As I mentioned in my previous review, I jumped into this second entry in the Mistborn series immediately upon finishing the first. I won’t bring up any spoilers for this novel below, but please be warned: major, though perhaps expected, elements of the previous novel will unavoidably be brought up.
This story reunites the reader with the surviving members of Kelsier’s crew. A year has passed since the end of the last book and our heroes have had limited success consolidating their victory under the benevolent kingship of Elend Venture. Challenging his legitimacy, however, are three aspiring kings who have lain siege to Luthadel in the hopes of seizing both political power and the Lord Ruler’s rumored store of riches. Included among them are Elend’s estranged father, a desperate warlord, and a former friend who has somehow managed to control the monstrous Koloss, the feared elite forces of the Lord Ruler. Despite these threats, Vin’s thoughts lay elsewhere. Haunted by the Lord Ruler’s dying words, she feels ominous forces gathering in the world, manifested by a phantom creature stalking her in the mists and the calling of an ancient power running through her mind. And if that wasn’t enough, a rival Mistborn arrived with the enemy forces and has taken a keen interest in Vin, leading her to doubt both her relationship with Elend and role within his government.
I found this an excellent followup to the first book and enjoyed it every bit as much. I particularly liked having more of the world and its inhabitants revealed. Whereas the first novel was mainly focused on the inner working of the crew and events in and around Luthadel, this time we’re given a glimpse of what is going on elsewhere as well. We also get more formal introductions to other the other magical beings in this world groups like the formidable koloss warriors, shape-shifting kandra spies, as well as the more well-meaning and scholarly Terris people who their own unique abilities involving metallic alloys called Feruchemy. As for the characters, I liked both Vin and Elend (which is fortunate since they are the main ones), though I did feel that the story occasionally slowed down around them in a few places on account of repetitive dwelling on their unchanging mental states that came up more frequently than necessary. I also really liked that Sazed had a bigger role in this story since I feel like there is a lot of potential with his character.
Although answers to my biggest questions about this world understandably go unanswered here, there were a lot of interesting reveals to be had. Going along with this new information was plenty of action and intrigue, not to mention a huge cliffhanger ending. Put this all together and it made for an excellent bridge novel wrapping up the previous story and starting the next. It certainly made me eager to press on.