A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.
©2009 Brandon Sanderson (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
"Fantasy isn't my usual genre, but ..."
Straight off, I'll admit that I'm not a reader of fantasy novels. I'm not averse to them, but they never leap out at me and make me choose them over a good biography, historical naval adventure, or the occasional bit of sci fi. However, on this occasion I just saw it, and thought that I should give it a whirl for a bit of a change. I have no regrets with the decision.
Whilst this is quite a long book, the story moves at a good pace, never dragging and never racing too fast; it is well written, not prose bordering on the poetic, like Mr Rushdie, but pefect for the tale being told. Whilst not wanting to reveal story details, it is very reminiscent of Frank Herbert's Dune in the depth of world that has been created and the politcal grounding of the story (don't worry, the book is not a political statement - such books are not my cup of tea). Yes, I have to admit that some of the characters are thinly fleshed out; however, from vast experience of reading books which are praised for the depth and detail of all of the characters, I think that it is a good sacrefice for stary telling tempo.
After listening to this book, I would imagine that Mr Sanderson is well on his way to being considered as a master of his genre, should he not already be considered so, and I imagine that the film rights to this book have already been bought.
If you have found that yourselves feeling the need for a change of style, then I highly recommend this book as your metaphoric sorbet to cleanse your literary palate.
"Captivating in places but clumsy in others..."
So let's start with the positive; his concept of a 'magic' system is very intriguing, novel and ultimately very satisfying when coupled with a decent action scene. The storyline and backdrop is also very interesting although the plot and character style seems to change focus at times, something that the author has himself admited in articles I've seen.
I think I'd rate this 3.5 stars if I could. My main criticisms are the very basic writing style plus the lack of gritty detail and descriptive elements. The author constantly uses the same words and phrases over and over again, and seemingly has no hesitation in describing conversations between characters as "she said, then he said, then she said, then he said" etc etc, almost as if his vocabulary is limited.
You often find characters in rooms or settings where nothing is described in detail and the characters themselves aren't particularly 'fleshed out' sufficiently at times. The monotone narration I would rate as poor, which probably compounds the issues I describe above.
With all that said, I did enjoy the book and I now find myself wanting to know what happens in the universe he's created, but without wanting to subject myself to hours of the same boring narrative style. hhhmmmm, what to do.....
"Fantasy Fiction that will suprise you...."
Well write with excellent characters especially the main Female character. Fantastic and original Magic system that puts this series of books apart from other Fantasy fiction.
Brandon writes very cleanly and I would prefer more gritty detail to spice up the story, but to be honest the story is perfect as is.
I recommend this book, I was surprised at how good it is.
"A breath of fresh (albeit misty) air"
It's been a while since I saw anyone bring anything new to the genre but Brandon Sanderson has created something unique in this setting, I won't give too much away but he's developed a really creative magic system. Michael Kramer also does a good job with the reading of the book, he adds a little characterisation to the voices of the characters but doesn't overdo it.
"Oliver twist is a girl with amazing powers"
A totally new form of magic use, sublime in it's creation fantastic in it's theories and moulded amazingly well into a story of a young street urchin who found in bud then blossoms into a noble woman and a metal burner extraordinaire! One of the most original magical genres used in a great new rendition of the diamond in the rough comes good storyline, with some hideous villains in the shape of the Steel Inquisitors. I would recommend it to anyone and will be reading the sequels.
It started slowly and I was not quite sure I had made a good choice. But books often take a few pages to get into. Once I did I couldn't turn it off. This is one of the best fantasies I have read in a long time and I cannot wait to start the next. It is the usual mix of good versus evil with strong characterisation and almost believable magic. A really enjoyable read.
I really enjoyed this book, very high quality fantasy. Definately different and interesting and the characters really come to life, one always wants to listen to more ... and plenty long enough too.
Fantasy is a genre that can be a bit limited at times but this story and the series seem to be well balanced and offer something new and valuable.
Well worth exploring
I read a lot of fantasy, grew up on the likes of David Eddings, which I loved as a kid, anyone who still loves Eddings will love this. It’s fantasy from the very simple uncomplicated side.
I see 2 types of fantasy, this stuff and the "hard" stuff like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie or George RR Martin. If you lean more towards Erikson & co you will be very very bored by this. That said I'd highly recommend it to anyone who loves the lighter style.
It’s a bit Twilight meets Belgariad... which won't be a bad thing for many. But if you are used to the intrigues of Westeros or trying to figure what the hell is going on in Malazan this will not be your bag.
So it’s sort of 1 star if you are hoping for Abercrombie / Erikson, 4 stars if hoping for Sparhawk. I was hoping for the former.
"A firm favourite"
Easily one of the best fantasy novels ever written. Sanderson has a completely unique narrative style and the 'magic' system he has developed for this world is simply incredible. Just buy it!
ps, anyone else think tht Michael Kramer (the narrator) sounds like Zap Brannigan from Futurama?
"Imaginative and Delightful"
As a Wheel of Time fan, I came to Brandon Sanderson's books to check out whether he was the right choice to finish Robert Jordan's epic. I wasn't disappointed!
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