Despite looking like the cover of a sexy female led romance novel, Mistborn is actually quite good. And if you imagine the heroine as sexy you have problems because she is 16.

On some distant planet, or it could be ours, the government consists of a single man, the Lord Ruler. A powerful Allomancer who is said to be a piece of the infinite. He is immortal, and rules with an iron fist. The noblemen get to live as they please as long as they make money, and the skaa live and work as little more than slaves. Kelsier, survivor of the pits of Hathsin, wants to change that. His plan? Topple the government, kill the Lord Ruler, change the balance of power.

How is he going to do that? By recruiting his former thieving crew members. Yes, it’s a bit of Ocean’s 11. But he’s got one more trick up his sleeve, the orphan Vin, who secretly has more power than even Kelsier.

The city of Luthadel and the world of the Final Empire are richly described. This is a place that feels real. A post-apocalypse (but we don’t know what happened) wasteland where ash falls from the sky like rain and stains everything, plants are all brown, and colors are reserved for the noblemen. At night, the mist takes over, scaring all people inside, except for the Mistborn: the lucky few who have fantastic powers by “burning” different metals. A league of Magneto’s if you will.

The powers that Vin slowly learns are detailed and clearly well thought out. No single power is too strong or can’t be countered by another skilled Allomancer. You can feel Vin’s strength, but you can also feel her fear when she goes up against the Inquisitors. Hulking priests with metal spikes for eyes who hunt down skaa and Allomancers alike. She’ll have to burn plenty of pewter to kill one of them.

All in all, this is one really fun fantasy novel with great characters, great magical powers, and a female lead who actually feels like a real person and not a caricature. How is this not a show yet?

3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

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