Thursday, January 12, 2017

“Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson

“Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson 
Published by Tor 

Brandon Sanderson is one of the Greats.  His writing is amazing and his storytelling is top notch.  This book isn't his first book,  but I believe the 2nd he published.  Even for, at the time, a starting author this book is amazing. 

He creates a fantastic dystopian world that is ruled by a Lord Ruler, has ash that constantly falls from the sky, and mists that come out at night.  When you mix those elements together you get Mistborn and a great world to explore.  Sanderson does a great job of making the world feel real and believable.  His magic system is typical of his amazing and creative style which uses metal as the fuel behind the magical power. 

Not everyone can use the magic power known as Allomancy.  Only those of noble bloodlines have the chance to become an Allomancer.  Even with noble bloodlines it is rare to be able to harness the power of the metal and use the ablities granted by each metal alloy.  When one of the nobles does become an Allomancer he can only harness one type of metal.  Yet, there are a rare breed of Allomancer that can harness the abilities of all the metals and they are called Mistborn. 

The story follows two main characters, Kelsier, and Vin.  Kelsier is a Mistborn planning on overthrowing the Lord Ruler who is a dictator and rules with an iron fist.  Vin is a street urchin who is unsure of herself, prefers to be unseen, and survives because of a talent she calls luck.  The luck is actually just Vin using Allomancy without knowing what it is or how to actually harness the ability.  Kelsier’s brother, Marsh, decides to show Kelsier a girl he’s been following around for a while because he senses she has great Allomancy power.  Kelsier decides to rescue Vin from a thieving group, whose leader, uses and abuses her and her Allomancy.   

Kelsier finds out that Vin is actually a Mistborn.  He takes her under his wing and teaches her the art of being Mistborn.  During their time, together, Vin is introduced to his crew hatching a plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler.  This leads Vin to question everything she has believed about what people are and what friends really are.  She learns how to trust people which is something she never did in the past because it meant death if she did.  She slowly starts to realize that the opposite is true with true friends. 

I enjoyed watching Vin’s character change from the street urchin hiding in a thieving guild to a young woman who becomes confident in herself and in her abilities.  Sanderson did a great job throughout the book transitioning her character from one end of the spectrum to the other. 

While Vin is training with Kelsier every night she joins the crew as a member and wants to help in any way she can.  That happens to mean becoming a noble woman and pretending to be the niece of a minor lord visiting him for a while.  She agrees to pretend and Kelsier gives her a steward, named Sazed,  to teach her how to act in a noble and stately manner. 

Sanderson does an ok job at love stories.  He isn’t the best I’ve read with love stories in the plot, but he does a pretty good job none the less.  The love story is still quite believable, but it seems just a bit hokey in my opinion.  It’s a minor plot point and he does a good enough job that it doesn’t get in the way of anything. 

In order to overthrow the Lord Ruler Kelsier needs an army.  He decides to go to the Skaa and try to recruit from the workers.  He tries to build on their rage of being treated unfairly and abused by the nobles.   

The Skaa are the working class of society.  They are servants, farmers, mill workers, or any of the menial jobs that are required to give the nobles a comfortable life.  Kelsier uses that rage inside of them to recruit men for his army.  Skaa that want to see the Skaa live free.  Eventually Kelsier amasses about seven thousand skaa troops. 

The story really takes off and it is Kelsier and his crew vs the world pretty much.  It is really an interesting heist story as Sanderson likes to call Mistborn.  It is the ultimate heist story if that is the case.  Epic in proportion and scale. 

I loved the plot this book has, and the setting is top notch.  Sanderson did an incredible job building this world and everything in and around the world.   The characters are great, believable, and have voices and personalities all their own.  It flows smoothly. 

There are a few different themes I picked up on during this story.  Trust, love, loyalty, etc.  Everything that it takes to make a decent world go round.  Definitely give this a try if you are thinking about trying out anything by Brandon Sanderson.  I don't think you'll regret it. 

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