Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Mistborn 
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Publication Year: 2006
Pages: 638
Genre: Fantasy
My Ratiing:4.5/5
52 book Goodreads challenge #2

Continuing with #YearofCosmere is the first book in Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy: The Final Empire


In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.


I loved this book. This is one of Sanderson's book that I had previously read and it was just as good the second time around. If you like the fantasy genre or just enjoy great characters and world-building this is a must read. The book is set in a world that is governed by the Lord Ruler, an immortal hero-turned-tyrant who governs over his people with a cruel and relentless hand. The people are essentially divided into two: the Skaa who are slaves and indentured servants working on plantations, and who live miserable, and often short, lives and the ruling class, the nobility who own the means of production and trade and host ostentatious balls to show off their wealth. The nobility keep their hold on the Skaa through allomantic powers passed on by hereditary means. Allomancers ingest and 'burn' metals which depending on the type of metal, gives the user different abilities such as superior strength or sight. Skaa who are found to posses allomantic powers are killed.  

In this bleak world, resistance has all but been crushed...except for a small band of highly skilled thieves (a la Lock Lamora) who have taken it upon themselves to accomplish the impossible and topple the Final Empire, for a price of course. We follow Kelsier a half-skaa, half-noble ring leader and Vin a young street urchin with allomantic powers that he takes under his wing as they concoct a crazy plan to carry out their mission. Dispersed between the chapters, are what appear to be diary entries set in the past before the Lord Ruler's regime governed the land. The way in which the main story line and the diary entries are woven together at the end is classic Sanderson genius.

This book is such a fun read! It combines several familiar fantasy tropes: a gang of thieves, the street urchin with hidden powers and the charismatic leader but it combines them in a way that feels fresh and unique. Here we see the skills that Sanderson was starting to develop in Elantris, really start to shine. The world building is richer and the characters are much more fleshed out and developed, and the pacing is consistently attention grabbing resulting in a well-rounded, action packed, narrative. What really takes this book from good to great however is the magic system. Allomancy; the metal-based system that Sanderson has created is incredibly unique and detailed with clear rules and limitation that serves as a tool for the characters rather than a deus-ex-machina device.  The ending in particular is, like Elantris, very cinematic in a LoTR or Star Wars like scene which I imagine with incredible special effects (someone please make this into a movie!).

The book is quite chunky, the mass market paperback comes in at 638 pages, but it is easy to get engrossed in the story and characters, so don't get intimidated by the size! I am being vague about plot details, but this book contains so many good tidbits, snappy dialogue, and great backstories that I think are best left to the reader to discover. What are you waiting for? I'm already on my way to pick up book number 2!

For a more complete review check out Sanaa's video review!

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