Mistborn Read-Along, Week Three

Mistborn Characters. Image Courtesy of RoseMuse

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for the latest round of discussion in the Mistborn Read-Along.   We’re reading the first installment in Brian Sanderson’s epic fantasy series.  The read-along is organized by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings and this week’s questions are courtesy of Grace at Books Without Any Pictures.   If you want to participate or see other responses to the questions, drop by either or both of their blogs.  And while you’re there, thank them for doing this for us!

This week, we’re looking at chapters 16-25.  Things are starting to heat up!

And now, onto the questions….

1.  During the past week there’s been a lot of speculation as to the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.  Now that we finally know the answer, does it change anyone’s opinions of the Lord Ruler?

The quotes give a different perspective on the Lord Ruler and it makes me curious about his history a bit more.  How did he go from the person who can write these passages that start each chapter to the ruler that people want to overthrow?   It also makes me think that if this story were told from the point of view of the Lord Ruler, would be rooting against Vin and Kelsier.   OK, probably not.  But it does make the Lord Ruler a lot more interesting because in his mind, he’s probably the hero of the piece.  And the best villains always think they’re the heroes of the story, even if they’re not.

2.  What did you think of Elend’s group of subversive nobles?  Do you think that Kelsier is right to dismiss people who could be potential allies, or is this another case of his anti-nobility biases showing?

There’s the old saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and I keep wondering if Kelsier might not want to take heed of that.  Given the dollops we’re given about Kelsier’s history, I can see why he wouldn’t be running to embrace the nobles and why he’s wary of Vin’s possible growing feelings for Elend.   But it still strikes me as a bit short sighted and arrogant of Kelsier to not at least consider a tentative alliance with Elend and his band of nobles.   Of course, part of it could be that Elend and his nobles are treating this rebellion as an intellectual exercise and they might wilt if the rubber were ever to hit the road in terms of a rebellion.  And that could be part of Kelsier’s thinking here.

3.  What’s your favorite part of the book so far?

I’m fascinated by the magical system Sanderson has created for the book. As I said in week one, I am not a fan of a magical system that is the easy way out for the writer.  (Going to a Doctor Who example, how the sonic screwdriver and K-9 got to be during the Tom Baker era of the show).   I like that it has limitations, that not everyone has the same access to it and that there are consequences to using it.

4.  Now that Kelsier’s plan has hit some major stumbling blocks, what do you think will happen next?  Do you think he can still succeed in defeating the Lord Ruler?

I think the plan can still succeed, but in the next few chapters we’ll find out just how good a strategist and leader Kelsier really is. Can he adapt to the circumstances and stumbling blocks being thrown in his path?  Can he overcome them?   If he can, he still has a good chance to succeed.  If he can’t, well, he’s pretty much up the creek without any form of propulsion as are the rest of those who choose to follow him.

The big issue is that Kelsier created unrealistic expectations among those who followed him.  He seemed too eager to be considered larger than life before he’d had a success or two.   (And even the success he’s had here, while considered a win by some, isn’t really).   I have a feeling this may come back to bite him.

Bonus:  For anyone who has read “The Way of Kings,” were you surprised at all to see Hoid pop up?  What do you think of his role here?

Not read it yet. But it’s sitting on my to be read pile.  Someday….someday…

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17 Comments

Filed under Mistborn Read-Along, Read Along

17 responses to “Mistborn Read-Along, Week Three

  1. TBM

    I had a feeling that Kelsier’s ego would get the better of him. Now I’m curious if he will learn from this mistake and improve. I can’t wait to find out if he has a plan B, C, D…

  2. The magic systems tend to be strengths of all of Sanderson’s books. It really is annoying when the magic system is used to do anything and everything. That can be done well as long as the tension in the book isn’t related to something that the magic can fix. (The best example of this is Rand from the later Wheel of Time books. In book 12 specifically he is powerful enough to destroy the world, but is struggling with his sanity, which is something that no amount of power can fix.)

  3. Fun image of the Mistborn characters. I am enjoying seeing what images people are using each week in their discussion posts.

    I agree with your “best villains” thoughts. It would be interesting to see everything from the Lord Ruler’s point of view. I would be curious if Sanderson could in any way pull off a legitimate justification for him of what we’ve seen thus far, particularly the treatment of the skaa.

    Kelsier does have a big blind spot when it comes to his viewpoint about the nobles. And I suspect that will lead to future trouble and to a place where he is going to have to re-evaluate those feelings.

    Pulling out a Tom Baker reference, nice! Got to admit that he is one of my favorite doctors.

    I keep wondering how these magic limitations that we see everywhere else are going to factor in with this idea that the Lord Ruler is immortal. I have to believe Sanderson has something up his sleeve there.

    Keep in mind with The Way of Kings that many in this group did a group read of it last year and are all on board to read the second book together when it (hopefully) comes out next year. Would love to have you join this if you can.

    • Well, I am a huge Doctor Who fan, so any reference to any era of the show can pop up at any time. But I do recall that one of the reasons JNT decided to get rid of the sonic screwdriver and K9 was he felt they are a crutch to the writers to too easily get the Doctor out of situations.

      I will keep in mind the readalong for the next book in the Way of Kings universe. Like I said, it’s on my TBR pile and I want to read it. But that pile grows and sometimes I get in a certain reading mood. Plus I want to get caught up on A Song of Ice and Fire this year as well! That’s a lot of epic fantasy!

      • I hear you, any of those things can become a deus ex machina crutch.

        I know exactly what you mean about moods. The good news is that the second book in that series probably won’t be out until fall of next year.

  4. I think that one of the neatest things about the chapter intros is that we can see that the Lord Ruler’s perspective makes him seem like a hero. It makes for a more complex story, and I’d love to see more of it from his angle. So far his parts have added a lot of mystery and given us the sense that there’s more going on in Luthadel than meets the eye.

  5. The whole Kelsier hating the nobles has been bothering me – okay, they treat the Skaa really badly, but we don’t know yet how they helped the Lord Ruler originally or why their ancestors were rewarded with magic. Not to mention that he is part noble himself – so is he going to also kill himself, Vin and most of his crew – who all have some form of magic. It’s a definite conundrum right there – plus it puts me in mind of the Lord Ruler’s own determination to wipe out all of Sazed’s people.
    I’m totally fascinated by the Lord Ruler and who he is and why he’s immortal. I’ve been thinking of all sorts of ridiculous scenarios – my most recent is picturing Kelsier in a final showdown with the Lord Ruler and the Lord Ruler says ‘Kelsier, I am your father’! LOL
    Lynn :D

  6. When it really comes down to it, Kelsier in some ways IS a “villain.” He’s a thief, a murderer, and he’s trying to overthrow their governement. Even their god. In some eyes, that would be considered villainous. But even then, we can see it from the point of view of the skaa – and we see he’s someone trying to help them, to rescue them. Robin Hood was a “villain” too, you know?

    • Yes, I can see how Kelsier is the villain in that he’s not necessarily squeaky clean. But going back to last weeks’ pop-culture comparison it’s a bit like Firefly…or as you say Robin Hood.

      • The thing is I can’t help liking Kelsier. Yes, I see he’s flawed, and I don’t always like all of his actions, but I don’t see him as ‘bad’. I do worry about him though. He goes overboard, he’s a bit showy, he referred to himself when he was younger as something of a ‘fop’ and he’s too secretive himself. Probably he thinks he has to be (given past circumstances) but he’s always going off doing secret things. Maybe he needs to start and learn how to trust people again – just like Vin is having to do.
        Lynn :d

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