Tag: Mistborn Trilogy

Review: The Well of Ascension

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This is the second book in the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, and came out in 2007.

This book is just as engaging as it’s predecessor, and for different reasons.

This book gives us a deeper look at the world created by Brandon Sanderson, and we learn more and more of the worlds (true) history. And I will say it again, it’s am amazing world.

The story of this book starts after the ruler of the evil empire has been vanquished (in rather unusual fashion) by a group of rebels. The rebels are now left in control of the capital city of the greatest empire that world has ever seen, and have no idea what to do with it. Civil war and unrest is causing the empire to collapse, and to make matters worse, a far far greater threat than the one they just vanquished is lurking on the horizon.

The first problem they face is just what happens after the dark lord is vanquished in fantasyland. Complete and utter chaos. Something most writers conveniently skip over. And the real world example from the collapse of Soviet Russia and the soviet bloc seems say that Sanderson has a point. The Final Empire might have been an evil institution, but it did give the nation stability and ensure law and order. Suddenly removing it creates chaos. Something none of the rebels planned for. We also get the impression that none of these rebels are actually suited for ruling a nation, despite their good intentions. That just wanting to do the right thing and fight evil doesn’t automagically qualify you to be a ruler. The rebels are now suddenly looking at civil war and the collapse of social order. Making the situation worse is the ruler they installed in the capital, an honorable man who wants justice and equality and all the good stuff, but has the political acumen of a log. He was just about ready to take the same road as Robb Stark when he was (sort of) set straight.

And of course you can’t forget the sudden elevation of some of them to (fake) religious prominence.

If the last book had it’s roots in a heist movie, this one is all about the con game. And the con is all that keeps the empire from collapse.

Also on a side note, after reading this book I have a lot more respect for Kelsier as a planner and leader. He carefully planned his rebellion/heist step by step and kept his crew together. Even at the worst moment of the previous book he had the situation in hand. Compared to him, the main characters of this book are bumbling in the dark.

That said, the writing is just as engaging as the previous book’s, the plot just as fast, the intrigue and political kung-fu even more engaging. And that’s without mentioning the action scenes. They are superbly written and I loved imagining them in my head (I imagined it sort of like a matrix fighting montage).

I highly recommend this book for all readers of fantasy. Two thumbs up. This is a great book.

Sadly you need to have read the first book to follow the story of this one.

 

Review: The Final Empire

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This is a fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson published in 2006, and boy is it awesome.

The worldbuilding and especially the magic system in the story are superb and unique.

This book is set in a post apocalyptic world that looks like it rode out a nuclear war. The sky is covered by grey clouds and the land is constantly pelted by ash rains, killing off crops and cutting off sunlight. In fact, the sun and green plants are distant memories for the poor souls who live in this world. The entire world is ruled by a nation known as the Final Empire, whose nobility practice a brand of magic known as Allomancy. This is basically the ability to manipulate metal, but it gives the user the ability to fire machine gun like barrages of projectiles or leap across rooftops matrix style via clever use of repelling and attracting forces of magnetism. As you can guess, the action scenes in the book are something to look forward to.

We learn that this world came about thanks to the being known as ‘The Lord Ruler’, who was actually the hero who was prophecised to save the world from some unspeakable evil. Well he did save the world, but after the deed was done he decided that he was owed for all the hard work and installed himself as the ruler of the world, after first conquering it of course. His empire is also not a nice place to live in, and that’s without factoring in the after-apocalypse setting. Caste system, secret police, this place has them all.

The book tells the story of a group of rebels who finally plan to bring down the evil empire and vanquish the Lord Ruler. This isn’t your usual rebel alliance however. These rebels are members of the local criminal underworld, and their marketable skills are sadly specialized. So they plan to take on the empire the only way they know how, by pulling a heist.

That’s right, this is a story about a band of heroes (debatable) who plan to vanquish an evil empire by doing a heist job. A heist movie set in a fantasy world. And it’s great.

The plot and the way Sanderson moves it along is also worthy of praise. The characters themselves don’t have the depth they should have for a setting like this, we only really see one character deeply, but they are well written and motivated by their own past actions. Besides, the fast paced plot itself more than makes up for the lack of character buildup.

There are plenty of plot twists, action, intrigue and budding romance to keep you hooked.

I highly recommend this book to any reader of fantasy, but especially to any reader who is tired of generic fantasy and wants to read a unique and different fantasy story.