Review: The Mistborn series [5★]

In Brandon Sanderson’s dystopian fantasy world, a cruel tyrant called The Lord Ruler controls the Final Empire–a world with a blazing red sun, sickly brown plants, ash falling endlessly from the sky, and ominous mists that haunt the nights. 

In this world, composed of wealthy noblemen and wretched skaa slaves–a skaa street urchin named Vin discovers a secret that changes her life: she is an Allomancer. And not just any allomancer… She is a Mistborn. 

Allomancers can ingest and “burn” metals in order to gain superhuman abilities. As a Mistborn, Vin can burn all the metals. With such abilities, she could liberate herself from the endless string of abusive crew leaders and her miserable existence in the slums.

As a Mistborn, she could change the world. 

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy (composed of The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages) follows Vin as she discovers her powers and joins a special thieving crew with the impossible goal of overthrowing the Lord Ruler, who is believed to be god by most of his subjects. 

Even if the crew succeeds, however, they will be stuck with a shattered empire to rebuild and protect. Beyond that, Vin fears that The Lord Ruler is telling the truth about protecting the Empire from something even worse than himself. If he is gone, the “Deepness” of the legends could rise again to destroy the world. What could be lurking in the mists? What evil force is behind the falling ash and the burning red sun? And what can one girl, Mistborn or not, do to stop it?


I rarely read books more than once, because I have an ever-growing list of books that I want to read, so I don’t feel like I have the time to re-read anything. I make exceptions every year or so for a few favorite classics, like one of the works of Jane Austen or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This summer, I made a truly rare exception for Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy

The first time I “read” it, I actually listened to it with my husband on I loved it so much, he bought me the special edition boxed set for my birthday, and I knew I would have to read the series again (oh, the hardship). Let me tell you, the second read was just as good.  

Sanderson’s stories are fabulously, intricately crafted masterpieces that sweep me up in some of my favorite fantasy worlds. His Mistborn series is my personal favorite for a few reasons. I love the concept of Allomancy (ingesting and “burning” different metals to gain different abilities), and I absolutely adore the development that Sanderson works for Vin and the other characters. 

The writing is simple and action packed–no lofty literary writing here. Sanderson doesn’t write literary fiction, after all; he writes suspenseful, imaginative fantasy fic. He can get a bit long-winded though. 

As usual, Sanderson injects his stories with a heavy dose of religious and philosophical musings, through the minds and mouths of his characters. Although Sanderson can get carried away and his philosophical sections can lag a bit (or sometimes a LOT), I find his musings fascinating, and I enjoy the depth that it adds to his characters.

In the Mistborn Trilogy, Sazed’s crisis of faith and accompanying depression were especially relatable and well articulated (if a bit lengthy). 

The Mistborn books are no quick weekend read, and they could have used a good edit where Sanderson’s philosophizing gets carried away. Regardless, I highly recommend the series as an excellent story of heroism and camaraderie, hope and intrigue. Mistborn is a thrilling fantasy story with a thoroughly satisfying ending.

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