs a lot of people skills, again. The man’s got people skills alright, just not with an ‘s’ most of the time.

I am also glad that taxes have increased on cable TV. Maybe the government has finally realized that TV is opium. But then again local TV is still tax free. Maybe its the brand of opium that matters. Ganna ape they, they said. Taxes for liquor and cigarettes are up. I’d probably be complaining about that too if i was a drinker. But This way the less gatherings i attend with alcohol in them the less slurred conversations i have to pretend to be interested in. Cigarette price hikes are not going to help me quit smoking, no, that struggle must be waged within. Give me a few moments while i clench my jaw and glare intensely at that spot on the floor for effect.

So does the mathata thitha policy mean that the president nor his brothers ever drink? That’s always been a burning question. It finally birned through my skull onto paper, and now its lying there like an ember.

  1. Well when it comes to Mervyn you must realise that the people in his district absolutely love him… He’s done quite a lot in terms of building roads, education and such in the area… Although there’s a lot of thuggery, threatening and pushing weight around.

    Working beyond a scope of a small group of people might be too much for Mervyn though… He doesn’t know how to handle situations discreetly and within the law!

    As for the prices of cigarettes and liquor going up, I’m sure there’s a something the government’s gaining from it… From I’ve come up with, it’s probably that these items will become more of a luxury and increase their demand… Well, I dunno, you’re the economist! 😛

  2. PravNJ said:

    I agree. Mervyn may lack finesse but his constituency LOVES him.

    Point of confusion. Mathata Thitha is a policy aimed at eliminating smoking and drinking in public the cops are not going to come to your place and confiscate your smokes. Now here is where things get kinda blurry. MR never openly admits that he drinks because (surprise) no one has asked him that. The way he carries himself (hangin out with the monks) it is implicit that he is an upasakaya the less enlightened members of our public will continue to believe this but it is no secret that MR drinks in the privacy of his own home. At least theres evidence that he used to drink back in the day. Perhaps a call from his doctor made him re-evaluate his situation and thus his personal opinions manifested themselves through public policy. But I think that the mathata thitha policy is as far as MR can go without breaching the privacy of our citizens (not to mention how impractical it would be to raid liquor cabinets in every household). Second hand smoking and smokers in general used to annoy me (I’m asthmatic). But now I just drive to school with the windows up and the AC on full blast. It helps when one takes matters into ones own hands. I wouldn’t make my personal preferences dictate public policy. I trust our leaders to do that. The trick is to not let these trifling issues impede the way you live your life. Now thats a hard thing to do if you are a smoker but that my friend is entirely your own fault no?

  3. PravNJ said:

    Hang on. Isn’t the price elasticity of demand of cigarettes and alcohol < 1 ? are they not considered to be "relatively price inelastic" due the addiction factor? (at least in a purely theoretical sense) 😉 so people will fuss and groan but demand will remain quite steady unless we reach some kind of tipping point after the next hike

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