Series: Mistborn #1
Published: 2006 by Tor
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And now for the long-anticipated spoiler-free review!
Over the past month I’ve been participating in a readalong of “Mistborn: The Final Empire,” the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. For anyone who’s interested, we’re doing a groupread of the second book in the trilogy starting sometime in late May/early June. I can’t wait to read the next one!
At its core, Mistborn is the story of a revolution. A thousand years ago the Lord Ruler saved the world from the Deepness, but now he’s a tyrant who’s practically immortal. Under the Lord Ruler’s reign, a class known as the skaa have been subjugated and enslaved. They are too beaten down to rise up until a charismatic man named Kelsier begins to stir up trouble, devising a risky plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler. He’s aided by Vin, a street urchin with Allomantic powers.
One of the things that I love about Brandon Sanderson’s novels is that he treats magic as a natural process that operates by certain rules. In this book, the magic system is called Allomancy, and involves ingesting certain metals to fuel one’s powers. If you run out of metal, you run out of magic, and if it’s in the middle of a fight then you’re pretty much screwed. This means that while magic is extremely powerful, it’s not invincible.
I found myself quickly getting attached to the main characters, but Sanderson even Sanderson’s minor characters are fully fleshed and complex. My favorite is Sazed, who studies and preserves knowledge of the many religions that have been suppressed by the Lord Ruler.
I can’t stop gushing about how fantastic this book is. It is one of Sanderson’s earlier novels, and his writing is a bit better in The Way of Kings, but the story here is engaging. By engaging, I mean that there is no way to stop yourself from reading the last 200 pages in one sitting, regardless of what previous plans you may have had. It’s impossible to put down.
Oh, and unlike most books that are part of a trilogy, this one has a definite end to it’s story arc while still leaving room for the other two books. I like that. I get very frustrated when books don’t end. It’s one of my pet peeves.
I’d highly recommend “Mistborn: The Final Empire” for anyone looking for a well-written and captivating fantasy novel.