Church of LDS fantasy writer's uncanny books: Mistborn

12tails

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So for those actually interested in reading any of the books I mention in this post, there will have to be spoilers in order for me to make parallels. If you don't want to read the book that's fine I'll do my best to describe why I found it uncanny. There are also Audiobooks and Graphic Audiobooks available for those who don't like reading or holding a heavy book or just really like the vibe of an old radio drama (I personally love the Graphic Audio)

Brandon Sanderson is a writer most well known for his Cosmere universe and finishing Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, both works I've enjoyed immensely for years long before learning about all of this. He is a member of the church of LDS, which I find interesting if not suspicious, if only because I'm suspicious of most things these days (he seems quite nice from the times we've met but what do I know) I think most of us already know how wonky the Mormon Temple story is, so I can't help but wonder if they are taught a completely different history depending upon how deep within the church you are. Mr. Sanderson does also write sci-fi but I find it pales in comparison to his fantasy work, which I think implements aspects of both sci-fi and fantasy seemlesssly. Especially now that this SH type information has been brought to my attention, I can't help but see elements of Mistborn, Elantris, Warbreaker, and The Stormlight Archive in this area of intrigue. He has another series but it's Y/A so I didn't read it but it wouldn't surprise me if it had some "SH" sprinkled in somewhere. I even heard him say at a book release once that he writes "our world" just through a different lens- but a lot of authors say that and maybe that's true for most if not all fantasy literature.

I will go over the plot points in the Mistborn series that connect to SH as best I can without going overboard.

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In the Mistborn series, we have a world that is post-apocalyptic, ash rains from the sky constantly and an unsettling mist blankets the streets at night. People are separated into skaa and nobles, the skaa living on plantations in hovels and the nobles living in the city. The Nobles are noble because their ancestors aligned themselves with a presumably evil god, known as The Lord Ruler. TLR rules the realm with an iron fist and has a heart of steel. The magic system is dependant upon ingesting and burning metals in the gut. These metals are a very big resource in this world. AlloMancers (alloy-mancer (a practitioner of a specific type of divination)) use these metals to strengthen a specific skill like seeing very long distances, magnetically repelling off metals in order to "fly", and manipulating emotions just to name a few. Most Allomancers can only use one of these metals, Mistings, but full Mistborn can access them all. The premise of this tale is that of a young urchin who finds a home among a gang of thieves, unbeknownst to her she is a Mistborn and thus a valuable asset to this crew. The ring leader of this gang is an eccentric amoral allomancer who's only true desire is to take down the Lord Ruler- And (SPOILER) they pull it off.

That's the focus of the first book. The second and third books are spent piecing the world back together after the power structure has fallen, a typical house war ensues and giants called "Kolass" are used to fight in the war for the empty throne. Another class of beings called "Kandra" are also present in this world, they are shapeshifters of a sort, I call them plasma beings due to their veiny gelatinous form and near-immortal lifespans. There are a few other pretty unique monsters involved but the ones that struck me the most were the Kandra.

(Illustrations of Kandra)
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Post Lord Ruler, we see that many people would rather be under the Lord Ruler than be free. Resentment towards the "Hero" who kills the Tyrant builds and the Lord Ruler's haunting last words ring in the hero's head, "You don't know what I do for mankind. I was your god, even if you couldn't see it. By killing me, you have doomed yourselves... " An age-old enemy resurfaces, an enemy that has the power to, oh you know just, REWRITE HISTORY. This of course causes great confusion... o_OThe only things that cannot be re-written must be written in steel. I found this element to be somewhat akin to the Golden Plates sought by the Angel Moroni. Once these tablets are found vital information can be passed out to our heroes. There's obviously a lot of stuff that happens and characters build and develop, in the end, though, the world actually ends! A new god is chosen and this new god remakes the world as it should be, green grass, blue skies, clean water. Some people are saved by hiding in a cave and they basically become saints. Saints that were present in the "Latter Days" of the old world. There are three books that follow up on the story and indeed some of the characters from the first three books are deified or considered great heroes. There is even a partner book that watches the story from the perspective of a character who's died and is watching from purgatory because they refuse to move on. I found the entire story riveting. I can understand that it may seem slow for some or too gloomy, but I found it to be, at minimum, a good ride and definitely sparked my curiosity even further into these topics. The architecture described in the book is also immense and unique and even has towers used as a "soothing station" or "rioting station" (when all-out war breaks out in the city) depending on what side the caster is on.

