Mistborn: The Champion of Ages, review: the conclusion of Age One of the Sanderson saga

Mistborn: The Champion of Ages, review: the conclusion of Age One of the Sanderson saga


I always prefer a novel with a weak ending but excellent characters than the reverse. It's hard to find a clearer statement of intent than the one with which Brandon Sanderson welcomes the readers of Mistborn - The Champion of the Ages, the final chapter of the first trilogy of his most famous fantasy saga. It should be conceded that this statement by Sanderson is included in the preface of an edition that re-proposes his novel, originally published in 2008, which allows the author to have a detached gaze from his younger self. Today, in fact, we are used to recognizing an unmistakable authorial vein in Sanderson, based on his three famous Sanderson Laws, but when the first cycle of Mistborn, better known as Era One, was taking its first steps, Sanderson's well-deserved fame was still a long way off. .

The opportunity presented by Mondadori to reread the Era One of Mistborn (The Last Empire, The Well of the Ascension and The Champion of the Ages), thanks to a wonderful re-edition within the series of Draghi, allows you to carry out this retrospective analysis together with the author. Before Mistborn, Sanderson had a few short stories and a novel, Elantris, to his credit, which were much more contained than the creation of a complex social mechanism like that of Luthadel, the scene of the adventures of Vin, and her fellow Allomancers. Yet, already in this first phase of his career, the American writer seems to have found his own stylistic identity, capable of integrating the needs of a shrewd world building with the enhancement of individual characters.

Mistborn: The Champion of Ages, the conclusion of the first Mistborn trilogy

Thinking back to Mistborn's contemporary fantasy series, it catches the eye how the Sanderson saga focuses on a small number of characters. Contrary to cycles such as The Song of Ice and Fire or The Wheel of Time (saga concluded by Sanderson himself after the death of the author, Robert Jordan), Mistborn does not try to convey the complexity of this setting by populating it with countless characters to be used in the occurrence, but concentrates all the necessary narrative junctions on the essential figures. From The Last Empire to The Champion of the Ages we do not see a swelling of the parterre of heroes and villains, our attention is kept on the same, small circle of protagonists, on which a plot is woven that evolves in an almost symbiotic relationship: how the world affects the choices of the protagonists, they act directly on the world itself.

The end of an era, the beginning of the next

Sanderson, with Mistborn's Era One, sets up a story in which not only social analysis is central, but rather the impact that religion and traditions, with cultural and emotional superstructures, they can impose. The figure of the Lord Ruler had become the fulcrum of a theocratic regime, which had transformed a man eager to save his world into a divine being, and the new order born of the fall of the Final Empire seems to be moving in the same direction. With this vision, Sanderson allows himself a broader analysis of his own world, also projecting it towards a more modern version, in which the divine is deprived of his mystical aura. Element that will be the cornerstone of Era Two, which should continue the complex plot of the Mistborn saga.

Waiting for Mondadori, who took over the Sanderson rights from the previous publisher, to bring the first chapter of the Era Second of Mistborn, The Law of the Land, re-reading the Era Prima is possible thanks to the re-edition within the Draghi series. A prestige edition, with graphics that make full respect to the epic context of Mistborn.

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