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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2009-08 Mistborn: the magic system

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited Aug 04, 2009 10:18AM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
One of the things Sanderson seems to be known for are his interesting magic systems. What did you think of the one in this novel, and how did it stack up to Elantris and Warbreaker?

EDIT: that should read "the oneS in this novel"... I guess there are at least two!

message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Of the three books, I preferred Allomancy from Mistborn, especially since it relied heavily on the laws of physics.

message 3: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I haven't read Warbreaker yet (it's on that damned Kindle), but I think I like the magic systems equally from Elantris and Mistborn. What Jon commented about Allomancy is one of the reasons I really liked it. Although the Mistborn 'seemed' invincible, they weren't, and the author made it a point to mention and show this several times. They just had a great advantage.

The magic from Elantris was more the mystical kind, but it was still different from anything else we've read. I think that's why Sanderson is so popular - it's not just the same old sword and scorcery novels over and over. I think the plot of Elantris was more original than that of Mistborn, however.

message 4: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited Aug 13, 2009 01:52PM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
What I like most about his magic systems is the way he integrates them into the world-building. In many fantasy books, magic is just an additional power that makes certain characters stronger. In Sanderson's books, they always have an influence on the society's structure and economy - e.g. the way people can sell their Breaths in Warbreaker, or the aristocracy in Mistborn. I think that's a really cool aspect of his fiction.

On the slightly more negative side, some of his magic systems are so elaborate and (for want of a better word) rational that they seem out of place in a novel. Combine that with the often flat characters and the fast-moving plots, and I've often felt like I'm reading a video game tie-in novel when reading Sanderson.

message 5: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) Yeah, the fight scenes in Mistborn really did have a video game feel to them. I'm a gamer, so I appreciate the visual side of it. But I think you're right that it's like he has this really cool idea for a magic system and builds a novel around it. His characterisation needs a little work.

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