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Nadine
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Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

Well it is finally time to get going with Mistborn #1: The Final Empire. I must say that the ending of this book turned into a real page-turner with one surprise after another! Since some people might be still reading it, lets mark as SPOILERS any discussions beyond Chapter 30 (page 496). That is about the point where things really pick up and most of the surprises start to happen.

To plan ahead a bit, we will start discussions of the next two books on this schedule:

Start Mistborn #2: The Well of Ascension - May 10

Start Mistborn #3: The Hero of Ages - May 31

 

If anyone has difficulty with that schedule, please feel free to speak up.

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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

I kept thinking throughout this book that it would make a good movie. In fact, it is an action movie director's dream. It struck me as the sort of movie that would be in the vein of  a Japanese marshal arts film. And what fun the special effects department would have with it !

 

But unfortunately I think that is all that it would be. Just a B-level action film. Part of the problem would be the exploitation and domination of the action possibilities with Mistborns flying all over the place engaged in superhuman tasks, and secondly an inherent problem in the book that I will talk about in another post. It does lack some depth. But still, I think a really good director could bring out more of the understory. It does have a good love story possiblility that could be brought out and some good characters to work with. And, of course a great finally.

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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

Some Overall Impressions

I really liked this book and will continue with the series. It did keep me engaged. I thought the world that Sanderson created was original and interesting. His system of magic was fascinating as well. I see a lot of alchemy as the basis of his magic and there might be a significant connection here with symbolic alchemy. And though it occasionally slows down, the plot and action sequence are really superior.

My quibbles are minor but I might as well get them said early. I know a lot of people will disagree with me but that is what "discussions" are all about.

The first is with Vin and her skyrocketing development from withdrawn street urchin to one of the most (if not the most) accomplished Mistborn ever to have existed and also "My Fair Lady" in only a few short months. I think the whole story takes place over an 8th month period but I don't remember now where I read that.

I know she is supposed to be an exceptional gifted Mistborn, but I would like to have her work at earning her skills and maybe blundering more so that she was more of an apprentice. She didn't even "snap" like most Mistborns do when they suddenly acquire their skills. A tragedy that caused her to go through an emotional crisis and then "snapped" I think would have improved the quality of the story and her character.

Also I found it hard to accept the speedy transition from a beaten, cowering skaa urchin who only wanted to make herself small and didn't trust anyone, suddenly, within a relatively few pages, exhibiting strong self-confidence and even putting herself constantly in danger (often having to sneak into it without Kelsier knowing).

She also made a very quick transition from street urchin, who hadn't even worn a dress in her life, to an accomplished noblewoman wearing gowns, carrying herself as a convincing noblewoman (I assume there was no linguistic problems between the classes), with all the graces necessary to carry the whole thing off and fool a whole ballroom of the highest-born gentry.

I think the development of her character was interesting. It was just the speed of development stretched my believability. I think it would have been a stronger story with more tension if she occasionally "blew" it and had a few difficulties.
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire


Nadine wrote:
Some Overall Impressions

I know she is supposed to be an exceptional gifted Mistborn, but I would like to have her work at earning her skills and maybe blundering more so that she was more of an apprentice. She didn't even "snap" like most Mistborns do when they suddenly acquire their skills. A tragedy that caused her to go through an emotional crisis and then "snapped" I think would have improved the quality of the story and her character.


 

I think she did snap- at birth, or sometime during her horrible childhood.

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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

[ Edited ]

Some Overall Impressions

 

I would have liked to have learned more about the secondary characters (The Crew). Maybe short conversations with Vin about who they were and why they were there. That might have made me care about them more when they were in jeopardy or died. I felt I didn't know them personally. Now there were some big surprises at the end of the book and I wouldn't have wanted those spoiled. But with many of them I would have liked to know a bit more about their personal life and feelings in addition to what metals they represented and what they could do. It need not have been a long story. Just a few paragraphs.

 

Also Elend Venture and his father. We know he liked to "annoy" his father and we know his father would just as soon see him dead but we don't really know much about why. Elend himself seemed like a nebulous character. Kind of there but not that believable or very well defined. Actually, he struck me as an intellectual wimp.

 

 Now maybe Sanderson is saving some of this for the future books of the trilogy and that is the way he is developing his story. I am only judging this based on this book as a totally contained story.

Message Edited by Nadine on 04-19-2009 08:17 PM
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carmen22
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

[ Edited ]

  Yeah Nadine your right Sanderson did develop Vin pretty fast but I felt that he did this intentionally. I think that he wanted her to be a fast learner and outstanding with Allomantic powers, to even surpass Kelsier.  Though at times I felt she did have a little trouble but mostly in her own mind, fighting her on demons, for instance her brother Reen and distrusting everyone. 

