Archive for fantasy writers

Book Review – Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , on January 14, 2012 by Dawn Ross

Mistborn : Final Empire Series (Book #1) (Mistborn, Book 1)

I know this book “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson has been out for some time, but I hadn’t been reading many fantasy novels. After being left hanging with George R. R. Martin’s “A Dance with Dragons”, I needed a fantasy fix to keep me going. After browsing on, I saw that “Mistborn” had been a popular choice amongst fantasy readers so I checked it out.

I was pleasantly surprised. At first I was put off by the use of magic by people drinking metal chips, then ‘burning’ the metal in their body to various affects. To make magic in this way seemed a bit absurd to me, but Brandon Sanderson does a great job of making it believable. Less than a quarter of the way into the story, I was completely absorbed into Brandon’s new world of Allomancers.

The main character, Vin, is very compelling. She lives in a tenuous world of thieves where her  race is considered inferior and trust is a foolish gamble. While she acts weak for the sake of her safety, her character is strong. When a con being performed by the band of thieves she lives with goes wrong, another compelling character appears. Kelsier is unusually optimistic for a man from the same inferior race as Vin. This race, called skaa, has lived as slaves for a thousand years. They are generally a depressed lot who live only to survive. But Kelsier is no ordinary skaa. He is the Survivor of Hathsin and a Mistborn who is determined to overthrow the Lord Ruler.

Vin discovers through Kelsier that she is also Misborn and her abilities to burn various metals is a rare and exciting gift. At first, she helps Kelsier and his band in their plot to overthrow a thousand year reign only to learn more about her gift. But while she doesn’t really believe that their crazy plot will work, she begins to believe in trust and what true friendship really is.

Reading “Misborn” by Brandon Sanderon was a fantastic adventure. Each page brought me closer to Vin and her developing powers, Kelsier and his reckless schemes, and to the amazing end to a world of injustice. And although Brandon nicely wrapped up the plot in “Mistborn” there is a hint that the story continues. The story of “Mistborn” does no leave you hanging, but it does compel you to read the sequel, “The Well of Ascension”.

If you enjoy fantasy novels from popular modern fantasy writers such as Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, R. A. Salvator, David Eddings, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, Brent Weeks, and Terry Brooks then you will love the “Mistborn” series by Brandon Sanderson. Check out the first book in the series, “Mistborn“, or get all three – “Mistborn”, “The Well of Ascension”, and “The Hero of Ages”.

(Is it just me or does the girl in the book cover art, Vin, look a lot like Shannen Doherty?)

Great Forum for Fantasy Writers

Posted in Writing with tags , , on June 4, 2011 by Dawn Ross

Whether you have written or want to write a fantasy novel, it helps to have a group of people support you.  Who better to help than people who also want to write or have written a fantasy novel?  Such a group could help you with your writing techniques, give you ideas, provide constructive criticism to your work, or give you tips on how to get your work published.

I searched long and hard for such a group.  I was hoping to find a local writers group but the town I live in is small.  I could drive to the Kansas City area, but the only groups I found were for writers in general.  I really wanted a group that specialized in fantasy writing.

While I did not find such a specialized group, I did find a great forum online.  Check out  It has everything I wanted except the local connection.  There are a lot of great people there with a lot of knowledge who are more than happy to help.  If I get stuck on certain terminology, such as medieval weapons, there is someone to help.  If I need ideas on how to make my rules of magic, there are people there to share their ideas.  And if I need someone to read what I have written, there are people there who would love to share their opinion of my work.

The website doesn’t look all that fancy, but it is full of great people with lots of knowledge.  Who could ask for anything more?  So if you need help to write a fantasy novel or to get your fantasy novel published, check out