Even in the densely populated genre of high fantasy, Brandon Sanderson stands out. He has taken the torch from J. R. R. Tolkien and has not missed a beat. Mistborn: The Final Empire and the saga showcases how in-depth world building can be when in the right hands. And boy, does Sanderson know how to tell a great story.
The Mistborn series takes place in a fantasy world called Scandial. In this world, ash is constantly falling from the sky, supernatural mists appear every night and the Lord Ruler is an immortal king who has lived for almost 2000 years.
In the Final Empire, the name of the kingdom ruled by the Lord Ruler, magic exists in the form of allomancy. Only some of the population can use allomancy and it is hereditary. Allomancy gives the user supernatural abilities when they swallow and burn a certain metal. And most allomancers can use one ability. A Mistborn is an allomancer that can use all the allomantic powers as long as they burn the proper metal.
In the first few pages, we meet Kelsier. He is a mistborn who wants to overthrow the Lord Ruler and the Final Empire. He forms a crew and tries building an army to kill the aristocrats and the Lord Ruler. One of the people he recruits is Vin, a traumatized street orphan, who is also a mistborn unbeknownst to her. It is up to Kelsier and his crew to discover the Lord Ruler’s secrets as well as the history of the Final Empire.
This is a general summary without giving much away. I feel like I’ve spoiled a little too much but most of this information is given within the first hundred pages. The saga has a lot of detail to it and Sanderson connects everything with incredible focus. The intricacy and the attentiveness in the novel leads me to believes Sanderson views his books like his children instead of just words on a page.
The world building in this novel is reason alone to read it. But Sanderson goes above and beyond and creates a magic system that is unique, a legend that is intriguing, and characters that you can get behind. Great writing brings it all together and creates this standout series by an amazing author!
I recommend this novel and the rest of the saga to anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre. Sanderson is talented in his craft and he has given me a lot of books to read. I will definitely be reading his other materials and will write about all of them and whether you should read it or not.