The following is an author’s annotation that relates to a specific chapter of the book MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE. Note that the following is NOT the text of the actual chapter, but a companion to the chapter, revealing “behind the scenes” information. If you have not read the book up to–and including–this chapter, you risk serious spoilers! Please, if you haven’t read MISTBORN, go visit the sample chapters, or perhaps purchase the book via Amazon.
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Chapter Eight Part One
To be honest, I’m not certain if Kelsier’s right. Making someone jump off a city wall as one of their very first Push/Pulling experiences seems a little extreme. Kelsier is, however, a somewhat extreme person. It’s fortunate for him that Vin is both determined and a quick learner.
Mistwraiths are a hold-over from MISTBORN PRIME. They did more in that book than they do in this novel, but I thought they were an interesting world element. In fact, in PRIME, the hero fights one. It was a kind of fun scene, as the Mistwraith tried to ingest him. However, I couldn’t really see the things being dangerous enough to threaten a Mistborn, so I turned them into more scavengers in this novel.
As I re-read this chapter, I’m realizing just how obvious I made it here that Renoux is a kind of Mistwraith. Maybe I overdid it a bit. One problem with this novel in alpha reads was that many of my readers had also read MISTBORN PRIME, and so they understood the nature of kandra, and immediately knew what Renoux really was. It’s not an extremely important surprise, however, so it probably doesn’t matter that people can figure it out.
There are a few points in this chapter that really and truly sum up Vin’s character for me. The first point comes in her asking Kelsier if Marsh beat him often. The fact that Vin wouldn’t even consider the fact that two siblings could get along without some form of beating or dominerance speaks a lot about the life she’s led.
She’s not a bad person, however. Kelsier gets it right–she isn’t herself bad, she just assumes that everyone else is. In my opinion, the ammount of good left in her despite what she’s gone through is a powerful testiment to her character. And, finally, some of that starts to come out in this chapter. It might be a little early for her to begin changing–it’s only been a few days–but I wanted to leave a few hints in this chapter, since we’re going to have a big time jump here pretty soon.
The first hint is that she really is starting to want to become part of the team. She feels sad when she thinks she won’t get to act the part of Renoux’s heir. In addition–and, for Vin, I meant this to be something very telling–she left food behind. That’s a great moment in the chapter for me.