Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn Cover

Mistborn: The Final Empire


I really enjoyed this book. More, perhaps, than I expected. It feels fresh and innovative without going outside the boundaries of a mainstream epic fantasy.

Sanderson's MO seems to be to create an unusual and interesting magic system, and to explore the ramifications, and that's what he's doing here with a metal-based magic system called allomancy.

Technologically and culturally the world feels like a staple of the genre, but there's an added twist that things have gone badly wrong sometime in the past. Ash falls from the sky, and plant life does not thrive. The Final Empire itself is ruled by the immortal demigod The Lord Ruler. Our heroes would like to prove that he is neither immortal nor divine.

The book is structured as a caper. A crew of thieves is carrying out an intricate job which obviously doesn't end up going entirely to plan. These kinds of stories are often fun, and this is no exception.

I particularly liked an encounter about two thirds of the way through the book, where the heroine, Vin, was tested against an equal. The way she came through the encounter was through being smarter, not simply being the Chosen One and being stronger, and I liked that.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series.