Mistborn: The Final Empire

3. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. 541 p. Published July 2007.

The Final Empire

I only heard of Brandon Sanderson with the news of Robert Jordan’s unfortunate passing. Sanderson is the author chosen to compose the notes that will make the final volume of the Wheel of Time series. That being the case, I thought it demanded I read some of his work.

The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn series (I believe it’s supposed to be a trilogy). In it, you meet Kelsier, who, marked by his time spent in the unforgiving prison-mines of the Lord Ruler, seeks to overthrow the god who has ruled his world and enslaved his people for over 1,000 years. Kel has many things going for him, but his most powerful asset is his Allomancy – the ability to “burn” metals to grant him superior strength, perception, and arcane power. Kelsier is among the rarest of Allomancers – a Mistborn – someone who can burn all 10 of the allomantic metals.

As Kelsier begins to foment rebellion, he comes across Vin, a street thief hunted by the church for her undeveloped Mistborn powers. Kelsier takes Vin under his wing and soon convinces her to infiltrate the society of the Great Houses – the land’s ruling class. As the rebellion grows and the pressure builds, danger begins to close on Kelsier, Vin, and their allies from every side. Soon, both are fighting for their lives against the greatest foe possible – The Lord Ruler himself.

Brandon Sanderson does an amazing job creating his unique post-apocalyptic vision. The systems of magic he applies to the world both empowers and threatens his characters, and the depiction of this balance is truly captivating. The Final Empire is not your typical “coming of age through the trials of life and magic” novel. Sanderson’s characters touch the reader, and his ability to capture their conflicting emotions and motivations is truly masterful. The story’s climax is as sudden and unexpected as it is bitter and heartbreaking. Admittedly, I would have it no other way, but it was still shockingly abrupt and rendered the resolution of the story rather anticlimactic.

I sincerely look forward to the recently published sequel, The Well of Ascension. Jordan made an inspired choice in Sanderson, an author who will do his epic series proud.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Other Reviews of Mistborn: Fyrefly’s Book Blog

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2 responses to “Mistborn: The Final Empire

  1. “your typical “coming of age through the trials of life and magic” novel.

    This sounds like what I usually call the “pigboy parable” – young man living on his uncle’s farm discovers magical powers/object, and must go on a quest, etc. – and I always appreciate reading fantasy that is not pigboy-based. Not that I don’t like plenty of pigboy books (I love the wheel of time, for instance), but it’s always a nice change.

    I’d definitely recommend Sanderson’s Elantris and Holly Lisle’s Talyn, if you haven’t read them already, as two of the better non-pigboy fantasy novels I’ve read recently.

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