The Lord Ruler is dead, and like all evil tyrant, the bastard had to leave a cryptic message before he goes toward the light. Kelsier is also dead, but his legacy lives on and he becomes a god.
The first half of this book is all about political intrigue, philosophical discussions, and individual existential crises for the main players. The second half is when the action starts--what a ride.
Elend's fledgling government is off to a rocky start. He's a king, yet he's still a naive idealistic child who dreams of democracy, equality, and erasing class and racial problems among the nobility and skaa. All well and good... but not when war is knocking on the gate.
Meanwhile, Straff Venture--dear old cranky Dad--has marched his army on Luthadel with the intention to take it and he's set up camp right outside the gate. Then comes Cett tumbling down the road, also with the intention of over taking the city--and sets up camp outside. Then--wait, it gets better--comes the Koloss. Luthadel is under siege, there's a food shortage, new government gets a makeover, Elend scrambles to meet demands from all sides, and all the while life in Luthadel as we knew it is gone for good.
As much as the first half of the book drags, the second half makes up for all it. It isn't until you get to the fight scenes that you're reminded just how good Brandon Sanderson is with action sequences. So good that, dare I say it, this series could easily be turned into a TV show or movie. It's moving prose that's meant for eyes, cinematic.Some of my favorite non-fighting scenes were ones in which Vin and OreSeur have heart-to-heart. Some of my least favorite non-fighting scenes were ones with Zane; there were too many. I wasn't convinced that he's crazy because I had a feeling there was something greater was at work and that Sanderson's just baiting the reader by dropping hints of "craziness." Otherwise this book is a strong follow up to Mistborn The Final Empire.