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Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon…
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Mistborn: The Final Empire (2006)

by Brandon Sanderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mistborn (1), Cosmere (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,495275899 (4.28)1 / 552
  1. 152
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (fyrefly98, souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although the authors have different writing styles, both are epic fantasy books with a caper/heist/team of thieves at their centre
  2. 50
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (leahsimone)
  3. 40
    Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey (Konran)
    Konran: For those who were interested by the logbooks, Banewreaker is told from the point of view of the "evil" side of you traditional fantasy story.
  4. 30
    Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (leahsimone)
  5. 30
    The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (foggidawn)
  6. 42
    Dune by Frank Herbert (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Substance gives power to individual. Lots of political intrigue with interesting characters.
  7. 20
    The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham (ajwseven)
  8. 10
    Seeker by Arwen Dayton (kgriffith)
  9. 10
    Son of Avonar by Carol Berg (Konran)
  10. 46
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Katya0133)
    Katya0133: The tone of these two books is very different, but they way Katniss looked at the world, specifically the way she couldn't understand kindness as a motivation, reminded me of Vin in the first Mistborn book.
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English (269)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (273)
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
One of my favourite books of all time, from one of the most frustrating authors. It's somewhat difficult to review this book after reading the entire trilogy, at least without spoilers, because so many of the little details here and there throughout the book end up having some major significance later on in the story, but I will give it a shot.

The characters are deep enough and interesting enough that I remember most of their names even a year later (while I have trouble with it a week after reading most books). The five or so perspective-protagonists in particular aren't written so much as they're crafted- like pieces of beautiful jewelry instead of drawings of some. Everyone has beliefs, desires, fears, motivations, faiths, and unique perspectives and talents, and in the end every single one of those things are challenged to the breaking point.

The setting feels intentionally generic when everything starts- a world ruled by a malevolent king with absolute power, generals who double as the ultimate enforcers of the king's will, themselves so powerful that no one can possibly stand up to them, and a world that's been enslaved so long that it doesn't even remember what freedom is. That generic feeling changes pretty fast. Jim Butcher once said that it doesn't matter if an idea is good or bad, a good author can make ANY idea something that's worth reading. Jim Butcher himself proved that with the Codex Alera series, and Brandon Sanderson proved it again with the Mistborn trilogy. I truly don't think that the concept behind this series was unique, but he made it unique, the same way a master weaver can take a common pattern and make it beautiful. The level of detail and the realism of the motivations not just of the protagonists, but of every character "good" or "bad", makes it a story that you'll never mis-remember for any other story, even fifty years from now.

The series, and this book in particular, have a story depth that's absolutely shocking. It still feels to me that not a single sentence was wasted- EVERYTHING has a meaning and a purpose, and that's a staggering feat for long novels in a trilogy (especially as it doesn't at all feel that way until everything comes together much later). It almost feels as though the series was written backwards, with the sheer number of seemingly (at the time) insignificant moments and comments that all come together to form something entirely new. I couldn't have written it, regardless of how much research and time and effort that I put into the project- and for the people who know me, you'll know how difficult that is for me to say. I simply don't have the talent for writing to pull this series off.

The magic system was absolutely unique, and more importantly it had the kind of internal logic and boundaries that were an absolute pleasure to dive into. I can never stand magic systems that feel like fuel is irrelevant, that skill is irrelevant, and all that matters is desperation or emotion or whatever. Sanderson created a magic system that relies on very strict rules, and whenever those rules were seemingly bent, he always went out of his way (later usually, when it wouldn't disrupt the flow of the scene) to show that no, the rules were maintained, they were just misinterpreted by some of the characters earlier on. That mentality towards magic means that I'll be a fan of Sanderson forever, as it's EXACTLY what I like to see.

I highly recommend this series to absolutely everyone, whether they're a fan of fantasy novels or not, whether they're a fan of epic novels or not, and regardless of their age or sex or nationality. I think it has that kind of appeal. That said (and as I mentioned briefly at the start of the review), I can't really recommend Sanderson as an author in general right now as he's very frustrating. I'm apparently not the only person who thinks he's an absolute genius, and his attention is often drawn by teaching and other non-writing ventures. Even when his attention IS on writing, it's been on writing things that I have no interest in, like the Wheel of Time series (Robert Jordan's baby), or in dividing his attention on many series in many genres simultaneously. I say give him a couple of more years to get a few more books out in each of his (I think six now?) ongoing series before trying to find other novels of his to read. ( )
  LysanderMSND | Jan 19, 2019 |
Just a solid fantasy read with a LOT of interesting world components, and it's got plenty of twists and turns to keep you going. The tension built a little too long for me, and I have two (2) major beefs that might be spoilers, so proceed with caution; nonetheless, the last hundred pages I HAD to read (I'm writing this at 1 am because I just finished and didn't want to wait to write it) so it's certainly gripping at the end. The characters are compelling even when sometimes they're infuriating (I yelled "you IDIOTS" a LOT) and the ending was deeply satisfying even as it left openings for the future.

