Machete Mistborn

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Machete Mistborn

Post by Mac » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:50 am

This is a chronological machete read of Mistborn Era 1 along with Secret History. By chronological, I mean that I wait for an event to occur in Era 1, then I stop and read that same event through the eyes of Secret History.

There are a few times that a single Secret History chapter spans a few chapters of Era 1, in which case I wait for it all to be done. Usually when this happens, it means that there is a chapter or two in Era 1 between the relevant chapters that doesn't get covered. Not sure yet what to do about that.

The Ire section doesn't map very well to anything so I did the best I could.

It's worth noting that I'm not positive that "chronological" is the best way to do this read. I am open to suggestions for improvements.

When I say, for example, "Well of Ascension to Chapter 37" that means to read all of chapter 37 and switch to Secret History. For brevity, at the end of each clause, when you've read what I've noted of Secret History, assume you move back to where you left off in Era 1.

Below, please find a few notes that occurred to me during this read, and then the chronology.


Timing seems... odd. Four Inquisitors dispose of Bendal's body, then trudge off. Kelsier and Fuzz have a two-minute conversation, and then the Lord Ruler dies.

Yet, in the book, all Inquisitors are accounted for at a lengthy meeting transferring power, then Kar and the Lord Ruler chill for a while in the throne room, then Vin enters and Marsh shows up and has expressly killed all the other Inquisitors.

I guess the simplest mesh is that Bendal's funeral happened between the ceremony while Kar and Rashek were just sort of having their little moment. Seems... odd, but who am I to say. And honestly it's not like this is legitimately a big deal.

More thoughts: It is frustrating, but in a good way, to go back over any re-read and pick up on all the clues you failed to notice the first time foreshadowing big twists that surprised you. Sazed has just met the Koloss army, and talking about how the Lord Ruler controlled them. Everyone just attributes it to his divinity, like his immortality, but that it turns out was a trick of the metallic arts. Still, Sazed concludes, maybe this is just a side-effect of the Well of Ascension. And I feel like an idiot for not realizing, no no, it's just one more secret of the metallic arts.

Another note on timing: Really, all told, the timing is working out pretty well. Still, Fuzz shows Kelsier a vision of happenings around the Empire, and one of them is obviously Penrod, already fully mad and under Ruin's control. Yet, we haven't even gotten to the scene of Penrod being spiked. It should be ... days, if not weeks after that before he's literally a cackling madman as he's shown there. Not trying to quibble, it's a minor enough plot point. Easiest explanation is that the Marsh bits just happened in a very different order than they appear in the books. (Maybe I'll adapt the machete read to deliberately read the Marsh chapters earlier?)

9/7 - Three thoughts.

1. Oddly, I can recall discussions on whether zinc could control Koloss or was it only brass. I remember distinctly the (upcoming) scene where Elend finally uses zinc that I've seen touted as proof that it's possible. I've read the whole series at least twice since then. For some reason it wasn't until this time that I noticed that Vin does it with zinc like three times.

2. Minor continuity error. Sazed has all of his metalminds out but comments that they are all base metals, specifically saying no gold or atium. Not only would it be odd for him not to have a goldmind, as that's a useful trait, but he specifically comments that his ten rings from Well of Ascension are there, even remembering when he drew healing from them. Again, not a big thing.

3. In Secret History, when Kelsier decides to leave Fadrex and see whom else he can bother, at first he correctly thinks of Sazed or Marsh; he's not yet at the point where he thinks of Spook as someone significant, like everyone else. But then at the end of that chapter, he says, off to find Marsh or Spook. I assume that was supposed to still be Sazed, as he only just said.

9/8: I'm noticing that for the past few in a row the chapters of the main book have all been blocks of exactly 10. I assume that's just odd coincidence.

I've come across another point that makes me think chronology might not be the best way to read this. SH 6-4 spans the events of HoA 55 and 57. Should it be read between them? 56 isn't that long, but it felt like an odd break. I think the events of 57 are more interesting and germane so for now I'll leave it as is. It is interesting to see how Brandon ties the specific wording and events of both books together.

