Welcome to the fourth week of the Hero of Ages groupread! Since there was no discussion last week, feel free to discuss Part III here as well as Part IV. The following post (and the comments) will contain plot spoilers, so if you haven’t read this far into the book, be warned.
These are just some ideas to get the discussion started; feel free to add any other thoughts or bring up points that I’ve missed.
This section revealed a good deal about the dueling forces of Ruin and Preservation. Do you think that it’s possible to defeat Ruin, and do you have any guesses as to how this could be done? I’m assuming that Ruin will be held at bay in the end (mostly because otherwise there wouldn’t be anywhere for The Alloy of Law to take place), but I’ve got no idea how he could be stopped short of the whole of humanity joining hands and singing Kumbaya, and at this point, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
During the past two sections, we’ve also been given a lot of background on Hemalurgy, as well as its relationship to the kandra, the koloss, and the Inquisitors. I guessed during last week’s reading that Vin’s earring is the spike that’s allowing her to hear Ruin’s voice, even though she hasn’t realized yet what’s causing her to hear it.
I think it’s interesting the way that the koloss are becoming more human as spikes are recycled over and over again; perhaps the dilation of their power could be one of Ruin’s weaknesses? Or perhaps the winding down of its power is just a reflection on the nature of Ruin himself.
I’ve noticed that the Kandra seem to know more than everybody else about what’s going on, but aside from TenSoon, none of them really seem to care. I wonder if the Kandra know anything that could help save the world. What did you think about TenSoon’s impersonation of Kelsier?
The dynamic of Vin and Elend’s relationship has changed drastically from the previous book. Both had to learn the necessity of trusting each other. Do you think Vin’s capture will strain their relationship, now that Elend is beginning to realize that she’s as mortal and fallible as he is?
Spook was a fantastic hero. The ending of this section was epic, and has been one of my favorite scenes in the trilogy thus far. It seems like the sort of thing that will be passed down in legends for the ages to come. Speaking of Spook, I found it fascinating to see how much Urteau’s decline at the hands of Ruin mirrored political and social events in Communist nations during the latter half of the 20th Century. It was neat to see how ideas that started out with fundamentally good intentions could be corrupted by Ruin and used to create a monstrosity.
What are your thoughts on the past two sections of the book? What parts stood out for you the most? Do you have any predictions for how the rest of the story will play out?