Mistborn- The Final Empire: Brandon Sanderson

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Vin is a street urchin, a thief, whose key life skills are trusting nobody and eluding those who would beat her. But when a noted thief Kelsier recruits her crew for a job, she discovers that she is Mistborn, one of a rare breed who have the power of Allomancy, the ability to gain abilities like super speed and strength by burning metals. She is drawn into Kelsier’s grand plan, to overthrow the Final Empire and the Lord Ruler, an immortal tyrannical god who has ruled the land for the last thousand years.

I enjoy the worlds Sanderson creates; there is some amount of scientific logic in them. Magic isn’t merely waving a wand and doing voodoo, there are methods and rules and limitations. His story progresses at a reasonably fast pace, and there are enough twists and turns to keep you hooked. These are the Sanderson characteristics- dialogue and action heavy, a major twist you won’t see coming, plucky heroines and a reasonably smart cast of characters.

However, as much as the plot keeps you hooked, the writing still seems slightly stilted, and character building is more of the ‘telling, not showing’ type. I did miss the descriptive world building a la GRRM or Rothfuss. Sanderson’s books occasionally seem like reading the novelisation of a TV show; they aren’t as richly developed as the former’s. I wonder if it is to do with the amount of time taken to write each book. Sanderson is known to be a quick writer, working on multiple projects and churning out a book every year or so, while we all know what the great GRRM does. Gaiman is the only person I’ve seen doing a good balancing act between speed and content, but I don’t think he’s done any epic fantasy, so I don’t know if he would do any better or worse on that aspect.

 

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