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Wednesday, June 07, 2017 KELS 0 Comments Category : ,

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Javeria Iqtidar



Ash fell from the sky.
Keeping up with this incredible opening sentence, the book is a masterpiece in world-building and storytelling. The basic plot is as basic as it gets: “Dear abandoned/orphaned child, you have incredible abilities that you are unaware of, and you’re going to help us save the empire/galaxy. Cool, see you at training.” So for the initial parts I had my doubts, but this book is not your average Empire vs. Rebellion story.

The Magic System

Mistborn introduces us to one of the most creative magic systems while keeping the reader thoroughly engaged. It never feels like a history lesson, but you learn all that is needed about how the Final Empire came to be. Sanderson has paced the book really well, and never gives you too much information all at once.
Allomancy is a metal-based system that allows the wielders to “burn” ingested metals inside themselves, enhancing their senses and physical abilities. It is a very well thought-out system that has been explained wonderfully for the reader. Even though there is a reference chart at the end, I never felt the need to consult it. Like I said, Sanderson does a good job of making this book easy to follow.

The Characters

Ah, the characters. Our little rebellion is a team of con-men who have specific abilities that allow them to pull off the cleverest jobs together. Some might say it’s reminiscent of Ocean’s Eleven.
Vin is our thirteen year old female badass who has grown up on the streets with an abusive brother. The reader gets to watch her grow from a street urchin who has never known trust -
Wherever she is, she tries to be as small and unnoticeable as possible. Vin didn’t sit, she crouched. She didn’t walk, she prowled.”
- to a powerful Allomancer who takes no nonsense from anyone. She is treated as an equal in the team of grown men, and her character development has been handled wonderfully.
Kelsier is the unspoken team leader (the Danny Ocean, if you will). He has survived tragedies of his own, and is somewhat of a legend among the common people (knows as ‘skaa’ in this context).
“That man isn’t human. [...] I’ve heard of him doing things. Things like only they can do. The ones that come out at night.”
The team dynamic of the crew is wonderful. There are certain scenes that serve no purpose other than to show the intimate moments of a group working together towards something they’re not even sure they believe in. They joke both light-heartedly and morbidly, they eat, drink, banter, and fight. And at the end of the day they are more than just a band of con-men, reluctant as they may be to admit it.

Plot

“It’s called a flower.” Kelsier said. “They used to grow on plants before the Ascension. Descriptions of them appear in the old poems and stories – things that only Keepers and rebel sages know about anymore.”
The Final Empire is a dystopia in more ways than one. There is no greenery, and frequent volcanic eruptions make ash fall like rain. The political aspect can be seen as a more extreme version of pre-revolution France, where the proletariat is terribly oppressed and noblemen distract themselves with lustrous balls and fancy keeps.
The skaa have been manipulated into accepting their fate and have resigned themselves to a lifetime of slavery. Kelsier wishes to rebel against the empire using the masses, and his task of convincing them to even consider it is harder than the actual act. He has mapped out an intricate plan that will leave you humbled and shocked.

Writing/Imagery

Sanderson can write the hell out of a fight scene, and he knows it. Complimenting his descriptive and well-paced writing is the complex magic system. I tend to skim through fight sequences in books, but here I was hooked to every move. The final showdowns, dear God. Work. Of. Art.
It’s no small feat that Sanderson has done all this while happily avoiding having his characters speak ye olde butcherde englishe to show the reader that it’s a fantasy novel; he uses his narration to tell us that.

Verdict

Read. This. Book.
It has one of the best plots I have ever read, and anyone who has read it will tell you that. The writing is easy to follow, and has the right amount of description and character development. You will not regret staying awake for this book, trust me.



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