 

   To explain my thoughts:

   

   She had been developing or taking lessons with allomantic powers a few months before training to be a noblewoman (refer to pg. 174). So some of the training of allomantic powers weren't really pursued in the writing of the story. That could explain the feelings you have of her development as a skyrocketing Mistborn.

 

    These are quotes I found to back up my feelings on Sanderson intentionally developing Vin so quickly. On pg. 180 "Your memorization skills are admirable, Mistress," Sazed said. Then, on pg. 182 Sazed said " She already knew some things from training she received at her brother's hands. Above that, however, she is an extremely intelligent girl-- perceptive and quick to memorize. I didn't expect such skill from one who grew up in her circumstances."  Both of these statements were refering to her learning to be a noblewoman so fast.Then again, on pg. 212 So subtle! Kelsier thought. How did she get so good so fast?" This is refering to her Allomantic powers.  Though I'm not sure why but I felt he wanted her to be this outsatanding, smart, fast learner of a Mistborn! 

 

Nadine wrote: She didn't even "snap" like most Mistborns do when they suddenly acquire their skills. A tragedy that caused her to go through an emotional crisis and then "snapped" I think would have improved the quality of the story and her character.
 Though I would have loved to see her Snap it does explain it may have happened when she was a child. Pg286  "So... when did it happen to me?" Vin said

 Kelsier shrugged. " It's hard to tell. Growing up as you did, there were probably ample opportunities for you to Snap."

 

 

 

Message Edited by carmen22 on 04-19-2009 09:22 PM
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"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

[ Edited ]

Nadine wrote:

Also Elend Venture and his father. We know he liked to "annoy" his father and we know his father would just as soon see him dead but we don't really know much about why. Elend himself seemed like a nebulous character. Kind of there but not that believable or very well defined. Actually, he struck me as an intellectual wimp.

 

 Now maybe Sanderson is saving some of this for the future books of the trilogy and that is the way he is developing his story. I am only judging this based on this book as a totally contained story.

Message Edited by Nadine on 04-19-2009 08:17 PM

 

   I'm not sure where but It does explain a little about why Elend and his father don't get along. One is because of the way he treats the skaa. Then second was when he made/wanted Elend, when he was 13, to bed with a skaa girl and then he found out what happens to them afterwards. It may have said he had to watch or hear the girl get killed not sure about that though, I'll have to look for the quote. After that I believe is when Elend started disliking and disobeying his father. At this same time his father no longer respected Elend just thought he was a a complete nitwit. These are My feelings anyway.

 

Message Edited by carmen22 on 04-19-2009 09:55 PM
Message Edited by carmen22 on 04-19-2009 10:09 PM
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"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire


Nadine wrote:

I kept thinking throughout this book that it would make a good movie. In fact, it is an action movie director's dream. It struck me as the sort of movie that would be in the vein of  a Japanese marshal arts film. And what fun the special effects department would have with it !

 

But unfortunately I think that is all that it would be. Just a B-level action film. Part of the problem would be the exploitation and domination of the action possibilities with Mistborns flying all over the place engaged in superhuman tasks, and secondly an inherent problem in the book that I will talk about in another post. It does lack some depth. But still, I think a really good director could bring out more of the understory. It does have a good love story possiblility that could be brought out and some good characters to work with. And, of course a great finally.


 

Nadine,

 

  It would make for a pretty interesting and action filled Movie. But, It would be a little hard and they would have to change a few things in my opinion. For one it would be hard to explain the way the powers work, I think. The powers are just so well developed and unique it wouldn't be the same if you couldn't understand the way they work.

_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

Some Overall Impressions

I have one last credibility problem and then I will move on to the story itself and all the good things about it -- especially the ending.

There is a scene in the book where we find out that it is quite difficult for anyone to leave the city since everyone is checked by the guards and has to have good reasons for leaving. How did they ever get their army of 7,000 people out of the city? Furthermore, with all those people in the army and those that knew about the recruitment, how come nothing leaked out? The skaa were not a heroic group. They were poor, desperately poor, severely beaten and mistreated often, and the thieving ones would have sold out their mother for a  reward. Yet not a one sold them out.
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

Pre-Chapter Narratives

OK, now I'm off to reread the pre-chapter narratives. I had no idea what was happening here. I do know, especially since Sanderson said so, that these narratives are an important clue to who The Hero of the Ages is.

