Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of the biggest names in modern fantasy today. Currently a creative writing professor at Brigham Young University, his first major novel Elantris, was a breakthrough success when it was released in 2005. Sanderson would go on to help complete Robert Jordan’s epic The Wheel of Time fantasy series after his untimely death due largely to the success of his own epic series, Mistborn.

Ash rains from the skies and blankets the streets of Luthadel like snow, the plants grow brown instead of green, and the mysterious and dangerous mists come out every night. The skaa are a poor, repressed group of citizens treated like slaves by the noblemen and all are ruled under the strict leadership of the Lord Ruler. One thousand years ago the Lord Ruler supposedly saved mankind and the planet from destruction.  He reshaped the world into its current state, placing himself at the top of the Final Empire as its immortal god. The Empire is policed by the Lord Ruler’s Obligators, people with strange tattoos around their eyes and on their faces, and Inquisitors, incredibly strong people who “see” not with normal eyes, but with two large spikes in place of where eyes ought to be…

Enter Kelsier, the Survivor of Hathsin, and a prison camp that no one is supposed to be able to escape from— alive at least. Our rebel half-skaa leader and thief is notorious for crazy ploys, including trying to break into Kredik Shaw, the Lord Rulers palace, to steal something mysterious and assumed valuable. Here in The Final Empire, Kelsier is reuniting with his old thieving crew for the job of a lifetime: Overthrow the Final Empire and kill the immortal Lord Ruler. This would be impossible for the average person, but it helps a little that Kelsier is an allomancer. Allomancers have the ability to consume tiny amounts of a specific metal and “burn” them, unlocking special abilities. Most are Mistings, meaning they have access to only one metal. A Thug, for example, has the ability to burn pewter and become physically strong and fast for as long as they have pewter inside them to burn. Burning steel allows an allomancer to push nearby sources of metal, while burning its counterpart iron you can pull on nearby metals. There are eight basic metals in alomancy, plus two higher metals. Kelsier is no ordinary allomancer however. He is Mistborn, meaning that he’s able to burn all the allomantic metals.

In one of the skaa slums inside Luthadel we find Vin, a teenage girl who unwittingly is mistborn that is discovered by an Obligator and hunted by an Inquisitor. She would have been killed had it not been for Kelsier’s help. He recruits and trains her in allomancy for the mission against the Lord Ruler. The Final Empire is filled with action, suspense, espionage, humor, camaraderie, and more as Sanderson takes readers into an epic fantasy saga that dares to challenge perceptions of what fantasy writing can be.

Ray King is a Circulation Assistant at Graham Public Library. He can be contacted at rking@alamancelibraries.org or 336-570-6730.