“Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson

10267807Rating: 5/5

Title: Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set, Kindle Edition

Individual Titles: Mistborn: The Final Empire; Mistborn: The Well of Ascension; Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

Author: Brandon Sanderson

First Published: Jul. 26th, 2009

 “Let them see my weakness, and let them see me overcome it.”

 

I was never really into reading fantasy, but this book changed that immediately. I refer to this as “book” because I read the trilogy on my kindle as a “bind up” and read it all in one go. It really is three books, which are “Mistborn: The Final Empire”, “Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” and “Mistborn: The Hero of Ages”. These three create one gigantic book of over 2000 pages.  What I really enjoyed about this trilogy was that it isn’t simply one book being dragged out into several parts, which sadly happens a lot nowadays, but every part, although following a storyline, which evolves in each instalment, stands on its own and has its own story, which wraps up in the end.

The world building is simply incredible. The Final Empire is being ruled by an emperor called “The Lord Ruler”, a thousand year old oppressive god-king, who resides in his palace in the capital of Luthadel. The population is divided into the nobility and the skaa, which are treated very poorly and basically are nothing more than slaves. Ash is constantly falling from the sky like snow, flowers and tress are drained of colour and at night tight mists are obscuring the land. There are three distinct kinds of magic, which are called Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalgury. Allomancy works by swallowing and burning metals, which give one enhanced powers, for example burning pewter enhances your strength and burning tin enhances your senses. There are two types of Allomancers, namely the Mistings and the Mistborn. Mistings can only burn one of the sixteen allomantic metals and Mistborn can burn all of them. Feruchemy is a trait, which is passed down through the generations in a race of people called the Terrismen and Terriswomen. It works with the same metals as Allomancy, but rather than ingesting the metals they are worn on the body in form of jewellery and the metals are used for storing the Feruchemists own attributes to be drawn upon later on. The metals used are referred to as metalminds. Hemalgury is used for stealing abilities from other people and transferring them to someone else by the use of spikes made from allomantic metals, which are driven into the bodies’ vital organs, killing the person the abilities are taken from but leaving the recipient alive. Hemalgury is used to create the Koloss, the Kandra and the Steel Inquisitors.

The world and the magic in it was described in such great detail that while reading I could picture everything very clearly in my mind, which is something I really enjoy. I don’t put a lot of value on imagining the faces and physical appearances of the different characters in a book. I don’t really care much about what they look like but I do care a lot about being able to imagine the world described, and this book made that possible for me in great detail, which made me appreciate this series immensely.

The first book starts off with a young skaa girl called Vin being recruited into a gang of thieves. Their leader, a man called Kelsier is a Mistborn and is planning a revolution to overthrow the Lord Ruler and the give the power in the Final Empire to the skaa population. We learn quickly that Vin is also a Mistborn and a very powerful one at that. The characters introduced are wonderfully written and the humour of Kelsier’s crew keeps you entertained and their relationship with each other is very well crafted and really enjoyable to read. The book throws many twists and turns at you and it keeps you guessing until the very end. The finale in the first book made my jaw drop to the floor and it left me in awe of how well this story was pulled off and how all the twists and turns ended up fitting perfectly together.

The second book picks up a short time after the end of the first part and we are presented with a very predominant storyline, however you can see a larger storyline looming just behind it. Just as with the first book there are a lot of twists and the characters keep developing beautifully and in the end it again all ties together and ends in a smashing finale leaving you once more wanting to immediately continue on reading.

The third book in my opinion is by far the best one of them all. Now that the stories of the first and second book have come together the third one is a very fitting finish to this wonderful trilogy. Things and events mentioned in the first two installments are explained and we get insight in the workings of this world and why it looks the way that it does. The purpose of the ash falls and the mists are explained and we get a deeper understanding of the three allomantic abilities and their usage.

The characters Brandon Sanderson created are really beautifully written. They are not perfect, they are flawed, they are strong, they make mistakes and all of them try so very hard to do what is right. They are simply human. And that’s what makes them appeal to you immediately and makes it easy to identify yourself with them. Vin was an amazing female lead, strong but still a bit girly. Kelsier – one of my favourites – was a broken man and still always had a smile on his face. Sazed and Breeze and Ham and TenSoon and everybody else, I just loved them all. I even enjoyed the bad guys. They had depths and reasoning behind their actions and no one in this story was plainly written black or white. Everyone had their grey areas which makes them that much more believable.

It’s clear that the author spend a lot of time planning this story and its characters. It’s a beautifully written book with captivating characters and a very engaging storyline. For my first high fantasy story I couldn’t have picked anything better. I have to admit that it took me quite a while to finish the books, because they are very long and dense, but I thoroughly enjoyed this series and I highly recommend it to everyone who likes to get lost in some epic fantasy.

— Alina xx

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