I had seen Sanderson’s name on Cannonball multiple times, but I wasn’t sure where to start. A friend recommended Mistborn, so I figured a double recommendation (meatspace friend and CBR folks) was a pretty sure thing. And I really enjoyed it, even though I can’t tell which book in the series this is (there’s a snippet of ‘the concluding volume of the Mistborn trilogy’ in the back of the book, though Amazon tells me this is the first one).
Teenage thief Vin lives in a world where certain members of the nobility have a special kind of magic, drawing on the power of different metals to enhance certain abilities (strength, sight and hearing, etc). Really special people are Mistborn, and they can use all the metals – others can only do one. It turns out Vin is the bastard daughter of a nobleman and a skaa (lowborn/slave) woman, and she is a very powerful Mistborn. She gets recruited to a team of rebels who are trying to take down the immortal tyrant, the Lord Ruler. Training montages and group bonding ensue.
It took me a while to get hooked. The writing is fairly amateur, and some sections felt like drafts from a Creative Writing 101 class. Plus, he uses the word “maladroitly” a weird number of times, like he just discovered it and is totally tickled with his own smarts. And some of the dialogue is cringy. (Nobody really starts every other sentence with “Why, my dear boy…”) However, Vin is believable and cool, and the rest of the characters, along with the story itself, are strong enough to outweigh the ‘student work’ feel. There are some twists to the story that I didn’t see coming, and Vin’s journey and character growth was well done. I will definitely go back and read the first one (or go on and read the second one, if this was the first one – confusing!), and then maybe jump ahead in Sanderson’s work to see if the writing gets better.