Skip to content

I’m Sorry Vin, But Mistborn Era 2 Does 1 Thing Better Than The Original Trilogy


  • Vin from the original
    trilogy was great, but
    Era 2 shines with well-written female characters like Marasi and Steris.
  • Mistborn
    Era 1 lacked strong female characters aside from Vin, making it harder to relate to the women in the story.
  • Era 2 of
    may have male leads, but the complex and intriguing female characters like Marasi and Steris are a step up.

I’m a huge fan of the original Mistborn trilogy, but there’s no denying that Mistborn Era 2 does one thing better than Brandon Sanderson’s earlier series. When I first discovered Mistborn, I was drawn to the story for multiple reasons. The fantasy series’ unique magic system and compelling social commentary were highlights that immediately drew me in. However, I also found Kelsier and Vin to be relatable and intriguing main characters. And as a woman who’s always looking for complex female leads in fantasy stories, Vin’s narrative was especially exciting to read.

I found Vin to strike the perfect balance between strength and vulnerability, and I was invested as she discovered her power and grappled with sides of herself she’d never explored before. Vin’s best moments throughout Mistborn fully sold me on her character, making her one of my favorite fictional heroines. That’s why it pains me to admit that Mistborn Era 2 surpassed the first trilogy in one significant way — even though the first set of books saw Vin headlining the story.


10 Books To Read If You Love Mistborn

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books feature some of the best storytelling in fantasy, and they may leave readers wondering what to pick up next.

I Love Vin, But The Original Mistborn Trilogy Is Lacking When It Comes To Women

The Books Needed More Female Characters

Although Mistborn Era 1 has a better lead in Vin, Mistborn Era 2 surpasses the original trilogy when it comes to female characters. I loved following Vin through the original series, and I thought she was a great example of what women in fantasy should look like. However, she was the only woman I was impressed by in Sanderson’s first three Mistborn books. Tindwyl was interesting enough. However, her character arc was too short-lived, and she spent far too much time furthering the storylines of prominent male characters, like Elend and Sazed.

This proved a disappointing element of
Era 1, but I appreciated Era 2’s women much more.

Other than Tindwyl, most of the women in Mistborn find themselves at odds with Vin. I felt like this upheld the “not like other girls” trope, and it also made it difficult to relate to any other female characters that Sanderson introduced. I was surprised by Allriane Cett at times, but she never offered a reason to like her. And I couldn’t get behind someone like Shan Elariel. It’s not even a matter of rooting for her; she’s not a particularly well-written or complex villain. This proved a disappointing element of Mistborn Era 1, but I appreciated Era 2’s women much more.

Mistborn Era 2 Does A Much Better Job With Its Female Characters

Marasi & Steris Were Both Great Female Characters To Follow

Mistborn 2

Although Mistborn Era 2’s main characters are both men, Sanderson’s second set of books does a much better job with the women who appear throughout the story. Both Marasi and Steris play prominent roles Mistborn’s second era, and I found each of them to be strong and intriguing in their own ways. I was inspired by Marasi’s ability to rise up in life, despite her difficult familial background. I also admired her work as a constable, even if I wished Sanderson had explored her character a bit more in the later books.

Unlike Marasi, I didn’t immediately take to Steris. However, it was clear that Sanderson put a lot of thought into her journey, and I was sold by the time Mistborn Era 2 came to a close. The fact that Steris also added autism representation to the books only made me love her more. I enjoyed watching her grow as a person, just as I loved following Marasi’s arc. Both women felt less peripheral than the supporting female characters from Era 1. They were allowed to have flaws and improve, and they didn’t seem to reject other women or their own feminine qualities.

I’m Hopeful About The Next Mistborn Book After Era 2’s Improvement

Brandon Sanderson’s Era 3 Books Could Do Even Better

Mistborn book covers
Custom image by Yailin Chacon

Mistborn Era 2 is over, but Sanderson has plans to write more books in the future. The improved writing of female characters in Era 2 gives me hope that the women in Era 3 will be even better. Sanderson himself admitted that he could have added more women to the original Mistborn trilogy (via Arcanum Unbound). I’m guessing this is part of the reason he focused on adding such well-developed female characters to Wax and Wayne’s story. And if his commitment to including strong and interesting women continues, it bodes well for the next Mistborn book.

I’d personally love to see Sanderson take on another female lead, but only time will tell if he writes a character to rival Vin.

I’d personally love to see Sanderson take on another female lead, but only time will tell if he writes a character to rival Vin. Of course, I’d be just as happy with more complex women in supporting roles. It’d be especially great if they got to participate in the action. With Mistborn‘s improved approach to women and changing setting, the future of Sanderson’s fantasy saga looks bright.

Source: Arcanum Unbound

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *