Mistborn - the 2nd Era comes to a close with The Lost Metal

Posted by Lore on Sat, 12/10/2022 - 04:49

The Mistborn series started way back in 2006 and felt rather complete at the time. It was unique for many reasons, but one of the things that stood out was the detailed magic system that used various metals to generate amazing powers. Allomancers are able to metabolize metals and do amazing things with them, leveraging different metals in various ways. Most people gifted in this way burn only a single metal, but very rarely someone is able to burn them all, and such a person is called Mistborn. Little did I know at the time, but author Brandon Sanderson had a plan to keep the series going in a rather unique way. He wanted to take this magic based society and move it forward through time to explore how industrial and technological advancement would mix with magic. The Alloy of Law kicks off the 2nd Era and introduces two very entertaining main characters in Wax & Wayne, taking place a full 300 years after the original. This series combines a Wild West vibe with the Allomancy of the original series, adds in even more magic systems, and then expands to explore the Cosmere in a detailed way. Does it all add up to something worth your time or does Sanderson take it all a bit too far?

After the third book in the series I felt like Sanderson was indeed taking it a bit too far, but luckily there are four books in total. His desire to position all of his worlds in his bigger Cosmere adds layers of complexity that can at times feel un-needed, but I am happy to report that The Lost Metal, the final book of the 2nd Age, finds a nice balance to it all. There is no doubt that Sanderson creates some really interesting characters and that means you want to spend time with them. You want their actions to be their own and for them to matter to the story at hand. So as the series went on, and the scope of the story increased out into the Cosmere, the characters were becoming a smaller piece of a larger whole and I found myself becoming disenchanted. Luckily the series finale found better balance between these two opposing forces and in the end left me fondly looking forward to the 3rd Era, which is supposed to start in 2025. I still prefer the original Mistborn series to the 2nd Era, but I am glad for the time I spent with Wax and Wayne and I prefer them to any of the characters in the original series.

Michael Kramer narrates all of the Mistborn books and his performance as Wayne is not to be missed. There is no doubt in mind that I would have enjoyed the series less if I had read it myself instead of listening to Kramer's performance.