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Book Review // The Mistborn Trilogy: Why Every High-Fantasy Reader Should Read It

August 31, 2016

When you read a lot, you tend to compare books in a specific genre. The Mistborn Series, however, is incomparable.

This work of art by Brandon Sanderson has its own charm that will lure you and make you fall in love with the story and characters. The writing style is captivating; the narrative is simply brilliant.

I owe this series this sole review/post because after reading them all, I didn’t post a review on Instagram or Goodreads. But that’s simply because I was too scared to put my thoughts into words – without sounding like a freak on how much I loved it. So I told myself that I will do this post after the last book. And here I am. I think I should at least tell you about it without spoiling too much. Lol.

WARNING: The review is SPOILER-FREE but there are terms used in order to make a better review. 😉
Book 1: The Final Empire
Synopsis:

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 color 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.

Magic is depicted as a supernatural force harnessed via three distinct disciplines, also known as the three Metallic Arts. They are AllomancyFeruchemy and Hemalurgy. All three magic systems are based on metals which are used to grant specific abilities. Their power originates in the Shards Preservation and Ruin; the two god-like deities that are present in the Mistborn world.- via Goodreads

MY POV 

The story is told by the two protagonists, Kelsier and Vin. It is set in a world where mists scare people and a tyrant called Lord Ruler is ruling the world for a thousand years. The Skaas, considered to be subjugated people in the Final Empire, are being slaved in the lowest way possible by the Lord Ruler’s men called “Inquisitors and Obligators”.

One man, a Mistborn (a person who has the ability to burn all the metals), named Kelsier built an underground crusade to free the Skaa and oust the Lord Ruler. He is very determined to accomplish his duty but he is missing something-someone who will help his team better.

Then they met Vin, another Mistborn, stronger that Kel. With her help and the power of Allomancy, will they be able to dethrone the Lord Ruler? At what cost?

Thus, their journey began.

THOUGHTS and WHATNOTS

The first book of the series is how you actually start a book. It hooks you from the first page until the last.

Brandon Sanderson created a world filled with magic while staying scientific. I say scientific because Allomancy is the main source of power of the characters. It is captivating and enthralling because you’ll never know what happens in the end.

The set of characters in the first book are interesting and yet mysterious. Kel, most specially, because he has many reasons to rebel.

The first book ends with a heartbreak. It keeps me wanting for more. It has a right mixture of sadness and suspense and mystery.

***
 Book 2: The Well of Ascension

Synopsis:

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.

As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.  – via Goodreads

MY POV

The second book in any series is either totally great or a complete mess; there’s no in between.

The Well of Ascension is:

  • TOTALLY GREAT.
  • Action-packed scenes.
  • Love-hate emotions!
  • More ELEND VENTURE!!!
  • New characters.
  • Whinny Vin.
  • More Sazed and his wisdom.
  • WAR has began.
  • Elend Venture again.

THOUGHTS and WHATNOTS

I love how the second book delved deeper into each characater. Vin is hailed the heir of the Survivor. With this, she struggles to be the leader that people look up to and the woman that she is becoming. There were times that she annoyed the heck out of me but that’s just a minor issue.

Elend Venture, on the hand, became the emperor. However, with his soft heart, people think he isn’t strong enough to lead. Then a war came, people died. And Vin and Elend was pushed to their limits to do whatever it takes to make Luthadel great again. By doing so, they searched for the Well of Ascension in the hopes that it will somehow help them restore their land.

But it wasn’t easy. As they reached the Well, we were introduced to Ruin (evil) and Preservation (good) – the two god-like elements in the story. How these two affected the whole story was mind-boggling!!!

The second book ended in yet again another surprise! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!? It kept the momentum going and you’ll actually never know how the 3rd book will wrap up.

***
Book 3: The Hero of Ages

Synopsis:

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.

This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson’s saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility. – via Goodreads

MY POV

The last book of a series is my weakness. How it will end is crucial thing because I may end up loving it or hating it.

The Hero of Ages picked up where the second book ended. We see a new Elend – stronger and firmer. Vin – more decisive and more poweful. I just love these two! It’s refreshing to see a romantic affair between TWO PEOPLE only. No love traingles. Just the two of them becoming stronger together.

As they go hand-in-hand to rebuild their homeland, they will struggle and lose friends along the way. They will have doubtful moments and temptation will arise…

THOUGHTS and WHATNOTS

THIS BOOK SEALED my love for Sanderson.

The continuation of each book is perfectly placed. The climax of this finale was the “it moment”. I COULDN’T BELIEVE that was how Sanderson chose to do it! It was too painful and sad and heartbreaking BUT it also felt like those things should happen. In a legit Sanderson style, he wrote the last 100 pages in the most crucial and hyperventilating way.

