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    Review of MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson (see his website)


    Tor, 2006

    The Lord Ruler is immortal--everyone knows that. They also know he harbors a grudge against the Skaa--the ordinary people of the land, and remembers the nobility--descendents of those who helped him in the early days of the Final Empire--fondly. Although the Lord Ruler is said to be a god, the Skaa continue to rebell--without much success or hope. When the Skaa rebellion hires an elite thief, one with the Mistborn talents reserved to the nobility and the Lord Ruler only, the rebellion takes a more serious role.

    Since her brother abandoned her, Vin has worked for a thief guild. She uses the hint of talent she calls 'luck' to protect the guild and sway suckers into falling into the scams and deceptions on which the thieves depend. But when her guild leader goes too far and tries to scam the Iron Ministry of the Final Empire, she becomes hunted by the Empire--and swept up in the rebellion.

    Trained by Kelsier, lead thief, Vin learns that her 'luck' is really Allomancy--a kind of magic based on the 'burning' (digestion?) of metals. Becoming a part of the rebellion gives Vin the family she's always wanted, but also puts her in horrible danger.

    MISTBORN represents a major step forward for author Brandon Sanderson's (see more reviews of novels by Sanderson) dealing with characters. Rather than the semi-perfect characters of his earlier novel, ELANTRIS, Sanderson gives us complex and flawed characters, rich world-building and an intriguing magical system.

    MISTBORN is not flawless. I would have liked more explanation of how Allomancy evolved, what, exactly, the nobles are, and a better explanation of why the Lord Ruler did what he did. Perhaps, however, these questions will be answered in later volumes in the series. Overall, MISTBORN is a huge and complex novel--and well worth the read.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/05/09

    Buy Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book No. 1) from Amazon

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