Suspension of Disbelief

Suspension of Disbelief: Mistborn

Suspension of Disbelief is a weekly feature, in which we review movies, books, TV shows, and other popular culture for the skeptical teen.

Series Title: Mistborn 
: The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages (so far)
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Author: Brandon Sanderson

5 out of 5 Allomantic Metals

Review: There are very few series that I can sit down and read over and over again. Mistborn is definitely one of them. I’ve read all three books at least 5 times, and still manage to catch something new each time. The amount of detail, nuance, plot twist, and philosophical contemplation put into these books is fantastic, and is nearly unmatched by anything else I’ve read. It takes place in its own world, not related to ours. In it, there are three unique magic systems based on properties of metals, a major heist, an overhaul of a political, a discussion of class differences and the interplay between several sentient species, the formation of a religion, the destruction of another religion, a strong female lead, and the interactions she has with other people as she leaves her role of street urchin and creates her own place in the world. There’s almost nothing in this series for me to be critical of: the characters are very real, and the story is so well written that it draws the reader into another world effortlessly.

A quick introductory summary (no major spoilers): The story of Mistborn follows a young girl from the streets, named Vin. She’s survived on her “Luck”, a special ability that allows her to manipulate other people’s emotions. This makes her valuable to her gang, but she’s also hated for her differences… until a new gang finds and recruits her. They, too, have “Luck”, or Allomancy, a type of magic that follows the laws of physics and relies on the “burning” of certain metals, which each have different properties and abilities. Before long, Vin’s new crew starts a job… overthrowing the empire. And that’s just the first few chapters of the first book. You’ll just have to read them to find out the rest. I predict that you won’t be able to put this one down.

Oh, and if you like Mistborn, there’s a fourth, stand-alone-ish novel coming out in November, titled The Alloy of Law, that occurs a few hundred years after the end of Hero of Ages. I personally cannot wait to read it.

Cover Image Source:
Metal Image Source: Microsoft Office
Sanderson’s Website

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Ali Marie

Ali Marie

Ali Marie is a recent Master's of Education graduate, and is now venturing back into the world of non-traditional education, as an outreach program leader at a children's museum. Her interests vary widely, but include board games, music, dinosaurs, and science as a whole.

You can find Ali on Twitter, @ascientifica.


  1. May 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm —

    Hell yes! I love this series. And I’ve no idea how I’d missed hearing about the upcoming fourth one. His first published stand-alone novel Elantris is fun too, with a similarly elaborate and intricate system of magic. I think he likes inventing those.

  2. May 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm —

    @cubiksrube: The fourth one has kind of a funny story behind it… he was taking a break after completing two epics in a year (finishing the Wheel of Time series, and starting his own epic, the Stormlight Archive), and so wanted to write a Mistborn short story. However, as Sanderson apparently doesn’t understand the concept of “short”, it turned into a novel, that Tor wanted to publish. So, they are.

    I agree, Elantris is also wonderful, as is the system of magic and play on religion in Warbreaker. He’s discussed writing sequels to that one as well. And all 10 books of Stormlight… and finishing the trilogy of trilogies that is Mistborn… and other random writing projects, such as a magic system based on chalk… basically, he’s brilliant and insane, and is planning all of this, eventually.

    Anyway, glad you like the series! Definitely one I’m glad I got introduced to, and hope to read again.

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