Archive for Mistborn

Bad Hats

Posted in Fiction, New release, Recommendations with tags , , on November 15, 2011 by jaclemens

“Bad hats. A bad hat could make a man right disagreeable, and that was the truth.” So goes Wayne’s theory, but the theory goes only so far; the antagonist in The Alloy of Law is a man who has always detested hats. On the other hand (head?), Wayne is continually trading hats, looking for the proper fit after his lucky hat is stolen. Of the two men on the cover, Wayne is the one touching the brim of his hat and shouldering a gun. In keeping with the characters’ proclivities the shotgun really belongs in the hands of the other man, Waxilium; however, its inclusion is an indication that this is a different sort of Mistborn book.

Calling it a Mistborn book is a bit of a misnomer, actually, as the only Mistborn mentioned are those of legend: the Survivor, the Ascendant Warrior, the Last Emperor, and the Lord Mistborn, who founded the new society some three centuries prior to the events of this book. Allomancy and Feruchemy are still prevalent, but the practitioners are granted a single ability, or, in the case of Twinborn individuals like Wax and Wayne, one of each. This opens new combinations of the abilities introduced in the first trilogy, and the emerging industrial setting provides a new arena for their use. Waxilium is able to Steelpush (Allomancy) and manipulate his weight (Feruchemy), which gives him great leaping abilities, although it’s Wayne (manipulate time and healing) who provides the book with levity (he could be a descendant of the noble Smedry line, for those who have read the Alcatraz series).

The Alloy of Law is not the beginning of the next Mistborn trilogy, which Sanderson has stated will be urban fantasy, but an intercessory story that bridges the two trilogies. As such it is a stand alone book, although the reader would be at a disadvantage without having read the first trilogy. It’s an entertaining inversion of the great caper that inspired the first Mistborn book, as theft once again becomes a engine of social change (the quarry is more than just lucky hats).


Epic Ending: The Hero of Ages review

Posted in New release, Recommendations, reviews with tags , , on October 22, 2008 by jaclemens

When I asked Brandon Sanderson what creative control he had over the artwork for the covers of his novels he said that he had little say in the matter, but he did request that The Hero of Ages, the third and final book in the Mistborn series, be given a cover with more of an epic feel.  Judging a cover by its book, the artwork isn’t epic enough!  The world of ash and mist has reached its zenith and utter destruction is imminent.  The magnitude of the peril that has encompassed Vin and the empire she protects is not completely conveyed in the scene depicted on the cover, although it is a scene of tremendous impact!  I’m in awe of the magnitude of planning that Sanderson put into this series.  As things fell into place and many (but not all) secrets were revealed, I got the sense that the series was written in reverse order, all portents culminating in a truly epic ending.  Sanderson’s writing has a tendency to be repetitious and the phrase “homicidal hat trick” seems out of place in a society that doesn’t play hockey, but those are very minor flaws and are easily offset by his exceptional depth and inventiveness.  Sanderson has demonstrated he has the planning capability necessary to finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and I look forward to his next original series!

Universal Appeal

Posted in New release with tags , , , , on May 7, 2008 by jaclemens

After reading a healthy dose of non-fiction, I’m ready for another science fiction binge. Coincidentally, one of yesterday’s new releases was The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I’m one of the minority of readers in Utah who has not read her immensely popular Twilight series for young adults, so I had no expectations that might affect my opinion of her first book for adults. I checked out a copy yesterday and began reading it on my lunch break.

As a bookseller, one is forced to accept the realization that not every book is right for every reader. A good bookseller is a matchmaker in a sense, using their first-hand knowledge to match the right book to the right reader. A book can be like one of Meyer’s alien souls, moving in and taking possession of the reader’s mind. Sometimes the soul and its host are a good match, and other times they are not. This book is not a good match for me. I do not doubt that it will be right for many, many people, but I will have to remain in the minority on this one. I read the first 90 pages before deciding to stop. Rather than reading Meyer, I am turning to another LDS writer of science fiction: Brandon Sanderson. I enjoyed his Elantris and have successfully matched it to other readers. His Mistborn series has been steadily moving up my reading list, and I’m ready to see if it is a match.