So the time has finally come when I finish the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. And I’m very conflicted and find it hard to write this review.
I had heard so many great things about this series, been recommended it by I don’t know how many people. I suppose my expectations might have been set a little too high here.
The book is good, no doubt about it, but is it great? I’m not sure. I like fast books where things happen all the time, where there’s little time to rest. I’m perhaps impatient, I want to get to the resolution and don’t have time for meandering along paths that don’t lead straight to where I want to go.
And this book is far from a fast read. I should have known it wouldn’t be considering what I know about Sanderson and his writing, but I was still surprised about the level of “slowness” that this book gave me.
So, to actually get into the review. We follow Kelsier and Vin, two people with a rare magical gift that makes them able to ingest and use metals to alter their physical world and/or the people that live in it. They are Skaa, oppressed by the Lord Ruler and the noble houses. And basically, Kelsier is assembling the best criminals he knows to overthrow the ruler and take control of the empire. It’s more or less a heist story in its core.
The plot is really intriguing, the underdogs rising up against their oppressor, wanting to change the world for the better. The book opens fairly stong with this idea that we hate the leaders and we need to do something about it. Then the team gathers and the planning starts. And then … nothing. It takes forever to get anywhere. And then by the end of the book when all the pieces finally starts to move, the book is amazing.
Perhaps it’s the vast contrast between the final quarter of the book compared to the rest that makes me the most disappointed. I wanted the whole book to be like the ending, fast and exciting. There was little excitement in the first 75%.
The end alone, however, makes me eager to read the next book, and a good end somehow leaves me with a longing for more and a positive feeling.
Sanderson knows how to write a story, his writing in this novel may be a little passive, and there’s always that sense of being distanced from the characters, but it still works really well.
His magic system is unique and interesting, and I think he does a great job explaining it to the reader without it feeling like a lecture. His characters are fun to follow, and the main character Vin is a perfect “apprentice” that Kelsier can use to explain the world and the magic to so that the reader also understands it well.
So, all in all, this book is worth a read, but I’m not sure it’s worth the hype. It’s a good book with a great ending, and I can understand why Sanderson is such a popular author in the fantasy genre. And I think that going in to book 2 in the series, and knowing what to expect when it comes to style, I’m sure to appreciate it too.