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Book Summary — Mistborn

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1 paragraph summary:

An epic fantasy trilogy in a world where Mistborn have the ability to “burn” metals for superhuman abilities. Book 1 encapsulates the classic fantasy story of a “low-born” bringing down an empire. Book 2 and 3 complete all the mysteries left in the storyline and how the world was created. The ending of Book 3 is especially satisfying as it brings the whole story together with twists and turns whilst giving closure to the mysteries of the world.


I consider myself to be a man of principle. But, what man does not? Even the cutthroat, I have noticed, considers his actions “moral” after a fashion.


Never trust a man who tells you good news, Reen had always said. It’s the oldest, but easiest, way to con someone.


“Everything costs money,” Ham said. “But, what is money? A physical representation of the abstract concept of effort.


“Belief isn’t simply a thing for fair times and bright days, I think. What is belief — what is faith — if you don’t continue in it after failure?” Vin frowned. “Anyone can believe in someone, or something, that always succeeds, Mistress. But failure … ah, now, that is hard to believe in, certainly and truly. Difficult enough to have value, I think.”

“Faith,” Spook said, “means that it doesn’t matter what happens. You can trust that somebody is watching. Trust that somebody will make it all right.” Sazed frowned. “It means that there will always be a way,”

Being a King = Trust + Responsibility

“Trust,” Tindwyl said, looking him in the eyes. “A good king is one who is trusted by his people — and one who deserves that trust.”

“Don’t apologize unless you really mean it,” Tindwyl said. “And don’t make excuses. You don’t need them. A leader is often judged by how well he bears responsibility. As king, everything that happens in your kingdom — regardless of who commits the act — is your fault. You are even responsible for unavoidable events such as earthquakes or storms.”

“You have to know that no matter how bad things get, they would be worse without you. When disaster occurs, you take responsibility, but you don’t wallow or mope. You aren’t allowed that luxury; guilt is for lesser men. You simply need to do what is expected.” “And that is?” “To make everything better.” “Great,” Elend said flatly. “And if I fail?” “Then you accept responsibility, and make everything better on the second try.” Elend rolled his eyes. “And what if I can’t ever make things better? What if I’m really not the best man to be king?”

“You have no place for guilt. Accept that you’re king, accept that you can do nothing constructive to change that, and accept responsibility. Whatever you do, be confident — for if you weren’t here, there would be chaos.”

“Arrogance, Your Majesty,” Tindwyl said. “Successful leaders all share one common trait — they believe that they can do a better job than the alternatives. Humility is fine when considering your responsibility and duty, but when it comes time to make a decision, you must not question yourself.”

“Being a king isn’t always about doing what you want, Tindwyl had often said. It’s about doing what needs to be done.”

“I taught you nothing? Being in charge isn’t about doing anything — it’s about making certain that other people do what they’re supposed to! Delegation, my friend. Without it, we would have to bake our own bread and dig our own latrines!”

Acknowledging Failure

Tindwyl had taught him never to excuse people’s failings. He could accept people with failings — even forgive them — but if he glossed over the problems, then they would never change. “I accept your apology,” he said.

Different but Same

“At first glance, the key and the lock it fits may seem very different,” Sazed said. “Different in shape, different in function, different in design. The man who looks at them without knowledge of their true nature might think them opposites, for one is meant to open, and the other to keep closed. Yet, upon closer examination, he might see that without one, the other becomes useless. The wise man then sees that both lock and key were created for the same purpose.”


Those who take lightly promises they make to those they love are people who find little lasting satisfaction in life.


“A man is what he has passion about,” Breeze said. “I’ve found that if you give up what you want most for what you think you should want more, you’ll just end up miserable.”

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Goal: Read and summarise one book a week

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Michael Batko

Michael Batko

Learning Enthusiast

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