I first heard of Brandon Sanderson soon after he was given the task of finishing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga.
I doubted anyone could finish the series and maintain a similar voice to Jordan’s, let alone continue the story as well as Jordan had, but I hoped for the best.
After reading Sanderson’s first Wheel of Time book, I assumed most of it had probably written by Jordan before he died, it was that similar in style.
Sanderson’s second installment suggested otherwise (surely Jordan couldn’t have written most of the rest before he died), and convinced me he was a damn good writer. After listening to a podcast interviewing him about it, I decided to look up more of his works. I’m glad I did.
I came across Mistborn first, and I wasn’t dissapointed. It’s an epic saga, and though it maintains many of the fantasy tropes – “young orphan with special powers rises from obscurity and challenges the evil overlord” – it’s also quite original and compelling for the most part.
There are quite a few point-of-view characters, but it’s Vin, the abused and downtrodden young orphan who we empathise with.
Early on, Vin is rescued by Kelsier from her dangerous life as the youngest member of a gang of petty thieves. Recognising her inborn talents, Kelsier instructs Vin in the use of Allomancy – the ability to ‘burn’ metals to gain amazing powers.
Like Kelsier, she’s also among the rarest allomancers, a Mistborn, able to burn the full complement of metals, not just one.
From there it gets a little more complicated, as only full-blooded allomancer nobles are tolerated by the Lord ruler. As Vin’s both an allomancer and the bastard child of a noble and a skaa (peasant), she quickly finds herself on the Lord Ruler’s hit list.
Kelsier, however, has other plans for Vin. He intends to take down the Lord Ruler despite the fact the Lord Ruler is known to be a immortal God and the world’s savior – and Kelsier needs all the help he can find.
With Vin tasked to infiltrate the nobility, Kelsier and his crew begin plans to set the noble houses to fighting, to build an army, and eventually to bring down the Final Empire and the Lord Ruler himself.
And so begins Mistborn – a very good read.