Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

It’s been a while since I read this book but it still holds up very well.

Mistborn is basically a heist book set on a world where the ‘Dark One’ has won and has been ruling for a thousand years. Certain people can burn metals which allows them to do certain things like become stronger, manipulate emotions or push/pull off of metal etc. In this world we are introduced to Vin, a young orphan working for a thieving crew of Skaa (lower class) whose path interacts with Kelsier and his crew to formulate a grand plan.

The book is mainly told from the POV of Vin with a few Kelsier POV sections thrown in as well. Vin is a great character, she starts off very distrustful and reticent but gradually comes out of her shell as she comes to terms with the crew and her new situation. Her joy in learning the Mistborn skills is palpable and I think is one of the main reasons this book was so successful. I do think she became too entranced too quickly with the noble lifestyle, you don’t get over the years of what she went through that quickly but other than that I enjoyed her journey.

Kelsier is great and I actually I think I prefer him now than I did when I last read this over six years ago. Yes he can be vain and thinks far too much of himself but it is mostly justified and it is great seeing his plan come together. I remember disliking him somewhat due to his attitude to the nobility but honestly if you think about it it is entirely understandable. I’m not saying I condone wanton killings but if we lived in a world like they do I would understand the complete hatred that Kelsier and others have.

This is actually a really dark book by Sanderson standards. The world is awful but feels quite real and is a place you really wouldn’t want to live in, especially for the Skaa. These themes of eugenics is somewhat touched on but only in a fairly superficial manner. Vin and Kelsier are done well but I feel the other characters we only get a very broad stroke picture of them. We get a few POV’s of Elend towards the end and he really is very vanilla, and I hated the insta-love thing that was going on, particularly from Vin’s perspective.

However the vast majority of the book is fun to read. The magic system is great as you expect from Sanderson (if you like the technical ones) and the world is amazing. The Lord Ruler is a great character and I would love to know more about those early years of his during the consolidation. The pace is fast and doesn’t let up really at all. Okay maybe some people would find the ball scenes a little slow but I actually quite liked them apart from the Elend bits. Overall a great opener to a series and looking forward to the sequels.

4.5 stars rounded up.

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