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A Reader of Fictions: Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #12: Mistborn

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #12: Mistborn

Mistborn: The Final Empire
Mistborn, Book 1

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Pages: 541
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Library
Recommended by: Dragana of Bookworm Dreams

Description from Goodreads:
Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, 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? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.

First Sentence: "Sometimes, I worry that I'm not the hero everyone thinks I am"

Holy shit balls of awesomesauce, I cannot even handle the feels of this book. Gah, my emotions are in a right state, okay, because this book is one of the very best I have ever read. It's not every epic fantasy novel that I can read in little more than a day without it feeling like torture. In fact, the torture was any time not spent reading. Brandon Sanderson does everything right here: the world building, the characters, the writing, and the plotting.

In epic fantasy, it is so rare to find a book that's good from the very beginning. There is just so much world building to be established, that it's sort of a given to have to sit through quite a lot of world building. This generally is totally worth it in the end, but makes the read a bit slow. Sanderson, however, manages to keep the pace quick from the very start. Rather than overwhelming the reader with the way this world works, he unravels the information bit by bit, following the arc of Vin's training, keeping everything manageable.

In my experience from The Way of Kings, I already knew that Sanderson is a marvelous writer, though I do think Mistborn: The Final Empire is much stronger. Sanderson devises such original magical systems, so unlike any I've read before, and he makes them come alive. He also has a real knack for description, one almost unparalleled by any author I've read. Not being a very visual reader, I often have difficulty picturing battle scenes, but Sanderson's burst off the page, leaving me breathless with worry. There's so much movement in Mistborn, but all of it was so well-described that I never felt lost or confused.

Then there are the characters. I love them all. SO HARD. Kelsier is a serious BAMF, and he's full of swagger and cleverness, and always deeper than you think he is. Actually, that's true of every single character, I think. You suspect you know what they're capable of and then they do something to surprise you. The feels are insane. Right, Kelsier. Anyway, he is a Mistborn, which means that he can manipulate metal to give himself powers, and that's as much as I'm going to explain that, because just read the book. Kelsier has big plans, like overthrowing the immortal ruler of the empire.

The other main character is Vin, a skaa (essentially serfs) thief has a power she thinks of as Luck. She lives her life in fear, trusting no one, abandoned even by her brother. Kelsier finds Vin and teaches her what she is, and how to be a Mistborn. Watching this girl find friendship and love for the first time in her life gave me all of the happy feels. I love Kelsier and Vin's relationship, the way he mentors her is so touching. Also, it makes my heart so happy to see a female character not always being weaker than her male counterpart. Vin's still learning, but girl has some serious power. She grows so much through the course of Mistborn, but she's obviously not done yet.

The supporting cast is just as well-drawn as Kelsier and Vin. Every single member of Kelsier's crew, the one trying to overthrow the despotic Lord Ruler, is dear to me: the philosophizing Thug, Ham, the insouciant Breeze, the dialect-spouting Spook, the grumpy Clubs. Then there's Elend, the heir to the wealthiest noble family. Let's just say that he's the kind of guy who would rather read than dance at a party, and that I am kind of in love with him.

Top off all of that awesomeness, Sanderson also knocked me for a loop with that last two hundred pages. He set everything up so well that, once it happened, I knew it was just as it had to be, but I also hadn't believed he could possibly go there. Sanderson got me right in the feels, and oh my how I loved it. I never expected the way the book would end or that final twist, which is just what I needed after a stretch of predictable books.

Without a doubt, Mistborn is one of the finest epic fantasy novels out there. I say this confidently, even though I've still read relatively few. Every aspect of this book was well done, and I can't think of a single thing to criticize. Basically, I urge each and every one of you to read this book.

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote: "'My behavior is nonetheless, deplorable. Unfortunately, I'm quite prone to such bouts of deplorabilitytake for instance, my fondness for reading books at the dinner table.'"

Up Next:
The next Sadie Hawkins Sunday book will be Angelfall by Susan Ee, suggested by Cuddlebuggery. I've heard nothing but awesomeness about this one, so I'm sure I'll love it. Well, mostly sure. *crosses fingers*

Want to tell me what to read? Fill out the following form with a suggestion! For more details, check this post.

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Blogger GillyB said...

Okay, I NEED this book in my life. It's been too long since I was sucked in to a truly excellent high fantasy, and this sounds tremendously awesome.

May 13, 2013 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

Yay! I am so glad you liked it! :)
I read and will read a lot of fantasy novels but I doubt anything will take down Mistborn from it's throne. This trilogy is so awesome. One of the most original magic systems, heroine I had serious girl-crush on and Elend with his bookworm-ish ways.
And don't worry book #2 & #3 are as good as the first one. :)
'The Alloy of Law' aka book #4 is something completely different. Set 300 years after and worth reading if for nothing else then because Sanderson brings industrial revolution to his world.

