This book begins a year after the events of The Final Empire. King Elend Venture’s shaky control over Luthadel is threatened by the arrival of two armies at his doorstep, one belonging to his power-hungry father. Vin is by Elend’s side, but even the most powerful Mistborn known cannot battle all the forces that threaten her world.
The major issue I had with this book was pace. Nothing happens. On the surface, it does- lots of action scenes of Vin using her enhanced abilities, introduction of a new creepy creature family, Elend’s attempts at democracy- but none of them are actually interesting. If you look at how much the plot advanced by the end of the book, it’s probably the distance from your bedroom to your kitchen.
Some of the new characters are interesting- Staff Venture, Elend’s father, has similarities with Tywin Lannister, but others, like Vin’s mysterious sparring partner, didn’t engage me. The book is all about Elend’s character development, and while you know it’s going to be a slow process, you already know what’s going to happen and feel like, dude, get on with it already! The book is like many middle novels in trilogies are, placeholder, stage setter, and, frankly, expendable.