So far books 1 and 2 ([b:Mistborn: The Final Empire|68428|The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)|Brandon Sanderson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1437254833s/68428.jpg|66322] and [b:The Well of Ascension|68429|The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)|Brandon Sanderson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1421103323s/68429.jpg|2120474] respectively) of this trilogy have been solidly entertaining and imaginative. However, I was somewhat disappointed by the characters development which dampened my overall enthusiasm for the books a little. Don't get me wrong Brandon Sanderson knows the importance of characters development and puts a lot of effort into fleshing them out. Unfortunately (IMO!) the end result backfired a little, his two main protagonists turned out to be more colorless than an albino and more despondent than Marvin the Paranoid Android on a rainy day. So, I would allocate 4 stars a piece for books 1 & 2.
I am very glad to say that Sanderson brought his A game for this final volume. It is intricately plotted, surprising, exciting, passionate, unpredictable and even a little spiritual. The best thing about this series, as Sanderson fans will tell you is the "magic system". Personally I don't like term "magic system", it sounds like an oxymoron to me. Still, I can't think of a better term so I'll grudgingly go with it. The magical element in this series is more believable than any other I have read because it is very systematic. The author invented a set of rules and follows it rigidly and logically. The solid internal logic makes the series seem akin to hard sf at times.
The characterization is better in this book I am glad the two main characters Ellend and Vin have stopped moping around doubting their worthiness of being loved by the other party. There is a lot of that in book 2 where I found the romantic aspect to be very tedious. Unfortunately Sazed, the third most important character in the series almost ruined the book by taking up the despondency and spends most of the book whining and self-doubting, waiting for that moment of epiphany when he pulls himself together and become a force to be reckoned with. The author seems to be very keen on exploring the theme of self-realization or self-discovery hence the "good" characters are often questioning themselves. Of course, the characters wearing the black hats are always sure they are doing the right thing so they just get on with it! I like that about them. Still, there are some interesting and perceptive observations about human nature, especially how deposers of tyrants tend to become tyrants themselves.
Minor complaints aside this is clearly the best book of the series with an unpredictable, humdinger of a climax. The action scenes are very skillfully written with Sanderson displaying an impressive visual writing talent. It certainly deserves a 5 stars rating in my humble opinion. The entire series as a whole is a 4.5 for me. The author himself is pure gold and I look forward to reading his other books, [b:The Way of Kings|7235533|The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)|Brandon Sanderson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388184640s/7235533.jpg|8134945] and whatnot.