Monday, October 24, 2011

Review Archive: Mistborn

Title: Mistborn: The Final Empire

Author: Brandon Sanderson

5/5 stars

Part of a Series?: First in series

Goodreads Summary:
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. 

This book blew my mind. I'm going to recommend this to ANYONE. 

I had high hopes for Mistborn, and I wasn't disappointed. I'd read the Goodreads reviews, and they promised a great high fantasy novel reminiscent of Lord of the Rings mixed with Harry Potter on steroids. That's exactly what I got. And more. 

I loved the setting of Mistborn. You always read those books about the chosen hero who eventually saves the world from destruction, but this book spins that around and gives us a world where the chosen hero FAILED. Sanderson created such a vivid setting-- the ashfalls, skaa-ridden city, the mists...all of it drew me into the depth of this book. I could see myself standing on top of the rooftops with Vin and Kelsier, surrounded by the swirling mists of the night. Also, the magic in this book was incredibly unique. Allomancy seems like such an interesting concept--no one has really created anything like this. I love the idea of manipulating metals as magic. As this is a major aspect of the story, not only does Sanderson provide extensive detail on Allomancers but he also does it in a way that doesn't seem patronizing (as many fantasy stories tend to do these days, I'm afraid) to the readers.

The characters are what really brought this book to a 5 stars for me. I fell in love with every single person in this story. Sanderson wrote in a third person omniscient form that switched between Vin and Kelsier. Thus, we got to see how each person viewed himself/herself and how he/she was viewed by others. It was a beautiful way to flesh out the two protagonists, giving me much more perspective on how Kelsier and Vin (and Elend, once) think and the motives behind what they do. I felt Kelsier's ambition, pain, loyalty, and his protectiveness over his crew and Vin. Vin also resonated with me because she wasn't some weak, abandoned girl. She actually came into her own as a true Mistborn as the story progressed. They, along with the other ensemble of skaa rebels, brought this story to life for me. I could feel their chemistry oozing out of the text. As a side note, the romance wasn't bad either. I was glad that Elend and Vin's relationship wasn't the keystone of the story because it would've only dragged the story down. 

Furthermore, the way the plot unfolded was amazing. The politics and scheming skaa and nobles wasn't boring at all, thanks to Vin's sarcastic wit that carried me through the rather boring dinner parties. 

Basically? I loved this book. I will definitely read the sequels. THIS IS A GREAT STORY! :D


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