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?