Friday, September 25, 2009

Review: Mistborn – The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765350386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765350381

    Basic Plot Summary: (may include spoilers for some readers however the middle and ending are not revealed)

    Mistborn is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. It is a tale which takes place within an elaborate fantasy world. In it lives Vin, a 16 year old girl who is a member of a group of semi-heartless thieves. The abusive leader of this band is using her for her ability to persuade their victims remotely. This betters his chances of pilfering and cheating this wealthy subjugating elite class. This elite class have little compassion for their slaves whom are called the Skaa, of which Vin and the thieves are a member.

    This fantasy realm in which they live is constantly being rained upon by ash, plants have evolved to have brown leaves, and the sky is orange and red. At night the land is cloaked in a mist, which has mythical stories surrounding it and monsters stalking within it, holding the natives in fear. The kingdom is also dominated by an evil king called The Lord Ruler who is considered a god and is reputedly immortal. His kingdom is tightly ruled, controlled to his advantage, and is surrounded and protected by some very powerful, scary, and dangerous classes - the Ministry and Steel Inquisitors.

    Kelsier enters the story and saves Vin from a botched attempt at one of the band’s robberies, and consequently from their abuse. He is a noble thief. A Skaa of a more “elite nature”. A rebel leader whom has a gift which lends him 11 special powers involving the use of metals which is called Allomancy.

    As the story evolves and becomes more complicated, a plan for Kelsier and his band of thieves to overthrow this evil king develops. The group creates an elaborate scheme in which to evoke revenge and to return the planet back to “equilibrium”. Vin is to play a key role. She will also find out who she is in the process.

    My Thoughts:

    I loved this fantasy, and rate it as a highly recommended - 4.5 stars. The writing is accessible, it flows, and is highly addictive.

    Sanderson has created a complex yet relatable world with interesting and likeable characters (my favorite is Saze) and some amazing “bad guys” (remember the steel inquisitors – very cool.) There are also some important messages within the book one where he addresses the social and culture importance and significance of religion. He does this while supporting a perspective of acceptance and diversity – a great message. There is also a science fiction element to the book due to Allomancy but I would never the less categorize Mistborn as a fantasy.

    Mistborn has a strong female character (yeah!), some violence, and a light touch of romance. Even though classified as an adult book I would recommend it for advanced young adult readers interested in the genre because it has a “coming of age” feel to it.

    I am really, really, looking forward to the second and third of the series as well as his other books but am told that this book can be read as a stand alone.

    Here are two other raving reviews of this book from my corner of the blogosphere:

    David at My Little Corner of the World

    Logan at Rememorandom

    Links are for Amazon for each country respectively US/UK/Canada.

    The Final Empire (Mistborn, Book 1)/ Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn Trilogy)/ Mistborn: The Final Empire

  • 18 comments:

    Alexia561 said...

    Sounds interesting, but there seems to be a lot going on. Was it hard to keep track of everything and everyone while reading the book?

    Will definitely take a look at this one. Thanks!

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    Alexia -
    You know it was complex but not tough to follow at all, which is why it was so good.
    If your not familiar with fantasy I think it would be a good place to start since your an avid reader.
    Now if you ever want to read hard to keep track of sci fi try The Mote in God's Eye - for the first few chapters I kept notes...

    logankstewart said...

    Shellie, that was a great review. If you liked the first installment, then you'll love the rest of the series. And thanks for linking me, too.

    David Wagner said...

    Hey cool! I got a mention! Now I'm famous! Thank you all! (Dave bows)

    But seriously, glad you also enjoyed the book. It really is a terrific read, very well done. Props to Sanderson, and props to you for the review (also a good read).

    Hey, you're a pro... you should try and interview Sanderson for your blog!

    Donna [Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings] said...

    OH! I have this one in my TBR shelves, need to read it. Looks like you really enjoyed this book. I have seen a lot of good reviews on this trilogy.

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    Logan -
    Thanks! I am hoping for a couple more good reads from this guy. More links of your blog to come :). No really!

    David -
    Well deserved your review was worthy of linkage.
    I don't give above a 4 star often.
    Pro haa! as she hobbles along with html stress and typos. lol
    I would absolutely love to interview him - I would do back flips, not a good thing for a 46 year old woman. ;)

    Donna -
    I think you'll really like it. It is a great read. I don't know about the others in the series but they appear promising... very lite in the romance department but it looks like it may heat up in the next book.

    Thanks for your comments. Have a fun and relaxing weekend. The weather is cooling off in "Hotsdale" so perhaps a desert hike is in order. :)

    Krista said...

    This is a really good review, Shellie! I really love Sanderson! I was hooked after I read Mistborn! I can offically say I've read and enjoyed all of his work and I look forward to so much more!

    Oh, and sorry, I read Mistborn awhile back before I started my blog, so I haven't written a review for it. Thanks for asking, though.

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    Hey Krista -
    I hope your all moved in and starting to get comfy.
    When I read Warbreaker I will include your review.:)
    I'm thinking to start a Sanderson fan club... just kidding.
    fyi - Tor is giving away this book as well as the last in the series of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan as well as a chance to meet Sanderson. You can find the info here
    SFScope
    Take Care.

    DCMetroreader said...

    I have an award for you here http://metroreader.blogspot.com/2009/09/awards-part-ii.html

    Jessica (BookLover) said...

    Great review! I honestly never heard of this book before now. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    Fyrefly said...

    The first one was my favorite of the trilogy, but I think it was mostly because I was so in love with all of the worldbuilding... the rest of the series continues to be great. I hope you love them too!

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    DC -
    Thanks for the award. I made a comment on the post. :)

    Jessica -
    I would not have known about it but there is a group on goodreads called beyond reality the leader has excellent taste in Sci fic and fantasy. Also Logan gave it 5 stars so it go bumped up.
    There is a link in this comment thread that I posted where you can enter to win a copy of the book along with another book. Check it out :)

    Fyrefly -
    I hope I love them too. I'm fairly certain that I will.
    I'm just coming into understanding the meaning of "world building" so I will keep that in mind as I am reading the other two. Did you review them on your site? I searched my google reader and only found two actual reviews of this book.....Thanks for the comment and insight.

    Fyrefly said...

    I have reviewed all three; you can get to my reviews here: http://fyreflybooks.wordpress.com/tag/mistborn-trilogy/

    I think what I meant by worldbuilding in this case is that in the first book, I was so impressed by the new, unique, and very cool system of magic, and the history of the Final Empire. In later books, that stuff was obviously still there, but it wasn't *new* anymore, so it was marginally less impressive.

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    Fyrefly -
    Thanks much! I wonder why these did not come up in my google reader search? Or I would have linked it.
    Thanks for the clarification. :)

    Charlie said...

    I'm always looking for good fantasy, and you've sold me. (Short and sweet this time.)

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    Charlie -
    Its a good one. Well I enjoyed it and everyone else seems to like it too. Can't wait for your review.
    Take Care!

    ediFanoB said...

    Shellie,
    I read the whole trilogy in a row which I do seldom. A great read!
    I liked your good review except one small little thing. You misspelled the name of a character. The name of the man who introduced Vin to Allomancy is Kelsier and not Keisler. I think you and your reader should know.

    Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

    ediFanoB -
    Gracias mucho (thanks much) - I spelled that right I think!
    Opps I should really wear my glasses but I am vain.

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