Series: Mistborn Series
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
In a world with a red sun, brown plants and ash that falls endlessly from the sky, the Lord Ruler is the supreme god and authority. Humans are divided into two classes--the nobility and the skaa--the servants/slaves, barely considered sentient by the nobility, much less human. But there are rebels among the skaa, and the nobility have long availed themselves of skaa women, allowing mistings--a nickname for magic users with the ability to burn metals to various effects--to be born among the skaa.
But the skaa are more intelligent than credited, and they seek to overthrow the Lord Ruler. Lead by Kelsier, a charismatic mistborn--an allomancer able to burn all of the magically charged metals--his crew of misting thieves, and the distrusting, orphaned mistborn Vin will make a move against their god-king and deal with prophecies, undiscovered magics and forgotten history.
Mistborn is an epic fantasy trilogy and a heist story of political intrigue, surprises and magical martial-arts action. The saga 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?
I finished Mistborn, the first of this trilogy a few months ago--then got side tracked by real life. But I saved the review because I knew as soon as I finished the first one, that I would finish this series. Unfortunately, in the vein of most epic fantasy, it's a long series, so finding the time to read the nearly 1500 pages of the following two books was a little tricky. Enter vacation.
Now, as far as series go, this one is only a trilogy with a stand alone fourth book that takes place several hundred years after the trilogy. At least for now. However, I thought it was best to pump this as one big piece.
It's my first time reading Brandon Sanderson, but I promise, it won't be the last. He builds such fascinating worlds and, more impressively, extremely original magic systems. I didn't quite realize how much fluff I'd been reading lately until diving into this (not that fluff doesn't have it's place...) but: Complex world, complex politics, complex magic, an ensemble cast, multiple plot lines and serious plot twists-- I'm in love.
And did I mention the characters? I loved the characters. From Kelsier's refusal to be crushed, insisting on laughing in a world where skaa have nothing to laugh about to Vin's initial distrust and insecurity and watching her come into her own. I actually just really adored Vin, period. She's something of an atypical female character--powerful and decisive--while she does have doubts, she doesn't really linger on them. Once Vin comes to a decision, she rarely second-guesses it. It was a nice change of pace.
I really enjoyed the depth of both the world building--the history, the cultures, the actual logic and plausibility of the world and its development. It pulled me in. And there's an ambiance to the setting, the world where green plants are a strange idea and the mists at night seem to be a living thing. Usually setting is sort of a side benefit for me, but in this case, it was really a shining star all its own.
And the magic. I loved the intricacy of the system and the originality. Mistborn have the ability to push themselves off of metals or use metals to pull themselves forward. A skilled mistborn can effectively fly, but there are very physics-related ideas behind their use. Yet the magic is still magic. It does make for some fantastic, almost Matrix-esque fight scenes.
And these books have twists and turns. There were several plot twists that I did not see coming. But they weren't twists that made me feel cheated--I feel like the disclaimers and clues are clear in retrospect.
I won't lie, this is a dense, traditional epic fantasy. They're long books but they are so worth it. I'm about a hundred pages into the fourth book, so I'll follow up with a review on that. But, regardless of how it turns out--look into this trilogy.
"Our best efforts were never even a mild annoyance to the Lord Ruler."Books in the series:
"Ah, but being an annoyance is something that I am very good at. In fact, I'm far more than just a 'mild' annoyance--people tell me I can be downright frustrating. Might as well use this talent for the cause of good, eh?”
--Marsh and Kelsier, Mistborn
2) The Well of Ascension
3) The Hero of Ages
4) The Alloy of Law