SPOILER: As the story progressed, I started to think the narrator might be the Lord Ruler. It, of course, was also too obvious a guess. It did turned out to be not true. And I know the narratives continue through all three books, so I assume it is someone who makes through the whole trilogy. Vin herself is an obvious choice. So far she doesn't fit the narrative profile and the hero, or whoever wrote this narrative, was male. But then there are a lot of surprises in this book and we don't know her heritage yet nor do we know who this narrative writer is, or when this narrative took place. I'm not sure if it is a current remembrance or a past story. I think a continuous rereading from the beginning may make more sense to me.

I will also have much to say on Sanderson's great system of magic and his most intriguing world, people and "creatures" And of course the last 100 pages of the book.
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carmen22
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

[ Edited ]

Nadine wrote:
Some Overall Impressions

I have one last credibility problem and then I will move on to the story itself and all the good things about it -- especially the ending.

There is a scene in the book where we find out that it is quite difficult for anyone to leave the city since everyone is checked by the guards and has to have good reasons for leaving. How did they ever get their army of 7,000 people out of the city? Furthermore, with all those people in the army and those that knew about the recruitment, how come nothing leaked out? The skaa were not a heroic group. They were poor, desperately poor, severely beaten and mistreated often, and the thieving ones would have sold out their mother for a  reward. Yet not a one sold them out.

 

Okay while this doesn't explain completely why nothing leaked out it does just a little though:

 

Pg. 195 Breeze said "Hum, yes. Lets make you thoughtful, and give you a nudge of loyalty. We wouldn't want anyone to run to the obligators, would we? Kell's covered his tracks quite well, but the less the authoriteies hear, the better, eh?"

  This is when they were having one of those recruiting seminars with the skaa and Breeze is rioting there emotions. It also gives the impression that Kelsier has got something up his sleeve to cover there tracks.

 

Good question about how they got all those people out, not really sure about that one myself!

Message Edited by carmen22 on 04-20-2009 09:03 AM
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"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire


carmen22 wrote:

 

Okay while this doesn't explain completely why nothing leaked out it does just a little though:

 

Pg. 195 Breeze said "Hum, yes. Lets make you thoughtful, and give you a nudge of loyalty. We wouldn't want anyone to run to the obligators, would we? Kell's covered his tracks quite well, but the less the authoriteies hear, the better, eh?"

  This is when they were having one of those recruiting seminars with the skaa and Breeze is rioting there emotions. It also gives the impression that Kelsier has got something up his sleeve to cover there tracks.

 

Good question about how they got all those people out, not really sure about that one myself!


You are doing darn well, though!

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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

This is the chapter by chapter commentary by Sanderson of how the book developed. Very valuable, but be careful if you have not finished Book 1 yet. I'm copying this over from the older Mistborn thread so we have it handy for discussions.

http://brandonsanderson.com/annotation/book/Mistborn/
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

Deleted scenes

Let me include this link as well.These are the scenes Sanderson decided to take out or change. They do give some insight into his creative process. This is almost as good as having the author here!

http://brandonsanderson.com/book/Mistborn/page/24/Mistborn-Deleted-Scenes
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carmen22
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire

[ Edited ]

My overall thoughts: Possible spoilers---  

 

  Well I really enjoyed this book, for one it was definitely a page turner especially the ending. Loved the Allomantic powers and the way they work. My favorite character had to be Kelsier loved his devil smile and his absolute craziness. In this book I felt Sanderson was mostly focused on Kelsier and Vin, though there were other players that I wish I could have gotten to know better (as stated above by Nadine). The setting of the book was well thought out like Ash, brown plants and of course the Mist. Speaking of the Mist at the end Vin actually ends up drawing power from the Mist (what’s that about? refer to pg. 630). I really enjoyed that not everyone could be a Mistborn yet have some sort of power. And those that could only use one metal were able to better understand and use that power, interesting concept.

   Feruchemy used by Sazed was also a very well thought out use of power. Very weird that the Lord ruler ended up with both feruchemy and alomancy. I wonder if this is important somehow.

  Now I turn my thoughts to the Inquisitor’s --- eleven metal bars put in them, crazy. Is this what gives them there power and if so where does it come from?

 

Message Edited by carmen22 on 04-20-2009 10:57 AM
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"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire: Pre-chapter Narratives (Possible SPOILERS)

Pre-chapter Narratives  

 

Chapter One Part One - Sanderson's Annotations

The 'bumps' or 'trailers' or whatever you want to call them--those things at the beginnings of the chapters--are a very interesting part of the book for me. If you're reading the novel for the first time as you go through these Annotations, I'd recommend paying good attention to what happens in the bumps. This isn't like DUNE, or even ENDER'S GAME, where the bumps give interesting--but tangential--information. These little paragraphs are vital if you want to figure out the climax of the story before it happens. 

