I first discovered fantasy author Brandon Sanderson when I read The Gathering Storm, book 12 of the famous The Wheel of Time series, which Sanderson had been asked to finish after the death of Robert Jordan, the series’ creator. I was hugely impressed by Sanderson’s work on that book – so much so that I immediately went out in search of his other novels, and found this, Mistborn: The Final Empire, the first book of his epic fantasy Mistborn trilogy.
Fans of epic fantasy will all be familiar with the over-used trope of a protagonist who begins the story as a young farmer, discovers he/she has hidden magical powers, and then embarks on an epic quest to defeat a “Dark Lord” *cough* Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Truth; practically 90% of all fantasy books *end cough*. A modern fantasy author has to break away from this overused – and now horribly clichéd – story arch if they want to write something original and interesting. Sanderson succeeds in this brilliantly, basing his trilogy on a creative new premise: imagine the Dark Lord won. Continue reading