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Publisher's Summary

Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • D
  • corona, ca United States
  • 11-12-09


I just finished the third audio book in the "Mistborn" trilogy and wanted to write my review starting with th first to let anyone know who is wondering whether to invest their time in another series to absolutly read this one. This story is epic. Brandon Sanderson writes a classic and was clearly the right pick to finish Jordon's WOT series.
The narration by Michael Kramer is award worthy. He not only gives a distinct and believable voice to each character, he brings them to life.
10 stars

108 of 116 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Engaging Read

My first experience with Brandon Sanderson didn't disappoint. The story of the Skaa rebellion, led by Kelsier with serious backup from Vin, the female Mistborn, is entertaining, engaging, and slightly different from other fantasies. At its foundation is good versus evil. And then Sanderson throws in some fantasy, magic, conflict and sprinkles in just a bit of romance. Thieves, Dark Rulers, Obligators, Secret Keepers, and even Inquisitors are supporting characters that keep the plot moving forward without causing confusion to the reader. Kelsier, also known as the legendary Survivor of Hathcin, is a nearly mythical being to the Skaa and he is the mastermind behind the rebellion. But Vin, the newest of his thieving crew who joins their network to infiltrate the nobility, begins to learn she has quite a few Mistborn powers of her own. By the end of this first of three books she becomes legendary in her own right. The book may have benefited from a little additional editing because there is repetition of things the reader knows. We learn how the power of the metals and they work over and over again. We even get a recap of previous action in the book multiple times. It's almost as if Sanderson believes his reader can't remember from one chapter to the next. While this can be somewhat annoying, it doesn't really detract from the overall good plot and well developed characters. There is foreshadowing that is critical to the plot, so the reader has to pay attention. And in fact, some foreshadowing in Book One comes into play in Book Two, The Well of Ascension. But the book keeps the reader pretty riveted, so this isn't too much of a problem. Michael Kramer is an apt reader and once you learn the timbre of his voice, there is no problem differentiating among the characters, including the reading of someone's diary which is inserted between chapters. His pace is good and enunciation excellent. I highly recommend the book.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 04-09-12

Book 1 of a great series that is not to be missed!

I knew little of Brandon Sanderson when it was announced that he was selected to finish the Wheel of Time series after the death of Robert Jordan. I decided to check out some of his work to get a feel for his writing before his first Wheel of Time novel was published. What I discovered was that I had been missing out on one of the best Fantasy authors writing today.

Mistborn is an excellent series and I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in the series. I am a big fan of Fantasy and I was completely drawn into Sanderson's world of Allomancers and all of the interesting things they could do right from the start. Michael Kramer does an excellent job of bringing these interesting characters to life so expect this book to grab you from the start and never let go.

96 of 109 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Atium Must Flow

Why does he smile all the time? Because humor is all He has left. He believes that if you are always on time, it implies you never have anything better to do. He says "I've been very confident in my immaturity."

Brandon Sanderson earns five stars with this book, as he has with three of the four books of his I have read, the other just getting four stars. Sanderson is the Fantasy Writer of this Century so far. He does not borrow from anyone else to write his fantasy, it is all out of his head. Matter of fact this goes against all the fantasy laws. Usually iron is the bane of magic, which explains why elves, fairies, etc disappeared with the coming of civilization and metals. Sanderson has made metals the magic element. All of his books that I have read so far are totally different from the norm. In Elantris, Magic is the enemy. The Way of Kings is his masterpiece so far.

Look at the ratings on this book, thousands have read it and it has an average of 4.6 stars. That alone speaks volumes.

The book is not perfect and it was written early in Sanderson's career. For instance having a Feruchemist or Keeper sure comes in a little too handy as more then once he saves the day. There is also, especially in the beginning a lot of talking and planning. Hours of planning. Still I enjoyed it, the writing was great, the character development excellent, lots of twists and turns, and even with the planning there is still lots of really cool action. Fighting with metals reminds me of a character in Erickson's Gardens of the Moon, who is able to turn up down or sideways or left to right, etc. The characters are not black and white. Sometimes you are not sure who is the bad guy and who is the good guy (I love that).

Fans of Abercrombie and Paul Hoffman will love this.

Fans of The Wheel of Time series will recognize the great narrator Kramer.

Listen to the story to see why I compare Atium to Spice.

66 of 75 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Keith
  • Colorado
  • 01-07-13

Excellent story without the same old, same old ...

If you could sum up The Final Empire in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, Original, Fun

What did you like best about this story?

Allomancers and the originality behind the story and lore.

Any additional comments?

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!!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

very good book

This book has a lot going for it.
1) The world depicted is really very unique. The book depicts the second round in a fight between good vs. evil. In the first round evil had won and 1000 years have passed.
2) There are multiple Magic systems and they are all very interesting
3) Each character feels flushed out in details and many of them are very likeable
4) Lots of Drama, action and mystery

60 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Willie K
  • Anoka, MN, United States
  • 06-23-09

Willie K Review

This is my first review, but I plan on reviewing every book I listen to from here out. I tried listening to Brandon Sandersons first title, Elantris, but had a hard time getting into it. I thought I would give Brandon another shot though since I enjoyed Michael Kramer's narration in The Eye of the World series, by Robert Jordon so much. Mr. Kramer showed his true flare for subtle voice dialects allowing the listener to immediately know who is speaking before hearing who the author told you it was. He is a bit mono tone but never the less is one of my favorite narrators.

This book had me from the beginning. I loved how Brandon Sanderson created a world where good has succumbed to evil forces, and you really cant tell if evil was meant to be the ruling force of the land and good was never meant to prevail. His description of the world made me it easy to picture in my head and his battle scenes had me locked in. I found myself driving around the block several times to finish the battles taking place. The ending also has a shock to it that I did not expect which makes me more intrigued to read the rest of the series. I look forward to trying out his first book again when I am finished with it

It is a great read.

72 of 86 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Solid Fantasy

This book is exactly what fantasy should be and often isn't. Rather than trying to write the most unique mysterious gritty violent book ever this author sets up a good solid fantasy world with easily understandable rules and proceeds to tell an excellent and exciting story. The magic system is refreshingly understandable and usually sticks to its own rules. The action scenes are extremely well choreographed (think The Matrix in a fantasy setting) For a first book in a series the conclusion is remarkably conclusive for a change. Rather than leaving a bunch of loose ends this author nicely ties up the original questions the story starts with while still leaving enough of the world unexplored to make you want more. The narration is first class.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Yamhill, OR, United States
  • 07-21-11


I am writing this after having finished the entire trilogy. While this was an incredible book and stands alone just fine on its own, I wanted to reserve judgement on each book till I finished the trilogy in order to put each one into perspective. This was my first Bandon Sanderson book and I loved it. At first, it was challenging to get into the whole concept of Allomancy but I eventually did and appreciated every aspect of this masterpiece. The books moved quickly, the story is rich in its treatments of many aspects personal character, politics, government, philosophy and religion. And each character is fully developed to the point where we probably care about all of them including some of the bad ones. The world created by Brandon Sanderson and stunningly narrated by Michael Kramer is not like any one I or probably any of us could have possibly imagined. As long as this trilogy was, I am so sorry to have it finally end.

54 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unique Magic system, good plot twists.

This is a good tale that will keep you hooked. The magic system is quite unique and there are some plot twists near the end that will catch you by surprise. Characters are very enjoyable and there is good humor here. I recommend it.

33 of 41 people found this review helpful