Mistborn: The Final Empire

 (Mistborn #1)

Kindle Edition541 pages
Published April 1, 2010, by Tor Books (first published July 17,  2006)

GoodReads Summary:

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair, and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage - Allomancy, a magic of the metals

My Review:

First read November 26, 2012, to January 4, 2013, this is my second reading of The Final Empire.

This is my second reading of Mistborn: The Final Empire. This time I have read it more closely and more carefully. Being more aware of the world building and magic the author created, the characters he created and how well they interacted. The first time through, I was just overwhelmed by such a huge creation and the depression it all left behind.

There is a reason my daughter, an avid reader working on her Master's Degree in English Lit, is so impressed with Brandon Sanderson. His crafting of a world, a magic system, and characters is nothing short of, well, magic. It may be dark, but it is still remarkable. He has created this world that has undergone a major change and doesn't work the way it used to due to magic. There is some unknown dark force as an underlying cause, of course. He's crafted characters with depth that stay true to their personalities right from the start. The magic works the way it is explained all the way through and is explained well so that the reader understands it. Even magical characters are explained.

Sanderson has brought together a cast of characters that you shouldn't turn your back on. They are a bunch of thieves, literally. But they take in this poor girl who has been mistreated and make her one of their own. She is the Mistborn. This is the story of how Vin comes to trust them and learns how to use the magic she has been born with but was pretty much unaware of up until now. She becomes close with the Survivor of Hathsin, Kelsior, the leader of this thieving band. He is her teacher in magic, to begin with. But she learns something from each of the members of the group. She learns more than they may realize from her sharpened observation skills. Her magic may be more than they realize as well.

This girl is actually a young woman, and the band trains her to be a noblewoman. They need a spy among the nobility. She attends the nobility's balls and meets a young nobleman. He's rather rude and a bit sloppy, taking over her table with his books. He isn't particularly interested in dancing, but he sits and reads during the balls. The two become friendly and enjoy their conversations enough to start looking for each other at all of the constant balls. And, of course, when two young people come together, there is always someone willing to cause trouble over it. The young nobleman, Elend, has an ex-girlfriend who isn't happy being an ex. She has plans for him still and is going to make trouble for Vin if she stays close to Elend. A little romance in all this world building!

Romance doesn't remain the focus for long for Vin. The group has a customer who wants them to conquer their world and they need to get on with it! It seems like for each small step forward there is a large jump back in their progress towards their goal. They are building an army in secret. Then they suffer a devastating loss. They solve one problem, only to have three more arise in another area. This is a book in which even nice guys die, even heroes die in the end. Dark fantasy indeed! This is when you set down book one, Mistborn: The Final Empire, and pick up book two, The Well of Ascension, and continue reading, hoping for good news.

I purchased this book from Amazon in Kindle format. This is an honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley