I really enjoyed this fast moving, young adult novel. I love strong female characters and fantasy so this was an easy read for me. I would recommend it...moreI really enjoyed this fast moving, young adult novel. I love strong female characters and fantasy so this was an easy read for me. I would recommend it to anyone whom enjoys light fantasy/adventure, especially women over the age of 14 (it contains light sexual content and issues.) Katsa the main character is a Graceling. Gracelings are gifted with special skills beyond the normal human. Katsa's special gift allows her to kill anyone at will. She is consequently used for this skill by her uncle, a King, against her own beliefs and will. Katsa is also in conflict with her strong, and independent personality which challenges the traditional values of what kind of life a woman should want and choose - commitment, marriage, and children versus independence and the freedom to live her life and use her gifts as she chooses. This is the author's first book, she has a Masters degree in children's literature, which shows through in her plot, character development, and slightly unconventional ending. I think there may be room for a sequel? :)
Basic Plot Summary: (may include spoilers for some readers however the middle and ending are not revealed)
Mistborn is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. It is a tale which takes place within an elaborate fantasy world. In it lives Vin, a 16 year old girl who is a member of a group of semi-heartless thieves. The abusive leader of this band is using her for her ability to persuade their victims remotely. This betters his chances of pilfering and cheating this wealthy subjugating elite class. This elite class have little compassion for their slaves whom are called the Skaa, of which Vin and the thieves are a member.
This fantasy realm in which they live is constantly being rained upon by ash, plants have evolved to have brown leaves, and the sky is orange and red. At night the land is cloaked in a mist, which has mythical stories surrounding it and monsters stalking within it, holding the natives in fear. The kingdom is also dominated by an evil king called The Lord Ruler who is considered a god and is reputedly immortal. His kingdom is tightly ruled, controlled to his advantage, and is surrounded and protected by some very powerful, scary, and dangerous classes - the Ministry and Steel Inquisitors.
Kelsier enters the story and saves Vin from a botched attempt at one of the band’s robberies, and consequently from their abuse. He is a noble thief. A Skaa of a more “elite nature”. A rebel leader whom has a gift which lends him 11 special powers involving the use of metals which is called Allomancy.
As the story evolves and becomes more complicated, a plan for Kelsier and his band of thieves to overthrow this evil king develops. The group creates an elaborate scheme in which to evoke revenge and to return the planet back to “equilibrium”. Vin is to play a key role. She will also find out who she is in the process.
I loved this fantasy, and rate it as a highly recommended - 4.5 stars. The writing is accessible, it flows, and is highly addictive.
Sanderson has created a complex yet relate-able world with interesting and like-able characters (my favorite is Saze) and some amazing “bad guys” (remember the steel inquisitors – very cool.) There are also some important messages within the book one where he addresses the social and culture importance and significance of religion. He does this while supporting a perspective of acceptance and diversity – a great message. There is also a science fiction element to the book due to Allomancy but I would never the less categorize Mistborn as a fantasy.
Mistborn has a strong female character (yeah!), some violence, and a light touch of romance. Even though classified as an adult book I would recommend it for advanced young adult readers interested in the genre because it has a “coming of age” feel to it.
I am really, really, looking forward to the second and third of the series as well as his other books but am told that this book can be read as a stand alone.(less)