Vin is a street urchin who happens to have a bit of Luck – it’s what’s enabled her to survive in the streets of Luthadel. After a near disaster where she uses her luck on the wrong person, she meets Kellsier. He’s the one person to have escaped the Lord Ruler’s most terrible prison, because he’s Mistborn, controlling the powers of Allomancy, where certain metals give abilities to those able to use them. He tells Vin that her luck is actually Allomancy, because she is also Mistborn.
So, Vin’s brought into a plot to overthrow the Lord Ruler, who has ruled over the entire world for a thousand years, cloaking it in ash as punishment for its sins, and enslaving most of the human race. It’s a mad plot, with no chance to succeed, but Vin stays simply because of the amazing men she’s met that are also in on the plot, and because she just wants to see what will happen next.
One of the things I look for in fantasy books is different kinds of magic – I love an inventive source, and Allomancy fits that bill. I also really love the characters – this is an ensemble piece, though Kellsier and Vin are the main characters, and the side characters are every bit as interesting as they are. This series (yes, I’m on to book two) has definitely cemented Sanderson into my must read everything this author puts out list.