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Mistborn: The Final Empire

January 21st, 2011

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Book Overview:

Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.


Book Review

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out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12796 user reviews
Science Fiction Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.
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  1. Keith Price
    January 22nd, 2011 at 03:14 | #1

    Rating

    First, let me say that when I became a big Robert Jordan fan, (could it be 20 years ago?) I had never read a more engaging book. Robert built worlds I could SEE. He introduced me to characters I grew to understand and love (and miss). His magic system was unique and compelling. He was seldom predictable. Even though his later books began to drag, I still felt I’d never find another author to pull me so deeply into his world. And, for many years, I was proven right. I read many other fantasy books, but never with the same satisfaction. (I’m going to miss Robert Jordan.)

    Until now.

    In the Mistborn books, Brandon Sanderson makes me feel like I did in Robert Jordan’s WOT books. I’m amazed. I loved this book. Totally engaging — engrossing. Believable. Just the right amount of descriptions — and WONDERFUL descriptions at that. He doesn’t just tell the story, he lets us into the heart and minds of his characters. And, they’re so REAL.

    I’m also excited that:

    1) Brandon is still very young and HEALTHY, so I hope to have him around for many years to come.

    2) So far, he’s putting out his quality books very quickly.

    3) He has a blog where he shares deeper insights into his writing and phylosophy, and he let’s us know about his books in progress.

    It does appear, from his blog, that Mistborn is to be a Trilogy and not a long, drawnout series. (I’ve mixed feelings about that. I’ll be happy to have an ending, but I’m going to be sad to see the Mistborn world go away.)

    Brandon now has in me a dedicated reader for life — as long as he keeps up this kind of quality.

  2. B. Davis
    January 22nd, 2011 at 22:05 | #2

    Rating

    I picked up Mistborn on a lark- based in large point by the written praise of Robin Hobb (an author whose work I greatly enjoy. I have not yet read Elantris, the author’s first work. So, with an open mind, I picked up Mistborn…

    And was greatly impressed! I consider myself a fan of Jordan, Hobb, Martin, Erickson, Williams and have recently enjoyed the works of R. Scott Bakker. I can now add Brandon Sanderson to the list.

    The product description, and some of the other reviews, give pretty accurate assessments of the story and plotline.

    So, with that in mind, it’s worth highlighting a few of the strengths and weaknesses of his story- with an eye toward hoping the weaknesses are resolved come book 2…

    Strengths:

    * Nice world-building

    * Good story arch/plotline

    * Original “magic” system

    Weakness:

    * Prose/dialogue/elocution: Several passages of inter-character discussions were … just.. too explanatory. I (personally) try to gauge when reading items whether people in an actual conversation would speak the way an author portrays. And, unfortunately, especially after “major” plot points, I felt some of the conversations between characters were just… too long- near soliloquy’s vs. being dialogue. Again, this is a style point and a personal tick of mine.

    * “Generic” characterizations: Much has been made of Vin’s ability to swiftly learn allomancy; however, both she and Kelsier were the most fully-drawn characters. Other characters- Marsh, Breeze, etc- were more shallowly drawn. Again, I’m not talking about the need for Jordanian descriptions, but, within the context of a 3rd person-limited perspective, I’d like to gain a bit more insight into how the current person (aka Vin) feels/knows/sees of these other important secondary characters.

    So, take that as you will, but, no matter what: buy and enjoy the book. For an author’s second work, it’s fantastic. I look forward to reading Elantris, and, also, book 2 of this series.

  3. Gandhi the Vile
    January 23rd, 2011 at 03:52 | #3

    Rating

    Mistborn: The Final Empire is a 2006 fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson. It is part of the Mistborn trilogy, but is a complete story on its own (although not everything is wrapped tidily at the end) and can be read as such. In the Mistborn world, an immortal tyrant has ruled the empire for a thousand years. Now, a group of thieves and magic users undertake a plot to overthrow him.

    Mistborn’s magic system is refreshingly novel. Most magic users have access to one of eight special abilities, which they activate by ingesting trace amounts of the appropriate metal. The more powerful Mistborn have access to all eight metal-based abilities, plus more, making them in essence a poor man’s hybrid of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Mistborn’s main character is Vin, a sixteen year old petty thief who has just discovered that she is a Mistborn, and who has joined this conspiracy to overthrow the empire.

