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Mistborn Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mistborn Books

Mistborn: The Final Empire (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Well of Ascension (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hero of Ages (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Alloy of Law (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shadows of Self (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bands of Mourning (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Secret History (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Metal (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

About The Mistborn Series:

Mistborn is a series of fantasy novels written by Brandon Sanderson, known for completing Robert Jordans Wheel of Time following Jordans death. Sanderson has since initiated and completed many additional projects, but Mistborn is one of his most popular series’ to date.

What is Mistborn?

Mistborn is told in a world known as Scadrial, in a subregion called the Final Empire. Before establishment of the Final Empire, Sanderson tells the story of one political leader, the Lord Ruler, acquiring access to a divine power, the Well of Ascension, and using it to re-create the world and everything in it. It is this environment that houses the fantasies to which readers are privy.

Who are the Characters?

One major point in the Mistborn series is the societal division between those who supported the Lord Ruler prior to his re-creation (nobility) and those who didn’t (skaa). For the most part, skaa are treated as servants and punished for not supporting Lord Ruler before his rise to power. Typically, skaa were forced to work as farmers, miners and factory workers for nothing other than “food tokens” as compensation. Even the most skilled of the skaa class were relegated to being poorly paid and even more poorly treated. Essentially, skaa were slaves for the noble class.

In contrast, the nobility, or nobles, descend from those who did support the Lord Ruler before his wealth of power. As a reward for their support, not only are they a class above the skaa, they are blessed with a magical power known as allomancy, the ability to ingest and transform certain metals within their bodies in order to increase their capacities for mental and physical skill. This process is known as burning. Each level of allomancing skill contributes to whether a noble is a misting, one who is only able to burn one type of metal, or a mistborn, one who can burn all metals.

Plot Thickeners

This essential breakdown forms the overall theme of the Mistborn series, but Sanderson has done a spectacular job at webbing and branching out in detail so that each characteristic of the world of mistborns has a plethora of additional details, meanings and often subcategories.

Allomancers have a strong history with the Lord Ruler in Sanderson’s world, but not unlike reality, many of the noble class have bred with skaa, thus diluting the power of the allomancers over time and, understandably, upsetting the Lord Ruler.

Other Mistborn Creatures

Like almost any other fantasy series ever written, Mistborn also features a variety of creatures who serve as additions to the main species in the books. In this series, these creatures include kandra, mistwraiths and koloss.


Sanderson’s kandra are a species of especially intelligent and nonviolent shape-shifters, whose unique ability to fully absorb and replicate the physical traits of any dead creature. Kandra are actually paid for their services by the humans in Mistborn, but a strict code of conduct prohibits them from killing.


Mistwraiths are similar to kandra in that they too have the ability to become what they are not; however, these creatures transform shape by collecting the bones of consumed creatures to form new beings. In the Mistborn world, mistwraiths are a feared species with abilities so dangerous they can even become kandra themselves.


Koloss are perhaps the worst of the extra-species creatures featured in the series. A combination of superhuman strength, violence and propensity for rage and boredom render the koloss especially dangerous and deadly.

Mistborn: The Series

The Mistborn series is composed of four books including an original trilogy and a final book, which takes place 300 years later. The books are, in order, Mistborn: The Final Empire, Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, Mistborn: The Hero of Ages and Mistborn: The Alloy of Law.

Mistborn: The Final Empire

Mistborn: The Final Empire, Sanderson’s first book in the series, opens on a thief and prisoner who is half-skaa and discovers his other half is mistborn. Upon this realization, Sanderson’s protagonist, Kelsier, sets about using his newfound talent against the Lord Ruler and his tyrannical reign over the Final Empire. Ever one for positive characters, Sanderson actually introduces an additional, primary, protagonist later in the book, shifting focus from entirety on Kelsier.

Sanderson’s new protagonist, a woman named Vin, actually serves as the main character throughout the series. A street thief with a troubled and traumatizing past, Vin trusts no one and relies solely on herself for survival. Vin’s life as a street orphan, coupled with her allomantic powers, make her a powerful ally, or enemy, throughout the books.

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension

Sanderson follows with Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, in which focus lies on the five Inner Dominances, or territories, of the Final Empire. In this initial sequel to Mistborn: The Final Empire, Sanderson’s protagonists, Vin, Kelsier and their crew, must focus on maintaining order following the outcome of their first adventure.

What Readers Think

Reviewers of the Mistborn series maintain that the books are very well written and worth a read for even those who aren’t typical fans of high fantasy writing. Forbes contributor, Erik Kain, even went so far as to say Mistborn books are “one of the finest fantasy stories I’ve ever read” and described Sanderson’s writing as “crafted with such bloody precision, it’s nearly impossible to put the books down.”

The Future of Mistborn

The series reached the New York Times Best Seller list and has even captured the interest of production companies who have worked for years to convert the books to the big screen. Sanderson maintains that he has made significant progress with one production company, but the rights to the series have just become available again for purchase as recently as last month.

In addition to a potential movie, Sanderson and his team have been working diligently to finalize and release a video game version of the series for all consoles, potentially including PC. Most recent updates are that the saga is expected to release next year after delays due to the unveiling of last year’s new gaming consoles.

What that means:

Though the realization of the Mistborn series as a movie and video game extension are still pending, it is worth noting that this is a lengthy process, and the mere consideration of the collection for these mediums is a testament to the success of Sanderson’s first original series.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Mistborn

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