Considering how much I have enjoyed the books I have previously read by Brandon Sanderson (all of which had been written after this book, however), I was surprised how long it took me to really get into Mistborn. I had read about half of it before I made up my mind I was definitely going to finish it before having to return it to the library.
In part, this was because of something I read on the flyleaf before even starting the book. “Brandon Sanderson … dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the prophesied hero failed to defeat the Dark Lord?” I made my husband and older son, who finished this book (and its sequel) long before I did, refrain from discussing the plot in my presence. But knowing that the hero is going to fail takes something out of a book.
It’s hardly even clear who the prophesied hero is. There are snippets of someone’s thoughts at the start of each chapter, someone who is said to be a prophesied hero but who doubts himself. But I only figured out who that someone was more than halfway through the book, only a few pages before the source of those snippets is made clear. And it’s none of the characters from whose perspective the story is told.
Once things really get moving, however, it builds to a very satisfying conclusion. Mistborn would stand fine on its own without the other two books in the trilogy. But I intend to start the second book, The Well of Ascension, this evening.