Some story elements I found particularly interesting
  • Storing memories metals
  • Controlling beings via metal implants, ie. Antennae (Pain(s) from Naruto functions similarly but that's a topic for another day)
  • God suffering from Identity theft
  • Different metals having different occult properties
  • Elites being well aware of things the common folk weren't privy to
  • Shape Shifters
  • Giants
  • Human-like beings made from the remains of other Mistborn (Hemulurgy (Hema meaning "blood" urgy meaning technique")
  • Prophecies being fulfilled but in unexpected ways (I'm a sucker for a good prophecy)
  • A reset of the world
  • The implimentation of the Latter Day Saint concept
(I'm sure there are more things that stuck out to me but it's late and I'm getting drowsy, I don't have a metal earring to pull out memories from to help me either)
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Check this architecture out too


In the midst of these cool and relatable aspects is a great story, not perfect but what story is? It's dark, it's gritty, it's action-packed, it's emotional and it's very dramatic but personally, I loved it. The worldbuilding is complex yet enamoring, the characters are refreshing. I also enjoyed the three sequels, they were funnier, but I would say I liked them just as much if not more due to the comedic aspect.

The Stormlight Archive is also a goldmine for this type of stuff, maybe even more so, I definitely think the setting is inspired by places like Castle Rocks and The Grand Canyon. The one thing I'll say about it now is that it introduced me to the idea of buildings, encrusted in mud, that double teleportation hubs. There are of course more but I will have to put it in a separate to make it easy on me and people who don't like getting lost in crazy long posts.

As for The Wheel of Time, tons of parallels in that story but that's 15 books deep and ain't nobody got time for that, but I'm sure I will do a little piece on it in the future and maybe some of ya'll will read it or find an abridged version or video that does the series justice.





Big thanks to anyone who reads this, I realize it's not as crucial information as a lot of stuff on here but to me, this is just a new Mythology and it holds some sort of truth.
 

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luddite

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Great post. I was a big sci-fi/fantasy fan for many years.

As for The Wheel of Time, tons of parallels in that story but that's 15 books deep and ain't nobody got time for that, but I'm sure I will do a little piece on it in the future and maybe some of ya'll will read it or find an abridged version or video that does the series justice.
A tip for reading this series is to skip all chapters dedicated to the women characters or where the women are speaking. They contribute zero to the story and you wont miss out on anything. It also increases the tempo of the story telling :)
 

E.Bearclaw

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Great post (and wonderful images). I must admit I find The Stormlight Archive his best work, as a reader I find it a far more mature piece of work. I must admit I read Mistborn before I thinking too consciously of the links between fantasy and truth. I may re-read bearing in mind. I recall really appreciating the God suffering from identity theft twist - but also thinking he could have made more of it.

Concerning the Stormlight Archive:


This is the second time I have thought of Stormlight Archive with reference to Stolen History. The first time was with reference to this thread:

The doctrine of suffering its origin on history part 2

It was to do with the Sylphens as gnostic spirits. Which bore an extraordinary likeness to the character Sylphrena in name and deed.

Sylphrena

Although of course she is just the foremost spren character in the novel. The spren bearing extraordinary likeness to the Sylphens of gnostic fame.

Other interesting items in the Stormlight Archive:

A neverending war - whereby the combatants are fed upon by
The elite underclass dichotomy on racial lines.
Forgotten knowledge. Loads of the stuff.
A post reset apocalyptic world - as a side note, I find the ecological aspect of Stormlight Archive at least as fascinating as that of Dune (which is high praise).
The electrical aspect of the (Highstorms) is reminiscent of a lot of the SH threads on electrical / atmospheric energy.
Thinking about it there is SO much.

The Cosmere in general (without having read all of the included works) has that timeless reset worlds that have moved on quality that is often postulated on here.

My thoughts on this are that in a rough level, I suspect fantasy is used to reveal 'truths' whereas sci-fi is used to reveal futures. I favour the notion that human beings - particularly through the medium of writing - are connected to truths, thus the truths are revealed unconsciously rather than deliberately via TPTB.

