Welcome to the first week of the “Mistborn: The Final Empire” groupread. I’ve been looking forward to it for quite some time! Last summer we tackled “The Way of Kings,” and I’ve been wanting to read more of Sanderson’s writing ever since.
This week’s reading covers the prologue through chapter six. Next week we’ll cover chapters seven through fifteen.
Discussion questions for this week were written by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings. His blog will also have link-ups to other participants’ discussions.
This post will contain spoilers. I’ll be posting a spoiler-free review at the end of the readalong for anyone who isn’t following along.
1. This first hundred or so pages was packed! What things are standing out for you in the story thus far?
I’m loving the story thus far. Part of it might be that I’m always intrigued by a good revolution (part of what made me such a big Russian history nerd). I’m curious to see how Kelsier’s plot will play out and whether or not he will succeed, especially since the Lord Ruler is portrayed as being very difficult to harm. The plan seems ingenious, but at the same time there wouldn’t be much of a story if everything worked out perfectly. I’m wondering how good a job Vin will do at faking nobility, considering that she’s spent most of her life on the streets. There’s bound to be some trouble there.
2. What are your thoughts on the magic system that Sanderson is unveiling in this novel?
It’s very scientific, and I like that. Magic doesn’t make someone invincible, but rather operates through very specific formulas and rules. I would like to learn more about how Allomancy became the exclusive domain of the nobility and whether the skaa possess any unique abilities of their own.
3. Kelsier and Vin have held most of the spotlight in these first 6 chapters. As you compare/contrast the two characters, how do you feel about them? Likes? Dislikes?
Vin is a pretty cool character, but Kelsier is my favorite. I like the way that he is able to remain cheerful under pressure and treats laughter as something that cannot be taken away by those in power. I’m hoping he doesn’t get too cocky, even though he’s obviously a skilled fighter.
4. Finally, how would you assess Sanderson’s storytelling abilities to this point?
Well, I’m having a very difficult time putting the book down. I also apparently can’t shut up about it. If it’s any indication, I had a dream a few nights ago that my boyfriend got mad at me because I wouldn’t stop talking about Mistborn. Luckily it was only a dream and he’s a fan of Sanderson too!
Overall, Sanderson does an excellent job telling a story. I like the fact that so far we only have two point-of-view characters, and I’m invested in each of their stories. One of the problems that I encounter a lot in fantasy is that some people can come up with wonderful stories but the writing itself is weak. Sanderson doesn’t fall into that trap.