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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn takes place in another world. There are the skaa, the lower class who live dejected lives and can never do anything with themselves. They are oppressed by the Lord Ruler, the ruler (in case you couldn't tell from his title) of the Final Empire. The nobility are sometimes allomancers. It is somewhat hereditary in that only those with noble blood can be an allomancer, but there is no guarantee of being an allomancer if someone has noble blood. Allomancy is the ability to "burn" certain kinds of metals within oneself, which then cause different things to happen. In order to burn a metal, the metal must be consumed, and the allomancer must have the ability to burn that metal. There are eight main metals, and an allomancer can only use one, unless they are a mistborn. Mistborn can burn all the metals. Different metals affect things such as physical strength, enhancing senses, other people's emotions, and pushing and pulling metals around the allomancer. In order to maintain the hierarchy, the Lord Ruler forbade the nobles to mix with the skaas, preventing any low born allomancers. Of course, there is mixing anyway, and those born from skaa mothers and noble fathers may or may not be allomancers. Those who are often become successful thieves.
Kelsier is a half skaa half noble mistborn. He escaped from the Pits of Hathsin, where the Lord Ruler sends lawbreakers. He made it back to Luthadel, the Empire's capital, where he gathers a crew of underworld allomancers that he knew before he was sent to the pits. He also finds Vin, a small street urchin, who has been living her life in her own crew of normal underworld thieves. She is constantly paranoid of betrayal and attack. Together, Kelsier, Vin, and the other forbidden allomancers plan to overthrow the Final Empire.
Overall this book was very good. It created a new world with depth and it had a good amount of magic, noble politics, and underworld action. However, it was very difficult at times to imagine some of the characters. I could see Kelsier, Vin, Hammond, who is part of the crew, Sazed, another friend of Kelsier's, and some of the nobles. Most of the characters never got an image. I could understand them; their actions, emotions, and character were fine, but I could not see them. I also had the Inquisitors, elite law enforces with spikes sticking out of their eyes, looking like Darth Maul from Star Wars, and I am pretty sure they aren't meant to look like that. Sazed, who was a good character for the most part, said "I think" so many times. He is a very thoughtful person, but he does not need to say that after every statement.
Despite its shortcomings, Mistborn gets a 4.9. It had a good mix of different things going on, such as the parts of the story concerning the nobles as opposed to the parts concerning the rebellion. Most books only really have one. The ending of the story was somewhat unsatisfactory. It was like a really good cake. Deep chocolate with light, fluffy frosting that you enjoy every bite of. There is something, however, that makes it a little hard to eat, perhaps it is too thick or too sweet (the book is not too "sweet" or too good, but the feeling I had while reading it is very similar to the feeling you get when eating something that is too sweet), and when it's over, you're not quite left with the feeling you had hoped for.


  1. This is high praise coming from you, Stephanie! I'll stick it on my summer reading stack.

  2. I wouldn't mind reading this book. I like the cover. And a 4.9 is an awesome score!

    I'm a new follower btw ;)

    Kind regards,
    I Heart Reading


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