Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 20, 2009

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

This meeting at the Milwood Library drew nine attendees, including two first-timers. Our topic was Mistborn, a fantasy adventure novel by Brandon Sanderson. Four of us had read the author before. Eight of us started the book, and six finished it.

One reader noted that this book had a unique and well-thought-out magic system, based on ingesting metals and using them as a source for magic. He felt a valid way to describe this book was “What if one of the characters from Lord of the Rings kept the ring?” He liked the storytelling and character development. He thought the use of text in a journal was a clever way to tell a parallel story.

Another felt this book was a “page-turner” with a well-constructed story.  One person liked this book’s idea that a hero’s failure causes a lot of bad problems.   Another noted that the book was so well-written that “the film did not break.”

One member of the group said he rarely enjoys fantasy, but he liked this book. He felt it had excellent action sequences with super-powered characters. He found parallels in this book’s two main characters, Kelsier and Vin, with Wolverine and Kitty from the X-Men comics and movies.  He liked how well the author thought out how people might use their powers.  And he appreciated that this book provides plenty of conclusion at the end, while clearly setting up more books in the series. He said the book was a pleasant surprise.

Another found it hard to get into this book. She found the writing style was not gripping. She felt the description of magic was pedantic, almost like reading the manual for a role-playing game.

One first-time attendee enjoyed this book’s handling of unusual themes like trust.  She enjoyed the young female character, Vin, who started out as an abused kid and later got to enjoy dressing up and going to balls to hobnob with nobility.

Another longtime member of the group said that she does not generally enjoy fantasy, but felt this book was better than most. She appreciated how the super-powered Vin took a while to realize that everyone else did not have these powers. She felt that the author clearly cared a lot about this book’s world and characters, but could have done a better job at conveying these to the reader.  She particularly thought the villain could have been handled more originally, since she felt making him a proponent of slavery was too easy.

Overall we had a fun time discussing Mistborn. After the meeting, many of us had a nice dinner at Culver’s.

—A. T. Campbell, III