Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #1
Page Count: 647
“But you can’t kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you’ve never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.”
In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.
So, I’ve finally gotten around to reading a Brandon Sanderson novel, who everyone says is a fantastic fantasy writer. Now that I’ve experienced his writing, I can only agree. I absolutely loved this book, and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series, and the rest of Sanderson’s novels after that.
The Final Empire is the first in a trilogy set in world ruled by corrupt tyrant aptly named The Lord Ruler. A mysterious ash dominates the night, falling from the sky and cloaking everything in black. The high class lives separate lives from the slaves, known as the skaa. The skaa are forced to do the bidding of the High Lords and clear the streets of ash. In this world, there exists people who possess unique abilities, allomancy. Allomancers can ingest certain types of metals to gain powers to use to their advantage. Most allomancers can only burn one type of metal, however there exists a rare type known as Mistborn who are able to burn all 10 of the known allomantic metals.
In this installment of the series, the main plot is a heist. An insanely complex and fleshed out heist, run by a charming Mistborn named Kelsier. Another member of the crew is our main character Vin, a young girl who is running with the wrong crew, and forced to hide her mysterious powers.
While this skaa rebellion is happening in the Central Dominance lead by Kelsier and his crew, the story also focuses on the magic system known as allomancy. Let me just tell you that this is one of the coolest and most unique magic systems I’ve ever read. Not only is the way the magic activated insanely unique, the whole system itself is wonderfully fleshed out. It has weaknesses to go with the strengths, and it is clear to the reader that there are drawbacks to being an allomancer or a Mistborn. It’s not just a insanely powerful ability that nobody can stop.
Vin’s development as a character, both in terms of her personality and her allomantic abilities is so wonderful. I loved seeing her interactions with the crew and her infiltration into a life style that isn’t necessarily who she believes she is. Her character goes through so much in just one book, and I can’t wait to see how she continues to develop. Basically, she’s one of my new favorite characters of all time.
Of course Vin’s development couldn’t have happened without Kelsier, who pushed her into leaving behind her old (albeit terrible) life. Kelsier was definitely an interesting character to read about, as you wanted to trust everything that he said and did, and yet there’s always that feeling that he’s hiding something. He’s charming, suave, and the glue that held the crew together. That’s part of the reason why the ending of the book was so amazing!
Obviously I can’t talk much about the ending without giving and spoilers, but it is worth the read. The last 100 or so pages of the novel absolutely blew my mind, and made me tear up like crazy. The action scenes, the insane plot twists, and the interactions between the characters were all so wonderful to read.
Overall, The Final Empire may be a long book, but every single word in this novel is so well crafted and vital to the story. Every element of the story is developed beautifully and captures the reader in a way that makes them never want to put the book down. This is the kind of stuff that I want my fantasy books to be, and I can not recommend it enough.