mtvessel: (Default)
Sep-Nov 2012
The Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson - Gollancz, 2009
* * * * / * * * * / * *
My teenage years were, I think, quite unusual, in that they were the happiest of my life. I loved the freedom to do anything I wanted without the responsibility of jobs or the baggage of relationships. So much so that I sometimes consider my life since to be an ongoing experiment in arrested development. I know that the man-child is a common trope (especially in adverts - why do advertisers deliberately seek to alienate half their potential customers?), but I honestly think that I have taken it to a new level. I still do most of the things that I enjoyed doing when I was in my teens - playing games, reading fantasies and SF, composing music. The true marks of a mature adult - sophisticated tastes for fine wine and "literary" fiction, relationships that go beyond good friendship - I seem to have bypassed.

Occasionally, though, I discover something that makes me realise that I have moved on a little, and this trilogy is one. If I had read it as a teenager, the ideas in it would probably have had the same impact on me as Michael Moorcock's writing did (his Eternal Champion and Dancers at the End of Time series continue to influence my fantasy creations to this day). As an adult, I think the setting and the magical system are startlingly original, but now I notice the simplistic characterisation and the lumpen exploration of themes, and they spoil the fun. Try as I might, my teenage self isn't coming back.
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