Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 have officially joined the realm of true fantasy lovers. That’s not true. I’ve always been a lover of fantasy, but I’ve always felt a little bit like a fraud because I hadn’t read a single Sanderson book – one of the great fantasy authors of our time. But I consoled myself by saying that at least I had read one George R.R. Martin book and I’ve been a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien since middle school. It counts right? Of course it does! But finally I have joined the rest of the fantasy world! I have read my very first Brandon Sanderson book. I chose the Mistborn series as a starting point because I’ve heard amazing things about it. Chiefly that the magic system is super unique. Plus this was one of the series on my list of books I vow to read in 2016 so… winning. Sanderson did not let me down.
The Final Empire was unique, magical and everything I hoped it would be.
Let’s start with the magic system. This is hands down the most unique magic system I have ever read about in a book. I see so much elemental magic in books. Not that elemental magic is bad. I quite enjoy it actually. Who doesn’t love a character who can throw fireballs around? But it was so refreshing to see something so wholly unique and different. The magic system in this book uses metals. There are many different metals an Allomancer can internally “burn” once ingested and each one does something different. They can use the metals to Push and Pull themselves towards or away from other metals in their environment. They can use them to become stronger, to increase their senses, to hide themselves from other Allomancers. The possibilities are really endless. It’s a little confusing at first, I’m not going to lie. The system itself is really elaborate, but Sanderson does a fantastic job of showing us how it works. Note the word showing. There’s no info-dump in this book. If you’re looking for ways to avoid info-dump in your own manuscript I think this book is an excellent example.
The magic system in the Mistborn series is the most unique and elaborate I’ve ever read about.
Even though there was some initial confusion, I got the hang of it pretty quickly and once I did, holy shit, was this book good. The fight scenes are crazy awesome. I could picture these Allomancers just zipping through the air, flying all over the place and using every scrap of metal around them to win. Intense.
And then there are the characters. The whole entire crew that’s working to take down the Lord Ruler was incredible. Each character brought something different to the story and I loved every one of them. I loved Breeze’s haughtiness. I loved Ham’s philosophical questions. Clubs angry old “get off my lawn” personality. Marsh’s quiet seriousness. Dockson’s efficient, organized and practical manner. Sazed’s kind patience. Vin’s distrusting, cautious personality. Kelsier’s intensity, hope, power and ability to laugh in the bleakest of situations.
Each of these characters brings something different to the story and I loved every single one.
Kelsier was my favorite character in Mistborn. I loved his determination. He knows his plan is insane. But he believes in himself and he believes in his crew. He is so passionate about saving the Skaa (a group of oppressed people) from the Lord Ruler. He will sacrifice everything to give them a better life and I loved his passion and drive. I also loved how he laughed no matter what. He joked a lot and it wasn’t always an appropriate moment to joke, but he had a great philosophy. The Final Empire can take many things away, but they can’t take away your ability laugh and feel joy. No one can take that from you and Kelsier refuses to let the Final Empire break him. So he laughs. This was a beautiful inspiring message.
People can take many things away from you, but they can’t take away your ability to laugh and feel joy.
The Mistborn world itself is extremely interesting. The nights are filled with mists that some claim are dangerous. The plants are brown. The earth is brown. The sun isn’t yellow. Ash falls from the sky. Everything has a dead sheen to it, but this is normal to the people living in it. They don’t remember a time when the grass was green and the sun burned yellow. There are legends about the time before the Final Empire rose up and I’m so curious to know exactly what happened. We get quite a bit of world-building in this book, but I’m definitely looking forward to more in subsequent books. Once again, the world-building never feels like info-dump.
Sanderson is a master at weaving information into the story so you’re never bored.
One tiny complaint… the romance. It felt super fast to me and I wasn’t a fan of the romantic interest. His character was just kind of boring to me and I thought Vin fell for him way too fast. They talked like three times and then she’s like oh my gosh, I love him. Um…what? No. Just…no. I kept trying to warm up to the guy, but I never did. I’ve already started the second one and I am still having trouble warming up to him.
But other than that, this book was absolutely incredible! Obviously I loved it because I immediately dove into the next one. And these books aren’t small. The second one is 784 pages. Damn. But it’s so worth it because the story is exciting, the magic is unique and the characters are amazing! Highly, highly recommend Mistborn if you haven’t read it yet!
Have you read any of Sanderson’s books? What’s your favorite? Were you as into the Allomancy as I was? Who was your favorite character on the crew? Mine was definitely Kelsier!