“Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson

“Mistborn:  The Final Empire” by Brandon SandersonMistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #1
Published: 2006 by Tor
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 541
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
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And now for the long-anticipated spoiler-free review!

Over the past month I’ve been participating in a readalong of “Mistborn:  The Final Empire,” the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy.  For anyone who’s interested, we’re doing a groupread of the second book in the trilogy starting sometime in late May/early June.  I can’t wait to read the next one!

At its core, Mistborn is the story of a revolution.  A thousand years ago the Lord Ruler saved the world from the Deepness, but now he’s a tyrant who’s practically immortal.  Under the Lord Ruler’s reign, a class known as the skaa have been subjugated and enslaved.  They are too beaten down to rise up until a charismatic man named Kelsier begins to stir up trouble, devising a risky plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler.  He’s aided by Vin, a street urchin with Allomantic powers.

One of the things that I love about Brandon Sanderson’s novels is that he treats magic as a natural process that operates by certain rules.  In this book, the magic system is called Allomancy, and involves ingesting certain metals to fuel one’s powers.  If you run out of metal, you run out of magic, and if it’s in the middle of a fight then you’re pretty much screwed.  This means that while magic is extremely powerful, it’s not invincible.

I found myself quickly getting attached to the main characters, but Sanderson even Sanderson’s minor characters are fully fleshed and complex.  My favorite is Sazed, who studies and preserves knowledge of the many religions that have been suppressed by the Lord Ruler.

I can’t stop gushing about how fantastic this book is.  It is one of Sanderson’s earlier novels, and his writing is a bit better in The Way of Kings, but the story here is engaging.  By engaging, I mean that there is no way to stop yourself from reading the last 200 pages in one sitting, regardless of what previous plans you may have had.  It’s impossible to put down.

Oh, and unlike most books that are part of a trilogy, this one has a definite end to it’s story arc while still leaving room for the other two books.  I like that.  I get very frustrated when books don’t end.  It’s one of my pet peeves.

I’d highly recommend “Mistborn:  The Final Empire” for anyone looking for a well-written and captivating fantasy novel.

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I read this book as part of the Once Upon a Time Challenge and the Speculative Fiction Challenge.

Comments make me happy! Please feel free to leave a reply.

11 comments

  1. I’m completely with you on most of this, though I do think the writing was a bit better here than in TWoK. That might just be because I read Mistborn first, though. 😀

    1. One of the things that I do like about Mistborn so far is that I was equally as attached to both point-of-view characters. With TWoK, I did like all of the POV characters, but Kaladin is awesome and charismatic to the point that I sometimes got annoyed with the others simply because they weren’t Kaladin and couldn’t live up to him.

      1. Haha, I hear you on that ‘complaint’, Grace. I eventually warmed to Shallan as a PoV character, and even Adolin and Dalinar (sp?) stopped frustrating me with interrupting Kaladin eventually, but still…

        When your biggest complaint is the main PoV character (he was the only one that was in every part of the book, iirc) is too interesting, there’s not very much to complain about!

        In any case, yes, Mistborn. It was good, but in many ways I wish it had been a standalone like Elantris and Warbreaker.

        1. #$%^! I hate WP changes sometimes.

          Made me login then force changed the URL I had typed into the box to the old one again.

          I guess this means my profile on wp.com is out of date. *Grumbles and goes to fix it*

        2. Kaladin was the man. I ended up liking the other characters, but the Kaladin parts were what made me love the book so much. When I started reading Mistborn, I had done so thinking that if it was even half as good as Way of Kings then I wouldn’t be disappointed.

  2. I really enjoyed Mistborn – although perhaps not as much as Elantris. I think I just became a little more attached to the characters then I did in Mistborn.

    Saying that, I can’t wait to read the second – I won’t get around to it for the next readalong as to tell the truth I rarely read an author again so soon (rarely read the same author more then once or at most twice in a year) but I really am looking forward to the second. The first book did have a good complete ending but I definitely think it has set up the following books really, really well. I just feel they’re going to get better and better.

    1. I don’t think I can even decide which of Sanderson’s books is my favorite because I’ve enjoyed all of them so much. He’s quickly become one of my favorite authors. 🙂