Mistborn Group Read – Final Week

So we’ve finally reached the final week of our group read for the first book of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy.  I finally don’t have to worry about posting spoilers!  At least for this book, I suppose I still have to worry about posting potential spoilers from the rest of the series, but we’ve reached the end of the first book.  This week’s questions have once again been provided by our group read host Carl V over at Stainless Steel Droppings.  Thanks again Carl for hosting the group read and thanks to everyone who participated, It’s bee a lot of fun.

1.  So, what do you think of Kelsier’s plan now? Or his ‘plan within a plan’?  How do you feel the late introduction of the kandra and how it fit into Kelsier’s plan?

Can I say that it’s brilliant?  Even more powerful than Kelsier’s allomancy was his ability to influence other people and to get them to perform beyond what they thought they were able to do.  I think he realized fairly early on that the only way to get the skaa to finally revolt was to give them something else they could believe in.  I don’t know if it was part of his original plan, but it definitely was something he realized he could use once the rumors referring to him as the ‘Survivor’ started popping up throughout Luthadel.

You say the late introduction to the Kandra, but having read the book before there are some very subtle signs that Renoux was a Kandra all along.  Very early in the book the Skaa discuss how mistwraiths can disguise themselves as another person, so the idea of someone disguising themselves that way is introduced fairly early in the story.  There are also some other small hints spread throughout the course of the book.

2.  The final section of the book was very Vin-centric.  How do you feel about the choices she made and did you have any worries/fears about what might happen to her before everything was resolved?

I think the way that Vin approaches things at the end is a good way to show the difference between her and Kelsier.  Both are very impulsive, but Vin isn’t quite as ruthless.  When she’s making her way into Kredik Shaw at the end of the book, she doesn’t kill the guards standing outside, she talks to them and tries to get them to work with her.  Compare this to Kelsier earlier in the book when he simply kills the guards without giving them a second thought.  Having seen the power of the Lord Ruler at the end of the previous section, you have to be worried about Vin, but at the same time, there are two more books in the series and he already killed Kelsier, so I suppose somebody has to live for the next book.  (But that’s a bit cynical, even for me.)  The last section shows how far Vin has come throughout the course of the book.  From being the one who suggests early on in the book that they shouldn’t even try to fight the Lord Ruler to single handedly charging his palace.

3.  After all that we find out that the Lord Ruler wasn’t the prophesied one after all.  Surprised? Had you figured it out?  What thoughts do you have about the big reveal, including how it tied into Sazed’s people?

I didn’t figure it out, and it really is a big surprise.  The writer of the log book was originally fulfilling Terris religious prophecies, so the resentment that Rashek felt for him was kind of natural.  Just like everything else in the book, everything makes sense, but you really have to be paying attention to see it coming, but when it happens it just works.

4.  There was some back and forth about Elend throughout the story and we finally got to see him take a greater stand.  Any predictions about what might happen in book two with Elend taking on leadership duties?

I think he’ll have something to do with the leadership void following the Lord Ruler’s death, but who can really say what’s going to happen in the future?

5.  Lastly, provide a little wrap up of your experience with the book.  What do you think Sanderson’s strengths are?  How does this book stack up against other fantasies you’ve read?

I absolutely love this book, and I have beamed about how much I love Sanderson’s writing too many times to remember on my blog.  I think that his biggest strength as a writer is the quality of his foreshadowing.  There are so many twists and turns throughout the course of the book, but they all work.  There is subtle foreshadowing for every thing that happens, even the biggest twists in the book, if you look closely, there are hints.  (That’s really what the second read through of a book is for, to pick up on all the small hints, I really enjoyed my re-read of the series.)  As for how this book stacks up against other Fantasy novels, I don’t know if I’ve said it during the course of the group read, but I know I’ve said it plenty of other times on my blog.  Sanderson is my favorite author at the moment, and this series is a large part of the reason why.  As great as the ending to the first book is, the ending of the series is the best ending I’ve ever seen in any book I’ve ever read.  I also really appreciate the fact that this book works quite well as a stand alone book if you didn’t want to continue with the series (although how could anyone be content stopping here?).

