The more Sanderson I read, the more I feel like his books are really just love letters to his fans. His author notes are always so personal, and its clear that he takes his fans seriously and thinks about them as he’s writing. In this last installment of the Mistborn trilogy, Sanderson’s goal was to write an ending of a series that both satisfied and concluded without rushing or shoehorning. He took all the things he hated about series that ended disappointedly and made sure he didn’t do those things for Mistborn. And he succeeded in spades.
I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet, and instead this review will focus on the ‘how.’
One of Sanderson’s greatest feats as a writer is being able to balance a large cast of characters and giving all of them appropriate time on the page. And though we lose and gain characters throughout the series, by book 3 he’s gotten us down to really only following our 5 main players: Elend, Vin, Sazed, Spook, and TenSoon. He also splits the party, sending them in different directions, which allows us to see the wider world and also cover a ton of plot-ground to lead to the big culminating moment.
I also enjoyed that while Vin and Elend acted as our main characters throughout books 2 and 3, Sanderson’s not afraid to turn the plot on its head and we see several major characters explode into vital characters at the end. And maybe that’s what really made this ending feel so fresh. So many series hold tightly to their main characters as the ultimate heroes, but Sanderson was not afraid to go the distance and let different characters take the helm as was necessary to their final arcs.
His writing is masterful in this series, as in Stormlight Archives, and I’m really looking forward to reading more of his books.