Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Triology: Mistborn

Books in Trilogy: Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages
Author: Brandon Sanderson

Pages - Mistborn: 643
The Well of Ascension: 763
The Hero of Ages: 724

Rating: Very high on the PG-13 scale. The books are pretty violent, and some of the scenes are rather gory and disturbing.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

The Well of Ascension: Evil has been defeated. The war has just begun.

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

The Hero of Ages: Who is the Hero of Ages?

To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness---the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists---is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed.

Having escaped death at the climax of The Well of Ascension only by becoming a Mistborn himself, Emperor Elend Venture hopes to find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world. Vin is consumed with guilt at having been tricked into releasing the mystic force known as Ruin from the Well. Ruin wants to end the world, and its near omniscience and ability to warp reality make stopping it seem impossible. She can’t even discuss it with Elend lest Ruin learn their plans!

The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave readers rubbing their eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.

My Thoughts: Other than the fact that these books are monstrously long and it took me almost two months to read all three, completely consuming all my free time until I could finally just be done with them....I really enjoyed them. =) Sanderson is a very good writer. I have to admit, at the beginning of the first book I couldn't imagine why he needed such long books to tell the story. But by the time I got to the third one, I just had to keep reading to find out what happens, and was actually disappointed when it all came to an end. That's the mark of a good writer right there. Writing enormous books that still leave you wanting more.

Sanderson is a master storyteller. He weaves in little clues and hints and foreshadowings that you don't even realize are important until they come up again entire books later. Every time I thought I figured things out, I was totally wrong, although there were a few times I came to the correct conclusions long before the characters did. There's also the element of newness, because Sanderson thinks up stories that are like nothing you've ever read before, and by the end, it seems like the most logical kind of storyline ever.

In these books, Mistborn are those who have the power to "burn" metals. When they ingest certain metals, they gain certain powers, like extra strength, heightened senses, etc. It's a pretty elaborate invention. Sanderson also seems to enjoy making up elaborate religions that he weaves through his books, and these are no exception. There is one character, Sazed, who has dedicated his entire life to seeking out the world's religions and recording them, since they were mostly all wiped out by the Lord Ruler, who basically set himself up to be a god. I enjoyed the commentary on the importance of religions, and why they exist. In fact, toward the end, Sazed has gone through all of his religions trying to find any one that is true, and he finds that there are intense flaws in each of them. He is completely disappointed because he wanted so badly to find one that he could belive. Finally, he realizes that while not one of the remaining religions had been entirely true, they all had elements of important truths in them, and when you put all of those truths together, you get something worth believing in.

Again, my biggest complaint about these is the amount of time it took me to read them, but I don't regret reading them. They were definitely entertaining and good. And, I will give one thing away. Even though each page you turn seems to bring a fresh disaster and everything starts looking really hopeless, the ending was really good and very satisfying.