Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Read Along of Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson Part 3

The Read Along is being hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. 

This week’s questions were supplied by Grace. You can follow the links to everyone else’s answers here.

We read up to the end of Chapter 25.

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?

I feel very smug that for once I was right about something like this: normally I am totally wrong if I make a prediction about anything! :D 

As for the Lord Ruler, as I said in my answers last week, I think he started out a decent bloke and was corrupted by absolute power. So, no, my opinion of him has not changed.

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 am not sure how effective they could be. We all know that teenagers rebel against their parents and this could simply be an example of that. However, they might be in earnest in their desire to change the system, in which case they might be very useful allies. One problem could be the dedication level of each individual: it is much easier to sound rebellious when you are in a group. It could be that some of them truly believe what they are saying whilst others are merely agreeing for other reasons. I think it would be dangerous to approach the group as a single unit and much more sensible to speak to each individual separately. I am quite sure that Kel is very biased against the nobles, though we shall see if he is right this time.

3.  What's your favorite part of the book so far?

That is a tough question. I think my favorite part is still the first description of Kel's allomancy fighting. It was breath-taking in its visual imagery and the description of magic unlike any I had read before. Simply amazing!

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?

"Major stumbling blocks"!??!???!?!??! That is a slight understatement!

I assume that the quotes from the Lord Ruler's Diary are meant to foreshadow Kel's journey to becoming the next head of state or at least the power that places the next ruler in position, which means that he must succeed somehow. However, I have no idea how that will happen, or what he will do next. I do think that the remaining army will be important, as will his new-found determination to shake the skaa out of their acceptance of defeat. Perhaps he will target the Lord Ruler individually, hoping that by removing the head of government the whole of the oppressive society will collapse. He will never give up trying, not now that he has both revenge and social injustice motivating him.


  1. I have a hard time understanding how a decent bloke can end up being an evil dictator.  But the quotes are revealing.  I'm just curious how the Lord Ruler became cruel...what happened to him?  Elend and his group sound cool, but how dedicated would they be when the trouble starts.  It is easier to say you want to make changes instead of actually doing it.  

  2. While I can see Elend and his fellow nobles seeing a rebellion as an interesting idea, I think that they would be surprised at what the reality of it would entail.  It might mean they'd have to work for a living like the skaa should the Lord Ruler actually fall. 

    I wonder if Sanderson will explore this as the novels continue. 

  3. It is okay to feel smug once in awhile, kudos to you! :)

    The jury is still out for me about how decent the Lord Ruler was.  I'm remaining open-minded about that though.

    What is also interesting about the nobles possibly rebelling is that they may be the heirs but the are not in power in their Houses at this point, so it would/will be interesting to see how much impact they might be able to have if they did rebel in earnest.  Would they quickly be cut off and tossed out of their respective Houses or would they be more manipulative, working behind the scenes and covertly from positions of wealth and power?

    I'm not sure this early in the book that we have any clear picture of what true 'success' might be, for the rebellion and for individual characters.  There remains a great deal of story left to be told and as things unravel I suspect that priorities will change, ideals and plans will be reassessed, and we the readers will be taken on a wild ride.

  4. I think that Kelsier feels a sense of responsibility toward his men; now that his army has been decimated, he's going to feel like he has something to prove and that he owes it to the survivors to succeed.  I'm curious about what shape his plan is going to take.

  5. You're right actually - we have found out a little more about the Lord Ruler, and whilst this might be a bit illuminating in certain respects, as it really changed my opinion of him?  Nope, he's still a monster.  At the end of the day, if you were one of the Skaa would you read that book and think 'oh well, that changes things then, I can see where he's coming from now'.  No you wouldn't.  So, good point.
    I like your point about Elend and his friends being like a teenage rebellion - it is sort of how they come across.  Just reading and talking in quiet corners.  They're not exactly planning for anything real and they do come across as a bit incautious!
    Lynn :D

  6. I"m not sure this particular group of nobles wants to really change things THAT much. I could see them maybe wanting fairer working conditions for the skaa, or to stop the rapes/murders, but I doubt they'd want to undo the whole social system and make everyone equal. And I think anything less than equality is not something Kelsier - or the others - would be interested in.

  7. It will be interesting to discover whether the Lord Ruler's 'evilness' began as soon as he took power or developed slowly over time. Maybe he had to do something when he killed the previous ruler that changed him.

    I have serious doubts about Elend's pals and their usefulness, though it would be nice to think that some of the nobles want to improve things.

  8. True: they probably think that they can continue much the same as they are whilst the skaa have much better conditions than before. This is not a bad wish in itself, but might not be very possible.

  9. Why, thank you! :)

    You are right about the Ruler: he is what historians call an 'unreliable witness'. He could very easily think that he is a lovely chap, and so writes about himself that way. I am quite sure that Hitler didn't realize that he was evil.

    I guess the heirs might be disposed of if there are other siblings available, although the low birth rate amongst the nobles might be a problem there. The idea of them working behind the scenes seems much more possible, assuming that they don't just wet their pants when they find out about the rebellion! :D

    I am beginning to think that we will have to wait until the later books to get a final answer.

  10. It seems like he has started to see them as individuals and so feels more responsible for them. It is hard to imagine losing so many men and still being able to pull a plan together, but who knows?

  11. I'm still convinced that the diary sections are a warning to us about what could happen to Kel, so hopefully he won't do whatever it was that turned the Lord Ruler into an evil megalomaniac.

    I just have this image of Elend's pals all sitting around trying to solve all the world's problems whilst moaning about how their parents don't understand them! :D

  12. The idea of equality could be a bit of a shock to them, but they probably haven't really thought of it. It seems like they are rebelling in small ways, but not doing anything very dramatic to annoy their parents, like NOT going to the balls.

  13. Yeah, like 'it's so unfair! you ruined my life'.  Lol.
    Lynn :D

  14. All teenagers rebel.....But like these guys are early 20s? Do you think their on-going rebellion against the parents has been so unsuccessful that they have carried it into their early manhoods? Just thinking out loud.... Maybe part kid rebellion - like they have been doing it for so long they don't know how to stop and maybe it will morph into something useful. 

  15. Doh! You are right, they are older than I thought! That changes things a bit . . . though you could be right that this is a continuation of earlier behavior. 


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