Friday, June 2, 2017

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Publication Date: July 31, 2007
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 643
Series: Mistborn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land. He failed. For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably. Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

Review:  Long story short, Mistborn is one of the best fantasy books I've ever read and it has become one of my favorite books.  So my (imaginary) hat is off to Brandon Sanderson on this one.

Maybe it is sad to say, but I don't remember the last time a book made me gasp in shock or cry (just a little).  And yet The Final Empire entirely did me in.  Brandon Sanderson is no Neil Gaiman or Fitzgerald.  His words don't weave magic or inspire tears, but his stories and his characters do.  His writing is simple yet perfectly suited to an action-packed novel where the focus doesn't need to be on style, it needs to be on the world and the magic within it.

The world building, skeletons of politics and society, is astonishing.  I felt like I could step into the book and live in a fully fleshed out setting.  The ideas that he weaves into his novel, those of freedom, revolution, and classicism make your mind spin in the best possible way.  I would gladly sit down for hours over a cup of tea and discuss the nuances and intricacies of The Final Empire.  And that magic system, Allomancy?  I haven't seen something so original since...well, I'm not so sure since when.

Vin and Kelsier are characters that feel like real human beings.  You love them and you respect them, but you are not under some foolish notion of their false perfection.  They have faults, they have hopes and dreams, they have their dark pasts.  As much as I adore the strong independence that defines Vin, Kelsier's stubborn bravery and unwavering hope drew me to him instantly.  Each character brought something unique to the story, which is a rare trait you don't often see.  

I usually fall for beautiful writing, but this time I fell simply for the beautiful ideas.  The Final Empire is magic, mystery, and cunning.  This is the kind of book that I can't stop thinking about after the final chapter, and I cannot wait for those many more to come.


  1. I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO READ MISTBORN FOR THE LONGEST TIME AND OH MY GOD I KEEP HEARING SUCH POSITIVE THINGS ABOUT IT BUT I'M SO INTIMIDATED BY THE SIZE? Sorry about the all caps haha, I just felt it was one of those things that HAD to be said in all caps! (oops!)

    1. Oh, I know, it's ENORMOUS! But it is totally worth reading, Anisha. It has made my favorite books list for sure. Thanks for commenting!