“Tresting nodded as he watched the crow of lazy skaa, some working with their hoes, others on hands and knees, pushing the ash away from the fledgling crops. They didn't complain. They didn't hope. They barely dared think. That was the way it should be, for they were skaa. They were—
Tresting froze as one of the skaa looked up. The man met Tresting's eyes, a spark—no, a fire—of defiance showing in his expression. Tresting had never seen anything like it, not in the face of a skaa. Tresting stepped backward reflexively, a chill running through him as the strange, straight-backed skaa held his eyes.
The story begins in the prologue with our mysterious hero, Kelsier. He's a very likeable character with both a serious side and an eccentric sense of humor, in spite of a tragic past. Later on we are introduced to the secondary protagonist, a sixteen year old girl named Vin, who is working for a thieving crew. She lives in a brutal world, but she survives through her smarts and a strange ability that she refers to as her "Luck."
The world in which the story takes place is ruled by an immortal tyrant/god called (what else?) the Lord Ruler. A bit of an unoriginal title, in my opinion. The heroes are members of the lower caste, or slaves, called the skaa. Kelsier is the leader of a special thieving crew of an interesting cast of characters. Through coincidence Vin and Kelsier meet, and Kelsier takes her under his wing.
Without giving too much of the story away, I can tell you that this book has the most unique magic system I've seen in a while. Both Kelsier and Vin are called Mistborn, a select group of Allomancers (magic users), or people who can draw power from different metals by "burning" them. Normally Allomancers can only burn one type of metal, but Mistborn can burn all types. Burning different metals creates different effects. For example, when burning brass, the Allomancer is able to sooth the emotions of others, hence they are called Soothers. Pewter makes the body stronger and so on. I've never seen a magic system quite like it in any other story, but who knows, maybe I need to read more.
In this corrupt society, what else does the roguish Kelsier want to do? Why take down the government of the Final Empire and the Lord Ruler with the help of his crew, of course.
With that bit of information, I think I'll stop there. Wouldn't want to give anything away... What is even better is that there are a couple more books to go in the trilogy, and I can't wait to get started. But even if you didn't want to go on to the next book, the story wraps up quite nicely. There are a few unanswered questions at the end, but you aren't left with a staggering cliffhanger like some obnoxious books will do to you. So, would I recommend this book? Absolutely positively.