9/9: How interwoven the stories are is fascinating. I know, and believe, he planned this from the start, but the way specific lines are heard/said in each one, specific actions. The earthquake that happened while Vin realized there must be another God, was caused by Ruin and Kelsier clashing as he strove to tell her... Brill's excuse for why he hit Demoux actually rings true with what Kelsier was trying to achieve at the time... I'm still not positive that "chronologically" is the best way to read this, but I'm growing more convinced that it's the best baseline, and the perfect Machete will be modified based on it.

9/9 Evening: Not sure if this is a ret-con. Maybe they'll address this in 10th anniversary. Marsh reads the words, burning tin to see them in the dark. But... inquisivion, no need the light. However this time, from Kelsier's point of view, he comments that Marsh is "feeling" the words. Tin could help fingers decipher scratches a little more quickly, I think. Still odd to mention the dark, but I think I see tin helping with touch better than it helping with inquisivision.

9/10 - I think we have a hemalurgy clue. I can cite the things from the book, but we know that Vin removed the eyespike opposite Marsh's crushed one. I'm pretty sure there's a note somewhere telling us which eye Sazed crushed. Marsh definitely Pushes, and from his fight with Elend I'm pretty confident we can rule out that he's lost pewter. That means that we know specifically which spike it was, and that it granted either tin or iron. Or, there's a very slight chance pewter if we can justify Marsh holding his own against Elend without allomantic pewter. Given our paucity of information on hemalurgy, I actually think this is fairly big.

The Final Empire: Chapter 34 (Conveniently, the end of Part 4), then Secret History Part 1, Empire (symbol: Malatium), Chapter 1

The Final Empire: Chapter 38 (Before Epilogue), then Secret History Part 1, Chapter 2

After finishing TFE, Secret History Part 2: Well (Symbol: Kredik Shaw), Chapter 1

Well of Ascension Chapter 51, then Secret History: Part 2, Chapter 2.

Well of Ascension Chapter 58 (Again, before Epilogue), then Secret History: Part 2, Chapter 3

Well of Ascension Chapter 59, then Secret History Part 2, Chapter 4, then Part 3: Spirit. (Symbol: Lerasium). Then Part 4: Journey (Symbol: Atium), Chapter 1

After finishing Well of Ascension, Secret History: Part 5, Ire (Symbol: Allomantic Ire)

Hero of Ages Chapter 27, then Secret History, Part 6, Hero (Symbol: Harmonium), Chapter 1.

Hero of Ages Chapter 37, then Secret History: Part 6, Chapter 2

Hero of Ages Chapter 47, then Secret History: Part 6, Chapter 3.

Hero of Ages Chapter 57, then Secret History: Part 6, Chapter 4.

Hero of Ages Chapter 58, then Secret History: Part 6, Chapter 5.

Hero of Ages Chapter 63, then Secret History: Part 6, Chapter 6.

Hero of Ages Chapter 72, then Secret History: Part 6 Chapter 7.

Hero of Ages Chapter 82, then Secret History, Part 6, Chapters 8 and 9.

Hero of Ages Epilogue, then Secret History Epilogue.

Most recent update: 9/12 6am: Done. Please feel free to start responding if you have anything else to say, and please feel free to nitpick or point out typos.
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Re: Machete Mistborn

Post by jeremyguebert » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:17 am

Just wanted to say publicly that this is such a cool idea, and I appreciate you posting your thoughts and progress here. I am planning on following this guide on my next re-read of Era 1.
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Re: Machete Mistborn

Post by Mac » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:05 am

Thank you! Please when you do, make notes on places where you feel a strict chronological read could be improved. As I think I noted, I'm aware that this isn't going to end up being the best way to splice them, but I think it's a useful starting point. I couldn't really adapt it myself my first time through, all the stuff i read then realized I shouldn't have read yet and gone back... But, I do think chronologically is going to end up being the best baseline.
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