It is official. After having read Elantris and this first Mistborn novel (plus his work on the Wheel of Time) Brandon Sanderson is one of the best currently living fantasy authors around.
Mistborn delves into political intrigue, into religion, into the masks people use to hide who they truly are, into superstition and into everyday human emotions. In many ways Mistborn addresses very deep philosophical issues while also being very entertaining. And that in my eyes is the mark of a great writer: a man or woman capable of creating an enjoyable story full of hidden depth.
If you enjoyed Elantris you would enjoy this novel. There is a strong female character, little reliance on cliches and sound plotting and storytelling. The world building is incredibly memorable revealing Sanderson's incredible work ethic as he spares no liberties in layering his world with minutiae as well as a plethora of grand ideas. This is a living and breathing world written in a style that I very much enjoyed. The writing was literary in some aspects, poetic in others and all around a gentle narrative that could be grasped by any fantasy lover as something slightly more fresh.
The magic system was very entertaining and the action derived from it exciting. However I still have a question. Like with many unique magic systems who was it that discovered they could digest metal and 'burn' it to induce specific results? Not only that they could only digest specific metals and perform such acts and the pewter has to be made a special way. Still I'm not complaining. It is simply a question that made me wonder.
This is a grand imaginative tale. If you enjoy fantasy but have had enough of elves, dragons and dwarves (yes we all love Tolkien but sometimes authors need to break a little away from what other people have already written) read this. It will be something a little different centering on humans in a fantastical devastated land.
Add-on June 15th 2012:
After a little more thought I decided that I'd post a little additional information. Some people argue that Sanderson's work is cliché and long-winded. I can see the long-winded nature of his work in places but if we are talking cliché he uses far less clichés than other works of fiction.
My argument will remain (until someone convinces me otherwise) that the use of cliché is not necessarily bad writing. It is in fact a persuasive technique used to familiarise the audience with what you are writing. Yes an overworking of cliché may be bad but to use cliché here and there I do not agree is poor writing. My argument I back up with the fact that there are no truly original works of fiction anymore.
I think most of the original plots were used up by the time Shakespeare came along. I mean I'm certain I could find a way in which any contemporary work of fiction imitates Shakespeare - who in turn imitated the stories of the Greek and Roman bards. This is of course a subjective argument and will remain so.