“Mistborn” is the first book in the “Mistborn” series written by American author Brandon Sanderson. The series itself currently consists of seven books split into two eras, Era One and Era Two.
“Mistborn” is critically acclaimed by many other American authors as well as the Washington Post Book World. Critics comment on Sanderson’s amazing creativity, saying that his magic system is unique and that his world is imaginative and well thought out. They called his characters amazingly realistic and relatable. American writer Orson Scott Card called Sanderson “astonishingly wise” in understanding the human mind, heart, and soul, a feat that most writers do not accomplish.
“Mistborn” is set in a dreary world filled with ash, depression, and little color. In this world, society is split into several factions: the nobility who rule the Final Empire, the skaa who work the land and are essentially slaves, the Obligators who serve the Lord Ruler and enforce the laws, and the Steel Inquisitors who are tasked with hunting down enemies of the Empire. In this world, there are three types of people: the Allomancers, the Mistings, and normal people. Mistings are able to swallow and burn a certain type of metal to gain a power, such as heightened senses, greater strength, or the ability to see the near future. Allomancers are more powerful than Mistings and are able to burn all ten metals to gain these powers.
“Mistborn” follows the path of Vin, a skaa thief and Allomancer, and Kelsier, a skaa thief, crew leader, and Allomancer, as they work together to gather a crew and start a rebellion to overthrow the Lord Ruler, who rules the Final Empire with an iron fist. The book describes the plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler, and follows all the twists and turns along the way. It also shows wonderful character development in the two main characters as they learn not only from each other, but also from others around them that perhaps the Final Empire and its people are not what they appear to be on the surface.
Sanderson digs deeply into human motivation and emotion, drawing readers into the plot and making them emotionally invested in the well-being of his characters. Through his characters, Sanderson shows his readers that everyone has the potential for good and bad in them and that everyone deserves a chance to choose what side of the battle they will be on. After all, social class does not determine a person’s heart.