11 January 2010


Hmmm... I never bothered to post a Happy New Year. Oh well. Consider this a belated one.

Between reading and cleaning and helping with things, I've had less interest in blogging lately. I suspect part of it is that I've finally come out of a cycle of depression and would rather be doing things than writing about them (unless the doing is also the writing).

Anyway, reading Mistborn took up a large chunk of that time. Here's the whole trilogy in one package. Depending on local discounts, this is probably cheaper than buying each book separately. Either way, they're well worth the price. I finished the first book and I'm about halfway through the second.

Mistborn is an incredibly intricate and well-plotted story. It asks the question, what happens if the prophesied hero fails? We find a society with an immortal, godlike "Lord Ruler." The common people are treated worse than slaves. The uncommon people tend to be hunted down and/or strictly controlled. The world is mostly brown due to ashfalls and the ash seems to be so pervasive that the sun always appears to be red.

Enter Kelsier and his merry band of misfits. They manage to do mostly as they like, despite being uncommon, and have decided that, for the ultimate heist, they're going to go after the Lord Ruler's stash of atium (an incredibly valuable metal, used by allomancers to see possible futures). Anything else I might say on that would quickly turn into a spoiler.

However, I do want to mention that magic system in Mistborn. It's fascinating, and unique. Some people have the ability to "burn" metals. Specific metals connect to specific powers. Someone who can burn only one metal (and hence having only one power) is a Misting. Someone who can burn them all is a Mistborn. So far as anyone knows, there is no in-between ... but a lot of "common knowledge" about Mistborns has turned out to be false. At the beginning of Mistborn, there were 10 known metals. Kelsier discovered a missing eleventh, and later we find that there are still others unknown, except perhaps to the Lord Ruler and his cronies. From a bit of scouting, it looks like there will be 16 total by the end (4 groups of 4), but they haven't all been found yet by the middle of the second book.

The other thing about the second book [SPOILER] is that Sanderson actually takes a realistic look at what would happen after the evil tyrant has been deposed. It is messy. Everyone who had power under the tyrant is vying to keep it/get it back. The few idealists are fighting a losing battle against indifference and fear. Even if the Lord Ruler was evil, things were stable under his rule, and some people would prefer stability to freedom. I have a feeling that Sanderson was influenced by the fall of the USSR in this. ^!^

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