Mistborn Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Mistborn

Vin becomes part of a scamming crew with an unusual job; prepare the capitol city for rebellion against the Lord Ruler. Vin is skaa-the lowest caste in her world. As part of a thieving crew, she uses her talents to influence the emotions of her company's victims. When a job goes horribly wrong, she joins a new crew with one goal; collapse the government. She does not believe the plan can work, after all, no one had ever been able to unseat the Lord Ruler.
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But Vin decides to remain on the crew, not because she thinks it can succeed, but because of what Kelsier, their boss, can teach her. Kelsier is Mistborn, he is special in that he can "burn" ingested metals and use them to alter emotions, fly through the night, enhance his senses, improve his strength and uncover other Mistborn. . . Mistborn are the perfect assassin, and Vin happens to be one.

Kelsier teaches her about the metals: there are 8 primary ones. Iron allows her to pull on nearby metals, and Steel lets her push on nearby metals. Tin will enhance the senses and Pewter enhances physical abilities, while Brass sooths emotions and Zinc riots them. The last two, Copper and Bronze allow her to hide and reveal "Allomantic Powers", respectively.

Distrustful of this new crew, she slowly learns to be Mistborn and becomes a spy at court, going by the name Valette. Her job is to gather information, gain trust, and eventually spread rumors to ignite a House war. Her job becomes easier when Elend, heir to the greatest House, becomes interested in her.

Meanwhile, Kelsier has the rest of the crew gathering weapons, recruiting skaa, infiltrating the Lord Ruler's religious sect, and generally setting up the capitol for chaos. Kelsier's main job is to Kill the Lord Ruler.

As each crew member gets closer to their goal, the House war erupts, and their plans come into action. The skaa stage their rebellion and seem to be gaining momentum until Kelsier faces the Lord Ruler and is killed. Deflated, the crew decides the job is a bust and prepare to flee when they receive instructions that Kelsier meant to die, and that their job was not yet complete.

Vin is given Kelsier's original task: to destroy the Lord Ruler. Knowing she would probably die, she eventually understands how to kill him. The Lord Ruler happens to be both a Mistborn, and a Ferchemist, meaning he can also store abilities in metal, not just burn metal for those abilities. Compounded, he was able to use the metals to live forever, until Vin pulled the metals out of him with help from a mysterious force-the Mists itself. Vin is victorious, but can't help but wonder at what cost? Unsettled, she finds Elend at his Keep, where he has taken it upon himself to reconcile the skaa and the nobility. Reunited, they hope for a better future.
Best part of story, including ending: I love the alomancy--the ability to burn metals to enhance or gain certain abilities. I find the idea 100% original and fully developed as part of the characters and of their world.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is Vin fighting Shan, another Mistborn. Shan has experience, but Vin has strength and outwits Shan in the end. . . but not before the fight, fling through the air, pushing and pulling on metals, using their enhanced strength and senses to do as much damage to each other as possible. This scene also uses the 9th metal, atium, which lets the user see seconds into the future.

Opinion about the main character: Vin is the main character and her development throughout the story is phenomenal. All the characters are round and fully developed, but Vin really acts like a real person--learning from her mistakes and genuinely wanting a better future for herself. Plus, she kicks ass in a fight because she's smart, not just gifted.

The review of this Book prepared by Christina Thompson a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of Mistborn

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   overthrowing govt/kingdom Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   thief/con artist Age:    -   20's-30's If magical mental powers:    -   is very quick Really unusual traits?    -   Super genius


Earth setting:    -   18th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Brandon Sanderson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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