Mistborn Group Read Week 4

We’re up to week 4 of the Mistborn group read this week, which covers chapters 25-34.  First off to everyone who is participating in the group read, I have to ask if you were actually able to stop after chapter 34 or if you had to keep going.

Having said that, the group read once again is hosted by Carl and this weeks questions have been provided by Lynn.  On we go.

Kelsier figurine

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?

I love the juxtaposition between his strength with allomancy and the fact that he really is just a man.  Vin says that he doesn’t look like anything special, and comments that he appears younger than Kelsier.  He also gives some credence to the myths surrounding him by taking a couple of spears to the chest and simply ignoring them.  In two short scenes Sanderson does an excellent job of supporting all of the myths around the Lord Ruler by showing his physical and allomantic power.

As for whether or not he can be beaten, we’ll have to read and see what happens.

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??

Hmm, another question directly asking what happens.  I’ll just say that the crew is very tenacious and in many ways a little bullheaded about trying to accomplish their goals.

Inquisitor figurine

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?

I think it’s fully understandable.  Every member of the crew knew what they were getting into when they joined Kelsier’s crew and his plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler.  At some level Kelsier had to know that they were going to lose someone from the crew, and while it hurt that it was his brother that died, he is still going to stick to his plans.

Ok, this analogy is not going to be PC in any way, shape, or form, but it’s the closest thing that I can think of that will fit.  Kelsier shattering the Atium crystals is essentially the same as the 9/11 attacks (and technically they are a terrorist group trying to overthrow the empire, so the analogy fits quite well).  Even for those who never see Atium the undercutting of the economic system of the empire is going to affect them.  I think it would affect the nobles more than the Skaa for 2 reasons.  The first is that they’re closer to the Atium to begin with.  And the second is that it would have to instill a little bit of fear in them.  If a group can undercut the economic strength of the Lord Ruler that effectively, what could they do to any individual noble family?  The Skaa might receive harsher treatment because of aggravated nobles, but the effect would be much less noticeable for them.

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?

It’s really interesting watching how the snippets from the Lord Ruler are mirroring the trials of the crew. While the story of Kel and Vin is beginning to hit it’s low point the Lord Ruler is also struggling with his quest to defeat the darkness.  As for what the darkness is, can I simply say you’ll find out later in the series?

Vin

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?

There is a lot of history between the nobles and the Skaa, but I think that Elend is an unusual enough noble and Vin is forceful enough as a Skaa (especially after learning about allomancy) to where I don’t think their class differences would be a problem for them.

So there are the questions for this week.  I just have one last comment about this section – Kelsier is a badass.  During the questions last week I mentioned that my favorite section of the book was coming up this week.  Obviously it was Kelsier’s fight with the Inquisitor and then his encounter with the Lord Ruler.  It’s a very powerful scene and so much fun to read, even knowing exactly what was coming I still relished every moment of that fight.

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16 Comments

  1. Kelsier does an amazing job during that battle scene. I loved Vin watching him when he was pulling and pushing all those metals, and realizing she was wrong about his strength.

    Reply
    • I think we’ve all had moments where we realize just how strong someone really is after we’ve dismissed them as being weak. That’s not the best description, because I don’t think Vin ever dismissed Kelsier as being weak, but I think it gets the idea across.

      Reply
    • She suddenly realized how much she still had to learn, which is always scary.

      Reply
  2. You are the first to verbalize (I think at least) that the destruction of the Atium will hurt the nobles more. Most say that the skaa will bear the brunt of this action. I really liked your second reason for this, instilling fear into the nobles.

    Reply
    • When you have as little as the skaa have, it’s hard to come up with a situation where their lives get worse. Most of the skaa don’t even know exactly what allomancy is capable of let alone how powerful atium is. The only thing that could really be done to the skaa would be to kill them, and some of them would probably see death as a release rather than a punishment.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing the pics of the action figures. Way cool.

    I am also enjoying how the journal entries are mirroring the state of the rebellion – all the set backs, doom and gloom, etc. It is disappointing that nothing about the 11th metal has surfaced in the journal yet. I wonder if Vin will become desperate enough to simply try it – which seems to fit her character type.

    Reply
  4. I am wondering if the eleventh metal is key to the destruction of the Lord Ruler. Time will tell.

    Reply
  5. Instead of a 9/11 analogy, I’d go with saying that it would be like someone destroying all the world’s oil. The economy would be wrecked and the impact would resound through all rungs of society.

    I finished the book; there was just no way of stopping.

    Reply
    • 9/11 probably isn’t the best analogy, but it was the first one that I thought of when I wrote out my answers. Oil is probably a much better substitute.

      Reply
      • The Atium was big. I’m so curious as to what effect it’s going to have later on. I’m also curious as to why the Pits were the only place that you could get it and whether there’s more that we don’t know about Allomancy as a whole.

  6. Those figurines are great especially Kelsier (sob!) I was really enjoying his character and was sad that he had to die. Those final scenes of his were awesome to read about though.
    Plus, it was really sad that Marsh died as well – he seemed to have such a presence – i really did think he might have more of a part to play!
    I still think the Lord Ruler can be beaten – we got a good look at him this week and he certainly does seem to live up to all the stories surrounding him but he also seems to be very intent on finding Vin – and I can’t imagine why other than that he has something to fear from her – she does seem to be different than the other Mistborn and she picks things up incredibly quickly.
    Lynn 😀

    Reply
  7. Kristen M.

     /  May 2, 2012

    I started thinking something today and now you’ve practically said it in your post too so here it is — Kelsier’s scene with the Lord Ruler is totally Obi Wan! He lets himself be struck down for the greater cause. It’s a powerful tool and I think it will motivate Vin in ways that he never could were he alive. (And I did pause long enough in my reading to answer the questions and then I picked the book right back up and finished it off!)

    Reply
    • I think the difference between Kelsier and Obi Wan is that Kelsier really drives the plot of the book forward more than I remember Obi Wan (although it’s been some time since I’ve seen the Star Wars movies).

      Reply
  8. It really is pretty amazing that Sanderson was able to take just a couple of pages and show just how powerful the LR is and also dispatch of Kelsier. It was almost a “blink and you would miss it” moment. But man was that part of the story powerful. Wow! This section of the book was amazing. So dense with story.

    I hadn’t thought about it until just now, but the fact that the Pits are poorly defended is just another example of the Lord Ruler’s arrogance. As important as it is to the economy you would think there would be Inquisitors and soldiers galore making sure that no one got near.

    The atium destruction will certainly hurt the nobles, badly, but it also stands to reason that in a real world example that hurt would deeply effect the ‘common man’ as well. And given how little valued the skaa are now, if nobles found themselves hard up for food, etc. they wouldn’t be wasting any feeding skaa.

    I can see why that is your favorite section. That whole chapter was riveting. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

    Reply
    • Kelsier fighting the inquisitor is absolutely brilliant, one of the best action scenes I think I’ve ever seen in a book.

      Reply
      • Would definitely agree with that. TWoK comes closed with some of the fight scenes there using Lashings and the like, but I still think that this fight in particular takes the cake as best written and most able to really visualise it.

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