Mistborn Group Read Week 3

We come to week 3 of the Mistborn Group Read.  At this point we’re past the introductory segments of the book and really getting into the meat of the story.  This week’s questions have been provided by Grace from Books Without Any Pictures.  The questions this week cover chapters 16-25.  On we go.

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?

I don’t know if it works to change your opinion of the Lord Ruler, but I think it works to humanize him a little.  Up until this point in the story he has been more of a nebulous figure than an actual person.  Any time that you’re fighting against a person, you have to dehumanize them.  By having them discover the Lord Ruler’s logbook at the part of the story where things start to go wrong with their overall plan, it adds to the tension of wondering whether or not they’re going to continue.

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?

I think it’s interesting that they’re willing to discuss their plans of rebellion as openly as they are.  I’m also wondering why the Lord Ruler has allowed the books that they discuss to stay in society at all.  For the entirety of his reign he has quelled information that he didn’t want to exist to the point that there are entire cultures of history that only exist in the minds of the keepers.  Perhaps allowing them to exist is a way of subtly controlling the nobility by letting them think they have potentially more power than they really do, who knows.

I think that dismissing the group of nobles might be Kelsier’s biggest mistake at this point in the plan (even bigger than letting Vin follow him into Kredik Shaw).  It almost seems out of character for Kelsier to dismiss a potential weapon by not even trying to make use of Elend’s group of friends.

Vin

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

Would it be cheating to say all of it?  I’ve mentioned quite a few times on my blog that I am a huge Sanderson fan and I really enjoy all of his writing.  There is a lot going on in this book, the characters are all interesting and well written, the worldbuilding is solid, the magic is interesting, and the plot has plenty of twists and turns.  Having said all that, I’d probably say that the magic system is the most interesting aspect of the book.  Allomancy is a deep system with a lot of interesting powers that can be used in some very interesting ways.

If you’re asking for my favorite scene from the book, it’s coming up in the next section, you’ll all know what scene I’m talking about when you get there.

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?

Can’t really comment on since I’ve read the book twice now.

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?

I’ve read a little bit about Sanderson’s idea of having all of his books take place in the same universe (the Cosmere) and it’s an interesting way to tie all of his books together.  Having Hoid show up in the various books is an interesting touch, especially when you see how he consistently appears as someone with a lot of information about the world.  (He’s an informant in this book, and a storyteller in both Way of Kings and Warbreaker.  I’m sure he’s in Elantris but it’s been too long since I read it and I don’t recall exactly how he appears in that book.)

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15 Comments

  1. I like your idea that Kelsier should use Elend and not necessarily let him in on the plotting. That is a point I didn’t think of.

    Reply
  2. At least Sanderson appears to have a plan to tie his books together and has been working on it since the beginning–unlike Asimov or Heinlein later in their lives!

    It makes me curious to go back and re-read Warbreaker and see if and where Hoid pops up there.

    Reply
    • Somewhere on his website he talks about why he ties his books together. Basically, he was always a fan of huge epic Fantasy series, and he knew that he was eventually going to write them. But as an author starting out he had to learn to write stand alone books. His solution for having to write stand alone books but wanting to have a big epic Fantasy world was to write the books separately but put them in the same universe and have little things tying them together. Hence the Cosmere and things like Hoid showing up in every book somewhere.

      Reply
      • That makes a lot of sense. I’m curious to see more, and Warbreaker is on my TBR list at some point.

        I like your idea that the Lord Ruler allows some subversive thought/books/etc. within the nobility in order to give them the illusion of power. I don’t think he or Kelsier expect Elend’s group to do anything other than read and talk, and since they’re such a minority they probably won’t be able to have much of an influence. I wonder if push came to shove whether they’d be willing to take the necessary risks in joining the rebellion.

      • Keep in mind that he’s been in power for 1000 years. This isn’t the first rebellion that has come up in that time. He’s used to there being unrest in the population and he’s become accustomed to dealing with it.

  3. hannahrose42

     /  April 25, 2012

    The one fantasy world idea is very intriguing. Maybe I’ll check out his other books when I’m finished with the series. Picking a favorite part is really tough… anything with Vin using her powers is great, or the first time she happens upon Elend. My favorite aspect from the book is definitely the scientific magic though; it’s been my selling point when I try to tell people they should read the series.

    Reply
    • All of Sanderson’s books are quite good, and for typically being 700+ pages they’re all relatively quick reads as well.

      I really enjoyed Vin’s first meeting with Elend as well.

      I still use the ending of the trilogy as my main selling point, but the magic is definitely a strength of the series.

      Reply
  4. I certainly think that some of the best villains are those that do have some humanity. It makes their inhumanity that much harder to fathom and that much more evil. I’m enjoying getting little glimpses into who the Lord Ruler is, or might be, and am looking forward to a big reveal moment at some point.

    Yes, it does seem short sighted on Kelsier’s part not to be looking to use the nobles to an advantage, although I think it fits in with his seemingly single-minded viewpoint about the nobles. I believe that, as well as other things, will get him into trouble.

    It is interesting to speculate about whether the books and other things that exist that seem to be against the Lord Ruler are things that are subtle manipulations by the Lord Ruler or if they are things that are slipping through the cracks and showing that there is some vulnerability to the Lord Ruler’s reign.

    I imagine it is hard for you to answer some of these questions based on the fact that you know the story so well.

    I don’t think it is cheating at all to say ‘all of it’ as I think we are all enjoying the entirety of the book.

    Hoid is a fun character and it is a neat idea that Sanderson has.

    Reply
    • The fourth question this week is really the only one where I haven’t really been able to write an answer. Most of the other questions have dealt with impressions of the book, this is one of the first ones that directly asks what you think will happen.

      I’ve really enjoyed seeing what everyone else has to say about the story though, you’ve all come up with a lot of interesting theories that I don’t think I ever considered while reading the books.

      Reply
      • That happens with me every time I do one of these group reads. It is amazing how many different things a group of people see, and speculate about, when reading a book together.

  5. I’m loving the magic in this book. It’s so unique and well thought out and there are different elements of magic – like the magic we’re now finding out about that Sazed has. Sanderson is such a great storyteller I can’t wait to read No.2.
    That’s a really good point about using Elend – why hasn’t Kelsier thought of that??
    The thing with the Lord Ruler’s handbook that I did find amusing this week was when Vin was having her internal thoughts during her discussion with Sazed and, I can’t remember her exact words, but she thought it was boring! Brilliant and made me laugh out loud.
    Lynn 😀

    Reply
    • All of Sanderson’s magic systems are well thought out, this series has 3 really interesting ones (each book explains one system, although they’re all found in every book).

      Vin isn’t much of a scholar, which is a large part of why she finds the logbook boring. She’d rather be out there doing something than sitting down and reading a book – even if it plays directly into what they’re trying to do.

      Reply
    • I think she said he was whiny, which is even funnier! 😀

      Reply
      • Ha, a ‘whiny’ Lord Ruler. I hope the reading does play into all of this somehow. Not sure in what way at the moment. Thinking either that Lord Elend will have uncovered a bit of trivia in his little notebook but is unaware of it’s importance – perhaps Vin will find it, or that Sazed in translating the other book will find out something about his own religion that is pivotal. I’m on pins!
        Lynn 😀

  6. Now I’m wondering what that scene is. I’m trying not to reread these sections too quickly, but closer to the day we post our answers, so that I won’t accidentally mention something from further on in the book!

    Reply

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