Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension Discussion #2

Saloni, from My Fantabulous Bookshelf, and I are still busy reading The Well of Ascension, the second book in the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. As we read we've been putting together discussion posts and it's time for our second post about this book. As a warning, there are spoilers for the first novel and slight spoilers through part two of this novel, so if you haven't read it yet, you may want to wait to read this post. 

  1. Now that we know a bit more about the Watcher (Zane), what are some thoughts you have?
Courtney: I don’t like love triangles, and this is verging on a love triangle, so I am not thrilled about that. However, I do think that Zane adds to the story. His presence itself is a challenge to Vin because she so badly wants another Mistborn around. At the same time she doesn’t know if she can or should trust him (I’m leaning toward definitely not). Since he’s Straff’s son and thus Elend’s brother, he also adds tension in the political side of the story. I’m also wondering where his insanity is leading, that has to be hinting at some bigger plot element. 

Saloni: While I didn’t expect Zane to be Elend’s brother, I’m not all that surprised. It makes for an interesting plot twist both politically and personally. I sense an interesting love triangle begin to emerge between Elend, Vin and Zane but I also see interesting complications in the political alliance between Zane, Straff and Elend. I’m excited for these relationships to be fleshed out a bit more and involve more interactions.

  1. What are your thoughts on Tindwyl?
Courtney: Tindwyl is a rather interesting character and it will be interesting to see more of her interactions with Elend, Vin, and the rest of the crew. We don’t know much of her background yet, so I’m hoping that we might get some more insight into what makes her the way she is. Having her around is definitely an interesting comparison to Sazed, since he’s the only other Terrisman we’ve really been exposed to. I would really like to see more interactions between those two. 

Saloni: I really hope that Tindwyl is who she says she is. As of now I really like her character and the personality she brings to the characters. She has taken up the role of mother to both Elend and Vin and is already having such an impact on their lives. I’m excited to see how her character moves forward with the rest of the crew and I do hope we see more of her.

  1. Do you think Elend will continue to fight for his throne? If not, who do you think will try to take the power?
Courtney: I don’t think that Elend will completely give up his fight for the throne, but it does throw them into an interesting position. With the siege of Luthadel taking place it’s not an ideal time for political conflict. I’m not sure who would take the throne in Elend’s place, but I’m guessing one of the men on the Assembly is hoping to claim the power for himself.  

Saloni: After all the work that everyone did getting Elend into the throne and maintaining it, I don’t think it should be that easy for the Assembly to remove him. There’s no way Elend and the crew would accept defeat that quickly. But adding a fight for power to the already taxing war wouldn’t be smart for the city of Luthadel.

  1. How do you think the daytime Mist and the Lord Ruler’s death are connected?
Courtney: The Lord Ruler was connected to the mist somehow, I don’t know how. I think when he told Vin that she had no idea what he did for the world before she killed him was related to this. The power he gained at the Well of Ascension must have given him some connection with the mist that was broken upon his death.   

Saloni: My only guess was that the Lord Ruler connected himself to some type of force at the Well of Ascension, a force that restrained the movement of the Mists. His death freed the Mists which subsequently freed the shadowy creatures inside the Mist.

  1. Do you think that there’s any connection between the Hero of Ages and Vin?
Courtney: There seems to be some connection purely based on the fact that Vin can see the same shadow creature in the mist that the Hero of Ages saw, but I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s linked through her Allomancy somehow and the fact that she’s Mistborn. Perhaps this odd connection is somehow caused by the Lord Ruler, since he was the one who killed the Hero of Ages and then Vin killed him. How that would work I have no idea, but there could be something there.  

Saloni: Considering only the two of them can see the strange shadowy creatures of the Mist there is definitely some type of connection though I’m not sure whether it’s genetic. It’s very possible that the Hero of Ages left behind a heir before he was killed and Vin is a distant descendant of him, which would explain her inherent excellence in allomancy.

  1. Which character do you feel has had the most development in this novel and do you like the direction the character is headed?
Courtney: Elend has without a doubt had the most development in my opinion. Vin seems stuck in one mindset, but I’m hoping to get more growth from her as the novel progresses. Elend, on the other hand, has grown in leaps and bounds. Personally, I like where he’s headed. I’ve always adored his character, but with Tindwyl forcing him to become more confident and kingly I’ve grown to appreciate him more. I also like that he’s so supportive of Vin, no he doesn’t always understand her, and yes he makes mistakes, but he’s trying to be the best he can and is developing with each chapter. 

Saloni: I have to agree with Courtney. While Vin has made a lot of progress from the beginning of the first book, she seems to slowly be going back to a state of confusion and indecision. Elend has taken a position of responsibility, going from a disheveled heir to a confident leader. While his appearance and demeanor has changed, we slowly begin to see that seep into his personality and his true self. I can’t wait to see more of this and more of Elend.

  1. Vin and OreSeur have put aside many of their differences and even seem to be headed toward friendship, what do you think about this relationship?
Courtney: I feel like this is going to have a significant impact at some point in the future. We still don’t know much about kandra, although we know much more than we did in the previous novel. Their budding friendship didn’t seem likely, but it does seem important. I don’t know how this will affect things in the future, but I’m enjoying the development now. They can be quite entertaining together. 

Saloni: I really really love this relationship. For me, the best types of relationship brew from hatred. They’re slowly beginning to understand each other and maybe even like each other. Their personalities complement each other in a complex way and while I’m sure it will help the plot somehow, it really is just entertaining to read about.

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