    Most of Sanderson’s supporting cast has been drawn from the bin of generic, flat, cookie-cutter fantasy characters. His treatment of Vin, though, makes us wonder what he was thinking. Particularly early on, both Sanderson as the narrator and his characters point out repeatedly that she is timid and has low self-confidence. But Sanderson doesn’t write her that way – Vin is headstrong, stubborn, nosy, fussy and sarcastic. This is not the only time that what the characters do and what the narrator says about them do not agree. Either way, Vin isn’t a particularly interesting or likeable character.

    Sanderson’s writing keeps him from getting the most out of his story, which is a shame because the magic is interesting and the plot is perfectly good. The story develops slowly. Sanderson spends the first 150 pages of the novel belaboring the magic system and having his characters speak in stiff, expository history-lesson paragraphs, almost as though he were writing this so it could be followed by small children. At 530 pages, Mistborn is at least 100 pages too long, and it’s often tough to get through.

    Mistborn does get it together over the last 100 pages and has a genuinely solid and reasonably satisfactory climax. There are flashes of brilliance here, but it may be too little, too late to persuade readers to read the sequels.

    In On Writing, Stephen King said, “The adverb is not your friend.” But the adverb is Sanderson’s very good friend indeed. He flings them liberally, distractingly, throughout the novel, and not only are there too many, he often makes some jarringly curious choices. And Sanderson’s dialogue throughout the novel is wooden and clunky – bad to a degree one typically finds only in world-building genre fiction like this.

    Sanderson has done a good job constructing his world and his magic system, but he’s done a terrible job actually telling the story, making Mistborn: The Final Empire a frustrating and disappointing work.

  4. Maria A
    January 24th, 2011 at 00:53 | #4

    Rating

    For a thousand years, the Final Empire has been ruled by an immortal tyrant, but amidst the cities plagued by ashfalls, and a society torn by brutal class divisions, Kelsier, a charismatic underground leader, has devised the ultimate con game–a plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler himself.

    The novel’s lackluster premise is chock-full of genre stereotypes–the Hero, the Dark Lord on his Dark Throne, the oppressive empire. Eliza of the Pygmalion manifests yet again, as a young street girl puts on a gown and infiltrates the nobility–who have nothing better to do that backstab each other during endless balls. The Good Guys are immediately recognizable from the villains, and grey characters are an extreme rarity.

    But as the story begins in earnest, the second half makes the book worth reading; once I read past the first 100 pages, I was reluctant to put MISTBORN down–I didn’t, in fact, until I had finished the book. The author develops a magic system that is actually original and interesting, the characters’ personalities deepen, and the plot takes unprecedented turns. Kelsier is no Locke Lamora[The Lies of Locke Lamora], but his bid for a military coup is far better thought out than he originally lets on. The ending is well done, with several clever plot twists, and I actually liked how the story behind the Lord Ruler played out.

    All in all, MISTBORN is by no means a _great_ book, but it is definitely an _entertaining_ one, and I look forward to reading more novels by Brandon Sanderson in the future.

  5. Moe Chip
    January 26th, 2011 at 02:27 | #5

    Rating

    It’s always hard reading the follow up to an amazingly good book–particularly when it’s the author’s debut. Mistborn is a completely different book from Elantris, but Sanderson continues to demonstrate that he is one of the finest world builders writing today. While Elantris was more introspective and subtle, Mistborn is more of a traditional adventure story. If Elantris was Blade Runner, Mistborn is Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    To be honest, about 60% of the way in I started to wonder if some further editing should have been done. But the beauty of this book is it really does keep you guessing throughout–where is the story going? How will it end? Most book flaps toss out these teasers without meaning, but Mistborn is the first book I’ve read in a while that steps up to the plate.

    It’s not perfect–I would have liked Sanderson to spend more time describing the world, and many of the concepts are repeated unnecessarily–but it’s just so much better than most of what’s out there that these are minor complaints.

