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Steelheart    by Brandon Sanderson order for
by Brandon Sanderson
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Brandon Sanderson is a top notch fantasy author, for his own excellent series like Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive, as well as for succeeding at the challenging task of completing Robert Jordan's celebrated Wheel of Time epic. Now he launches an exciting new YA Reckoners series with Steelheart.

It's set in a dystopian future in which men and women (dubbed Epics by ordinary folk) suddenly gained extraordinary powers - and abused them terribly. Though they fought within themselves for control, when the dust settled, everyone else did their will. It seemed impossible to fight back. Humans treat Epics as 'natural forces, like hurricanes or earthquakes' - they have complete immunity from the law.

But David has dreamed of taking on the Epics since he was an eight-year-old who watched Steelheart kill his father, a man who believed with all his heart that 'Where there be villains, there will be heroes ... Just wait. They will come.' Though Steelheart is supposed to be indestructible, young David saw him bleed on that day, dangerous knowledge for an ordinary human to have.

David grew up in the Newcago Factory (part orphanage, part school) and devoted all his spare time to researching Epics, seeking out any weaknesses. He has also studied the Reckoners, 'a shadowy group that stalked, entrapped, and assassinated powerful Epics.' David has worked out who their next target must be and plans to assist, to prove himself to the Reckoners. Their agent is tall, lithe, golden-haired Megan.

It's not easy, and Megan is surprisingly hostile, but David does join the Reckoners and even persuades their leader, Jon Phaedrus, that his research is valuable and his plan to take down Steelheart has some merit. Action-packed adventures follow as these revolutionaries get to work, but not without setbacks, tragedy, and betrayal. When it ends, David finally understands what he's fighting for.

Though this is a YA series, I highly recommend it to fantasy fans of all ages and look forward with anticipation to what comes next in Firefight.

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