I have read many books but there is nothing quite as elaborative and as vivid like what Sanderson did here. It wrapped up with a heavy heart yet in a very beautiful execution. I wished it was the other way around but it woudn’t leave a lasting impact if that’s the case, would it?

And the most important revelation: THE LOGBOOK. All throughout the series, each chapter begins with a logbook entry. In the end, we understood who wrote what and who the last author was. This has a lot to do with the story, please take note of it. 😉

 

***

 WRITING STYLE // CHARACTER DEV // etc

When we read books in this genre, we instantly search for clues and directions as to where it will lead us. How the final book will play out. More often than not, authors will lay it on the table and we get it before we know it. But there are authors who, like Sanderson, will give us clues but also give us more holes to fill in! That’s a good thing because it compells us to use our imagination more.

Because the whole series is written in an exquisite way. Can I please have Sanderson’s mind right now?! It’s quite different from the past fantasy novels I’ve read. The size of each book is intimidating but trust me, it’s all worth it! I specially liked the Appendices they included in the end of the books. It is like learning Science and… Allomancy.

The characters were very intriguing and interesting to read. They each have their own elements that played a big role in the scheme of things. The character dev is impeccable. Sanderson made sure that they all had their moment.

Kelsier was the most loved, I think. Maybe because he started the journey. Vin was the perfect protagonist – reluctant at first but she bloomed into a beautiful and badass lady! Brandon Sanderson also gave us both sides – the corrupt world of politics and Elend Venture. I really adore his character specially because in the fictional world, we always see male protagonists as the “bad guy-mysterious-gangster-emotionally broken type”. And we ALWAYS fall for them. Here, we meet Elend… The good hearted son of a wretched emperor; a scholar with positive attitude and just genuinely kind human being. Ah I love him. We need more characters like him!!! And Sazed! He’s my favorite. He has a memory that remembers everything, he has a sharp mind and he gives words of wisdom…then he went through a dark phase where he questioned everything specially his faith. I think he’s relatable in a way.

It also dealt with the key elements of human nature: love, friendship, faith, loss and death.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT

You should definitely get your hands on this because:

  • It has magic !!! (Allomancy, anyone?)
  • It studies metals (coooooool)
  • AMAZING CHARACTERS and development
  • CLIFFHANGER ENDINGS
  • BIG books (meaning: a lot will happen)
  • You’ll imagine KOLOSS (a creature that you cannot un-see once you read the vivid description)
  • Metal Minds (can restore all memories)
  • It’s a fantasy book without dragons ! (that’s something new)
  • It’s action-packed
  • Intense and dramatic shifts!!!
  • EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER!

More importantly, you should read this because of its underlying PARALLELISM.

Preservation and Ruin are the good and evil as depicted in the story.

Preservation created mankind to help “preserve” the world. Automatically, this is God. Ruin has one promise: to destroy whatever it is that Preservation created. This is evil.

Vin, Elend, Kelsier are the super heroes. However, as human as they are, they all have weaknesses. How they defeat their own enemies is a way of showing us that humans err but it will never define their future. Also how Sazed questions his faith is a defining moment in the book. Seems like everything you believed in just disappears and you’re lost. But it’s somehow inspiring to read how it all unravels and how he gets back to his own path.

The structural system of Luthadel also mirrors our society. The corrupt politicians taking advantage of their people; leaders who are greedy enough to let their subordinates suffer; and the Skaa – the silent majority. Scared and enslaved but still fighting for freedom.

Sanderson wrote all these things without sounding like he was preaching. And that it was why I was hooked.

This series deserves all the love in the book community! It has an amazing story. I highly suggest this to everyone! Please, read it. It will change how you view a fantasy novel.

 

RATING: 5/5

“Faith means that it doesn’t matter what happens. You can trust that somebody is watching. Trust that somebody will make it all right.”

Woah. Apologies for the long review. I just couldn’t stop talking!
Have you read this? Any thoughts? Please recommend your favorite FANTASY novel. 🙂
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  72. lookingforabura says:

    Resh!!! Omg! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!! I swear it’s worth it! I got intimidated, too. But when you start reading you won’t notice how long it is!!! Read it. Tbh, this series deserves more hype!!😏

  73. Irini says:

    Great review! I had my eye on these books, thanks to your review I will bump them up my TBR 🙂

    P.S. I loooove magic!

    • lookingforabura says:

      Thanks, love!

      Yes, please read it asap! It’s magical and really powerful writing!!! Let me know once you started it! I’m open for discussion! 😉

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ABEER

ABEER

Abeer is a part-time muggle, part-time blogger who loves books, films, coffee, photography, good food, vintage stuff, cozy mornings and warm hands. If she's not here, she's probably procastinating.

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