Hey everyone, and welcome to week three of the Mistborn groupread! This week’s discussion covers chapters 16-25 of Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn: The Final Empire.” Discussion questions were written by yours truly. If you pop over to Carl’s post at Stainless Steel Droppings you’ll be able to find links to everyone’s posts.
From this point onward there will be spoilers.
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?
Knowing that the Lord Ruler was the one who wrote the passages at the start of each chapter makes the story much more complex. We see him hearing voices and being pursued by shadows, but all in all he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. What changed? How did he regress from hero to tyrant? I’m also curious about the Deepness. If it’s true that the Lord Ruler keeps the Deepness at bay, then Kelsier might end up with a bigger mess than he bargained for in the event that he does succeed. On a similar tangent, what secrets did the Terrismen hold? They seem to know an awful lot about the Deepness and the Lord Ruler’s role in their prophecies.
And while I’m on the subject of Terrismen… poor Sazed! When I found out he was a eunuch I just wanted to give him a hug or pat him on the head or take violent revenge on the Lord Ruler. Y’know. He deserves better.
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 like them. Yeah, they are still nobility, and as such they’re complicit in some of the crimes against the skaa. At the same time, they do want to change, and I think that Kelsier is wrong to dismiss them entirely. I’m foreseeing that Elend’s little club is going to end up playing a key role later on, and Vin might find herself faced with some tough choices if she’s forced to fight them.
3. What’s your favorite part of the book so far?
There are so many parts that I like, but I think that any time that Kelsier and Vin are out in the mists with their cloaks unfurled are my favorites. It’s fun to imagine them flying around and fighting. I’m kind of curious about the Mistwaiths; they seem a bit horrific. I wonder if they’re important or are just a way to set the mood and show the skaa’s fears.
Aside from the mists, I’d say my other favorite parts are any time that Sazed speaks. He’s fascinating, and I’m intrigued by the history of the Lord Ruler and of what came before. The Keepers are awesome. I want to know how to store memories in my jewelry too!
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?
Well, Kelsier’s ego finally got the better of him. By letting people believe that he was invincible, he ended up giving the confidence to go on a spur-of-the-moment suicidal mission because they thought they could handle it. This changes everything. Is he going to be able to save the remnants of the army? I think it’s kind of sad that the skaa considered this to be a victory, but on the other hand, knowing that even skaa can put a dent in the Lord Ruler’s power when they work together might convince more people to come to Kelsier’s aid. Only time will tell. I’m wondering what this is going to mean for everyone else though, and whether covers were blown during the defeat.
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 almost fell out of my chair when Kelsier called Hoid a skaa. Seeing him here makes me want to reread his bits in The Way of Kings to see if I can figure out any clues as to what he’s up to. I like the way that Sanderson’s books are all connected, and I’m curious to learn more about the larger universe that they’re set in.