Anyway, welcome to Here's My Beef: [SPOILERS]

1) the whole system of "half-breed" and allomancy being passed down genetically and so basically through the rape of skaa women was um Gross to me, and I'm going to be open about the fact that I'm uncomfortable with that being a central world-building tenant. This is revealed, granted, in the first 30-odd pages where there are multiple discussions of rape attempts, and I get that it's like a Dark Gritty World but also please don't.

2) the entire romantic plot drove me BANANAS and I hate Elend and I hated that Vin fell in love with him and I hate that we got chapters from his POV where he basically was like "wow because i have a crush on this skaa girl clearly skaa are hashtag just like us" and I hate that he didn't die. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. ( )
  aijmiller | Jan 17, 2019 |
It has been a very long time since I've read any 'epic' fantasy, but gave this a shot since the author is a guest at When Words Collide this coming August in Calgary and I wanted a taste of his work. Plus I'd also heard nothing but praise for Sanderson from all quarters, so wanted to know what all the fuss was about. ;-)

Mistborn, the first in a trilogy, while not exactly riveting from the off, was compelling enough to keep me interested and turning pages. The writing is relatively clean and straightforward, if somewhat lacking in elegance, and carries the narrative along at a reasonable pace, which is a bonus when plowing through 500 pages. The magic system - Allomancy - is intriguingly clever and gives the users (those who are born with the latent ability to tap into it) a selection of powers based around the consumption of various metals. By 'burning' certain metals within the body the user (Mistborns - those who can utilize all the metals and Mistings - those who can utilize a single metal) are able to push and pull against external metals, increase strength, constitution, sharpen senses, and influence mood and feeling in those around them. It's an elaborate and clearly defined system that has a sort of logical alchemical feel to it with a great deal of appeal. Unfortunately the world building as a whole isn't quite as clear as the magic system. While the political, religious and social structures are handled well, Sanderson fails to deliver a sense of time and place. Descriptions of clothing, buildings, the landscape are all rather weak. I had a hard time determining a historical period analogue. There are times when it reads like a sort of antebellum setup with plantations, slavery, etc...and at others it's more like a late medieval feudal feel. That to me was the largest weakness in the writing/world-building.

In terms of plot and characterization it's all fairly simple. We've got a group of largely low-class, vaguely criminal types, gathering together in an attempt to overthrow a god-like tyrant. In the early stages it reads like a caper/heist affair, but soon develops into a more noble plan. And when I say 'types', I do mean types, as there isn't a fully fleshed out character in the lot. Our POV is a scruffy young female thief with Mistborn powers who finds herself caught up in schemes largely over her head. She is mentored by another noble sort of thief, a warrior, a scam artist, etc...and learns from each of them until she awakens to the realization that there's more to life than simply getting by as a thief. That being said, it all still sort of works. Readers know these types, we like these types, we understand these types because we've read/seen them a 100 times before and Sanderson gives them just enough character to grow on you. The plot, as I mentioned, is about rebellion, freedom from tyranny, and the like, but I couldn't shake the sense that it was all just sort of an inversion of God Emperor of Dune.

While my comments sound harsh, even to myself, I did come away from the book thinking I might actually want to see where it goes from here, which is to say overall I liked it, and that's from a guy who really doesn't care much for 'epic' fantasy, so give it a shot. I'd give it a solid 3.5 out of 5. It's an early book from the author, so I expect more from the follow-ups in the trilogy. ( )
  CharlesPrepolec | Dec 22, 2018 |
This book took me a month to read, but only because my brain was not allowing me to focus. I loved it. I often find myself skimming pieces of books even in ones I love, but not with Mistborn. The world building was PHENOMENAL. The characters were amazing and flawed and raw. The story feels so unlike anything I've read before. This is the kind of fantasy I absolutely love. ( )
  distantiation | Dec 3, 2018 |
Hate that I got sidetracked with health problems and wasn't able to finish reading this book when I wanted. It is simply an amazing story! Sanderson is definitely a masterful storyteller. From the skaa to nobleman, from allomancy to feruchemy, from misting to mistborn, this book will keep you captivated! ( )
  emeraldgirl68 | Sep 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, IsaacMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
FOR BETH SANDERSON,
Who's been reading fantasy
For longer than I've been alive,
And fully deserves
To have a grandson as loony as she is
First words
Ash fell from the sky.
Quotations
Women are like ... thunderstorms. They're beautiful to look at, and sometimes they're nice to listen to--but most of the time they're just plain inconvenient. [p. 307]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasy trilogy overturns the expectations of readers and then goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world. A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on a criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals. A word of mouth success in the states the Mistborn trilogy has, this year, broken onto the New York Times Bestseller list. The time is ripe for its success to cross the Atlantic
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765350386, Mass Market Paperback)

Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
 
Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:19 -0400)

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"Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangles the land. He failed."--Cover, p. [4].

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