JUST LIKE, BLANKET SPOILER NOTES OKAY? GIVEN that the entire synopsis for this novel is “As such, [this book] contains HUGE SPOILERS for the books Mistborn (The Final Empire), The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages,” I feel like I should get a pass but just in case
This is a HARD one to review because on one hand, I think that Sanderson really does do a great job of telling you of a parallel, secret history that’s tracked the events of all of the Mistborn novels since the very first. On the other hand, six novels later I’m still not entirely sold on the expanded Mistborn universe and miss the days when it was just Vin, Elend, and the Crew.
What do I mean by that? It’s not that they’re bad books or that Sanderson doesn’t do a good job of fleshing out the world of Scadrial. In fact, he’s probably one of the best authors when it comes to “killing your darlings,” except that in this case the darlings are entire worlds, entire frameworks, entire feelings, for lack of better term. In jumping forward three hundred years, Sanderson held himself to the rules that he set out in the original Mistborn novels: that Allomantic powers are genetic and weaken over time, that technology does exist in the world, and that Gods are actually just gods, lower case g, with no powers beyond what we saw them take for themselves.
I’m also one of those people who finds herself always hoping beyond hope that we’ll make it out of the books/TV show with our core group intact. Nevermind that it’s not realistic or reasonable I just want it, okay? So part of me was surprised with how okay I was that Kelsier died at the end of Mistborn 1. Somehow it just seemed right, you know? It was the necessary cost for the world that he wanted to build, for the plan that he wanted to put into place.
The list of characters who die and don’t stay dead is long, and I’m sure that Sanderson wrestled with the consequences of having Kelsier be not-dead for ages before deciding to commit…although, given how he wrote the rest of the novels, it seems like the plan/plot always required him to be not-dead (but also not-quite-alive, for the most part). Does it take away from his sacrifice? Does it take away from what Vin and the rest of the Crew went through? For the former, maybe but not really. For the latter, I think not.
Either way, it’s sort of fun to have a series to look forward to (book four coming out later this year!!!)