1. Edward

    Edward Active Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    Mistborn: The Final Empire

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Edward, Mar 31, 2008.

    So I went to the library with a long list of fantasy books to check out. The library had exactly one out of four, but the wiki article and a picture of the cover didn't tell me that it was thicker than my arm. So I picked this book up, mostly because of the cover, but hey.

    The book is about a fantasy world where a group of people named skaa are kept as little more than slaves, ash falls from the skies, the nights are shrouded in an almost sentient mist, and the world is ruled over by a "Sliver of Infinity", The Lord Ruler, a living god.

    The story concerns a group of thieves hired by a skaa to help get him an army for the rebellion. Here's where things get interesting. Brandon Sanderson has created one of the most well though out magic systems I've seen (admittedly, that ain't much, and it's not hard to top canis latinus castium spellus), there are people who've been granted special powers by the Lord Ruler for their ancestor's part in helping him defeat the previous evil creature. The idea of the former hero now being the Dark Lord is also interesting, and it's somewhat poignant to hear his side of the story knowing he goes from Frodo to Sauron. But the magic. The Allomancers are people who swallow shavings of specific metals to use their magic, which ranges from sensing other allomantic powers in use, to tossing metal with your mind. The way SteelPulling and IronPushing work is rather interesting, when their "burned", or used, blue lines appear from the allomancer to any nearby metal, that can be Pulled or Pushed in a straight line, depending on the metal. But it's not a sort of catchall psychic lifting, weight is still there, much like if the thing was pushed or pulled by hand. Using a coin dropped on the ground to fly is on of the ways the two Mistborn (people who can use all eight powers, as opposed to the Mistings, who use only one) get around.

    Theres an interesting amount of minutiae to the magic system. The story itself is also good, concerning young Vin, an orphaned thief and Mistborn, who is discovered by old hat Kelsier, who's been hired to overthrow the "Final Empire". There's a bit of political intrigue, what with Kelsier trying to create a civil war between the Great Houses, people sent to balls as spies, fake royalty (actually, most of the characters pretend to be nobles, what with the fact that they are all bastards with noble only superpowers.); There's also interesting fights, including anything that has to do with the Steel Inquisitors, who can't seem to be able to die. Also they seem to be Mistborn as well, so there's that too.

    At the beginning of each chapter is a short excerpt from a journal talking about being the chosen one, which
    is from the Lord Ruler's personal journal from before he became an immortal superpower. It's interesting to see how it was for him, a young man who seems to have been singled out by a crackpot priest, who then betrayed him. In fact, before he became God incarnate, he seems like a nice guy.
    Very interesting, indeed.

    I'm only about halfway through, but it's a very interesting book, and I hope against hope (and yet know I'm going to be disappointed) that my library has the second book in the trilogy. Has anyone else read the Mistborn trilogy?
  2. Titania

    Titania Contributing Member

    Apr 1, 2008
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    Boston, MA
    One of the independent bookstores in my city sells the occasional advance uncorrected proof, and I got my hands on a copy of Mistborn without really knowing anything about it. I loved the book - chiefly due to the magic system, which, as you mentioned, Edward, is pretty unique. I'm always intrigued to see more creative magic rather than the usual elementals or HP-style system. The plot works well also - some interesting twists which I'm sure you'll discover :)

    I haven't read the second one... I need to find it. Sanderson has another book also, entitled Elantris, which while it doesn't have as intriguing a magic system also has its strong points and is, on the whole, one of the better recent fantasy books I've read.

    Interestingly enough, he's the man who has been chosen to write the final Wheel of Time book after Robert Jordan's death. Should be interesting to see how that turns out.

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