    There are very few authors whose next works I eagerly await (Neal Gaiman being one of them), and Sanderson is definitely in that group. There’s a lot to this world, and I look forward to the other two planned books.

  6. Tatianna the Reader
    January 27th, 2011 at 04:20 | #6

    Rating

    Okay I do not normally buy into this is a GREAT read you should buy kind of stuff from publishers and critics; but unfortunately I could not find one single review for this book. I would much rather trust my fellow readers than someone who gets paid to read (that is the sound of me being jealous of those who do get paid to read by the way) and I even broke one my own major rules.

    I bought Mistborn and Elantris new, never having picked up the author before and I started reading and reading and reading and reading. I loved this book; I hated putting the thing down to do such mundane things as eat and sleep and not walk into walls. Sanderson has brought characters to life, true life not just the oh what a nice description of someone doing something kind of thing… He has me folks, I’m purchasing The Well of Ascension on my next paycheck, I hate the fact that I’ve devoured this man’s work in such a short amount of time, but Mr. Sanderson’s work can be revisited and more nuances found in the slower reading than in the quick estatic jump that I made of my first reading.

    Kelsier is a wonderful character, the group of criminals (in the law’s eyes anyway) that he surrounds himself with are just as vibrant and intriguing as he is. Life under the Lord Ruler is harsh, possibly short and always dangerous for those who decide to live rather than simply exist; but these men and women do it and do it with style. The type of magic that Mr. Sanderson has come up with is believable and it works, your brain just nods along and agrees with the things that the characters can do.

    Vin and Elend will have their stories fleshed out in the Well of Ascension and I can not wait to jump into that pool, but this was a great introduction for me to a great story teller. Again guys, I’m not trying to spoil the book for you I’m trying to get you itching enough to go and buy it. Trust me you will not regret it and you will be helping a wonderful storyteller get his story’s out.

  7. Eric James Stone
    January 27th, 2011 at 11:10 | #7

    Rating

    Mistborn: The Final Empire is a fast-paced adventure with some fun characters, combining political intrigue with magical battles. The characters are interesting and the plot takes some unexpected turns.

    The magic system is, perhaps, the element (pun intended, as you’ll soon understand) that stands out most in the novel. Too often, the magic used in fantasy novels tends to either follow some rather stereotypical rules (casting verbal [often rhyming or using an ancient language] spells, potions, etc.) or to lack much in the way of discernable rules at all.

    In the world of Mistborn, the magic system is based on swallowing certain metals that are then “burned” to provide the particular power granted by that metal. It means that in the strictest sense, the number of things that can be done with magic is limited by the less than a dozen known allomantic metals. (For example, pushing metal away is one power, and pulling metal toward you is another.) But by ingenious use of the various metals, Mistborn allomancers can do a lot of different things.

    This is the first book of a trilogy, but fortunately it works well as a standalone novel as well. I’ve come to dislike being left hanging off a cliff at the end of a book.

  8. J. C. Amos
    January 27th, 2011 at 12:04 | #8

    Rating

    I really wish that amazon would introduce a more intricate rating system than five stars, as this would get about 4.5 stars from me. After many failed attempts at starting up various fantasy series, Brandon Sanderson has delivered something refreshing and vastly entertaining. This is very nearly a five star novel, though there are a few simple discrepencies that keep Mistborn from being legendary.

    Pros:

    - I was immideately pulled in by the bizarre world environment here. The idea of a land completely covered in ash at all times is strange and interesting.

    - The “magic” system, if it can be called that, is unique and a breath of fresh air. For me, a lot of fantasy is ruined by overuse of magic and lack of explanation about how magic works. His use of metals and Allomancy is genius and it’s apparent that Sanderson invested a lot of time into this system. It’s fun and believable.

    - Sanderson displays great world-building talents in Mistborn. Not only to we have a strange backdrop in the environment, but good history to fill it with. The mists and the Mistwraiths are weird and different.

    - There is no lack of action here. While I might have liked a little more description on the larger battle scenes, the Allomancy battles were just plain fun to read. With the characters using their abilities to push themselves through the air and hurl large metal objects, it was almost as if they were battling superheroes, and strangely enough this really works. He paid great attention to the rules and science of the Allomancy he created and applied them to these battle scenes well.

