Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review: The Mistborn Trilogy

Ruling a country can be very hard. You have limited resources, limited time and people contradicting and opposing you. 

Now what would happen if you have lived for a 1000 years as a ruler of an empire. Could you not create a perfect system for your citizens to live in? Maybe you don't want to. The Lord Ruler didn't.

The Lord Ruler has lived for a 1000 years and his empire is split into two factions. Those of nobility, are physically, mentally and financially superior to Skaa and are part of the Lord Ruler's upper class. The nobility get to have magnificent balls, trade, plot and generally be happy about their lives. The other faction are the Skaa. A slave race not too different from humans (the nobility) and are considered inferior in every way and are there to be used and abused by the nobility. 

During these many years of rule. People have revolted against the Lord Ruler. People have tried to kill him, all of them have failed, but it isn't for a lack of trying. How do you kill a man...no a God, when beheading him is only a minor annoyance?

Kelsier is a man with special talents. He is a Mistborn. A man with superhuman power (allomancy) who can "burn" 10 different metals in his body. Each metal does something different. Heighten senses, increase strength, manipulate metal, control emotions and see the future! But how does a man like Kelsier attempt to over throw the Lord Ruler when the Lord Ruler himself has a score of 'Inquisitors' who can do the same thing as Kelsier? What does Kelsier know that others do not? What makes him believe in his delusions of grandeur?

I find it is hard to review an entire trilogy because you cannot give anything away. Anything you say while reviewing books 2 and 3 will sometimes spoil the previous books that are unread by you, the readers. So I have to review the 'Trilogy' as a whole and I can tell you that it blew my mind. The books are very character driven and you get to know each of the characters very well. The plot is amazing and Sanderson did a fantastic job of keeping us guessing at what would happen next. The magic in the world is quite unique, besides allomancy, there is also feruchemy. Feruchemy has a lot of the same powers as allomancy, but instead of "burning" metals to induce the powers, you have to store them before hand. To gain speed, you have to store speed beforehand; the consequence being you are slow for a period of time. 

For people who have read my "Author Moments You Love to Hate", I can tell you that there are not many if at all anything you could begrudge Sanderson about. His character names have unique names without being hard to pronounce; they are flawed in a good way; there is a detailed map (that's for you I.J. Parnham!), the books aren't overly long to bog you down and nothing is filler.

Sanderson also succeeds where others have failed; the ending to each book and to the trilogy as a whole. The first book finishes in a way where you could leave it at that and be very content but you would want to read on. The second book has a major cliff-hanger and makes you want to read the next one. The third book finishes with a flurry and satisfyingly I might add. It ties up a lot of loose ends without using too many or too little pages. And it actually finishes the trilogy. No potential cliff hanger and that is what really pleased me. 

Sure, I believe that Sanderson could continue in the Mistborn world but he doesn't have to and his fans (which include me) won't bay for his blood because he has left something unfinished.

Mistborn would now be the one of the first books I would recommend to anyone ages 15+ regardless if they read fantasy or not.

"Mistborn is character driven and has amazing plots. Sanderson has captured everything great about fantasy and put it into 3 very enjoyable books." - Sleeping With Books


I.J. Parnham said...

Well, if the map is a good one, I'll have to put this on the tbr pile!

Thanks, I hadn't heard of this one before and you've made it sound intriguing.

Enchante said...

Cool, I'm glad you liked it.

If you didn't know, Brandon Sanderson is also ghost writing Robert Jordan's last 'Wheel of Time' book.

I.J. Parnham said...

Uh-oh, I may have to have a rethink, then!

Enchante said...

LOL. I haven't read WoT and I'm not going to.

Jordan didn't chose him, he was appointed post humorously. I think his appointment is a credit to Sanderson's talent.

I don't know why he would take the job tho. From discussions with book readers I know it sounds like a crappy job to take.

LizN said...

If you're a fan of WoT, you may also enjoy the Mistborn audiobooks (they are download-only so you can get them at iTunes or Audible). The Mistborn audios are read by Michael Kramer, who is one-half of the narration team for the WoT audiobooks.

Enchante said...

I've never seen audio books before (might because we don't have them here) and I'm not sure what my opinion of them would be.

I think if I did try them out it would have to be on a small book first!