Prior to reading this book I had read Sanderson’s books Elantris and Warbreaker and loved them both. I was super excited to get started on this series. This book was everything I had hoped it would be and more. A wonderful epic fantasy, with a creative magic system, and characters you can really love.
This book goes between two main characters. The first is Kelsier, a member of the oppressed Skaa race who has escaped horrible punishment at the hand of the Lord Ruler and is determined to lead a rebellion to overthrow the Final Empire. The second is Vin, a skaa who is part of the thieving group. Vin gets entangled in Kelsier’s scheme and finds out that she has powers of a Mistborn.
The setting for this book is pretty bleak. The Final Empire is located in a place where ash constantly rains down on the landscape and fields and forests are yellow and dying. The skaa is a race of serf-like humans who slave for the ruling class and are kept complacent through cruelty and Soothing by Mistlings.
The magic system is very creative, Sanderson has created a system where Mistlings or Mistborn swallow different metallic elements and can burn them to create various affects. He explains the complicated system in a way that is interesting and easy to understand; and shows creativity and flexibility to the magic system that makes it work in a wide variety of circumstances.
The plot is very complex, but not overwhelmingly so. Sanderson keeps the cast of characters manageable and makes characters easy to recognize. The characters are complex with rich histories and conflicted personalities but they are all somewhat lovable. A lot of the characters are grey in morale; they are thieves but they work for a cause, they try to do right but people suffer from their actions.
I loved these characters; especially Vin. Vin changes so much throughout the book. She starts out as a lowly thief eking out a living and ends up a power to be reckoned with. Kelsier is a force to be dealt with on his own; his character has a powerful personality that you love at times and dislike at others. This really is the place where Sanderson is exceptional; he creates a wonderful world but his characters are awesome. They bring humor and softness to a world that would be plain without them; these are some of the best characters in epic fantasy that I have read about for a while.
Overall I was very impressed, nothing to complain about…I loved it. The characters are entertaining and well done, the plot intriguing, the magic system creative. Sanderson has built a world and characters that you want to read about and turned them into a story that is very hard to put down. I am very eager to read the next book in this series “The Well of Ascension“.
This book goes towards the following reading challenge:
– The 100+ Book Reading Challenge