Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Sometime in December, I heard about a newsletter that Tor was going to publish which featured free e-book downloads. As anyone who regularly reads this blog knows (are there even any of you who regularly read this blog?), cheap books drive me, probably more than anything other than free food. And free books are just that much better.

The first book I received, and the book that I have been looking forward to and dreading all at once was Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Both of these feelings are inspired by the fact that Brandon Sanderson is going to be writing the final installment of the Wheel of Time series: A Memory of Light. I was looking forward to Mistborn because Harriet Rigney (Robert Jordan's wife) obviously liked what she read by Brandon enough to sign him to the job. I dreaded reading it because, hey, what if it sucked? Then, not only was I on the hook for a crappy original book, I was going to have to deny the existence of the final WoT book. Not a promising prospect.

Consider my fears allayed.

Mistborn has all the elements of a great epic fantasy book. It has good fast-paced action, an enemy that seems invincible, a cast of heroes who are noble (if flawed), powerful and diverse, both in history and function within the team. The end also hinted at a greater danger to come, and what epic fantasy first novel has ever ended without hinting at something like that?

It also featured one of the most unique magic systems I've ever read. I like reading explanations of magic systems, especially when the explanations don't take away from the story and Sanderson wove the ideas into (unsurprisingly) training sessions between the main character and her various mentors.

My major gripe with the book isn't much of a gripe at all. Things seemed to come too easily to the main character as she developed. Both with her power and socially, as she is pulled from the streets and put into gowns to emulate nobility. As I said, this isn't even a real gripe since she is the main character in a fantasy novel and if I can suspend disbelief enough for Talon of the Silver Hawk then this isn't even a stretch.

I'm looking forward to the second installment of the Mistborn series, but more importantly, I'm still looking really forward to reading the end of the Wheel of Time series. Good luck, Brandon Sanderson.


legion said...

I regularly read this blog!! Although, I admit, if it's football/sports related, I'm usually confused and skip it. But to be fair, I'm sure I have a few readers who skip my Powershell posts. Okay, in fact, I'm pretty sure everyone, even fellow tech heads, skip my powershell posts. But that's why it's my blog, because no one can stop me. POWERSHELL!!

Question: This mistborn series sounds cool, I also really like magic systems explained (well, when it's done well). But heard anything about how many books it will go? I'm really hesitant to buy series that never end. I've been reading mainly magazines since finishing the last 2 dune books (yah, I read 'em), which is a sign that it's time for me to find a new book.

Liam J. said...

It is a completed trilogy.

Cliff said...

I didn't think fantasy writers were allowed to complete their series.