It’s been a while since I read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire (2006), The Well of Ascension (2007) and The Hero of Ages (2008)) and this is the first review of a book or in this case trilogy that hasn’t been a fairly recent read. The Mistborn trilogy is followed by another trilogy which is only a smaller part of Sandersons Cosmere which also includes many of his other novels, although at the time of writing I don’t really know much about his wider Cosmere.
Mistborn takes place in Scadrial, a brutal world teetering on the edge of survival, where mists befoul the night and ash reins down to bury the vegetation and the lower class Skaa alike, this world is under the complete control of the Lord Ruler – an almost God like and seemingly immortal mystical figure. Allomancy is the main magic system and system is an appropriate word here – there are very clear rules to its use and efficacy. Allomancy is based on the use of different metals which magic users known as Allomancers “burn”, with different metals granting different abilities; such as enhanced senses; superior strength; the ability to Push and Pull on metals in a form of metallic Telekinesis, with the resulting complexity of the system making for particularly interesting and inventive fight scenes. Alongside Allomancy exists the rarer and less explored Feurochemy, based on completely different principles which focus around balance; become slow for a while to become fast for a while; become light to become heavy, always a trade off. These systems are very creative yet specifically limited to ensure that none of the characters are too powerful (with the possible exception of the Lord Ruler). Allomancers known as Mistings have the ability of one of the Allomatic powers but the rarer and more powerful Mistborn have access to the full range of abilities.
The Mistborn Trilogy begins very well, The Final Empire is probably the strongest book of the three but there is an odd character and a number of added plot threads that don’t seem necessary which creates some pacing issues, the ending however is unexpectedly epic and satisfying. The Allomantic battles are by far the best sections throughout the trilogy and while Scadrial is a pretty awful place the writing never feels oppressive.
I would definitely recommend this series for any fantasy fans especially those who like a well-focused and detailed magic system and frenetic action sequences.