“What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.”
“For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.”
This past summer I read The Way of Kings with a group. It was my first book by Brandon Sanderson and I loved it. Seriously, I couldn’t put it down. Since then, I’ve wanted to read more by him. When Carl mentioned that he was organizing a group read of Mistborn for the Once Upon a Time Challenge I rushed to get the books. And now it is time for the first group discussion.
Please note that the answers and discussion will contain spoilers. If you would like to join in on the discussions, please feel free. Everyone is welcome. And if you would like to follow all of the discussions click on this page.
1. This first hundred or so pages was packed! What things are standing out for you in the story thus far?
I was not expecting the first few pages to reveal a murder. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but after the murder I thought to myself that I had no clue what the trilogy is about. And that’s a good thing. Sanderson is revealing bits and pieces of the world he’s created, however, he isn’t going into a whole lot of detail about this world. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. Usually I like to know how things work. But I’m trusting Sanderson to make sense of everything for me. Right now, I’m content with enjoying the ride and I’m not taxing my brain too much by trying to figure out if his world actually makes sense. The fact that a group of misfits is attempting to overthrow the evil government is quite exciting for me. I love political intrigue and cheering for the underdogs.
2. What are your thoughts on the magic system that Sanderson is unveiling in this novel?
As of now, I don’t think I really understand the magic system. I know nothing about allomancy. Zip. As I stated in the previous answer, Sanderson does not provide a lot of explanation. I’m wondering if he is doing this intentionally since he wants us to be like Vin. Maybe he wants us to learn as she learns to use her powers and to understand the world around her.
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?
Kelsier is that lovable rogue that makes a good story. He isn’t innocent and can be cold-blooded at times, however, I feel that he knows what he’s doing and his actions are justifiable. In real life, I’m not a fan of vigilante justice. In these types of books, I love it. One thing I really appreciate about Kelsier is his attitude. He’s always smiling even though we know that he has suffered in the past. I’m still trying to figure out what is behind his smile: a new appreciation for life or the thought of killing the person responsible for ruining his life.
I’m on the fence about Vin. Right now she is timid and taking everything in. I don’t really know how I’ll feel about her as a character. The last twist of her role in the takeover might add a lot more dimension to her and I’m curious to see how it will play out.
4. Finally, how would you assess Sanderson’s storytelling abilities to this point?
Sanderson has a way of sucking me into his world slowly. He doesn’t overwhelm the reader with a lot of details about how things work. He drops bits and pieces along the way and I find myself meandering through his story gathering the breadcrumbs and waiting anxiously to find the big prize. My one concern is the lack of character development. In The Way of Kings I was amazed by how he introduced so many characters and defined them all. So far, I’m finding that Mistborn is not succeeding yet in this category. I know it is an earlier work and maybe his skills weren’t as sharp. I’m curious to see the evolution.
The discussions will continue next week and I’ll be providing the questions for the group. I can’t wait to see what happens next.