- Title: The Final Empire
- Author: Brandon Sanderson
- Genre: Fantasy
- Series: Book 1 of the Mistborn trilogy.
- Would recommend to: fantasy fans.
- Available in library?: Yes.
“There’s always another secret.”
The Final Empire is the first novel of the original trilogy of Mistborn books. Sanderson’s skill at crafting original settings and magic is put on full display here with the post-apocalyptic world of the Final Empire and the magic system of Allomancy. It is also part of Sanderson’s Cosmere* and presents the best entry point into the Cosmere in my opinion.
The Final Empire is set in a world that around one thousand years previous to the events of this book, the tyrannical Lord Ruler ascended to godhood and a cataclysm rocked the world. Ash fell from the sky, mists came in the night and the magic of Allomancy was created.
Vin is a lowly thief who feels the oppression of the Lord Ruler every day in her slum. That is until she is found by the legendary Mistborn Kelsier and his gang of thieves, who are planning a heist that will not only make them all rich and powerful beyond their wildest dreams, but will bring an end to the reign of the Lord Ruler.
This is only the third time I’ve read a Sanderson novel, but he has already become one of my favourite authors. He churns out novels with efficiency that is unmatched by any other in his business, yet they’re all quality works that still have thought put into them. He brings unique ideas to the table in each book and The Final Empire continues that trend. Allomancy is one of the most original and thought-out magic systems that I’ve ever read of. The plot mostly follows the monomyth and isn’t anything too original, but this is definitely made up for by the characters. There’s a wide, likeable cast and they all play off of each other well. Then there’s the antagonist himself: the Lord Ruler. He may seem like a typical, cliché Dark Lord, but there is a deep backstory behind why he became who he was that is explained as the book goes on. The setting is also – in typical Sanderson fashion – original and constructed with great care and detail.
The Final Empire was quite an enjoyable read. I’ll definitely be continuing this series. I’d recommend that anyone who wants to start reading Sanderson start with this novel, as it is relatively short (around 600 pages) compared to some of his other lengthy tomes. It also offers closure in case you don’t want to continue the series, but leaves behind questions and plotlines that the next books in the series elaborate on.
*The Cosmere is the universe in which some of Sanderson’s works are set. Essentially, these books are set on different planets and worlds in the same universe and each world has a different form of magic due to a cataclysmic event that happened after the universe was created. That’s why you’ll find characters or references to other Sanderson works in different Sanderson series. You don’t need to know about the Cosmere to enjoy or understand Sanderson’s works. It is quite complicated, so I won’t delve too deep into it, but more information can be found here.
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