    Cons:

    - As others have noticed, characterization could use a little work. While Vin, Kelsier, Elend and Sazed were descriptive characters, a lot of the others on the crew (Dockson, Clubs, Breeze, Yeden) felt a little too cookie cutter and I found it hard to remember exactly what those characters did and what their individual roles were.

    - Some of the dialogue is a little too typical as with many other fantasy books. This is one aspect that I rarely find to my liking in fantasy -as few authors seem to do it very well- and it isn’t so bad here, but a lot of the conversations seemed a little unbelieveable. There were a lot sappy moments between the characters, some of which I find hard to swallow. (Perhaps I’ve become spoiled by Martin and Hobb, where distrust and hate between a lot of the characters make dialogue and character drama more believable.)

    The flaws with Mistborn were hardly enough to keep me from thourougly enjoying it. Every great fantasy author has their strengths, and Sanderson’s are apparent. This book is unique with a lot of great ideas. The only thing that’s very typical is the tyrannical Lord Ruler and his thousand-year reign, but the author handles it very well and shows that cliche isn’t always a bad thing. And the conclusion to Mistorn was fantastic. All of the plot threads were handled well and in clever ways, the action and final confrontations were great.

    I will look forward to reading whatever else Sanderson has to offer. Read it, enjoy it and tell others. Good fantasy in a sea of mediocre deserves praise.

  9. M. C. Buell
    January 29th, 2011 at 15:20 | #9

    Rating

    After being highly disappointed by Sanderson’s first novel, “Elantris”, I almost didn’t pick this one up. That would have been a mistake. This novel is brilliant. Filled with fresh and highly innovative concepts and well drawn out characters, this is one book you won’t want to miss. The magic system is different than anything you’ve seen, with characters burning metals internally to give them different powers. The world is dark and believable, and beautifully imagined. If you, like me, were put off by “Elantris”,give “Mistborn” a try; it will change your mind about Brandon Sanderson.

  10. B. Capossere
    January 30th, 2011 at 00:45 | #10

    Rating

    I was a fan of Sanderson’s first novel, Elantris, though the novel had some pretty clear flaws. I’m an even bigger fan of his follow-up, Mistborn, a book that has all the plusses of Elantris without the problems.

    Mistborn takes places in an ashen, devastated world where the “Skaa” are a brutally downtrodden majority who do all the work for the aristocratic minority of the Great Houses, who themselves are ruthlessly dominated (in differing ways) by the Lord Ruler, a religious godhead. Supposedly immortal–he’s ruled for centuries via his magic power and his two competing bureaucracies–the “obligators” and the Inquisitors–a fearsome secret police who have steel rods impaling their eyes and who are near impossible to kill. There are also ominous hints that the Lord Ruler also has been protecting the people of Mistborn from some great evil known as the Darkness.

    The Skaa have seemingly lost any hope of rebellion over centuries of failed attempts but this all changes with the appearance of Kelsior–a Skaa/noble halfbreed who is a “Mistborn Allomancer”, one who can “burn” swallowed metals that fuel magical/superhuman abilities, such as greater strength and endurance, greater use of the five senses, etc. This magical system, a rare stroke of originality in a genre that too often lazes along with the same old tropes (oral spells, wizard’s runes, etc), is one of the true pleasures of the novel. It’s also nice to see a system with some strong limitations to it–there are only ten metals that have the effect, one is limited by how much of the metal one has, and most allomancers have the ability to burn only one metal. Kelsior, though, and his young female apprentice Vin, are true Mistborn, able to burn all ten. The reader learns about the system sometimes through Kelsior’s usage and sometimes through his tutelage of Vin, thus avoiding the clumsy early exposition of many fantasy novels as well as teasing out the explanation, adding a sense of suspense and mystery.

    The basic plot involves Kelsior’s gathering of a group of Skaa thieves to do the unthinkable–overthrow the Great Houses and the Lord Ruler. The secondary (though equally important) plot is Vin’s coming-of-age as she is tries to move from being an orphaned street thief Skaa who trusts nobody to a full-fledged mistborn who can also play the role of an aristocratic lady.

