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A Review of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Book It In

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn

Brandon Sanderson is one of the best currently living fantasy authors around. His work on completing The Wheel of Time brought his work to the attention of the masses. However, his own series – The Stormlight Archive and The Mistborn Trilogies – are also among the finest pieces of modern fantasy today.

Mistborn delves into political intrigue, into religion, and into the masks people use to hide who they truly are. It dives into superstition and into everyday human emotions. In many ways Mistborn addresses very deep philosophical issues while also being very entertaining. This is naturally the mark of a great writer. Sanderson proves that he is capable of creating an enjoyable story full of hidden depth.


The novel features a strong female protagonist (although some readers argue that she is a Mary Sue), limited reliance on cliches, and sound plotting and storytelling. The world building is incredibly memorable. This reveals Sanderson’s incredible work ethic as he spares no liberties in layering his world with detailed minutiae, as well as expanding a plethora of grand ideas. This is a living and breathing world written in a style that is very much narrative and expository for the purpose of entertainment. The writing was literary in some aspects, poetic in others and all around a gentle narrative that could be grasped by any fantasy lover as something slightly more fresh. Sanderson is rougher in his technique in this novel – but his ideas are no less great for this.

The magic system is unique and further novels in the series expand upon the ideas found in the first novel. Such as the origin of the Metallurgy and Feruchemy systems, explained in brief detail here. The beauty of Brandon Sanderson’s sequels here are that they serve as stand-alone narratives. Despite this they still expand the overarching narrative and worldbuilding.

Why You Should Read This

This is a grandly imaginative tale for fantasy readers who are looking for the best in modern fantasy fiction. If you enjoy fantasy but have had enough of elves, dragons and dwarves then read this. Yes – fantasy readers can love Tolkienesque fiction. However, sometimes authors need to break a little away from what other people have already written. As another aside, other suggestions for readers who enjoy Sanderson are: Steven Erikson, Michael J. Sullivan, Robert Jordan, and Anthony Ryan for beginners.

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9.5 /10


7.5 /10

Themes and Ideas

9.5 /10

Unique Plot, Characters or Worlds

10.0 /10


  • Unique world, story and characters
  • Powerful themes shown through an unfamiliar setting
  • Excellent narrative arc and a fantastic modern fantasy novel


  • Less polished writing style that may irk some readers
  • Some may see the main character as a Mary Sue
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