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Showing 1-10 of 1,886 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,078 reviews
on August 30, 2015
The Mistborn Trilogy is the series that got me reading Brandon Sanderson's books. As to how I even heard about it, I think I read it in a blog somewhere promoting it as the story of a fantasy world where the "Dark Lord" who is called the Lord Ruler had won. As a fantasy reader who is so used to the story of fighting the "Dark Lord" it came as a refreshing break to read a story of what comes after if the heroes failed, so I felt that I just had to read this book.

Fast forward 1000 years into the future and we are treated to a world where ash regularly falls from the sky lit by a red sun over a land covered by brown plants. It is not really a very pleasant place. Unlike the places in other stories I've read, this is not one I'd like to visit. What impresses me about it is that it is quite a departure from the usual fantasy setting that essentially boils down to Medieval Europe + Magic = Fantasy World. What's even more impressive is that Sanderson has really made all these unique aspects of his setting fit into the story. No, the world is not just dark and gloomy for the heck of it, there is actually a reason that is revealed in the third book along with a twist that had me shifting my opinion on the Lord Ruler.

The world and the people as portrayed could have easily made this trilogy a dark/grim-dark tale. The lives of the skaa, the common people, have little value and you get to see how they are killed dismissively by the ruling class. There is actually a rule that nobles and skaa cannot interbreed so what the nobles did was that they were actually required to kill the skaa women that they bed. Also, one of the magic systems used involves a ritualistically torturous process to work properly. For all that, this is actually a hopeful story. The dead bodies tend to pile up, but it is never the focus of the story. I guess the difference is that we don't get to look through a cynic's perspective like we do in books like George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. For all their personal struggles, the heroes are still heroic.

Looking into our characters, the first two books of the trilogy can actually be seen as a coming-of-age tale for the main protagonist, Vin, who struggles with the idea of trust as she learns to understand what it means to have friends. It is about her empowerment as she learns to wield the powers of a mistborn. And finally, there is also her struggle with identity. Her powers, while making her powerful, also makes her very useful, which creates conflict in that she finds herself wondering if she is simply valued for what she can do as opposed to her being valued as a person. For all the world altering events taking place in the books, what I really like with the books is that it is grounded as a character-driven story.

Sanderson is known for his magic systems. He tends to build them from simple concepts to create some really incredible effects through their varies interactions. The approach is along the lines of "magic as a science" so people who favor the idea of magic being dark and mysterious would dislike his systems. In Mistborn, there are three magic systems all tied to metals. In Allomancy, an Allomancer can use metals to wield powers the simply allow one to push or pull at something. That's it. The other systems are equally simple. What's really interesting is that Sanderson is clever enough to surprise me with the different ways the various magics are used. From a simple push or pull, we have people 'flying' around in the night.

