Title: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book #1 of the Mistborn Trilogy)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: High Fantasy
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.
Were do I even begin? Mistborn tells the stories of Vin and Kelsier, a sixteen-year-old street thief with trust issues and a charming, mischievous man with a vision to change the world. Both are capable of allomancy, a magic that allows specific abilities through the “burning” of different metals one has ingested. The Lord Ruler who presides over the world has enslaved half the population for a thousand years, and only the nobility enjoy anything reminiscent of freedom. But even they are subject to the omnipotent Lord Ruler’s whims.
I love stories of revolution and rising against oppression, which is what this book is all about: Vin, Kelsier, and their gang of thieves plan to overthrow the Final Empire, and the intricacies of their plans is astounding. You are not simply told that these characters are intelligent, but you see it in action as they work together to create revolutionary plan.
I was worried at first that Vin and Kelsier would fall in love, which was honestly going to be very gross: Kelsier is probably in his thirties and Vin is just 16. Thankfully, there was no romance in the relationship that blossomed between them, but the relationship that did grow there was absolutely beautiful.
Every character is spectacularly crafted, each one obviously the protagonist of their own story. They are all bursting with life and personality, completely distinctive from one another. The character craft here is enviable, and I found myself either in love or hate with every person to cross the page.
Perhaps the most impressive part of this story, however, is the impeccable world-building. So much work has obviously gone into building this fantasy, and the level of detail is fantastic. One of my problems with high fantasy and hard sci-fi is that these stories often take you out of the scene to spend lengthy amounts of time explaining how the world works. Mistborn never does, and instead integrates lessons into the story itself, building the world around you and allowing you to see the levels of intricacy in-depth without a lecture.
My only criticism of the story is the lack of women. In the story, there are only two named women who appear in scenes: Vin and a noblewoman named Shan. This is the only aspect I was disappointed in, but I hope to see that resolved in the following books. Still, the strength and complexity of Vin’s character almost made me forget the lack in the story.
If you like fantasy at all, I would suggest this book in a heartbeat. I plan on buying it for plenty of people for Christmas, because it’s just that good. Please read this book, and then come talk to me about it. I need someone to scream with.