This archived article was written by: Brady Maynes
When someone picks up a fantasy book and plans on reading it, they always ask themselves one question. Will this book have any originality? Those who don’t read fantasy books may not realize how saturated the genre can get. Luckily with Mistborn that is not a problem. Sure there is a hero and magic is somehow involved, but most similarities to other fantasy books end there.
The author, Brandon Sanderson, has several lead characters and the main protagonist is female. This in itself is pretty rare. Male writers almost always have a male hero with a female supporting him.
To add to this, the reader does not meet the main character, Vin, until the third chapter. Each chapter begins with what appears to be the journal entries of a long forgotten hero. They aren’t long and they seem out of place when the reader firsts reads them. The first words after the mysterious journal entry are “ASH FELL FROM THE SKY.”
Immediately the reader has dozens of thoughts going through their mind. Did something blow up? Maybe something is burning. The reader soon discovers that ash has fallen from the sky during the day for one thousand years. It is part of the people of the Final Empire’s every day life.
At night the mists come out. The lower class people, called the skaa, fear the mists. They are very superstitious and are wary of anyone who does not fear the mists as they do.
Vin is a street urchin. She is part of a thieving crew. She doesn’t really have a choice because everyone else on the crew are grown men who would beat her if she tried to leave. Vin is lucky. That is why she is part of the thieving crew in the first place. She brings the heists they plan good luck. If she wasn’t lucky she would have been killed a long time ago.
A man named Kelsier, who is supposedly the best crew leader around, finds and recruits Vin. He is an Allomancer and a mistborn. A mistborn is someone who can “burn” certain metals and in return gain advantages and strengths. “Burning”, or using certain metals such as tin, copper and pewter, are what allows Kelsier to be such a great thief.
People called Allomancers can burn one metal and thus gaining one advantage, but only mistborns can burn all of the Allomantic metals. Kelsier discovers that Vin is also a mistborn and wants to help her. Vin is extremely cautious; she has never met anyone she can trust.
Throughout the book, Vin learns to trust Kelsier and his friends. Kelsier is planning a heist like no other. He wants to overthrow the Final Empire’s emperor, the Lord Ruler.
The Lord Ruler has lived for a thousand years, and does not seem to be getting any older. Not only does the Lord Ruler treat the skaa like slaves, and allow the noblemen to do what they want, he also killed Kelsier’s wife. He has a huge stash of ultra rare metals that is worth a fortune.
Kelsier and his crew usually only do jobs for monetary gain. This time it is different. Free the skaa, get revenge and then get rich.
Mistborn truly is original; with a twist at the end that will leave the reader almost too stunned to keep reading. People question who they really are. Some find themselves and some lose themselves.
Can thieves become more than thieves? Can Vin let go of her untrusting past and embrace a future of power and belonging? Will Kelsier and his crew be able to overthrow the Lord Ruler and who will die in the process? This is a definite read for anyone who loves fantasy and for those who don’t usually read it, they are in for a pleasant surprise.