Though the premise of the first book, that of the Dark Lord having triumphed, along with his clever magic system that deviates from the trope of complex spells and mysterious ways would certainly set this trilogy apart from other fantasy, that should not be the reason to pick up this book. You should read this because it is a well-written and well-executed piece of literature. There are those who call Sanderson out on using simple, transparent prose, but I really think it necessary that such a writing style is used to depict the fast-paced, action-packed sequences that are spread around in the books. Fancy wordcraft would just get in the way. In the end, are novels about finely constructed paragraphs or are they about exquisitely crafted stories?
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on March 16, 2016
Basically, it's a Dystopian story, that takes place in a fiction world that's been ruled over by an immortal man named "The Lord Ruler. The world and a selected group of people, named Skaa, have been oppressed and defeated for a thousand years. And now an expert thief and his crew take on the biggest heist of their careers, overthrowing the empire. For those of you already very familiar with this type of story, this world's "magic", called Allomancy, comes with its own set of rules and mechanics. All of the action that uses Allomancy are well implemented, thought out, and clever. Just about all of the characters are very likable and well fleshed out. The story is great, some of the plots and reveals are a little predictable, but the ending is the biggest cherry on top. I really do recommend reading this for any fans of the fantasy/action genre.
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on March 29, 2015
"Misteborn Trilogy" by Brandon Sanderson is an epic fantasy adventure from the fertile mind of one the masters of the genre. The fantastical magic, remarkable characterizations, and depth of storyline makes this a must read series for fantasy aficionado's. The only reason I didn't rate this story 5 stars were the unrelenting and constant recriminations by the protagonists coupled with the overly written and repetitive explanations of the multiple secret magic's held by the allomancers. The battle scenes, religious intrigues, and individual personalities of the characters are brilliantly portrayed and the ending was spectacular. There are few spinners of tales who can match up with Sanderson's imagination and originality, he's simply marvelous! Read it, you'll be glad you did...4 stars!!!!
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on May 15, 2016
I loved these books, although a couple things drove me nuts - the constant eye-rolling for instance - characters rolling their eyes at each other, at themselves, omg so amateurish. Nobody rolls their eyes that much, and eye-rolling is no substitute for wit, interesting dialogue or character development. Okay, I know, it's a pet peeve of mine - but it misrepresents Sanderson; I am certain that a bad book could be statistically predicted by how often the characters roll their eyes in the first 4 chapters. Sanderson is better than that.

That being said, Sanderson has created an absolutely unique, strange, fascinating world. He's able to write like a good (really good) detective writer with plots that twist in completely unexpected ways, characters with secrets gradually revealed. In all of his books, his worlds are better developed than his characters. That can still be said for his latest trilogy, the Stormlight Archives, but much less so. The third book is not out yet, sadly.

Even so, the histories of his worlds are part of the twists and turns of his plots, as characters discover what Really happened in the past, they must reevaluate not only the world they live in, but their own roles within it. The world they live in is pretty brutal, but nowhere near as brutal as The Game of Thrones books. His lands are mysterious, with mysterious and misunderstood histories
My complaints,( the cheap trick eye-rolling, and a bit of info-dumping in the dialogues) , do not mean I wasn't crying my eyes out at the end of the Mistborn Trilogy. Unless Martin Cruz Smith has something coming out, I'll be reading that last Stormlight book.
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on December 17, 2016
The star rating is for the trilogy overall.

The first book alone I'd give four stars. It was very well written and riveting -- great characters, interesting concepts presented very well, nicely constructed world. Fairly predictable (which Sanderson has certainly changed since this was written) which is why it would have received four stars. I didn't connect at all with the main character, but I'd still give it four stars.

The second and third I'd give two stars. They drag (severely at times) with a thousand (probably literally) variations on "Maybe we should do this", "Maybe I should have done that", "Maybe he will do this other thing" and the famous "It's all my fault". While I wanted to find out how the plot resolved, I was very glad to be done so I could move on to something else.

I know Sanderson has become one of the greats since this was written (The Way Of Kings been an amazing example). But books two and three here are on the struggle-bus.
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on October 4, 2016
This trilogy was okay. It had some good parts (mostly the fights) but was MUCH too long and dragged in many parts. I found the basic concept of magic based on burning various metals in one's stomach to be pretty silly, but once I got over the difficulty with the physics and just focused on the story I enjoyed the book more.

Sanderson waits until the end of the story to tie many of the magical/theological elements together to provide a full, multi-dimensional universe. While I understand why he did it that way, the approach made the first ~3/4 of the story less engaging and more cartoonish.

I also often felt like the author was preaching to the reader about faith, particularly later in the story. Not faith in any one religion, but faith in general. I found that a bit heavy-handed and off-putting. If I want to be preached to I'll read the Bible or the Koran. When I read fantasy books I just want to have some escapist fun.

Overall, an interesting read, but I wouldn't put it anywhere near the level of quality of the top sci-fi/fantasy writers that I've read..
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on February 17, 2016
This is a "general" review for all 3 books.