    As mentioned, there is a lot to like in Mistborn. The magical system. The focus on politics and economics as a means of rebellion (as opposed to “Dark lord bad. Do bad things with swords. We use swords and kill dark lord”.) The character development of Vin throughout the novel. The character development of Kelsior. The suspense over the impending rebellion. The likeability of the side characters, who while not as fully developed as Vin or Kelsior, have their own distinctive and enjoyable personalities. The humor that shows up now and then. The quick pace of the action. The twists and turns of plot. Good action scenes. A few surprises at the end. A sense of completion nicely balanced with an ominous sense that worse is to come. The novel’s structure, which has each chapter beginning with some paragraphs from the Lord Ruler’s diary/journal during the days leading up to whatever event made him the Lord Ruler. This facet works quite well on several levels, though to go into more detail would be perhaps to spoil the ending so I won’t risk it. Suffice to say it was a nice touch of craft.

    What’s not to like? The reader could have a greater sense of the world as a whole. Sometimes one wishes for a bit more struggle by the characters, especially Vin who seems to move a bit too easily at times, too naturally into both foreign worlds–the magical one and the aristocratic one. The ending seems somewhat rushed, though this is more a desire to linger over it rather than a complaint about what actually happens. But these few flaws are certainly relatively minor and are completely overwhelmed by the book’s positives. Sanderson has done something rare here–written a sharply original fantasy that stands on its own as a single book while teasing the reader into a sense of impatience for the sequel. Strongly recommended.

  11. Thinkerati
    January 31st, 2011 at 02:37 | #11

    Rating

    Mistborn was a really good book–interesting, satisfying, and engaging.

    Sanderson’s first book had a great story, but his characters were a little wooden, and the writing kind of raw. Even so, I couldn’t put it down, and when I did, I thought, dang, I liked this book!

    Sanderson’s second book shows that he is maturing as a writer, highlighting again his impressive skills in creating a unique and original world and plot, with an interesting and unlikely system of magic. The characters are a lot more realistic in this one, and the writing is more polished. And, once again I found myself staying up late and spending too much time reading one of Sanderson’s novels.

    Sanderson is definitely an exciting new talent in the genre. I have to say that I’m pretty tired of elves and sorcerers, and am glad to have some interesting new worlds and ideas to delve into.

    Overall, an engaging and enjoyable novel. I am definitely looking forward to the next one coming out!

  12. Jonathan Burrows
    February 2nd, 2011 at 18:25 | #12

    Rating

    I discovered Brandon Sanderson thanks to his being selected to finish the final book of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” Fantasy epic following the unfortunate death of Mr. Jordan. I am happy to report that Sanderson is a brilliant and talented writer. My apprehension about the fate of “A Memory of Light” has been erased completely.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire is an excellent read. I became so engrossed in the book that I finished it in less than three days. The sequel is just as good, and I cannot wait until I can get my hands on the third book of the trilogy. In fact, the story is so good that even though I finished these two books two days ago, I am already reading it again. Yes, it was THAT good. I have never before reread a book so soon after the first read.

    I can also recommend “Elantris”, also by Brandon Sanderson.

  13. Steven R. Thompson
    February 3rd, 2011 at 03:35 | #13

    Rating

    My first Sanderson book was Elantris, and while I wasn’t greatly impressed with the story (I frequently wanted to skip his religious zealot character), it seemed to me that the author had definite narrative talent and deserved a second chance.

    With Mistborn, he wildly exceeded my expectations in delivering a novel that was not only completely unique, but that had a compelling magic system, great world building, and excellent characters.

    One of the things that stunned me early on was how bleak an environment the reader is dropped into. Slavery is the norm for much of the empire, and slaves that cannot work are completely disposable. The ruling class sometimes bed their chattel, but are obligated to clean up after themselves by subsequently killing their conquests. Sanderson relates glimpses like these to the reader in a matter of fact way without dwelling on the iniquity of the situation, which I found all the more chilling.

