I'd been longing to read this book for a while! There were a few different reasons why...
- I first found out about it last year after seeing quite a lot of Kingkiller Chronicle fans recommending it (and also Patrick Rothfuss who is the author of those books!) and, since I loved that series, I naturally figured that I'd probably enjoy the Mistborn series as well.
- The heist element of the story was extremely intriguing to me.
- After looking into the series some more I also found out that the technology and world of the series significantly changes over time which isn't something that I've ever encountered in a fantasy series before! For instance: whilst the first three books in the Mistborn series are set in a medieval-esque world, the other books in the series take place several hundreds of years later with the world of Scadriel having shifted into more of a Victorian-esque environment. Brandon Sanderson eventually plans to have the final books in the series take place in a futuristic sci-fi setting!
The two main characters in this book, Vin and Kelsier, are extremely well-developed as well. As a lonely street urchin who has been abused for most of her life, Vin lacks confidence in herself and is extremely paranoid and suspicious of Kelsier and his crew at the beginning. But as the novel progresses she slowly begins to trust the crew and to open up to them - and the more her powers develop the more her self-confidence grows. Vin's character development in this book is excellent and is lovely to read. In contrast, her mentor Kelsier is far more optimistic and cheerful than she is (or at least he is on the surface) and isn't at all the typical kind of mentor figure that you usually find in fantasy stories. He's a sly, witty, impulsive hothead! Kelsier's character development is more subtly done than Vin's but is still apparent as he comes to terms with his time in the Pits and the death of his wife and he is eventually able to overcome his innate prejudice towards the nobility. When it comes to the secondary characters in this book I was especially fond of Breeze, Ham, Sazed and Elend in particular. I loved Breeze's wit, Ham's fondness for philosophical discussions, Sazed's air of quiet badassery, and Elend's love of books and his romance with Vin. Elend's first scene with Vin was quite possibly my favourite scene in the entire book by the way: it's so funny and adorable that it's almost like something out of a good romantic comedy!
My only issues with this book are very minor. One of the things that I initially wasn't so keen on in this book was that the dialogue features modern-day American slang in places which I found very odd given the medieval-esque setting of the book. That took a bit of getting used to. I found the book a little bit slow near the start as well although the pacing soon picked up. Overall though this book is definitely one of the most impressive fantasy novels that I've read in recent years and I really hope that the sequels can live up to its quality. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that I've flipped out over a book only to end up being horribly disappointed in its sequels so... *fingers crossed*