Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is set in a dark and unique fantasy world. Unlike many fantasy series where the villain is prevented from taking over, the Lord Ruler has already won and turned the world into a dark place where ash covers everything at night. He rules over the skaa, who are treated as slaves in the countryside and must resort to thievery to survive in the city among the noble class.

Kelsier, a half skaa, is a Mistborn who can ingest metals and “burn” them to release superhuman powers. After being banished to the mines – a certain death – Kelsier is the first person to ever survive and escape. As his exploits slowly earn him hero status among the skaa, he begins to build a team of thieves to pull off a major job to kill the Lord Ruler. In their planning stages, they discover Vin, an orphaned skaa who unknowingly possesses Mistborn powers. Kelsier convinces her to join the team and pose as a noblewoman to spy on the noble class.

This first book in the trilogy focuses on Vin’s experience learning how to use her Mistborn powers and on her courtly intrigue as she spies at balls and other events. Sanderson excels at weaving an interesting magic system with immersive world-building that does not impede the progression of the story. His writing style is engaging and often darkly humorous, especially in scenes including Kelsier. This adult novel has teen appeal by virtue of its fast-paced storyline, but includes some graphic depictions of violence.

The Mistborn Trilogy would be a good entry into the genre for fans of the Game of Thrones HBO series who may be daunted by the door stopper length of George R.R. Martin’s series. This trilogy is also complete so you can read the story from beginning to end with no waiting between volumes.

Search the VBPL catalog for Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson as well as his other titles. You may also enjoy Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series or David Eddings.

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