For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.
Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life.
Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
©2006 Brandon Sanderson; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
5 Stars is just not enough..this book surpassed my expectations. It is a complex story so it takes the author at least 4 hours to set up the story & characters, if you can get thru this and establish the "who is who" you will not be disappointed. Great characters, great magic, great story..what else can you ask for. I looked at this series several times and seen the rave reviews, and now I get it.. go ahead you listen to it.. and you will not regret it. BTW I am doing something I never do..I bought the other two book in this series..can't wait for my credits.
It was a good read. Not blow my socks off, but worth the purchase. It would be a PG-13 rated movie, mild violence.
No, never engaged me that strongly.
Exciting, Original, Fun
Allomancers and the originality behind the story and lore.
Brandon Sanderson has done an amazing job with his world, its lore, magic system, heroes, and villains.
Michael Kramer, as always, does a fantastic job of reading, drawing you completely into the book and Sanderson's world.
An Excellent Must Listen!!
Generally a very enjoyable fantasy, but at times the characters exhibit a stunning lack of insight and the ability to learn from their situation. Cringe-worthy moments and unnecessary repetition are not frequent but they do occur. On the other hand the basic hook to the series, the idea of "burning" ingested metals, is refreshingly different from the typical fantasy. The book isn't rich with variety and detail, but this does have the advantage of keeping it moving along fairly well.
Perhaps my reaction to the reading is due to the fact that I've just finished Davina Porter's superb performance of the Outlander series. Michael Kramer's flat, affectless reading features a weak differentiation of voices and characters with quite a limited range of accents. Not having read the text, I don't know what the writer's descriptions of different voices might be, but my reaction is "Is that the best that he can do?" His articulation is fine, I had no problem discerning words. But overall the reading doesn't rise to the level of a performance.
Not the greatest work of fantasy, but sure to be enjoyed by most fans of the genre, and by other readers if they don't buy into the hype and set unrealistic expectations.
I started with Elantris (another Sanderson novel) and was so impressed with the originality and talent Sanderson showed, i thought "is he really this good or it is it a fluke?" So i moved onto the misborn series- not a fluke. I seriously listened to the last part of "The Final Empire" for 6 hours straight dying to know how it would end. Dont stop here- Keep reading (listening). I have moved onto "Warbreaker."
I love to read. With two kids and a full time job in management, audio books have emerged as my only chance to leverage this love.
This is a VERY good fantasy story that I enjoyed so much that I couldn't wait for another credit before starting on the next in the series. I reserve 5 stars for true epics that I will have to read multiple times. If I could give out tenths of stars I would probably give this 4.6 or 4.7. It is really good.
I love the magic structure, the characters, and the class structure built the oppression of one caste of people. It makes for an intriguing story. My only complaint that holds this back from being truly epic is hard to describe. The world feels awefully small in a way. Everything is so homogenous that I don't feel like there are layered cultures to the world created. If it weren't for occasional remarks about the size of this world and the population of cities, I would assume that the "Final Empire" is about the size of a large island.
Great story and I look forward to the next two books.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I might as well just quit saying "Usually I don't like this type of Book, being more of a Military Sci-Fi Fan"... because I have LOVED everything by Sanderson that I've listened to so far, and I just gave the first book in his "Mistborn" Series a Five Star Rating Across the Board! I'm TOUGH to get a "5" out of for ANY of the rating categories, but "5's Across the Board"? Almost unheard of!
I LOVE the new "Concepts" and the new "World" he's thought up... The new "Powers", and the how the main characters, while "Special", have typical Human weaknesses and emotions... I like how things don't "Always" just "flow smoothly" as the Characters planned, but WITHOUT the Obvious (and irritating) stumbling blocks tossed in front of them "Just because the author thought 'it's time for the characters to run into some of the routine misfortunes'"...
I liked this "Fantasy" book so much, I went ahead bought Books 2 AND 3! These books run from 20+ Hours to 30+ Hours each, so that's a HUGE commitment in Listening time alone!
I JUST started Book 2 in the series, and I'm a Fan! Well Done!
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
This is an excellent series. Mr. Sanderson does a great job of designing worlds and systems of magic. The scope of the series is epic, but you still get well developed characters for which you develop genuine feelings. The good are good, but flawed by nature. There are no Mary-Sues in this series. The narrarator does an excellent job. He did a great job in the wheel of time series and has an incredible range of voices. This is one of the best modern fantasy series around. It has some depth but not too much and the action sequences are breathtaking. In shor, this is a must have.
The characters are interesting, the plot is pretty cool. I love Sazid (sp?) and Ham. The magic system is unique and plausible. The ending is exciting and I loved how he pulled all the pieces together.
What's the problem, then? Sanderson desperately needs a thesaurus. I feel like a shell-shocked victim, I twitch whenever I hear the word "paused." Characters pause on average four or five times a conversation. Another reviewer suggests making a drinking game out of it - I don't recommend that. You'd die of alcohol poisoning. Oh, and "crystalline," that one got me, too. Everything that even remotely relates to anything mineral is "crystalline."
Considering how long the book is, I should know and love everyone in it, but the prose is long and slow with the result that I barely got to know most of the characters. Another reviewer compared them to David Eddings' and that is apt, except that Eddings' characters are more fun.
The story takes place in one small geographical area, giving me no sense of "world" beyond the fact that Luthadel is kind of depressing and ugly.
Exposition re: the magic system. Oh God, the info-dump. Find a way to work it into the story! Show, don't tell! The best part is Vin's initial misunderstanding about her own powers, calling them "luck" and using them instinctively. That was cool. Then Kelsier came along and drew up a spreadsheet.
Action sequences are hit-or-miss. Some, like Vin's desperate flight across the spires of the palace, are suspenseful and vivid. Others are rote descriptions of metal objects flying through the air, with many stops to describe the physics involved.
I'd have given it only 3 stars, except then the ending was just that awesome. If you can tolerate the kudgy prose, and you have a long attention span, then you should enjoy the book. I personally don't regret buying it at all, but I don't think I'll get the next 2 books for a while. Maybe after a break I will enjoy it more and not be bothered by the stylistic problems.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
My favorite thing about Mistborn was the creative, detailed, and rule-bound magic system. A minority of people in the Final Empire have the genetic ability to burn certain metals which provides them temporary powers (depending on the metal) such as enhanced sensations, super strength, detection of other allomancers, influence over the emotions of others, and the ability to push and pull off of metals in the vicinity. Most allomancers can only burn one metal, but Mistborns can burn all of them. I thought this was fascinating and enjoyed hearing how Vin and Kelsier used metals to travel, jump over walls, and fight. I was particularly impressed with the very detailed and thoughtful fight scenes. It must have been tough for Mr. Sanderson to make sure that everything they did with metals made sense physically (there are a lot of "opposite reactions" to take into account). This is really cool stuff. There are hints and rumors that there may be more metals that most allomancers don't know about, and I'm hoping we'll see some of these in the next book.
There was really only one thing that annoyed me in Mistborn, and that was the overuse of the word "paused." Almost every page says either "Vin paused," "Kelsier paused," or someone else paused. The purpose was to show that characters where thinking before speaking, but it started to get to me. Perhaps this was because I was listening to it on audio and the reader said it exactly the same way every time so that it became noticeable.
The audiobook was read by Michael Kramer who also narrated the Wheel of Time novels. He always does an excellent job, but I was so familiar with his voices (after listening to every single WOT book this year) that he made some of Mr. Sanderson's characters sound like WOT characters because he used the same voices (in fact, Ham, the big beefy guy in Mistborn had the same voice as Perrin the big beefy blacksmith from WOT).
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