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Mistborn : Final Empire Series (Book #1) (Mistborn, Book 1) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Brandon Sanderson

Series: Mistborn (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,0191791,272 (4.28)1 / 437
Member:tdardas
Title:Mistborn : Final Empire Series (Book #1) (Mistborn, Book 1)
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Info:Tor Fantasy (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Your library
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Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (2006)

  1. 122
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    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 (176)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
It is hard to write about the books we love. It is even harder to write about the books most people have already written about and have done it much better.

The Final Empire has a great premise at its core. It deals with failure. Since anything else about the fact would be a major spoiler, I'll stop here (it is so huge that I don't want to tempt people with spoiler tags).

The Final Empire is a bleak land. People have forgotten that grass and the trees should be green since the nearby mountains cover the land in dark ash. The skaa, enslaved ordinary people, live in misery and fear. It was hard to read about the things the skaa have to endure. "...an official cursed and shoved a man out of the line. The skaa worker fell hard, but eventually picked himself back up and shuffled to the end of the line. It was likely that if he wasn’t let out of the city, he wouldn’t be able to do his day’s work—and no work meant no food tokens for his family."That is one of the milder examples, and it is more than upsetting. The nobles use the skaa for manual labour and other, worse things. But they don't own them. The one who owns the skaa is the Lord Ruler, who has ruled this now horrible land for a thousand years. The skaa are slaves to their own superstitions as much as they are slaves to the nobility and the Lord Ruler.
And as it is always the case with repressive societies, there will always be someone who could offer a thread of hope. There is no completely black and white division in this world. There are a number of protagonists, but the story mostly revolves around the two major ones - Kelsier, the brilliant master criminal who survived things no ordinary person could and kept on smiling and Vin, a street thief who learned the true meaning of friendship and trust."He forced himself to smile—not out of pleasure, and not out of satisfaction. He smiled despite the grief he felt at the deaths of his men; he smiled because that was what he did. That was how he proved to the Lord Ruler—and to himself—that he wasn’t beaten."How can you not love a character like that? It almost broke my heart reading that. Kelsier became one of my favourite heroes.

The magic system is interesting too. The way it is introduced is brilliant. You don't simply get to read that this metal does this or that metal does that. It is done through Vin's training. Each member of Kelsier's crew has something to teach Vin, an ability or in Kelsier's case abilities, and through them Vin learns how to use allomancy.

The main story is finished in this book, but certain comments made in the last few pages left an opening for another great fight against the odds. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
Buddy read with Angela, Brandi, and Tandie.
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Impressed by the whole he's been hand-picked to finish the Wheel of Time story, I needed to see what was so great about Brandon Sanderson.

And he is.

I really enjoyed this book, set in a world where ingesting metal gives you access to magical abilities. Great characters utilized in ways rarely seen in a first book in a series (vague enough?).

( )
  drhapgood | Jul 27, 2014 |
Very nice story and character building, flew through the book :) ( )
  Lorune | Jul 6, 2014 |
"Ash fell from the sky."
The first line pretty much sets the tone for the world. It's a bleak, unforgiving one. The commoners, or skaa, are treated as less than human by the ruthless nobility, who live lives of luxury. But they too, fear the Lord Ruler, the mysterious, godlike tyrant of the Final Empire. The majority of the action happens in Luthadel, the empire's capital.

This being a fantasy book, some sort of magic is expected. And there is one, called Allomancy. Sanderson has created a refreshingly new magic system, quite different from the typical spell based one that is almost the norm. The power here comes from metals and alloys. Allomancers have the ability to ingest and "burn" certain metals, which gives them certain capabilities. Most can burn only one metal, and are called Mistings. Some rare ones though, have the power to burn all the metals - these are the titular Mistborn.

I won't give too much info, since discovering a whole new world is half the fun, but suffice to say that it's mysterious, exciting and well-crafted.

The Plot :
Minor Spoilers Alert!
The novel has two main characters. There's Kelsier, the Survivor of Hathsin, who's out to overthrow the final empire and destroy the Lord Ruler himself, a task that many of his own team believe impossible. And then there's Vin - a sixteen year old girl, who is, unsurprisingly, a Mistborn. So is Kelsier. Then there are others - Breeze, Ham, Clubs, Spook, Marsh. For a nice change, the names are all simple and easy to pronounce. No apostrophes anywhere.

Unfortunately, most of the characters though likeable, are as simple as their names. They all have specific roles in the plan, and that pretty much defines who they are, one or two quirky ones aside. Vin is the only exception.

But the plot moves at such a blistering pace, you never have time to get upset over this. There are plenty of twists and turns and shocking revelations that you just won't be able to put the book down until the very end. It's certainly the second-best thing about the book. The first, though, has to be the world building.

This is the first of a trilogy, but the book doesn't leave you hanging at the end. There's a very definite conclusion that winds up a lot of what happens in book one, but there's plenty of questions left unanswered.

The Verdict :
Mistborn : The Final Empire is awesome. Seriously, if you like fantasy go read it. Heck, if you like good books, go read it! The rather flat characters aside, the book is bucket loads of fun with some interesting moral quandaries. ( )
  hoodakaushal | Jun 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh completely in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Regina Schroeder (Jul 1, 2006)
 
The fast-paced action scenes temper Vin's interminable ballroom intrigues, while the characters, though not profoundly drawn, have a raw stereotypic appeal.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (May 15, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:42 -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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