Friday, May 22, 2009

Mistborn, A Review (Spoiler Free!)

I do not remember who recommended the Mistborn series to me, but I am glad they did. After finishing the third and final volume of the series, The Hero of Ages, I feel the urge to recommend this series.

Mistborn was written by Brandon Sanderson, a relatively new author to the fantasy world. Sanderson’s series received wonderful praise by many colleagues and reviewers, and I want to join my voice with them. Mistborn was a powerful story, one I could visualize with every paragraph. Sanderson’s portrayal of the world and its workings is completely believable, and I found myself riveted by the story.

The series begins with Mistborn: The Final Empire. In this book the world is ruled by a cruel emperor called the Lord Ruler. He is the God of the people and of the lands. He is the result of what happens when a Hero takes the power at the Well of Ascension and uses it for himself. The world is eradicated of culture, religion, happiness, and basic humanity.

In the Final Empire, there are two classes of people: nobility and skaa. Skaa live lives worse than slaves of old, and they are the ones that do the daily labor of cleaning the Empire.

In the Final Empire, ash falls continually, piling onto the streets and fields daily. Skaa must clean the ash before they can begin their work. And then at night, the mists come out. There are things in the mists that skaa and nobility fear, and so no one goes out into them. No one, that is, except for Kelsier, the Survivor of Hathsin.

Kelsier’s fame spreads throughout the skaa, and he preaches a message of rebellion. He hates the Lord Ruler and wishes to free the skaa. And the things he can do is supernatural. He can fly through the sky, play on people’s emotions, move with incredible speed and resilience, and many other things. Kelsier is Mistborn.

The system of “magic” developed for this series is very well thought out, and quite simple to understand rather quickly. I’ll admit, at first I was slightly confused about what was going on (and even a little unsure whether or not I liked it), but I overcame those thoughts rapidly.

The story, beginning with The Final Empire, becomes more and more exciting with each passage. I found myself reading whenever I had the opportunity.

To keep this simple, I will say nothing of books two or three, save that they were phenomenal. After finishing the first volume, I immediately bought the second, Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, and started on it; and, hungrily I moved on to the concluding work, Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, after finishing book two.

The story is interwoven and grandiose. Themes of love and trust and betrayal dominate the characters.

My final offering of praise and recommendation goes like this: if you enjoyed The Name of the Wind by Pat Rothfuss, then you will love Mistborn. Both of these authors have found a way to transcend the typical fantasy mold and create a masterpiece. In fact, Pat put in a word for it back when he was doing the Heifer Project.

Finally, after finishing the series, I started thinking about a movie. Wow, this series would make for an excellent movie, be it Hollywood or the Sci-Fi channel.

So, friends, take this series and read it when you get a chance. It ranks as one of the best series’ I’ve read in a long time. Give it a try, you won't regret it.


Bilski said...

Logan, does your thirst for fantasy extend to Science fiction? Because I've been watching the Stargate SG1 show on Hulu recently and I'm nearly finished with the second season. It's gotten very very interesting. Anyway, just thought I'd pass it along, although I still say the best start off for that whole 'universe' is the original movie "Stargate" itself.

logankstewart said...

Bill, you're asking if I like Science Fiction? Me? C'mon, you've seen all my STAR WARS stuff! Of course I like science fiction.

As for SG1, I watched it off and on, back and forth for a while when it came on the tv. I always liked it better than the movie, though.

Bilski said...

I'm just saying Logan, outside of Star Wars (which I would consider scifi/fantasy honestly since there is no tie in to reality/Earth) I don't think I've ever heard you talk about another science fiction series.

Perhaps I missed it and correct me if I'm wrong, but there are whole worlds of greatness in Stargate, Star Trek (with some moderation...they tend to get preachy), Firefly, etc!

logankstewart said...

Bill, Bill, Bill. You've left off Dune, what some consider to be the epitome of science fiction. As for Star Trek, I've nary seen a one, but I do hope to see the new film. Firefly looks promising, as I've heard wonderful things about it. The Abyss was one of my favorite movies growing up. The first novel I ever read was Sphere, by the late, great Michael Crichton. Heck, I even want to get into watching Battlestar Galactica, I just don't have the time for something so massive for that right now.

Of course I like sci-fi, Bill. Though, you have to admit, some of the stuff they show on the Sci-Fi channel is pretty ridiculous. A mutated, thirty-seven story tall crocodile terrorizing a small, quiet village that happens to have a secret nuclear fission testing facility buried underneath it for a just in case reason? Bah. I'd rather be watching Friends!

Bilski said...

I'm not sure which show you're referring to there, but I believe a mechanized version of said 37 story reptile could easily take it on.

Krista said...

Mistborn is easily one of the best books I've read this decade! Seriously.

logankstewart said...

Krista, welcome to my blog. Thanks for following. And I definitely agree with your statement: Mistborn is one of the greatest books of this decade.

Krista said...

Have you read Sandersons Elantris? If not it's really good and you can actually get this book on graphic audio. One of the coolest things I've seen, it's like a movie in your mind. Here's the website if you want to check out what they have.

logankstewart said...

Actually, Krista, I'm reading Elantris now, and so far, I'm enjoying it.

Krista said...

I don't want to bog down your blog with FYI's but since you are and have enjoyed Sanderson's work I thought I'd give you a cool piece of information. Brandon Sanderson will be stopping by Barnes and Nobles online Book Club July 8th-10th. It should be three days of intense, awesome, fantasy fiction conversation...