Common for all books:
Very good writing style, very good characters, great "universe"

1st book:
I absolutely loved it.
I'm more a sci-fi & half-horror/weirdstuff fan, and had strong doubts diving into this fantasy trilogy (I don't like it when things are "too fantasy" and/or there are too many characters involved and/or things get too complicated), but I dared and I just could not stop reading.

2nd book:
Here things started going downhill.
Probably on one hand because after reading book #1 the main elements of the serie's "universe" was known and therefore I did not have much impulse to keep on reading to dig out more details, and on the other hand probably because the whole situation started pointing towards classic & pure romanticism, which I admit had to happen because of the whole foundation of the series/concept but which I still personally hate (kind of too rare but too often mentioned), hehe... .

3rd book:
Pfff, I had to push, often jumping over pages.
I have to mention that I read all 3 books in one shot (because they're so good, hehe...), and maybe after reading for example about "the mist" or whatever X feels for Y for hundreds of pages I was just fed up with those themes => I recommend you to read something else between the 3 books of this series.

a very nice trilogy, very "inspiring", even for non-fantasy-believers - you get my compliments, Mr. Sanderson.
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on October 8, 2016
I lived these books while I was reading them, because I had all three as one book on my Kindle. That format is interesting because it feels like one book. The atmosphere and the characters were alive and memorable. I can still feel like I am there. It was a wonderful (in the sense of evoking wonder, not necessarily "nice" or "pleasant") world to be lost in. The conflicts were true and eternal. I can't really explain my feelings about this series. It was just amazing.

The only problem is that after reading all of them, I wanted to go back to certain points, particularly in the first book. That is hard to do in an all-in-one Kindle format. I didn't know I'd want to read these things later, so I didn't add any bookmarks. Of course, I don't at all hesitate at the idea of rereading them, as they were definitely good enough for that. Still, I now wish I had paperbacks instead that I could thumb through and reread specific passages more easily. So, for now, the boxed set is on my Wishlist!
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on February 16, 2016
I really enjoyed the Mistborn Trilogy. I started reading this series on a recommendation that I check out Sanderson's work. I have to say, I appreciate that the magic systems, and physical laws of the world are so fully developed and consistent. It allowed me, as a reader, to theorize about the world and events that were happening outside of what was directly written. This allowed me to realize certain things shortly before or along with the characters themselves in the series. It's very rewarding to think "I wonder if doing this would result in *that* happening" only to see your question answered over the next few chapters.

The weakest parts of the book were the setup/planning phases. They felt a bit awkward to me as they made me feel like most of the characters weren't as smart or capable as I had believed. However, I was soon able to overlook that awkward feeling as I think those portions exist more for teaching the reader the rules of the world rather than characterizing the individuals in it. It's a shame that the characters initially take a hit for the greater good but crossing the threshold from where you have to learn the magic systems, political structures, and technological capabilities of the setting to when they all click and stand on their own is well worth the sacrifice.

Overall, I give this story 5 stars out of 5 because of how well-tied-together everything is. The execution of the story is extremely entertaining and I highly recommend giving this series a look.
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on September 17, 2016
The first half of the first book had me intrigued. It has all the elements that great fantasy need, an impossible evil villain, a new world to explore, new rules of magic, very exciting stuff. But then, a slow and steady descent into "meh" took place. Good fantasy has a few critical elements, one of which is discovering a new world, and you need to keep the discovery going to keep it interesting fantasy. He finally reboots in the middle of book 2 and gets some character out of the original city where event begin to take place. But a geographic change is not all that is needed. Sanderson has trouble keeping the dramatic pace going. When the reader doesn't have to worry that things might go bad, that's a bad thing. Maybe the major problem is his lead character. The character couldn't be more fantastic, fanciful, and unbelievable. At some point, I started rooting against the her. I was hesitant to mention the gender but then, there she is on the cover so, heck, cat's out of the bag on that one.
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