“Belief isn’t simply a thing for fair times and bright days, I think. What is belief—what is faith—if you don’t continue in it after failure?”
It’s been a while since I read a good fantasy book, a long while. I’ll be honest, I only first heard of Brandon Sanderson because he was chosen to continue The Wheel of Time, and it wasn’t until a couple of friends suggested Mistborn before I finally read a book of his, but I’m glad I did. Mistborn is a gem. I’ve read and finished several fantasy series but it’s been quite some time since any managed to hit my core, the last one was probably Bartimaeus (yes, it’s been that long).
Mistborn started off slow, in fact it took me a while to get past the first few chapters. However, once the story picked up, I couldn’t put it down. Brandon Sanderson is a master storyteller and a great world-builder. There’s something about his subtle storytelling that made it so easy for me to visualize and put myself in Vin’s world. His magic system was so intricate and so well thought-out it nearly put Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind structure to shame.
“Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope.”
All of the characters had distinct personalities and their own quirks which made them so interesting. I loved how Vin grew from a street urchin into a formidable Mistborn, but what I appreciated the most was her imperfections. She wasn’t a perfect heroine. I liked how she was portrayed to be vulnerable to the seducing glamour of the Aristocracy like anyone else. It showed her humanity. Her reckless and sometimes-wrong decisions only made her more likable. Kelsier was also a great mentor, one who had his own issues and flaws, and complemented Vin’s personality well. Elend was as mysterious as he was charming. I completely understand why Vin was so drawn into him. When he started having his own chapters on the latter part of the book, I felt like I was being given a delightful treat.
“You don’t stop loving someone just because they hurt you. It would certainly make things easier if you did.”
As for the story, it was very well-written and I loved how there were so many layers in it. The magic, the politics, the war, the personal drama—I could’ve easily been bored with the political play in the balls but surprisingly, I was pulled into it the same way Vin was. Well, I’ll admit, I was pulled to Elend the same was Vin was. There was something about him I can’t quite put a finger on. The subtlety on their romantic development was so spot-on. Normally I shrug off romance when it comes to fantasy but theirs had this strange spark. I was like a firefly drawn into a lamp. And the battles—I’d give anything to watch a Mistborn stand-off live. Another interesting aspect of Mistborn was Sazed and his religions. It was fascinating. Somehow, it showed how religions normally work, how they develop, and what they mean to each individual. He was a personification of how every human should perceive religion—and how we must all respect the belief of others regardless how contradicting theirs is from ours.
Overall, this was a really great book and I’m looking forward to reading The Well of Ascension.
Read my reviews for other books by Brandon Sanderson:
Mistborn: The Well of Ascension