The Final Empire
by Brandon Sanderson
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 color 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.
If you would remember me babbling about how good Elantris was, then you are about to see me babble again. This time, it’s for the very, very famous and slightly intimidating Mistborn trilogy. I recently (finally) started this series and finished the first book and I have to say that while a bit slow going, this book was fantastic. Absolute gem!
From now on, whenever I see Brandon Sanderson books, I might be tempted to buy them without even reading more about them and this, just from reading two books. He’s that good, I don’t know why I slept on this author for such a long time! I am definitely going to have to catch up on his books and there are many and each one seemingly bigger than the previous ones. So, there’s that to look forward to.
Anyway. Back to the book at hand. This is going to be a long one, so grab snacks or coffee, get cozy and start reading. The start to the trilogy is so good, so well done! With a fiery start to the trilogy, it only gets better. The Final Empire is under the rule of the Lord Ruler, there are two very distinct social classes, the nobility and the Skaa (slaves). The Lord Ruler rules with his Steel Ministry as help, with Inquisitors as the people doling out justice. There is a clear sense of defeat in the Skaa population considering the fact that they have been slaves for almost a thousand years and any time any defiance was shown, it was shot down with far more force than the Skaa were prepared for. Any rebellion that comes up doesn’t last long because the people are just too beaten down and hopeless to actually feel motivated to do something about it, centuries of being slaves can do that to a person.
The magic system in this world is so cool and interesting! It is called Allomancy and it deals with metals and alloys. There are the basic metals that a considerable number of people are able to use to make their senses better, those are Mistings, then there are those rare people who are able to go beyond the basics and use the other metals as well as the basic ones. Those are Mistborns and they are rare enough that nobility has on hand for protection and more. The overall concept of using metals and burning them and gaining abilities or rather enhancing the senses is so good and it is used so wonderfully that I fell in love with it even though I found it rather confusing at first.
One of the best parts of the book is the little diary/ journal entries scribbled before each chapter begins, at first, I almost didn’t pay any attention to them but then, I corrected myself and started reading them properly. They were absolutely not connected to the chapter at hand but they were intriguing enough and later on, these entries were absolutely important! So, I am really glad that I kept them in my mind.
One of the other absolutely awesome things I loved about it were the characters, both main and secondary. The main characters, Kelsier and Vin, were absolutely fantastic. When we meet Kell, we are given the impression of a man who’s out for revenge against the Final Empire for reasons both noble and selfish. And we are right on both counts. Kelsier is such an interesting character, he’s not without faults and other characters don’t feel shy about calling him out on those but he’s also a good man who’s trying his best to do something good. For himself as well as the Skaa population. The second main character is Vin, a young girl who is abandoned first by her father, her mother and then her brother as well. She has such a character growth in this book though, I absolutely loved every second of it. Her lessons with Sazed, her interactions and bond with Kelsier and her learning to love herself as the time passed, that journey was seriously so good. When she accepted that she might be a Mistborn and might come from one of the lowest class of people but she also absolutely loved the whole pretending to be nobility because she got to wear pretty dresses and gowns. That was such a good revelation to read, seriously. It’s one of the things that the author managed to do absolutely brilliantly.
I was also very interested in the secondary characters in the book, they were just engaging and interesting enough that they made their own impressions on me. One of them was Sazed. Boy, that character managed to intrigue me from the very first time he was introduced in the book, along with Lord Renoux (that is a whole different matter and I might address him in the next book’s review because of reasons!). But seriously, Sazed as a Keeper of knowledge with his coppermind is a Terrisman, he served as a steward to Vin and was with her at important times. He is such an intriguing character and I wished I knew more about him as I was reading the book.
One point I have to include without revealing anything even though I am dying to talk to people about it. The ending! The ending killed me. I wasn’t expecting one of the key factors that brought about the ending and oh, god. I was just left numb with shock, I read it twice just to make sure I was reading it right. So, yeah, if you have read the book and know what I am talking about then, please, talk to me on instagram over dm because gosh. Or even on twitter or goodreads, I don’t care.
Overall, so many things happen in the book and seriously, so much character growth in both the main characters. There’s intrigue, there’s political schemes and there’s a magic, there’s a dark lord. What more do you want? I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy, political intrigue, heists and unique magic systems. Also, one point that I almost forgot to make! Brandon Sanderson makes it very easy to understand everything about the world and the magic in general so don’t be alarmed or intimidated by the size of the book.