Final Empire, Mistborn Book One readalong, week 3
This week we’ve been reading Chapters 16 to 25 for our group readalong hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. Check out the details here and it’s probably not too late to take part or to join in with the discussions if you’ve already read the novel. Questions this week were provided by Grace and be warned not to read further if you don’t want any spoilers.
I’ve really enjoyed this week’s reading and can’t wait for the discussion this week.
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?
It’s very intriguing. At the start of the readalong I was actually reading the quotes but not really giving them a great deal of attention to be honest. I only went back to check them out because there was speculation about who the quotes were from – at that point I hadn’t even considered that they were from one of the characters we were reading about. I think this is a great way of incorporating another storyline. I’ve had to go back to the beginning to reread the quotes and piece together the little story that’s taking shape. What a great idea. We’re not getting to see the Lord Ruler and so far he’s a big mystery which all adds to the speculation about him but now we have this story within the story it’s really very interesting. I wouldn’t say that learning a little more of the Lord Ruler’s story is making me like him anymore but perhaps it starts to give him a bit more of an identity – you can see that he didn’t start this way and maybe living for two thousand years would be enough to make anybody a bit jaded (no, still don’t like him)!. I certainly want to find out what actually took place and I’m interested by these mists/shadows that are mentioned. Perhaps, the Lord Ruler was the first person to be born a mistborn but without direction he didn’t know how to use his powers or perhaps he found this ‘eleventh’ metal that nobody else seems to know of and has used that to become immortal. It feels to me like Sanderson is now taking us down the path of ‘can we really trust Kelsier’? The Lord Ruler didn’t seem to always be the monster he is now known as and so will Kelsier’s inevitable saviour status corrupt him also. I’m not sure that I believe that at the moment. I can see that Kelsier is becoming a little bit enamoured with his new ‘celebrity’ status but he still seems to listen to the rest of his crew. Anyway, I’m eager to find out – I wonder whether the recently discovered book that Sazed is translating will reveal something important or essential about the Lord Ruler??
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 suppose to a certain extent I can’t help thinking Kelsier is not in a strong enough position to dismiss any potential allies, but, saying that is easier said than done. It would be incredibly difficult to relay your plans about overthrowing the Lord Ruler to a bunch of the nobility – they’re his little favourites after all and even though they might have squabbling between themselves they have very easy and indulgent lives (at the Lord Ruler’s whim) and they have a lot to lose. Plus the skaa are nothing to them. There are a few with consciences (or so it appears) but are they going to get on board with a situation which potentially loses them their workforce or their lives? Despite that, I do like Elend, I’m not totally sure he’s going to be a man of action – maybe he’s going to uncover something important with all his reading. I can’t help thinking that reading is going to play a part her somewhere – we keep being told about all Elend’s reading and now Sazed with his translation of this all mysterious book!
3. What’s your favorite part of the book so far?
Well, this is a really difficult one to answer! Every week I’m totally surprised to find I’ve liked this week’s chapters more than the last – even though I really liked the earlier parts as well! I’m particularly enjoying watching Vin’s development. Not only is she becoming more confident in her own abilities but she’s actually starting to enjoy the company of the rest of the crew and to feel like a part of something. She even had a brief spell of reflecting about her brother and wishing he’d had a chance to experience something similar. I like the fact that she likes Elend and wants to think the best of him and will actually come straight to the point and ask her questions. But, I like the most the interaction with her and Sazed. Their discussion in the library was good to read and I also liked that she actually asked Sazed before she used her allomancy when following Elend at the last Ball she attended – they both seem to be developing a mutual trust and it’s good to see.
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?
I actually do think that the Lord Ruler will be defeated and Kelsier and his crew are just going to have to come up with a Plan B – quickly. But, the only reason I feel so confident about this is because of the name of the book ‘Final Empire’ which is probably a bit goofy of me but there it is!
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? Unfortunately I haven’t yet read The Way of Kings so can’t comment on this one.
Good questions Grace, thanks.