Saturday, 5 November 2011

Review: The Final Empire (Mistborn Book One), by Brandon Sanderson

This is the second book by Mr. Sanderson I’ve read, after The Way of Kings (which is the first part of a separate series). It takes place in a world reigned over by the Lord Ruler, an apparently immortal tyrant who has held sway for a thousand years or so. Under his rule the nobility have held their position for generations and the majority (called skaa) have been oppressed. The sky is darkened with ash clouds, the volcanic precipitation making the entire landscape dismal and grey.

A chap called Kelsier and his criminal associates are intent upon on bringing down the Lord Ruler, and hatch a plot to do so. Magic plays a significant role in the book, and, as in (although different to) the Way Kings, the system the author has invented is simple but works very well. Essentially, there are 8 basic metals and 2 higher metals, and these can be swallowed and burnt by mistings or mistborn. The former can only use one specific metal, the latter can burn any or all of them. Each metal has a different advantage, and some burn faster than others.

The Lord Ruler is quite interesting, and I’m glad that he wasn’t overused. The author’s use of small passages from an ancient journal recalling the Lord Ruler’s journey (before he became Lord Ruler) at the start of chapters is a small touch, but one to which I always looked forward.

Generally, the world is well-described, and the obligators and Steel Inquisitors were interesting. I think some more instances of the skaa oppression might have helped, but that’s probably a bit picky.

The last third is definitely the strongest part of the book. Along with a few unexpected twists, the pace is more rapid and events more engaging. After the initial set up of the book’s premise it feels a little slow, and although the protagonist is well-developed a few of the main characters could perhaps use a little more fleshing out.



  1. No spoilers please, I've just started this! :-)

  2. When you've finished I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the book.

    [As if I'd spoil anything! How very dare you].