It's time for another discussion on The Final Empire, the first novel in Brandon Sanderson's high fantasy series Mistborn. Saloni, from MyFantabulousBookshelf, and I are buddy reading and discussing this series, so please discuss along with us! Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead.
How do you think Vin has changed as an individual so far?
Courtney: Vin’s character development is slow and steady. Sometimes this can be annoying because she seems stuck on things that to me as a reader don’t seem like things she should care about. However, I think this slow development of her personality is fitting for a character that started out in her position. She transforms right before the reader’s eyes, page by page. As an individual she’s very conflicted; switching between Vin and Valette, never sure who she really is, but I think this will help her determine her place. Eventually. It might just be a while before we get there.
Saloni: I can’t really tell if Vin has progressed from the beginning of the book or not. As Vin, though she lived in fear, she has established a personality for herself. However as an individual, as part of Kelsier’s crew, she’s subjected to constant change in character from Valette to Vin. And though she’s a more skilled mistborn and a happier person, the only growth I’ve really seen in her is her becoming more trusting. Unfortunately that trust may betray her when it comes to Lord Elend, who knows?
With so many of his men dead, how do you think Kelsier is going to proceed with his rebellion?
Courtney: Kelsier seems determined to carry the plan, or something like it, forward no matter what. I’m not sure that it’s possible at this point to completely recruit a new army; it was hard enough getting the first one. I also don’t feel like we, as readers, completely understand what’s going on in Kelsier’s mind and what his plans really are. He’s very vague at times, even his thoughts that we’re privy to are often held in check somewhat, so I’m guessing he has a plan. Or if not a plan then, then a thought. A crazy thought.
Saloni: Recruit more skaa soldiers and try again? After the unexpected slaughter Kelsier’s determination seems even more strengthened, so I don’t think he’ll give up until he reaches his goal, no matter the costs. Maybe now Kelsier will buckle down on more of the politics and try to wreck the nobility from the inside, rather than spend effort rebuilding his army.
Anymore thoughts on Lord Elend?
Courtney: Ah, Elend. It’s hard not to fall in love with Elend, at least for me. We’ve definitely gotten more of his story and know him a bit better now. He seems sincere and I feel like Vin trusting him, even though she doesn’t trust easily, is a good sign. Either that or a very, very bad sign. I’m sure there is more of him to come.
Saloni: I love him and I can’t stop loving him. He’s witty, he’s intelligent, he’s funny, he’s everything a Lord should be. I can see why Vin is falling for him because so am I. I definitely sense some type of twist with him coming up, but I can’t decide what it is. Since Kelsier and his gang are highly suspicious of Lord Elend, him actually turning out to be associated with the Lord Ruler almost seems too predictable. But him actually being a good guy and working with Kelsier and Vin seems too good to be true. The likelihood of his death seems to be getting higher and higher.
Do you think the new information regarding the “magic” of the keepers (Sazed) will affect the mission? If so, how?
Courtney: I’m not sure this new knowledge about Feruchemy will have a huge impact on the overall mission that Kelsier is on, but I do feel that it will play a role. It’s already been used to save Vin’s life and other uses have been mentioned. Sazed will be in need of these special skills before the conclusion, I believe. How this will come about or in what way they will be used, I’m not entirely sure.
Saloni: I don’t think it will play a crucial role in the plot directly itself. But, as Courtney said, I think he’ll be needed to keep the plot from falling apart. I think the Keepers will be used as a form of backup, in case something happens to the Mistborns. Since their reserves are so limited, it would be difficult to have them be engaged in the actual fighting.
Now that we know the contents of the book Sazed and Vin found, do you think this will help or hinder the crew?
Courtney: The fact that they now have a record penned by the Lord Ruler himself seems significant. What they’ve read (and what we’ve been reading as our chapter headings the entire book) doesn’t seem life altering, but it gives a new perspective. The crew now has an idea of the man that the Lord Ruler was before the ascension, before he became the Lord Ruler. And the changes are extreme. How this will help or hinder their plan is up in the air, but something in those pages is important.
Saloni: I honestly think it will serve to hinder the crew since it gives a different, softer perspective on the Lord Ruler. Throughout the entire book we’ve only known the Lord Ruler as this brutal tyrant who, we agree, should be put down. But as the book progresses and we get to read bits and pieces of his life before, he becomes more humanized, which might make him harder to kill, especially if Kelsier and his crew start sympathizing with him.
Any thoughts on who, or what, is acting as Lord Renoux’s imposter?
Courtney: Vin is constantly amazed by how well the imposter that is Lord Renoux plays his part. While he is not out and about in the larger societal gatherings that she attends, he does attend to matters with the lesser nobles, never breaking character. This seems important. There have been several mentions of methods of impersonation that cannot easily be detected, most notably by the elder Lord Venture. So my guess would be that something is wearing his skin. Again, this seems like it will be very important later on and I’m interested in finding out exactly what is going on there.