May 13, 2013 at 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, this clearly has to be bought! I love fantasy but tend not to read it that often as it's usually so *involved* and I hate when I can't immerse myself in it fully but this sounds worth training my brain not to be so ADD inclined! Great review, Christina, definitely excited for this book!

May 13, 2013 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yes, yes you do. This book is off the hook amazing. By chapter three or so, I was completely hooked. I read this in like 6 or 7 hours and omg so good.

May 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

You should try Karen Miller! A Blight of Mages was amazing, though I do think Mistborn wins. She's got a lot of humor in her writing and great characters too.

ELEND. I want a boy like that. *sighs* Yeah, I did see that The Allow of Law is different, thanks to an explanation on Goodreads. That means I might put that one off, but the rest of the trilogy is happening ASAP.

May 13, 2013 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I can't promise this will work for you, because obviously fantasy (and especially long fantasy) doesn't work for everyone. BUT I do think Sanderson is a master of the craft, so of all of the epic fantasy I could urge you to try, this is the one.

May 13, 2013 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

What is a BAMF? I need to know what this is.

I definitely don't think this is a book for me BUT I LOVED READING YOUR REVIEW! You loved this so hard and it was so fun! Love that it had the pacing perfectly and some fantastic characters. Also, look at that sexy banner! Love it!

May 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this on my radar! If I hadn't seen your tweets about how good it was while you were reading this, I don't think even your review would have convinced me to get my hands on Mistborn. I agree: epic fantasies are pretty hard to read because there's always the risk of the author going all info-dump on you. Glad this wasn't the case, though! Lovely review, and I'll consider reading this if I ever want my mind blown with a good fantasy novel. :)

May 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

This sounds really awesome! I don't really read a lot of epic fantasy, but this sounds great!! I'm glad that you loved it!!!

May 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Shelver 506 said...

Oh my word. I've gotta check out this book. I'm so glad you read it; otherwise, I'd never know how amazing it is!

May 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Becky LeJeune said...

I randomly bought this book an embarrassingly long time ago! Seeing as how I'm going into serious Game of Thrones withdrawal phase gearing up for the end of the current season (and no idea when book six will be coming out), I think this one will have to float to the top of the TBR as a much needed epic fantasy fix!

May 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Badass motherfucker. Bahaha.

Woo! I'm glad I almost convinced you even though you hate high fantasy. I'll get you someday!

May 13, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh yay! I know epic fantasy isn't everyone's thing, but if you've ever thought about giving it a try, this one's soooooo good. I think it's a pretty friendly one too.

May 13, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It is wonderful!

May 13, 2013 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yes, yes, yes. Do it!

May 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, I will not shame you for that, because I own SO MANY BOOKS I've not read. I would die of embarrassment if I thought that was a thing. Go for it!

May 13, 2013 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Micheline D said...

YES. I freaking LOVE reading rave-reviews for Mistborn from people who aren't as obsessed with fantasy reads as I am and who - therefore can be much more objective and coherent XD Reading your review made me want to take out my copy re-read! Your thoughts on Sanderson's descriptive skills and the awesome world-building...all the freaking feels...AND how EPIC Kelsier and Vin both are ♥ Gah, I just love it. Sweet review, thanks for sharing!

May 13, 2013 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, I do love fantasy reads, though I don't know if I can say I love fantasy as much as you. Haha, I've been cheating on fantasy with contemporary lately. But fantasy will always be my first love.

I almost want to reread the book right now. That's how good it was. You should reread!

May 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

This is the second time you are recommending Karen Miller to me. Ok ok I got it. :D I am not sure where to start. 'The Innocent Mage' is first book in Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series and 'A Blight of Mages' is a prequel but it's written later. What is correct reading order book #1, book #2 , prequel or prequel, book#1, book #2?

Yes Elend was definitely a great hero. And I like very much how Sanderson developed his character, but I will say no more, you will have to read and find out. ;)

The Alloy of Law has a slightly open ending, so I would recommend waiting for book #5 because I am not sure if it will be the sequel or the separate book set in the same world.

I'm always glad when I hear that people found new books to swoon over and it's even better feeling when I helped them. I hope you enjoy the rest of the trilogy the same as the first part. I sure did. :)

May 14, 2013 at 4:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, haha! I didn't remember that. I'm not sure of the proper order. I've only read the prequel. I picked up book one and it made me laugh on page one, but I didn't have time to read it. :(

Oh, Elend. I am SO excited for more Elend in book two.