    Into this situation we are introduced to Kelsier, who wants to shake things up and unshackle the masses. His plan is to destroy the Lord Ruler (think Sauron) who has created this disparity over the millenia of his rule. Kelsier and the band of people that follow him are all experts in Allomancy to differing degrees, and will have to coordinate their skills if they are to overthrow the Lord Ruler.

    Allomancy is the clever form of magic used in the world Sanderson has built. Characters consume (swallow) alloys and ‘burn’ them. Different alloys have different effects. Most allomancers only develop skills with one alloy, but allomancers who have the ability to master all alloys are known as Mistborn.

    Kelsier however is not the main protagonist in the novel. That character is Vin, a latent Mistborn who has spent all of her short life surviving on the streets and being abused by people only interested in profiting off her allomantic skills of persuasion. Early in the book Kelsier discovers her and recruits her into his band, saving her from what would no doubt have been a very short life.

    Vin, as a product of the streets, is extremely distrustful and leery of anyone who would treat her with even an ounce of respect. She is an unnaturally talented Mistborn and a fast study, but her fundamentally skiddish nature is the type of character flaw that keeps her believable.

    On this point, Sanderson could have blown the book for me. Vin’s part in Kelsier’s crew is to pose as nobility in order to gain information about where the ruling class might be weak. Had Sanderson made Vin suddenly transform into a court sophisticate he would have undermined what she was all about. As it is, Vin is never able to feel comfortable around the nobility, and while she projects genteel qualities and mannerisms that she has been taught for her role, she isn’t really seen as anything special by the ruling class.

    This is only the tip of the iceburg in a book that managed to throw in court intrigue, romance, betrayal, bitter fighting and executions, compelling magic, and characters that you could genuinely care about. While I knew the general outline of the plot, Mistborn never failed to surprise me, and this made the book extremely hard to put down.

    All in all, this is one of the best fantasy novels that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Thank you Mr. Sanderson – you can be sure that whatever you write in the future, I will definitely be getting a copy of!

  14. N. Bilmes
    February 3rd, 2011 at 05:39 | #14

    Rating

    …then you’re going to love this!

    The world this story takes place in is governed by a small martial force with a dictator in control. The oppressed people, here called ‘skaa’ instead of slaves, are treated poorly, and it falls to the efforts of a charismatic leader, Kelsier, (who is much like V in Vendetta) to right the wrongs that are being done. Kelsier takes on a female protege, Vin, who is able to master the same scientific/magical forces he can, and trains her in the ways of fighting and spreading dissension. There are some great action scenes throughout the book, as well as some marvelous Game of Throne moments.

    This book was a terrific read, and I had a hard time putting it down, staying up much later than I wanted to on successive nights so that I could find out what happened next.

    I highly recommend it!

  15. Richard Pierson
    February 4th, 2011 at 14:55 | #15

    Rating

    My dear Mr. Sanderson, but you do continue to amaze! I was one of the foremost to come out and say the hype of “Elantris” was a bit much and lets not call you the next Tolkien yet (or ever hopefully, the poor man needs his rest what with being reincarnated every time a good fantasy novel comes out) but you do continue to impressed. Nothing more so than the fact that you improved with your second novel (a surprisingly hard feat) and any doubts about your ability were washed away in the face of this wonderful work.

    “Mistborn: Final Empire” does away with every problem I had with “Elantris”. Your theme was just as plentiful without being obvious, instead using the characters and the plot to get the point across. Your characters are far from “perfect” this time, failing, succeeding, thinking the wrong thing, being fooled, and all of the POVs are equally interesting without a weak point among them, leaving that horrible “let me look and see how many pages till I get back to that person” feeling from appearing.

    And to this novel itself, what a great story with a truly original magic system that really added to the world and made the Final Empire seem like a living breathing place, with its own rules to be broken and remade.

    Usually I’d ramble for another four hundred words or so, but I don’t feel the need, the other reviews have talked specifics, I just wanted to add my small voice to theirs. Best of luck on the next volume, Mr. Sanderson.

    Final Thought: Buy it. Especially if it happens to be in paperback by the time you’ve read this. Martin, Jordan, and Goodkind (sadly) might hold the heights of fantasy at the moment but five years from now Brandon Sanderson is going to be one of the guys everyone is talking about.

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