Currently Reading: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

I am a little more than halfway through Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It is the current book club selection, and I am totally loving it. It is dense in the way that only high fantasy can be. But Sanderson is truly gifted. He has created an amazing magic system, and he is skilled in descriptions that are just right.

I only have one predicition, though it isn’t for lack of trying. The book keeps the end in shadow in a way that makes you want to keep reading. Hit the jump for the prediction!

I think that the Lord Ruler is the “hero who failed”.

Are you a fan of Sanderson’s work? How did you feel about the Mistborn series?
This book is quickly earning a place on my favorites shelf.

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6 thoughts on “Currently Reading: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

  1. Thanks for the blog, friend. I enjoy the prediction as well. It makes sense. I’m leaving a comment to answer some of your questions you asked.
    I am a writer, linguist, and a lover of language. I am also a huge fantasy nerd as well. I have tremendous respect for Brandon Sanderson and admire him as a true inspiration when it comes to just the world of writing in general, not to mention epic fantasy.
    Since I started writing in 2008, I have heard nothing but accolades from all my friends about this guy’s work. And he’s prolific as hell – the dude seems to put out book after book after book and (according to my friends), they’re consistently good.
    So I decided to pick up Mistborn and start.

    I’m currently in the middle of Mistborn (around page 460) and I gotta be honest, I’m not as impressed as I thought I was going to be. That’s not to say that he has done a fine thing with the story, the magic system and the world. I wouldn’t say it’s phenomenal, but I would consider it solid for a professional writer of fantasy. It’s good, but I wouldn’t go much more than that.

    But for me what has been pushing me over the edge has been the language he uses.

    I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a language pedant and no one else would notice, or if it’s just his style, but I’ve found four language errors as I’m going along, the one which made me almost put down the book for good was on page 403. I’m not sure if you’re there yet or not. If you’d like I can let you find it and see if it’s something you find noticeable. Or I can just tell you.
    Then I found another on page 456 and another shortly after that.

    Then I started thinking to myself (and this is in no way to discount him), “He may throw out an average of two books a year (a feat challenging for most professional authors), but for me if the language quality’s sub-par, what does it all mean?

    Again, that’s just me. And again, I think of him as a phenomenal inspiration in the world of writing and a huge contributor to fantasy. And, I also recognize that this was one of his earlier works and I’ve heard Way of Kings is unreal and I have to read it. My friends tell me that his writing style totally changes and it’s the best fantasy many of them have read. But I still can’t help but wonder if his language changes. Perhaps his storytelling really does become amazing, but what of the language.

    Just some thoughts for you. Thanks again for the post.

    • I’m not quite to the pages that you have mentioned (I am around page 310), but I will keep an eye out for errors when I get there. If I can’t find them, I will definitely ask you to share what it was you found. I love discussions like this, and am frequently one of the only ones who notices the errors in language when I am reading something.

      As an aspiring writer, language should be something that I know inside and out. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that it isn’t. However, I can catch some errors, and simple prose both insults me and bores me to tears when paired with sub-par storytelling. It becomes a little more tolerable when the story and characters are well written and engaging.

      This is the first time I have read anything of Sanderson’s, and it is a book club selection. Given my choice, I would have held out for the last few books of the Wheel of Time series, but I digress.

      While Sanderson’s language isn’t all flourishes and description, I think that is something that I appreciate in something as dense as Mistborn. The first third of the book is nothing but worldbuilding. I think it is also entirely possible that as a reader I am being swept away in the novelty of a “new” idea (the hero who fails, the magic system relying on metals, etc.) that I am overlooking some of the shortcomings of the book. I do that frequently.

      Thanks for the comment! I hope you will check back and keep commenting, as I really enjoyed your viewpoint on the language!

      • WP –
        Thanks for the great reply, friend. Yeah, let’s keep in touch on this stuff. I’m all about language so I think it would a good topic for us to share in the future.
        -LP

    • So, I am a little further along. I didn’t find the error at 403 (and I read a few pages before and after to account for different versions) and would love for you to share what it was that almost drove you to put down the book.

      I did find one on page 441 of my copy (which is where I am currently). It reads “Clubs’s shop” when it should be “Clubs’ shop”.

  2. WP – thanks so much for the follow-up, friend. I actually ended up putting it down. I took it all the way to 475 before I couldn’t take it any more. You can hook up with my on Facebook and find my profile post about it. Just drop me a line and let me know who you are so I know that we (digitally) know each other. I have a blog too (www.lpstribling.wordpress.com) where I just talk about whatever.
    I’m just passionate about language. That’s the whole gig. Anyway, to cut the story short, there is a word on pp.403 and I believe Vin is talking with Docks (or was it Ham?) about Kelsier’s character and he says something like, “..after being a crewleader, the power can become addicting.” The word should be ‘addictive.’ There is no such word, ‘addicting’ in English. Check a few dictionaries (good ones – not something like dictionary.com or something). Anyway, he dropped something on pp. 475 that I just couldn’t take. It was just one sentence, but it was enough for me.
    Again, the man is a story and worldbuilding architect and I highly respect and admire him for that, but for me, language is…well, it’s important. I’m not saying that people have to write with absolute flawless grammar and spelling, but there were just far too many errors there for me to overlook. I don’t mind a few here and there, but when it’s as often as it was for me, it doesn’t work. But again, that’s my opinion. I could be sitting next to someone else who loved the book and couldn’t put it down. To some people, the story and the world are higher on the list than language, and that’s just the way they see it.

    Thanks so much again for keeping in touch. Let’s continue. Look me up and let’s chat some more. Take care.

  3. Pingback: Review: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (Spoiler Free) | Written Permission

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