Hmm. What to say about this book. Well. It’s one of those epic novels, and the first in its trilogy, so there’s something. The general plot follows a rebellion: the nobles are subjugating (as they do) people called skaa, who are not really different from the nobles but hey, someone needs subjugating, yes? And there are some skaa who don’t like the life they have and who want better. And there are some crazy skaa who decide to rebel. But not just like, “Hey, let’s rebel!” but like, “Hey, let’s rebel in like a year and spend that time making this rebellion AWESOME.” So they do. But things, of course, go right and wrong on a whim, and then there is epic fighting. Sweet!
So that was good.
Now, the fantastical conceit in this novel irked me for about the first three or four hundred pages. It is this: certain noble people who have some good genes can use magic. And even certain-er noble people with excellent genes can use lots of magic. But the magic comes from, um, swallowing metals. And then “burning” them. So, like, you can “burn” iron to pull on something made of metal, like a coin or a piece of armor. And you can burn tin to enhance your senses. And you can burn bronze to see if other people are using magic metal flakes. Not so irksome, you say? But, see, I know these things because Sanderson KEPT TELLING ME EVERY TIME SOMEONE USED A STUPID METAL. “Oh, this guy used pewter and got awesome strong!” “Falling was okay, because her pewter-enhanced muscles were awesome strong!” “If only she had some pewter, so she could become awesome strong!” Oh. My. Gosh.
But then at the end it seems Sanderson decided to trust the reader, and of course then I got confused about whether a metal was being used or not. -sigh-
Whatever. The end of the book was totally worth it, and it was great that his main protagonist was a girl, and I definitely want to know what happens to all these cool characters in the next book. But I swear, if I get babied about again, I’m going to swallow some pewter and then throw the book in the general direction of Brandon Sanderson.