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…