“Holy shit balls of awesomesauce, I cannot even handle the feels of this book. Gah, my emotions are in a right state, okay, because this book is one of the very best I have ever read. It's not every epic fantasy novel that I can read in little more than a day without it feeling like torture. In fact, the torture was any time not spent reading. Brandon Sanderson does everything right here: the world building, the characters, the writing, and the plotting.
In epic fantasy, it is so rare to find a book that's good from the very beginning. There is just so much world building to be established, that it's sort of a given to have to sit through quite a lot of world building. This generally is totally worth it in the end, but makes the read a bit slow. Sanderson, however, manages to keep the pace quick from the very start. Rather than overwhelming the reader with the way this world works, he unravels the information bit by bit, following the arc of Vin's training, keeping everything manageable.
In my experience from The Way of Kings, I already knew that Sanderson is a marvelous writer, though I do think Mistborn: The Final Empire is much stronger. Sanderson devises such original magical systems, so unlike any I've read before, and he makes them come alive. He also has a real knack for description, one almost unparalleled by any author I've read. Not being a very visual reader, I often have difficulty picturing battle scenes, but Sanderson's burst off the page, leaving me breathless with worry. There's so much movement in Mistborn, but all of it was so well-described that I never felt lost or confused.
Then there are the characters. I love them all. SO HARD. Kelsier is a serious BAMF, and he's full of swagger and cleverness, and always deeper than you think he is. Actually, that's true of every single character, I think. You suspect you know what they're capable of and then they do something to surprise you. The feels are insane. Right, Kelsier. Anyway, he is a Mistborn, which means that he can manipulate metal to give himself powers, and that's as much as I'm going to explain that, because just read the book. Kelsier has big plans, like overthrowing the immortal ruler of the empire.
The other main character is Vin, a skaa (essentially serfs) thief has a power she thinks of as Luck. She lives her life in fear, trusting no one, abandoned even by her brother. Kelsier finds Vin and teaches her what she is, and how to be a Mistborn. Watching this girl find friendship and love for the first time in her life gave me all of the happy feels. I love Kelsier and Vin's relationship, the way he mentors her is so touching. Also, it makes my heart so happy to see a female character not always being weaker than her male counterpart. Vin's still learning, but girl has some serious power. She grows so much through the course of Mistborn, but she's obviously not done yet.
The supporting cast is just as well-drawn as Kelsier and Vin. Every single member of Kelsier's crew, the one trying to overthrow the despotic Lord Ruler, is dear to me: the philosophizing Thug, Ham, the insouciant Breeze, the dialect-spouting Spook, the grumpy Clubs. Then there's Elend, the heir to the wealthiest noble family. Let's just say that he's the kind of guy who would rather read than dance at a party, and that I am kind of in love with him.
Top off all of that awesomeness, Sanderson also knocked me for a loop with that last two hundred pages. He set everything up so well that, once it happened, I knew it was just as it had to be, but I also hadn't believed he could possibly go there. Sanderson got me right in the feels, and oh my how I loved it. I never expected the way the book would end or that final twist, which is just what I needed after a stretch of predictable books.
Without a doubt, Mistborn is one of the finest epic fantasy novels out there. I say this confidently, even though I've still read relatively few. Every aspect of this book was well done, and I can't think of a single thing to criticize. Basically, I urge each and every one of you to read this book.”