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Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Sanderson's eerie second fantasy (after 2005's Elantris), set in a mist-haunted, ash-ridden world, pits Kelsier, "the Survivor of Hathsin," against the immortal Lord Ruler's 1,000-year domination of both the Great Houses and their serflike "skaa." Through Allomancy acquired in the Ruler's most hellish prison, Kelsier can "burn" 10 metals internally, fueling superhuman powers he uses to assemble rebels in a loose plan to destroy the nobility, the empire and the Lord Ruler himself. Kelsier uses Vin, a street urchin with the same Mistborn powers Kelsier possesses, to infiltrate the Great Houses' society, where she falls in love with philosopher prince Elend Venture. This mystico-metallurgical fantasy combines Vin's coming-of-age-in-magic and its well-worn theme of revolt against oppression with copious mutilations, a large-scale cast of thieves, cutthroats, conniving nobles and exotic mutants. The fast-paced action scenes temper Vin's interminable ballroom intrigues, while the characters, though not profoundly drawn, have a raw stereotypic appeal. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
The Sliver of Infinity, the Lord Ruler, is the locus of religious and temporal order in a world in which the skaa are slaves or worse. Half-skaa erstwhile thief Kelsior is the only person to survive and escape the Lord Ruler's most brutal prison, in which, however, he discovered he has the powers of the Mistborn, which are based on the internal "burning" of certain metals, all of which the Mistborn can use, while most others can burn only one. Now Kelsior plans his most daring raid ever, into the center of the palace to discover the secret of the Lord Ruler's power. Beforehand, his band finds the half-skaa orphan Vin in another thieving crew, where she's useful because she brings good luck. She is also Mistborn and, if she can master and learn to trust her powers, will enable Kelsior's crew to infiltrate the nobility and possibly overthrow the status quo. Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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Top customer reviews
That seemed to be the theme for this book. Even when I thought I was on the inside and knew what was going on a new development would come about and I would realize that I like the characters in the book had been duped. It made each new reveal all the more enjoyable.
There are some fascinating characters that are easy to love right away:
Vin: The shy girl who has been abandoned and used by everyone she has ever known. I love broken characters that slowly become more than they thought they were capable of. Vin is easy to love and root for. She has always tried to be small and hide so I love her journey into becoming a member of a team and learning to trust in people.
“Kelsier,” Vin said quietly. “He’s a good man, isn’t her?”
Sazed smiled. “A very good man, Mistress. One of the best I’ve known.”
Vin nodded slightly. “A good man…” she said softly. “I don’t think I’ve ever know one of those before.”
Kelsier: The reformed thief who wants to use his powers of deception and scamming for good. He has a crazy plan that seems totally impossible but with his charismatic charm he is able to convince a team of men to help him in his improbable task. He is so easy to like right away and I loved his role as a mentor to Vin.
There are some other great characters. The team of Allomancers recruited to for the plan each have their own qwerks and bring something to the team. Breeze was one of my favorites as he is the comic relief and often sarcastic. He is a master manipulator of emotions and has a way of stating the obvious in a lighthearted manor.
-- “Don’t look so solemn, my dear fellow.” Breeze said. “Why, you’ll probably never actually have to rule the city. Chances are, we’ll all get caught and executed long before that happens.”
And there is also the loyal servant Sazed, who is a keeper of knowledge for his people and has a history that rivals anyone else on the team. His interactions with Vin are lovely as well as he helps her into her role within the story. I loved how he had so much knowledge of all kinds of religions and how he gave each one the same level of respect. It was an interesting concept that all were useful to the right person.
-- “The right belief is like a good cloak, I think. If it fits you well, it keeps you warm and safe. The wrong fit, however, can suffocate.”
The magic system is complex and takes a while to set up. But much like attending Hogwarts you feel as though you could perform it if you were an Allomancer by the time you are finished with the story. I love that about Brandon Sanderson books I always feel like if I lived in this world I would fit in and know where my place was depending on the powers I was given.
The foe is horrible and the atrocities great. The Lord ruler is an easy man to hate for all the suffering the Skaa have endured. The nobility are equally easy to dislike for their role in the abuses. I enjoyed the journey Vin took into this world to see the nobility through a noble woman’s eyes and find that it is easy to get caught up in pageantry and forget why she joined Kelsier’s crew in the first place. It is easy to get distracted by beautiful things and forget the horrors behind them.
The girl in me was so happy there is a little romance in the story as well. After reading WoK first and not even having a kiss until 800 pages in it was nice to see the slight flirtations and bantering between Vin and her love interest.
-- “Women are like….thunderstorms. They’re beautiful to look at, and sometimes they’re nice to listen to – but most of the time they’re just plain inconvenient.”
I look forward to reading the rest of this series after that fantastic ending. There were moments I laughed, others I cried and more where I sat on the edge of my seat. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the stories in this world develop.