Now I do think there is sometimes a disconnect here - for instance I have trouble reconciling Philip Pullmans lack of intellect when he speaks to the quality and depth of his narrative. I also find George RR Martin a tough cookie to comprehend. Although having read other works, I fear this may just be my own perception. However I have no such qualms with Brandon Sanderson, although this is based purely on his youtube writing videos, as to his persona - although his output is nearing Stephen King levels.

FYI, there is a Books subforum. Might be nice to include this in there if it can be moved?
 
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Columbo

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Right On! This is my first post on 2.0: Greetings and many Thanks to everyone! I read the wheel of time book by book when they came out back in the day; I always wished Jordan or Sanderson would have fleshed out the Age of Dreams more. Structurally those books started to feel like a dog chasing his tail, but the themes and world building alone are enough for me to recommend them. Mistborn and Way of Kings Have been on my list for a while. Never knew Sanderson was LDS; those folks are certainly in possession of bit of occulted knowledge, wouldn’t it be fair to submit?
worlds that have moved on
Bearclaw word, remember that favorite books thread we had going at 1.0? I’m re-reading darktower now, for the first time since book 3 came out like 30 years ago. Great stuff!
🍻Cheers to all!🥂
 

E.Bearclaw

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Hi! Welcome back, and yes I do remember. I hope that you are good! I think the original post is back, that was a good thread, and one that seemed to be having an immediate effect upon my life! Although I cannot remember too much of what was on there.

Not knowing too much about the Church of LDS, would the Knights Radiant in the Stormlight Archive also function as a metaphor for Latter Day Saints in Cave in Mistborn?
 

Columbo

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Word, doing well; likewise mate. Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to read way of kings or mistborn yet, I’ll get to them asap.
Just off the top of my head, with regard to the LDS (and I mean no disrespect, I’ve got a number of dear friends who are Mormon) I remember reading somewhere (maybe Piercing the Veil of Illusion) that Mormon = Moor Man; the Moors actually built the temple, etc... Further, I know that they are really hip to the notion of a White Knight, who will save the USA, ‘when the constitution is hanging by a thread,’ or some such. I think Mitt Romney was really trying to throw his hat in that ring. And btw, is Kolob a black hole sun, must one don special underwear inside the temple...? I digress. The LDS no doubt operates under the same model as Other mystery schools. Essentially, there is an inner circle of adepts who tend the outer circle of initiates like a crop of mushrooms, keeping them in the dark and fed on s**t.
 

Jetsam

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Great post. I was a big sci-fi/fantasy fan for many years.

As for The Wheel of Time, tons of parallels in that story but that's 15 books deep and ain't nobody got time for that, but I'm sure I will do a little piece on it in the future and maybe some of ya'll will read it or find an abridged version or video that does the series justice.
A tip for reading this series is to skip all chapters dedicated to the women characters or where the women are speaking. They contribute zero to the story and you wont miss out on anything. It also increases the tempo of the story telling :)
I found the womens' contributions were extremely important to the story overall. You haven't read the books if you skipped all of their parts in them.
 

luddite

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Great post. I was a big sci-fi/fantasy fan for many years.

As for The Wheel of Time, tons of parallels in that story but that's 15 books deep and ain't nobody got time for that, but I'm sure I will do a little piece on it in the future and maybe some of ya'll will read it or find an abridged version or video that does the series justice.
A tip for reading this series is to skip all chapters dedicated to the women characters or where the women are speaking. They contribute zero to the story and you wont miss out on anything. It also increases the tempo of the story telling :)
I found the womens' contributions were extremely important to the story overall. You haven't read the books if you skipped all of their parts in them.
I thought so until I'd finished the first three books. Much more enjoyable story once they were gone.
 

Columbo

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I thought so until I'd finished the first three books. Much more enjoyable story once they were gone.
I would have to recommend reading them in their entirety, if you’re going to take that plunge. But I totally feel where you’re coming from; the character Nynaeve probably tugs on her ponytail about a thousand times... I remember reading something by Sanderson to the effect that Robert Jordan taught him the literary value of describing a glass of water; I guess the same concept could be applied to paint drying... 😴
Cheers 🍻
 
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