I know it has been a while, but that’s what happens when every single one of your professors thinks it’s a good idea to have all of their projects due in March. For once, I actually can’t wait until April, so that all I have to worry about is studying for exams :)
So, as promised, today’s post is going to be my own personal review of the book Mistborn, the first installment of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I still have a little ways to go until the end, but it is just so amazing that I can’t wait. This is literally a book like no other, with memorable characters, a strong female hero, unexpected twists and turns at every corner, garish creatures from your worst nightmares, and thought provoking philosophic discussions that would make you question even your most devout beliefs about human nature. There really is no book out there like it, at least not among all the ones I’ve read so far.
This is the story of a man by the name of Kelsier who, after nearly dying in the Pits of Hathsin, has vowed to overthrow the Lord Ruler and the empire he has built upon the backs of the beaten, bloodied and impoverished Skaa. His ambition causes his path to cross with that of a young girl by the name of Vin, who possesses a power she is barely aware of, and who may be the key in mounting the biggest rebellion the Empire has ever seen. Although reluctant at first, Vin eventually agrees to join Kelsier’s crew, although more out of curiosity than anything else. He teaches her the ways of the Mistborn, those who can use different types of metals by means of Allomancy towards different ends, whether it is to increase ones physical strength, to sharpen ones senses, or even to use the metals as a weapon by pushing and pulling on them. If one is lucky enough to find the eleventh metal, they can even predict the movements of another before they happen, which has inspired and motivated to join Kelsier and his cause. However, now that things have been set in motion, what will be the final outcome?
This is one of those books where, no matter how insignificant a character may seem, or how briefly they appear in the story, they are still very memorable. It’s hard to say if it’s thanks to Sanderson’s writing skills or his ability to design realistic and charming characters, but if this were to ever be made into a movie, it would be difficult to replicate their personalities. This is not to say that I wouldn’t want to see it if it were ever to make it onto the big screen. I just keep thinking about this one character, a member of the army Kelsier was putting together, who only said a few words but still managed to make me laugh my butt off. I think it has to do with how Sanderson has the main characters interacting with the less noticeable ones, bringing out personality traits that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Another thing I love about this book is that even though it’s a fictional story, it really gets you to question things about humanity that you most likely never would have thought about on your own. Ham, who works closely with Kelsier, is always bringing up ethical and philosophical debates, even though it bugs the heck out of Kelsier every time he does. My first reaction is to laugh at what he says, because it just seems like a really dumb question with an obvious answer, like whether the Lord Ruler, or just the members of royalty in general, were born physically and psychologically different than the Skaa (this is basically their version of slaves). Of course, I would instinctively say no, believing that people are born the same but then grow up differently through social interactions and unique environmental factors. But then he brings up the issue of Allomancy, and how only those of a royal bloodline are born with it. That definitely threw me for a bit of a spin!
Lastly, I want to talk about Vin. Now, I have a read a lot of books with female protagonists, and I’d say there’s about a 5o/5o split between those I did like and those I didn’t. Too many of those female characters were just much too typical; they are either too feminine and rely on a man to save them from imminent danger, or they are too masculine and barely resemble a female character anymore. What I like about Vin is that she is cunning, smart, a bit of a wise-ass, wary of those around her, doing whatever it takes to survive, and above all else, she has a genuine charm. I think the only other female character I might appreciate as much as Vin is Hermione from Harry Potter, and that’s only because she is the real yet unrecognized heroine of the series :)
I could write about this book for hours, but I feel like I might let slip too many spoilers if I do. If you have nothing else planned to read this Summer, I would definitely recommend this book. If you have read it already, and would like to share what you think, post your thoughts in the comments. Even if you didn’t like the book, feel free to share why, for even I am rational enough to know that no book exists in the world which is universally liked. That’s all for today, so until next time, happy reading!