Monday, 11 March 2013

Book Review : Mistborn The Final Empire

I have got to say this out loud (figuratively speaking of course). I am LOVING 'Mistborn : The Final Empire'. It has been a long time since I was genuinely excited about a book and I haven't even finished. I'm so glad this is not a stand alone book but a trilogy, a complete one at that. I don't have to wait for the books to come out. I can't believe I came to this book so late. But we have a saying in India - 'Der aye, Durust Aye'. It means - 'I might be late to the party but I'm here to enjoy the party now' :)
A lot of people ask me why I read so much. And a few of my friends look at me askance when I tell them I only read fiction. They think it is too childish and doesn't have any relevance to reality. In my opinion this is the wrong mind-set. And through this book Brandon Sanderson has proved that fiction - fantasy is not childish & that it can be intelligent and make you think. Really think.

Some people might just reject this book by reading the jacket cover or by hearing it's from the fantasy genre. They are doing themselves a disservice. If anyone reads this blog, I'd advise them to pick this book up. This book isn't just about a bunch of people using magic. Its a lot more.

The magic system in this book is great. Sanderson's done a great job with it. It seems simple enough at first glance. The Mistings or Mistborns "burn" metals, that they drink down, to attain powers like soothing or rioting other peoples emotions or to achieve superhuman strength or senses. But as you delve deeper into the magic system it gets more intricate. Not everyone can do this. This system is called Allomancy. There are 8 metals that they can use. Only the Mistborns can use all the metals. The Mistings can only use one metal. And Mistborns are always people with noble blood in them.

The magic system is not all there is to this book. Brandon Sanderson didn't stop at creating a magic system. He also created a social structure. There is the Lord Ruler, the Master of all things. Lord Ruler is said to be immortal, a "sliver of infinity'. He is said to have defeated some evil called the "Deepness". And after that he ascended and attained immortality. He favors the noblemen who supported him before ascension and their descendants. He has also enslaved a whole group of people called Skaa. So this story has political intrigue too.

There is also a thieving crew. This story has a grand heist!! This particular crew is made up of Mistings and 2 Mistborns. And what do you expect the Job these guys are pulling is? They are trying to start up a rebellion amongst the downtrodden Skaa people, to overthrow the tyrannical Lord Ruler.

So there's magic, political intrigue and a thieving crew. What more encouragement does a person need to read this book?

The story is not the only thing done well. If it were then it would not be as good. The characters are well written. Not just the protagonists (Vin & Kelsier) but the supporting characters too(the thieving crew). Sanderson lets the characters grow slowly, but not so slowly that we lose interest. He has paced the story well. We learn something new about the characters almost every page.

Sanderson knows how to keep you on edge. I want to know a lot more about Vin & Kelsier. What is the Deepness? Why is the sun red and why does ash fall from the sky? And why does the mist descend on the final Empire every night?

This is how a book should be. I haven't even finished reading it and I'm already looking forward to the next installment in the series. There will be another entry in my blog once I finish the book so that I can write about Vin, Kelsier and the rest of the crew.

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