Ok, time for me to ask a question.  I’ve wanted to ask this for a while, but I forgot which section of the book this line comes from so I figured I’d wait till the end.

One of the things that Kelsier tells Vin in the book is a simple line that is one of the central themes both of this book and the series as a whole: “There’s always another secret.”  How well do you think this applies to the book?  What did you think about all the twists throughout the novel?

And finally, how are you going to pass the time between reading this and starting the next book in a couple of weeks?

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  1. I love the line “There’s always another secret,” and I do think that it’s going to be a theme throughout the next two books. Even now, we keep learning that everything isn’t quite as it seems, from the Kandra to the Lord Ruler to the fact that Marsh is an Inquisitor. There are sure to be so many more twists and layers to the world that Sanderson’s been developing, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    • I love the full version of that quote, as it really went to show just how much Kelsier had been thinking about this.

      During the section where the crew finally face Kelsier down about his ego, Kelsier thinks (as this is his PoV section),

      Ah, Ham, Kelsier thought. I wish I could explain everything to you
      Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans.
      There was always another secret.

      • It really is a fantastic line for the book as well as the central theme of the entire series, it’s great how well Sanderson works it into the book.

  2. I didn’t any of the hints about kandra the first time through this book, but on reread, you’re right, there are so many hints. Not just about the kandra, but about the Lord Ruler, and Kelsier’s secret plan, and so many of the things from later books. It’s amazing how well he ties everything together!

    That contrast between Vin and Kelsier with the guards is one of the things I mentioned in my post today as well. It really showed how different they are, even though they trained together and she learned so much from him.

    I can’t answer your question about the secrets, because I know more of them, having read the other books. I *can* say that after my first read of this book, I never would have guessed where this series was going to go, or just how grey everything/everyone would eventually get.

    • The subtlety of the foreshadowing is the reason that his huge twists always work out so well. Although it might seem like the twist comes from nowhere, it’s been there the whole time and it’s just been the very minor things that very few people are going to pick up on the first time through the book.

  3. I think the next secret is the Deepness: because the Lord Ruler was still holding it at bay and now they have to deal with it! Oopsie! 😀

    • So you’ll just have to read the next book and find out what it is then won’t you?

  4. One thing I really love about Sanderson’s writing is that he doesn’t take the easy path. I feel like he does an excellent job of keeping me guessing what is going to happen next and very rarely am I right. He drops clues in such a way that I don’t realize they are clues until I figure it out and then I think back and think, “well yes that makes total sense.” And I love your quote, “There’s always another secret.” I have a feeling the next book will bring this to light even more.

  5. I think that the line ‘there is always another secret’ should actually be the strapline for this series. It’s certainly true of the first and I imagine that it’s going to continue to be true for the rest. The great think about this book, and Sanderson, is that he definitely gives you the trail of crumbs – whether you actually manage to follow them is another matter but you can definitely see them once you get to the end – it’s like the moonlight has come out and shown you the trail.
    I’ve always fancied reading Sanderson and I’m glad that this is the series that I started with, plus I thinking reading it as a group as been probably even more rewarding because of all the speculation.
    I can see why you love this series.
    Lynn 😀

    • I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but wait until you get to the end of the third book. For my money it’s the best ending I’ve ever seen in a book.

  6. hannahrose42

     /  May 10, 2012

    I absolutely loved finding out who the real Lord Ruler was — since the journal entries have been one of my favorite parts of the book, I went through and reread most of them. I still am really looking forward to each new chapter starting, because I know it means another entry (I’m on The Hero of Ages). I think Sanderson does intersperse secrets extremely well throughout the book — even Vin suspects Renoux for being something out of place. I am really excited to finish the series and be able to discuss it.


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