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Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) - Brandon Sanderson,  Michael Kramer Wow. I'll start with that. Wow.There is just something about a good, or great, fantasy that gets me really excited. Sanderson exquisitely delivers some incredible world building skills in the first installment of the Mistborn series. I was thoroughly transported into Luthadel during each read.I loved Vin. Actually, I disliked much about her but I think her small character flaws made me love her even more. She starts off so quiet and small and ends up as this bigger than life young woman ready to take on so much. Maybe not everything, but still so so much.All the characters were wonderful and each so richly distinct. Some caring and humorous, some snobby and cruel, others all too arrogant but all were interesting. "You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way.."Beneath a wealth of wonderful world building and amazing character development is an outstanding story. It's not just a tale of a young girl's journey to becoming a hero. It is that, of course. But there is so much more. It's a tale of friendship and love and lost love and pain and oppression and religion and oh hell, so much. There are some very endearing moments followed promptly by some epic fights, then some profound learning experience. "Belief isn't simply a thing for fair times and bright days...What is belief - what is faith - if you don't continue in it after failure?...Anyone can believe in someone, or something that always succeeds...But failure...ah, now, that is hard to believe in, certainly and truly. Difficult enough to have value. Sometimes we just have to wait long enough...then we find out why exactly it was that we kept believing...There's always another secret."I won't spend much time going into too many of the details, this is a large book. A 26+ hour audio. Needless to say, we would be here all day if I gave a thorough synopsis. However, for any fantasy lover it is well worth the time spent. There is a new take on magic that blew my mind, it involves metals and is so exquisitely developed that I actually feel smarter for having read it. Yes, I'm a dork - what? There were action scenes and plot twists that stole my breath, and just a sprinkle of a heart tingling romance...what more could you ask for? Brandon Sanderson is to younger readers what George R.R. Martin is to adult readers, a master of fantasy.