Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mistborn: The Final Empire Group Read Part II

This week's questions were supplied by TBM - make sure to check out his site (50 Year Project) and his answers. This week covered Chapt. 7 through the end of Chapt. 15.

Thanks once again to Stainless Steel Droppings for pulling this all together. Click on his site to see who else is a Mistborn fan.

1. The nobility, the skaa, and the Lord Ruler have integral roles in the novel and yet we haven’t really interacted with them much. Do you think there is a reason for this? Have you formed an opinion about them?

I am enjoying how the absence of these powerful forces (with the exception of a few quick guest appearances) have built the mystery and tension. All I know as the reader is what Kelsier and Vin know. I might be operating in a void. I have to trust these characters, otherwise we are all hosed.

2. Religion plays a vital role in the story. What is your opinion about the role of religion under the Lord Ruler? What do you think of Sazed's role as a Keeper?

The Lord Ruler has built a mythos that grants him a hell of a lot of power. Hence, stamping out other religions is really important. And that makes the Keepers dangerous - their knowledge of other religions.

I am really looking forward to seeing more of Sazed - what exactly is he? Dangerous? Powerful? Is he allomantic? Some power/ability puts him up there with the heavy hitters in Kelsier's band.

3. Are you for/against/or ambivalent about Kelsier’s plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler? Do you think his heart is in the right place or is it just revenge?

I like Kelsier, but revenge is driving him hard. Revenge, like anger, can be used for good purposes. But I am not convinced they are going to win this one without heavy losses.

And that's why I keep reading.

4. Vin and Kelsier are the main characters of the novel, yet there are many characters. Is there a certain character who intrigues you more than the others?

Elend, of course. Sticks his nose in a book at a fancy party, curious about Vin, scion of the most powerful house, considered a non-power himself. There is all sorts of potential for this character.

Then I also want the back story on Kelsier's dead wife. Very curious. I get the vague impression that she did something... indiscreet? bad? traitorous?

Other Interesting Bits
Those dudes with the spikes through their heads - what metal did they use and do they get used up (burned) over time through allomancy? Do you think they get replaced or the dude dies once he has used up his spikes?

It was rewarding to see that Vin found something that clicked and came naturally to her. Of course, this might have made her a bit cocky - hence following Kelsier into danger.....

Very, very curious about the book Sazed brought back at the end of Chapt. 15. I expect that it will give us an interesting tidbit.

Future Schedule of this Group Read:

Part 3: Chapter 16 through Chapter 25, Discussions posted Wed. April 25th.

Part 4: Chapter 25 through Chapter 34,
Discussions posted Wed. May 2nd.

Part 5: Chapter 35 to The End, Discussions posted Wed. May 9th.


  1. Elend really intrigued me! I love him already, even though my instincts tell me it's foolish to like him.

  2. I enjoyed reading about Elend in this section, because reading a book at a party sounds exactly like something I'd do.  The Inquisitors (spikey headed guys) are really cool and a very unique enemy as far as Fantasy novels go.  Their appearance also works well with the general feel of the setting of the book as a very harsh world.

  3. Like you, I'm intrigued by Elend (though his name eluded me when posting my response this week). 

    It should be interesting to see what, if any, role he plays in the upcoming chapters. 

  4. Your point is very valid in that Sazed does become an extremely dangerous character, as do all the Keepers.  More so perhaps than this band of misfits who are trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler.  The very existence of the Keepers is such a huge long-term threat.  The role of "Keeper" makes Sazed an incredibly interesting character even with what little we've seen of him to this point.

    I too like that having a focused viewpoint from just one side is increasing the tension and mystery of the whole story.  Its like the build up in a movie where, when you haven't seen the villain, you are on the edge of your seat just waiting for the big reveal.

    Now that you mention it I too am really curious about the metal in the spikes in the eyes of the Steel Inquisitors. 

    I'm also very curious about Keslier's wife and getting a better, fuller glimpse into what happened with them.  I'm wondering if we'll get some flashbacks or moments when various characters are told parts of the story or what.  I don't believe we'll be left hanging at the end of the trilogy.

  5. Yep, probably foolish. But I am OK with that. I wonder what book he'll have at the next party? Maybe he'll bring a copy for Vin. 

  6. Yeah - Steel Inqusitors are definitely harsh. I like Sanderson's ability to come up with things I have not seen before in fantasy. 

  7. Possible future alliance/aid to Kelsier's band? Depends on how sympathetic to the skaa he is and what, if anything, he is willing to risk. 

  8. Those little blips at the beginning of each chapter still have me very curious. I try to think about them from different viewpoints - Kelsier's, Vin, even from The Keepers. Perhaps The Keepers will end up being the real strength behind the overthrow, using Keliser and crew at the spear point. 

  9.  That is certainly a very interesting theory.  Can't wait to read next week's section.

  10. I like Elend too and get the feeling that we haven't seen the last of him.  A romance with Vin maybe?

  11. We can hope so. I think Vin needs a crush. For personal growth and all. 

  12. I'm with you for No.1 - it's all about the mystery and it certainly cranks up the suspense so I'm all for it.
    Definitely intrigued by Elend and Sazed and can't wait to find out more about them both.  I do kind of hope that Vin has a romance with Elend - I like the way she comes out of herself when he's around and gets all feisty.  A good and new side to her.
    Those Inquisitors - eugh!  They give me the super creeps!
    Lynn :D

  13.  Inquisitors - can they even be killed? I hope we find out how in this book, but wouldn't be surprised if Sanderson holds that off for later in the trilogy.

  14. I'm curious about the book they took as well, because I don't think it would have been mentioned at all if it didn't hold something interesting.  Vin probably made the Lord Ruler into a major enemy now though... he's not gonna like that someone stole from him.

  15.  How do you keep steel inquisitors from tracking you? If this book is important, Vin is going to be hunted...and what does that mean for her noblewoman party appearances?

  16. "For personal growth and all" LOL! :D

  17. WRT the Inquisitors: I get the impression that allomancers can only burn metal that they have swallowed, so the nails won't be burnt up, unfortunately.

    Hopefully the book is 'The Idiot's Guide to Killing the Lord Ruler', but I doubt it! I bet it is his diary or a history of him that will reveal some possible weakness: fingers crossed.

  18. I like your thought a lot. What if those little tidbits at the beginning of each chapter are excerpts from this mystery book and what if this mystery book is his diary from generations past?

  19. I also enjoy the mystery of the three groups that are on the periphery.  I love this aspect of Sanderson's storytelling, he knows how to hook me and to keep me reading.

    Elend is a fascinating character.  I always love the loner who rather read a book at a ball.  I can picture myself doing that.  

  20. I agree that Sanderson is great at hooking his audience and keeping the tension and mystery going - which is great because his books are so long!