The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson (2006)
- This is the first book in the Mistborn series, of which the 5th book is scheduled to release later this year
- In the United States this book is called Mistborn, but other-where it is called The Final Empire – AND since the above book covers are SO much prettier than the U.S. covers (ew), I just go with it
- This series, along with several other books and series, takes place in Sanderson’s fantastical world, called the Cosmere #YearOfCosmere
This is an adult epic fantasy novel, that revolves around a thieving crew attempting to pull off the biggest job in history. The world is a desolate place, and the product of the failure of a supposed epic hero. It is under the control of the Lord Ruler, and made up of noble families, and the lower class, called Skaa. The magical system, called Allomancy, harnesses various powers from different types of metal.
Sorry, not the greatest or most compelling description, but this book is hard to explain! Click on the book cover above to be taken to the Goodreads description.
Although my attempted synopsis above is kind of crappy, I will say I went in to this book really not knowing much other than that everyone who has read it says it’s amazing, epic, insert other fantastical adjective here. So it’s not necessary to know much about it going in.
I’m just going to gush for a second, and say I LOVED this book. I was pretty nervous at the start, because it has been SO HYPED, especially lately, and I felt it could not possibly live up to that kind of pressure. But it did.
Our main character, named Vin, is a teenaged girl who has grown up on the streets and has been abused and abandoned by nearly everyone in her life. Through a surreptitious route, she ends up becoming involved in the previously mentioned thieving crew. The crew consists of a group of men, each with their own skill set and unique personality.
This first installment, has a complete story arc with a beginning, middle and end, but still leaves loose threads that entice you on to the next book in the series. The ending was exciting, yet reasonable, without a huge cliff hanger, which I really appreciated.
A full foundation of the world and magic system is built in this book, and somehow avoids huge information dumps, which is an annoying trap that so many books of this genre fall into. Aspects of the world and magic system were revealed throughout the story, and were made known to the reader as they became important to the plot or character development.
The magic system, called Allomancy, was AWESOME. It involves the use of metals, and each metal has a different power. Most people have no magic, some people can use just one metal, and a select few called Mistborn, can harness the powers from all the metals. What I really loved, was that although you are intrinsically granted this power, it takes skill, intelligence, creativity, and practice to be proficient.
I will say, the story was a bit slow to get started, but once I got into it – whoa I just couldn’t stop. I ended up reading the whole second half of the book (which was well over 300 pages!) in essentially one sitting, and stayed up until like 2 am to do so! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done that, because this girl needs her sleep! The majority of the book was decently paced, with the last 10% being intensely thrilling!
There is a bit of romance in this book, but I truly appreciate it didn’t completely lasso the entire plot line, and was more of a sub-plot. I liked that it was there, and REALLY liked even more that it didn’t overwhelm the rest of the book.
I think if you haven’t read a lot (or any!) adult fantasy, this would be a perfect place to start. Although it is long at over 600 pages, it flies right by and is very easy to read. I absolutely will be continuing on the with series, and plan to read the second book next month.
Rating: [4.5/5 stars]
| Mistborn | Tor Books | 2010 | Kindle book | purchased |