Mistborn: The Final Empire Hardcover – Jul 25 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Sanderson's eerie second fantasy (after 2005's Elantris), set in a mist-haunted, ash-ridden world, pits Kelsier, "the Survivor of Hathsin," against the immortal Lord Ruler's 1,000-year domination of both the Great Houses and their serflike "skaa." Through Allomancy acquired in the Ruler's most hellish prison, Kelsier can "burn" 10 metals internally, fueling superhuman powers he uses to assemble rebels in a loose plan to destroy the nobility, the empire and the Lord Ruler himself. Kelsier uses Vin, a street urchin with the same Mistborn powers Kelsier possesses, to infiltrate the Great Houses' society, where she falls in love with philosopher prince Elend Venture. This mystico-metallurgical fantasy combines Vin's coming-of-age-in-magic and its well-worn theme of revolt against oppression with copious mutilations, a large-scale cast of thieves, cutthroats, conniving nobles and exotic mutants. The fast-paced action scenes temper Vin's interminable ballroom intrigues, while the characters, though not profoundly drawn, have a raw stereotypic appeal. (July)
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The Sliver of Infinity, the Lord Ruler, is the locus of religious and temporal order in a world in which the skaa are slaves or worse. Half-skaa erstwhile thief Kelsior is the only person to survive and escape the Lord Ruler's most brutal prison, in which, however, he discovered he has the powers of the Mistborn, which are based on the internal "burning" of certain metals, all of which the Mistborn can use, while most others can burn only one. Now Kelsior plans his most daring raid ever, into the center of the palace to discover the secret of the Lord Ruler's power. Beforehand, his band finds the half-skaa orphan Vin in another thieving crew, where she's useful because she brings good luck. She is also Mistborn and, if she can master and learn to trust her powers, will enable Kelsior's crew to infiltrate the nobility and possibly overthrow the status quo. Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Mistborn is Brandon Sanderson's second novel, but he writes with a confidence that takes most authors years of experience. Sanderson combines a seemingly common plot of "ragtag heroes vs. big bad overlord" with portions of epistolary narrative and a serious allegorical exploration of the dangers of theocracy, classism and racism. He also includes an original and fascinating magic system for his characters: Allomancy.
Allomancy consists of the ingestion of various metals for use in unleashing special powers. Only the nobility seem to possess allomantic powers, but occasionally commoners manifest them as well -- if they have noble blood in their family tree. Allomantic abilities include super strength, the power of suggestion, being able to physically manipulate metal with one's body, etc. Most allomancers possess only one allomantic ability -- and are referred to as "mistings" -- but a lucky few allomancers possess ALL the allomantic abilities -- and they are referred to as "mistborn."
A young girl named Vin has grown up on the street and unknowingly uses allomancy for the benefit of the gang of confidence men who have taken her in. She is soon rescued from certain death at the hands of the authorities by rogue mistings led by a mistborn who dreams of freeing their land from the power of an evil seemingly-immortal ruler who has proclaimed himself a god -- and seems to have to power to back up his claim.
The novel works as an adventure story, a detective story and a heroic fantasy. I would heartily recommend Mistborn: The Final Empire to anyone. I've already lent my copy to everyone I know.
At first, the setting might seem to be the same as any other. Bad guy rules empire. Good-bad-guy wants to kill him, and save the world. Cute young woman helps him while discovering who she really is. But the story is much more than that; the characters are neither black nor white, but somewhere in between, and Sanderson's writing describe their fears, joices and dilemnas with depth. The magic's mechanics are interesting, but more than that, I enjoyed the author's understanding of what is leadership: choices, consequences, difficult decisions, the power of the words, etc. Even the ending leaves you uncertain.
This is the first in a trilogy, and I am looking forward to reading the next two books.
The book is pretty good, the plot is pretty intricate, it could have stood alone, but it doesn't, it's got two sequels, which aren't necessarily as good, but all three had some pretty cool plot twists. The story is described as taking place in a world where the Dark Lord won, but that's the backstory, it's not the plot of the book. The main story still has that classic "good triumphs over evil" fantasy trope, whether that's good or bad depends on what you're expecting/hoping for. By the way, the Dark Lord being defeated isn't the big plot twist I was talking about.
The last thing is the magic system, Allomancy, the major one in the first book, there's two more in the world, to be described in more detail in the later books. Allomancy is a very well thought out rule-based magic system where "burning" a specific metal can give you an ability while you're burning it (e.g. super-senses), but personally, I always thought it was a bit random which metal gives you what powers, so it may not be for everyone.
Mistborn use up the energy of certain metals and alloys to gain access to latent powers. By swallowing small flakes of pewter, for example, mistborn can enhance their physical endurance and strength, something which comes in handy when you want to survive a fatal blow from an opponent...'or wrench yourself free from the dungeons. Such people are rare, and are usually found in the ranks of the nobility. Kelsier himself is an exception. He was born among the skaa people, the dirt and sweat of the city.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is the first Brandon Sanderson novel I’ve ever read, am I’m a little upset for not picking him up sooner! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amy
I read before I go to bed and find I've been losing sleep because I cannot stop reading!Published 3 months ago by JohnnyUtah
Frankly, I was quite disappointed in this series. The geography/environment was wholly unbelievable which destroyed any ability I might have had to get into the stories. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cary A. Conder
Great way to start a series. If you like any of Brandon Sandersons other series you will enjoy this. Enjoyed it a lotPublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoy this book. It's not my favourite fantasy novel but it was well written and I liked the concept of Allomancy for magic. It was a new take on a tired genre. Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2014 by Mediaevalgirl
Brandon is an easy read. His characters are clear, and the plot is easy to follow. Totally enjoy his writing as a whole, and this series is worth the timePublished on Oct. 15 2013 by Terry
Mistborn is a fantastic adventure novel that follows a young street urchin on her journey of self awakening. Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2012 by J Reader
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