Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Review: The Mistborn Trilogy

(Image from: MCMbuzz)
((Isn't the cover art just gorgeous?!))

The Mistborn Trilogy is a high fantasy series by acclaimed novelist Brandon Sanderson

I actually picked up the first book, 'The Final Empire', in a second-hand charity bookshop here in York. I tend to find a lot of books this way and buying pre-loved means getting to know books that aren't necessarily in the lime light any more. It also usually guarantees that the rest of the series is already published and waiting for me when I finish! I only got a few chapters in before I knew I had to get my hands on the next two books. 

A Quick Synopsis
The trilogy opens in the dystopian world of the Final Empire, ruled over by the god-like Lord Ruler who has lived and presided over his empire for a thousand years. Vin, a street urchin in the criminal underworld, is taken into a crew of thieves planning to overthrow the Lord Ruler, lead by the charismatic and wild Kelsier. She and Kelsier both hold the power of Allomancy: the ability to draw power from metal. Tin to heighten the senses; iron to pull on metal and steel to push; pewter for strength...

The Final Empire is a beautifully dark setting, a land of grey skies and falling ash and nights of swirling mist, all brilliantly explored with delicate and thoughtful prose. The subtle introductions to the history of the Final Empire is woven with great skill into the story, creating a very natural backdrop for this dark future.

It was definitely the magic of this series that enticed me most. Using metals as a base of power is something I've not seen before and I really enjoyed how it was used in the series. Sanderson's descriptions are very visual and the fight scenes (of which there are plenty) are stunningly written.

The three volumes all had a very particular feel to them and a very particular aim. When the first book in a series has a very definitive conclusion, the sequels can sometimes struggle to create an independent (but connected) identity. 'The Well of Ascension' and 'The Hero of Ages' both have very individual identities and focus broadly on different subjects (politics, theology, power struggles, etc). I enjoyed the fact that they were all a little different and I think the development of the plot and the subjects reflects the progression of the characters and of the world of the Final Empire nicely.

I finished the final book at one in the morning, wide awake in bed, having not been able to bare putting the book down until morning. Always the sign of a good series, I think!

A brilliant series for an avid fantasy fan and good for those who, like me, want to be assured there's plenty more to read after book one.

I've yet to buy the fourth book in the series, 'Alloy of Law'. To be honest, I enjoyed the way the series was left and I feel like I need a bit of an emotional break from the trauma of such a Big Finale (sorry, spoiler alert). But it's definitely on my 'To Buy' list.

I'll give 'Mistborn' a great big 9 out of 10 for being absolutely brilliant!

Check out Brandon Sanderson

Monday, 10 February 2014

Grey Sister

The Book has a name!

Or a tentative one at least...

'Grey Sister' is the first book in the 'Ellorah' triology. A full synopsis (which, to be honest, isn't terribly informative) can be found on the 'About the Book' page.