Mistborn Author Brandon Sanderson is fun to read
I often say read, when what I really meant is that I have listened to, a book. With Audible, it is easy to complete a book while walking the dogs, or driving to work, or in some cases, driving long distances for baseball tournaments or family reunions. However, I personally can’t always listen to self improvement or business books. Sometimes, I just want to kick back and hear a good story. As a kid I remember my Dad has these audio tapes which had old 1940’s radio soap operas on them. Some had Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I believe one was called The Shadow. It was a vintage radio show. I remember how much fun those were to listen to when we were driving cross country and you could turn the radio station across the dial without picking up anything. I therefore like to listen to fiction. Occasionally, however that habit can lead to real reading. And if the author is good enough, I will even pick up my kindle Voyager and hunker down to a great story.
Last night I finished reading one of those stories. I completed Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It was one of those stories that kept me up until all hours of the night. It was one of those stories I found myself reading on my iPhone (love the kindle app that kept pages in sync with my kindle Voyager). It was one of those stories that near the end, I tuned out just about everything so I could finish it. It was that good.
I first came across Brandon Sanderson when I drove to a family reunion in Las Vegas. Looking for something fun to listen too (business books can get a little old) I discovered his clever Rithmatist audio book. The reading was decent but the story was clever. I am pretty sure most people discover Sanderson’s work this way but his clever creation of an alternate universe with a new magic system really grabbed my attention. So I looked for more of his work.
I discovered: Mistborn
Mistborn reads like an Orson Scott Card novel. It is quick to get into, and he uncovers the details of his universe – teasing and revealing in an almost sing song way. He teases, then reveals at just the right intervals exposing you to something new so you think, “What is that?” Then within the next chapter comes your answer. He masterfully leaves you in a state of intrigue and gratification, carefully and skillfully stepping you deeper and deeper into the world of his head.
In the end he brilliantly binds together all of the elements in that magical way that you realize with a start all the pieces of the puzzle felt like they were there from the beginning, but you were looking at them wrong. As he uncovers each layer of the plot, everything makes sense except the central mystery – which he manages to turn skillfully upon it’s head and like an origami flower a flat piece of paper becomes this wonderfully complex thing in your mind, and everything you experienced up until that moment acts like a new story to you.
Events take on new meaning, characters grow richer, and your frustrations turn to pride as the characters live out their convictions in a way that is utterly consistent with who you hope they are.
I cannot recommend Mistborn highly enough. It is high fantasy, but it is the characters struggling with their own humanity that make the stories compelling.
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