Mistborn Read-Along, Week Four

We’re in the home stretch of Brian Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and all I can say is, wow, things are picking up steam in a big way. (The pages just flew by this week and I’ve enjoyed the book so much that it feels like we’ve just started rather than that we’re finishing up next week!  Whatever will I do on Wednesdays without the conversation with fellow readers?!?)

It’s the fourth week of the Mistborn read-along, kindly hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.   This week’s questions come from  Lynn.

The questions here cover chapters 25-34 and if you haven’t read the book yet, I will warn you there are SPOILERS!   I know there was that article a couple of years ago about how avoiding SPOILER can be futile because no one can read or watch every single thing out there.  But if you plan to read the novel, I highly recommend going in unSPOILED.   Cause, man, it’s some good stuff.

OK, enough of that.  Onto the questions.

1.       Well, we finally got our long awaited view of the Lord Ruler, firstly just a brief glimpse during the executions and then during the fight with Kelsier.  What do you now think about him and the myth’s surrounding him?  And, given his strength do you think he can be beaten?

To paraphrase South Park, “Oh my god, they killed Kelsier!”  I didn’t see the death of Kelsier coming.  I will admit that looking at the page count left when the battle began, I expected Kelsier to have the snot kicked out of him this round but that he’d come back to take on the Lord Ruler again or somehow survive.  The fact that Sanderson follows the same rules as George R.R. Martin–don’t get too attached to any characters, even if he or she seems like the “hero” of the book–just made my respect and admiration for this series grow and it’s now got me thoroughly hooked to see what Sanderson does not only to end this story but in the next three installments.

I will admit that I was prepared to be disappointed in the Lord Ruler once he stepped on stage, but I wasn’t.  I think Sanderson had just the right amount of build-up to the character and introduced him at just the right time.

And I do think he can be beaten, yes.  Every good villain has a weakness that can be exploited.  Just as every good hero has a weakness that can be exploited.

2.       We seemed to suffer a number of set backs to the plans this week.  The army had already been all but destroyed and following a bit of a rethink/regroup/coming up with a Plan B things still have gone disastrously astray.  What do you think the Crew will do now??

I can see it going one of two ways–either someone unlikely will step up and take on the leadership mantle that Keisler left or they’ll fall apart.   A half-hearted, slapped together plan won’t cut it to finish what they’ve started.  I also wonder if the final plan will have to be a much smaller in scale one that the grandiose one that Kelsier had planned. Instead of taking out the Lord Ruler with this army of skaa, will it come down to one person or a group of people breaking the Lord Ruler and his hold on the kingdom.

3.       What was your reaction to Kelsier’s response to finding Marsh dead?  I can’t help feeling that there are going to be some serious economic repercussions to destroying the crystals – what sort of impact do you think this will have, not just on the nobles but on the Skaa?

It’s probably going to be a bad day to be anyone but the Lord Ruler.   I have this feeling he will pass on the anger and vengeance to all those under him and it will roll down hill.  The nobles will probably suffer a bit, but it’s the skaa who will suffer the most (as they seem to do for just about everything in the novel).  It could also be the Lord Ruler’s way of showing all those under him that you don’t frak with him because if you do, everyone suffers.

As for Kelsier’s reaction, I’ll admit it took me a bit by surprise.  But it’s one of those moments that looking back was a)perfectly in character and b)absolutely a jaw dropping, game changing moment for the book.   Has it become apparent yet that my respect and admiration for Brian Sanderson went through the roof this week?

4.       Finally, each week we learn a little bit more of the Lord Ruler’s history.  And each week it has a different impact.  This week’s snippets had the same impact – I was really interested in the excerpt when he mentions that the Darkness is not as oppressive when higher up in the mountains – do you have any more ideas about the Darkness?

Not necessarily.  But I did find myself wondering if Sanderson was putting elements into play for the next installment.

5.       (I did have another query – but it might be too much??)  I was wondering about Elend and Vin – they’ve also had their ups and downs this week but seem determined to work round them – can you see anything of a future for these two or is there too much history between the nobles and Skaa and too much difference and prejudice between the two?

It’s almost like a wacky romantic comedy minute the wacky, the romance and the comedy.

A lot of whether or not these two can and will overcome the difference and prejudice depends on if and how the plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler is pulled off. If the societal structure stays in place because he continues to rule, that could be a major stumbling block for these two.  If he gets overthrown or the plan succeeds, it could have a better chance to work because there could be a “new world order.”

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11 Comments

Filed under Mistborn Read-Along, Read Along

11 responses to “Mistborn Read-Along, Week Four

  1. TBM

    I was also taken aback when Kelsier destroyed the Pits…I didn’t see it coming at all. And I didn’t think he would die either. That was a total shocker. Like you, I thought he would be severely injured and then some miracle would occur and he would recover. But to be killed so quickly by the Lord Ruler…didn’t see it coming at all.

    I agree with you, this section was action-packed. I loved every minute and I couldn’t stop and had to finish it.

  2. It was really hard for me to put this book down at the end of the section. I have been itching for today to come, so that I can finish out the book.

    I also hope Elend and Vin can get some time for their budding Romance, but a lot depends on this rebellion. Rebellions can take up a lot of a person’s time and it might be hard to pencil in some quality snogging time.

  3. I love the way Sanderson works with all of his characters. Nothing they ever do seems out of place because he takes such care in building their personalities and foreshadowing everything throughout the course of the books.

    “Oh my God, they killed Kelsier!” I like it, and I also think it’s pretty much everyone’s reaction at this point of the story.

  4. I was shocked when Kelsier died, especially since I’ve read two of Sanderson’s other books already. I didn’t think he’d kill off a good guy, but retrospectively it makes sense. I’m sure I’ll miss him in the next book though.

  5. That’s a really good thought about Vin and Elend and whether they will get on depending on the structure of society.
    I was very shocked about Kelsier because I enjoyed reading his character so much. It does put me in mind of GRR Martin – damn!
    Lynn 😀

  6. Kristen M.

    Isn’t it strange that we wanted the Lord Ruler to be a phony so much that it’s truly shocking when he walks onto the stage with all of his mental and physical power in full force? He’s REALLY dang evil and powerful. Not at all what I expected.

  7. I like your idea about a ‘surgical’ strike against the Lord Ruler: maybe a small group can work better than an army here . . . LoTR similarities spring to mind.

    You are so right in #3 about the shock factor of actions that are totally within character. It reminds me of Locke smacking the Spider in the mouth: totally unexpected, but so obviously the best thing for him to do. 😀

  8. Ah, love the South Park reference. 🙂
    Yes, the timing in this story is excellent. Everything has come off with clockwork precision and it has been a beauty to behold. The Lord Ruler delivered on all the build up and the shocks were very powerful.

    I already had a huge amount of respect for Sanderson because of reading The Way of Kings, but even though this is an earlier work my respect for him has grown a lot as well over this read. He isn’t a one-trick pony, he really is a skilled author.

    I think Sanderson probably set up all kinds of things right from the start that existed merely just to be revealed in the later books.

  9. Wait… Who is Brian Sanderson? 😛

    *cough* Sorry.

    Otherwise though, I agree with you completely on the skill in which TLR was built up and then finally unleashed upon us. The unknown is nearly always a greater fear than the known, and Sanderson used that very well, then still also managed to deliver once the veil was ripped off!

  10. I completely agree that Sanderson took the right about of time to wait before introducing the Lord Ruler, and once he was on stage, he didn’t disappoint.

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