Mistborn is a truly super-awesome and fantastic book, with the masterful sort of ending that I have come to expect from the genius that is Brandon Sanderson!
At the beginning of the book, we meet Vin, a street urchin just trying to survive as a member of an oppressed socio-economic class. One of the ways that Vin survives is by using what she thinks of as her "Luck." Her use of luck is detected by some very bad guys, as well as by some questionable guys.
Among these questionable guys is Kelsier, who brings Vin in as part of his thieving crew and explains that her Luck is simply one of the eight basic forms of Allomancy. Allomancy is the burning of various Allomantic metals, where each metal provides an associated ability to the person burning it. "Mistings" can burn exactly one basic Allomantic metals, and "Mistborns" can burn all Allomantic metals, which includes a few additional metals on top of the basic eight. Vin and Kelsier are Mistborn, and various other members of their crew are Mistings.
The Lord Ruler is a mysterious god-like bad guy who oppresses everybody, especially the lower class, while asserting his rule. So of course, Kelsier and Vin seek to bring down the Lord Ruler and pretty much the entire government, all the while being hunted for their abilities.
One of things I adored about this book is that we, the reader, get to learn all about Allomancy and how metal-burning works, as Kelsier breaks it down for Vin. So in a beautiful, non-contrived manner, we are introduced to the magic system.
The characterization in the book was great. I understood Vin and Kelsier. Vin is stubborn survivor trying to find her place in the world, and Kelsier wants vengeance and justice for his wife's death. The Lord Ruler has his own super-secret motivations that remain a mystery as the book comes to a close. I can't wait to read about this in the later books! I really hated (i.e., the way a reader should hate the bad guy) the Lord Ruler and his minions, who were pretty freakin scary. I think further development of the other crew members would have been nice, but maybe I'll see more of them in the later books of this trilogy.
Throughout a great deal of the book, the crew is working their "job," which is a multi-layer plan to give themselves a fair shot at taking out Lord Ruler. In the end, some parts of the plan succeed and some fail miserably. Despite the failures, the crew members forge ahead against the Lord Ruler . . . whom they have no idea how to kill.
This book is one of my favorites. Love it!