*WARNING: SPOILERS BE ROAMING BELOW* (…just in case you didn’t read the post title)
For the curious minded, here’s a list of what I specifically liked and didn’t like about the series:
Book 1 Likes: Atypical characters Kelsier, Vin and Elend. Perhaps not entirely original (you can find a foil for anything if you look long enough) but enough that they deviated from the being cutouts like a fantasy knockoff would have. Delightfully layered, with clear motivations, weaknesses and quirks to lend insight to their personalities. Vin especially impressed me as a character not often seen in high-fantasy: the young street-rat, closed off to the world and slightly crazy (Reen’s voice in her head)… and a girl. She manages to stay feminine and strong, not giving up either to make a point. Thank you, Sanderson.
The immediate world-building. Nice and subtle, but with a distinct effect. Little nudges about the landscape and the people work together to create a vibrant world.
The mist-cloaks. I want one. I have a friend who can make them, and I’m willing to pay him.
Book 1 Dislikes: Kelsier died. Are you freaking kidding me? I hear he’s… back-ish in the secret history, though, so I won’t hold it against you. Probably.
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Book 2 Likes: The ending twist (holy crap they’d been played all along–Ruin as the mastermind? Brilliant.)
Ore-seur/Ten-soon. Despite his being the next in a long line of betrayals, I loved him as a character. Even after discovering he was the betrayer (at that point I was fairly unsurprised by any double-crossing, there was so much of it) I couldn’t help but love him. He hadn’t changed, only who he worked for. Which, being a Kandra, he couldn’t really help. And he even got over it (…by betraying his people) to stay true to his friend. Ok, so… mixed feelings. If you need to betray someone to do the right thing, does it still count? Is your word or morality more important? IDK go watch Bridge of Spies.
Sazed. He got some much needed and appreciated development in this books (which makes sense considering the last one). And although I still think it was a mistake on Sanderson’s part for the man to lose faith after losing his lady friend, I do appreciate the effort to deepen the complexity of the character.
Book 2 Dislikes: the typifying of Vin (come on, Sanderson, gimme romantic-angst I haven’t seen before)
Straff’s racy encounters with his evil mistriss (there’s a line between telling and showing, and it’s good to know where it is and when to stay on which side.)
The mass quantity of betrayals. Betray your friend (Oreseur), your city (what’s his bucket the next leader of Luthadel), your family (Zane, the flouncy girl–Allriane) yourself (Sazed). There’s more, those are just the stand-outs. Nobody can hold onto truth for longer than five minutes in this installment, because it likely isn’t the reality of things. Slow down, Sanderson, give your audience time to breathe before someone else goes down the drain.
The mass quantity of blood. This book felt the bloodiest by far, with Vin rampaging and the Koloss rampaging and everybody rampaging. So much blood–all purposeful, but a bit tactless.
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Book 3 Likes: Vin and Elend died. A bit contrary to my usual maxim (if there’s romance, they’ve gotta end up together), but really they did end up together… in the afterlife. And really, they deserve the rest.
The tying of the threads: 16 metals, 16 seconds, 16 shards. Everything from every previous book comes together to shape one grand picture–like the three magics. Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. Each with their own uses and ties to their powers. Ruin, Preservation and Harmony. Ohh, you connected that all well.
Marsh. Marsh’s character got a lot of development this time around, and I’m glad for it. He made for a well done representation of an interesting dilemma in Super-hero stories (Bucky comes most readily to mind): how do I best help others if I cannot trust myself? Is killing myself the best way to do it? Not to make light of suicide, but an interesting question for the ultra-powerful.
Book 3 Dislikes:
The de-villification of the Lord Ruler. Just because he tried to make preparations against Ruin doesn’t make him a better person. Common enemies do not allies or friends make, contrary to popular opinion. Imo.
Spook’s insecurity. When I first met Spook I saw a different path of character growth for him in my head, and he didn’t go that way. Oh well, you can’t win them all. He was still pretty boss.
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Throughout Likes: The magic. You, sir, should never stop making gorgeous, creative magic systems. They’re a delight to read about.
The header texts: It was always so fun to piece together clues along with
Throughout Dislikes: None, really. Bradon Sanderson is nothing if not good at improving his craft, and he managed to drastically improve each previous mistake by the next book, if not fix it outright. Thank you, Cosmere, for another fun ride–see you in the Alloy of Law!
Thanks for reading,