Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn Series #1)

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn Series #1) - This book was quite good. It had engaging characters, a fast-paced plot, and was generally thoroughly enjoyable. The basic outline of the story is that after a thousand years of oppression by a ruler claiming to be an immortal piece of god, a group of well-trained, expert thieves led by a flawed but nevertheless christ-like figure, who is also a Mistborn (you'll have to read it to find out what that is; I never like giving away too much in my reviews) decides they've had enough and plot to bring the empire down. The crew is joined by a street-urchin who, it turns out, also happens to be a Mistborn. Their plan is to overthrow both the central government and the nobility-dominated economy in order to destabilize the authority and control of the god-like tyrant known as the Lord Ruler. Murder and mayhem ensue, and well, you'll have to read it to see how it all plays out. But Sanderson, for all of the violence, bloodshed, and betrayal seems to be a sentimentalist at heart, so you can be pretty sure that Things Will Work Out In the End. Vin, the Mistborn street-urchin, is a sympathetic character, and the novel is really centered around her. It's something of a bildungsroman and could easily be a stand alone, though this is the first in a trilogy. The other two books seem to center around the same group of characters, which is always nice in a world as big and complete as this one. They cover the what happens after the Things Work Out In the End. There are several philosophical issues at work in the novel, as there usually are in SF and Fantasy novels, though the issues in this novel are less subtle. There is even a Philosopher Thief, but because the issues are so obvious, they feel too superficial to require deep thought. The class war recalls early anti-slavery and civil rights issues (are the skaa (the labor class of the Final Empire) really inferior beings? can they really be capable of running an empire?). In this sense, the novel is fairly heavy-handed with its morality, but many fantasies tend to be that way. I generally prefer a more subtle, complex morality tale, but I do have an interest in reading the other two novels, at some point in the Near Future (Murakami's newest, 1Q84, arrives on my doorstep tomorrow). I would definitely recommend this novel to people who like their fantasy high, their worlds complete, and the lines clearly drawn between good and evil, even as the lines between hero and normal are allowed to be a little more blurry, and especially for those who like warm fuzzies at the end of their bloody battles.