Ooh, good to know. I'm going to power through the trilogy, but I'll hold off on that until book 5.

You totally won Sadie Hawkins.

May 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

It does not matter, that only shows how good it is if you recommend me the same book in two different conversations. :D
I think I will go with published order, it feels more natural to me. And I know what you mean about having no time to read books. There are so many, why can't I just download them to my brain? LOL

Elend was one of my favorites in this series too. :)

If I remember correctly there should be at least 5 more books in series so a lot more things to look forward to. :)

Thanks! I'm glad that you liked it. Now I have to think hard about my next Sadie Hawkins entry for you. :D

May 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Uhm you've convinced me to give this book a go! I am a huge fan of epic fantasies, but I haven't heard of Brandon Sanderson before. This sounds awesome though. I generally don't mind being thrust into worlds with complicated world-building, but that is definitely a nice perk that this novel helps readers adjust to this world perhaps a bit more gradually than most. Ah I am so excited to have learned about this book. I'll definitely be reading this soon!

May 15, 2013 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Sanderson at the NYCC back in 2011 and he as awesome. He went into chit chatting with those online waiting to get a book signed. I was lucky enough to get Mistborn: The Final Empire Mistborn, Book 1 signed and I loved it, I am a fan and well his stories are filled with awesome characters and fantastic plot and amazon world building and details...he is just an awesome writer!

May 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Pabkins said...

Holy shit balls of awesome sauce is RIGHT!~ Hell yeah he's full of swagger! *swoon* LOVED this trilogy!

May 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Alexia said...

Okay this DEFINITELY sounds like one I need to read.Sounds TOTALLY up my alley (granted I love many different genres)

May 17, 2013 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Tiffany H said...

Read the rest in the trilogy! I freaking loved this trilogy when I read it a while ago. :D Your review is right on the money with what I was thinking!

May 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Nikki R said...

Yes, yes, yes!! This is my absolute all-time favorite series ever. I'm always so happy when I see other people reading it for the first time and loving it, too! :D Like you said: the combination of worldbuilding that doesn't bog you down, plus characters that are all so well-developed and surprising, is amazing.

Just wait until you read the next two books - totally mind-blowing.

May 17, 2013 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, I'm putting so much hype on it, so I really hope you love it.

I do prefer going in published order, but I don't mind reading a prequel first, and I had the offer of a review copy so thought "why not?"


Wow, really? Five? All set in the future?

May 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Airship Librarian said...

Ahhh, I love this book! This series is awesome. As are all of Brandon Sanderson's books. You should read his "Elantrist" and "Warbreaker" and "The Alloy of Law." All of them are so good. So good!

May 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ahhhhh! If you love epic fantasy, Brandon Sanderson is a name you need to know. He does such a good job with this one, and his other books I've read were very good as well!

May 17, 2013 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

That's awesome. I met him at ALA in 2010 and have a signed copy of Warbreaker, though I've not gotten to read it yet. He was really nice, and I've been happy to be so impressed with his work as a writer!

May 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahahaha, everyone in this book is full of swagger. :-p

May 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I love most genres too. It's a fun way to be!

May 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, believe me, I will. I purchased the trilogy and The Allow of Law as soon as I finished!

May 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

How did it take me so long? I'm amazed at how many people have read and loved that series, only because I hadn't heard much hype for it. Of course, that only helps. So excited to get through the trilogy!

May 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ooh, I have a signed copy of Warbreaker. I think I'm going to put off The Alloy of Law until I find out if the next book is the same characters. Will have to look into Elantrist!

May 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

We will see, I am currently on a quest to clean up my NetGalley review copies but after that next one is cleaning up all recommendations from friends. I had some piling up from years. o:)

Yeah I have the same philosophy but since I will have to buy or borrow them, I will probably go with published order. :)


If my faulty memory is working well, I remember reading Sanderson's announcement that Mistborn series will be compiled of 3 trilogies. Second trilogy should be in urban/modern setting and the third in futuristic setting. I am not sure if The Alloy of Law is part of second trilogy or an unplanned standalone in series with a western setting. That's why I said there should be at least 5 more. :D

May 21, 2013 at 4:26 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

You nailed it. Holy crap I freaking LOVED this trilogy. And if you thought this killed your feels..Holy crap book three will SLICE YOUR FEELS TO PIECES. Oh so yummy Mistborn books. :D Hehe. Great review!

<333 Inky

June 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

So glad you think so. Also, I'm SURE there are epic feels in front of me, and I am both TERRIFIED and SO READY. Gah. Sanderson, you genius, keep writing things like this for me. K thx bye.

June 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM  

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