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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire: Pre-chapter Narratives (Possible SPOILERS)

Sanderson's annotations for the Prologue.

Somewhere in the italicized pre-chapter blurb of the prologue here is the clue one needs to figure out the over-arching mystery of the entire series. If you figure it out, good for you! If you don't, you'll have to wait until the last chapter of the final book to get it explained. . . .
--------------------------------

OK, Does anyone get it? (Not fair to respond if you have read the whole trilogy -- or peeked! And maybe you should be extra careful with spoilers if you have read Book 2 or even the end of Book 1.) Here is the narrative, page 1:
-----------------------------

Sometimes, I worry that I'm not the hero everyone thinks I am.

The philosophers assure me that this is the time, that the signs have been met. But I still wonder if they have the wrong man. So many people depend on me. They say I will hold the future of the entire world in my arms.

What would they think if they knew that their champion -- the Hero of Ages, their savior -- doubted himself? Perhaps they wouldn't be shocked at all. In a way, this is what worries me most. Maybe, in their hearts, they wonder -- just as I do.

When they see me, do they see a liar?
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire: Pre-chapter Narratives (Possible SPOILERS)


Nadine wrote:

Pre-chapter Narratives  

 

Chapter One Part One - Sanderson's Annotations

The 'bumps' or 'trailers' or whatever you want to call them--those things at the beginnings of the chapters--are a very interesting part of the book for me. If you're reading the novel for the first time as you go through these Annotations, I'd recommend paying good attention to what happens in the bumps. This isn't like DUNE, or even ENDER'S GAME, where the bumps give interesting--but tangential--information. These little paragraphs are vital if you want to figure out the climax of the story before it happens. 


   Okay so I went through the book last night and found the pages where the Diary that was taken from the Lord ruler by Kelsier, translated by Sazed and was read by Kelsier and Vin.  I feel this is also important because this is where he gets some of the "bumps" from. So here are the pages just in case you don't have them. Pg. 342, pg. 363 and pg. 478.  

_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire: Pre-chapter Narratives (Possible SPOILERS)


Nadine wrote:
Sanderson's annotations for the Prologue.

Somewhere in the italicized pre-chapter blurb of the prologue here is the clue one needs to figure out the over-arching mystery of the entire series. If you figure it out, good for you! If you don't, you'll have to wait until the last chapter of the final book to get it explained. . . .
--------------------------------

OK, Does anyone get it? (Not fair to respond if you have read the whole trilogy -- or peeked! And maybe you should be extra careful with spoilers if you have read Book 2 or even the end of Book 1.) Here is the narrative, page 1:
-----------------------------

Sometimes, I worry that I'm not the hero everyone thinks I am.

The philosophers assure me that this is the time, that the signs have been met. But I still wonder if they have the wrong man. So many people depend on me. They say I will hold the future of the entire world in my arms.

What would they think if they knew that their champion -- the Hero of Ages, their savior -- doubted himself? Perhaps they wouldn't be shocked at all. In a way, this is what worries me most. Maybe, in their hearts, they wonder -- just as I do.

When they see me, do they see a liar?

 

   Me, I don't have any idea of who it is, not so far anyway. When you are first reading the book it's hard to understand what is actually going on in the "bumps" I think you just have to go through and just read those exclusively. So, today I'm going to go through and just read the "bumps" and also the diary and see what I come up with so I'll get back to this later today or tomorrow.
_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
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Nadine
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Re: Mistborn #1: The Final Empire: Pre-chapter Narratives (Possible SPOILERS)


carmen22 wrote:

Nadine wrote:

Pre-chapter Narratives  

 

Chapter One Part One - Sanderson's Annotations

The 'bumps' or 'trailers' or whatever you want to call them--those things at the beginnings of the chapters--are a very interesting part of the book for me. If you're reading the novel for the first time as you go through these Annotations, I'd recommend paying good attention to what happens in the bumps. This isn't like DUNE, or even ENDER'S GAME, where the bumps give interesting--but tangential--information. These little paragraphs are vital if you want to figure out the climax of the story before it happens. 


   Okay so I went through the book last night and found the pages where the Diary that was taken from the Lord ruler by Kelsier, translated by Sazed and was read by Kelsier and Vin.  I feel this is also important because this is where he gets some of the "bumps" from. So here are the pages just in case you don't have them. Pg. 342, pg. 363 and pg. 478.  


The diary is a brilliant idea. They do work together to fill out the picture of The Hero -- or at least a portion of it. I'm not sure if the diary writer and the narrative writer are the same. I think there has been an assumption that the diary writer (the original Hero) was killed. Though he may have survived. Another possible surprise of Sanderson.

 

I'll read through the Diary tonight.