People have said it’s not as good as Mistborn Era 1, and I suppose it that yes I have to agree. It’s still really good, and is incredibly fun to read, but I didn’t feel that sense of awe that I did when reading Era 1 or Stormlight. Furthermore, it’s also really short that I can’t really classify it as “Epic Fantasy” as I generally see them as these massive books with this massive sense of scope that this book just didn’t really have? I mean, for the most part, it takes place in the city of Elendel which is this rapidly industrialising place.
For those that don’t know, this book is set on the world/planet of Scadrial where it has been three hundred years since the Hero of Ages and without the jurisdiction of the Lord Ruler, the world has rapidly industrialised into this steampunk world where there are now railroads, early automobiles and the use of guns. What is really good is that the way Sanderson has managed to combine his magic systems and use them effectively in a much more advanced world.
The world building is quite good, though the scale is nowhere near what was seen in many of his other books, not only due to the length of the book, but also since three hundred years is not the longest amount of time to build stuff out of. I would imagine in terms of population and everything, it has yet to reach the level seen in The Final Empire and also for the fact the map shows a fairly small world only a few hundred miles across. I did really love the whole atmosphere of the book and it does show that Sanderson can write books in other time periods beyond the traditional medieval fantasy trope in the very same world which is pretty cool.
The characters were witty and overall great, though I can’t help but see quite a lot of Shallan in Marasi in how she constantly blushes and also her reverence and excitement around her idols I suppose, similar to what Shallan was like. Wax and Wayne were both your typical brother like, I’ve known you too long and I’m going to keep teasing you because I know it annoys you vibe, and for the most part, I did like the interactions between the two characters. From what we I have seen of Steris, I think she has the potential to develop into a really interesting character, especially towards the end of the book there as my first impressions of her was not exactly the best.
Due to the fact that it is a lot shorter, there was much less political bickering and the book was at a faster pace than many of Sanderson’s other epic fantasy novels. It’s also surprisingly lighthearted and it does not feel no where near as dark or foreboding, or that the stakes are that high in this book, so while many scenes were tense and exciting, they were not as alluring as they could have been I feel like.
Nonetheless, I did really enjoy it and cannot wait to read book 2 of Era 2. 8/10