[Review] Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Fry's Reviews, Reviews 0 Comments 20th September, 2014

[Review] Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonMistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #1
Published by Tor Fantasy on July 17th, 2006
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 657
Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

Okay, I will admit, I’ve been badgered by an alarming amount of people to read this series. It was a staggering amount. This book must be good. But, unfortunately, I had at one point picked up The Way of Kings and attempted to read that. What I likened that first experience to was the begetting chapters of the bible. It was just a lot of names and a giant infodump that appeared to go nowhere. Yeah, apparently that was a mistake. I’ve since been informed that The Way of Kings is “level 3 Sanderson fuckery” and that I should have started here and worked my way towards that.

Well, I finally read it after plenty of badgering from Nikki from There Were Books Involved. It also helped that there was going to be a large support group (where’d you guys go, did ya’ll just set the book down or something!?) on twitter. Though, honestly, I was pleasantly surprised from page one.  The only time the book almost lost me was when they attempted to discuss at length the allomatical magic properties and uses during a fight. That was totally not the time for it, and it made the scene drag on excessively. The other applications of allomancy introduction were totally fine as we got to learn along with Vin and they introduced the concepts slowly. That first battle, though, man, we shouldn’t spent almost a whole page going from move one to move two.

I loved the book, glad for the amount of pages but at the same time wishing I could devour them faster. Sanderson was trolling and smashing tropes left and right and it was a glorious ride through the entire thing. The book opens on Kelsier, a skaa who had escaped from the hellish pits of the only atium mine in the area. He’s got a clear grudge against noblemen and is questing for better treatment of the skaa people as they are currently treated as property and livestock. Noblemen are allowed to sleep with the skaa women, granted that they have them executed immediately afterwards so that they don’t bear children. When he witnesses a poor girl be taken in the night during his visits at a local plantation, he pretty much kills the nobleman’s entire household retinue. That’s a thing.

When we first meet Vin, a skaa orphan, she’s working for a small thieving operation, unaware that her mental abilities and the use of is pretty much illegal in the situations she’s told to apply them to. She has no idea of the infinite wealth of power she could wield and is very lucky when Kelsier and his crew finds her.

Kelsier’s crew is pretty much the bee’s knees. I loved them all, including his brother Marsh, who seemed like a jealous antagonist until closer to the end of the book. They’ve all got a little bit of allomancy in them. Though, it seemed like the government let an awful lot of half-breeds run around, considering the rules are to murder potential magic child bearing mothers? I guess that’s why there were secret posts and the entire line of steel inquisitors?

Anyway, Kelsier used to be an awesome Gentleman Bastard type thief guy, but he was eventually captured tried to break into the Lord Ruler’s chambers. He was sentenced to slavery and to mine a precious metal called atium (when consumed for allomancy it let’s the user see into the future). The death of his wife and partner in crime broke something in him and awakened his allomatic powers. So, he escaped and now that he has returned to the capital city, want’s to destroy the Lord Ruler and everything he stands for.

It’s a pretty epic plan, involving spies and armies and feints. Though, everything falls apart with the original plan at one point, and the book just get’s more stressful from there on. They continue with the plan, but Kelsier seemed to always have a plan b, which was a horrible horrible plan! I couldn’t deal. Instead of setting the book down and crying for days, I powered through till the end.

And what an ending it was! The Lord Ruler’s surprise reveal was absolutely spot on! You think you know all about him and what he’s about from the journal Vin reads, but you don’t know anything. I haven’t loved a book ‘boss battle’ that much since reading Wizards First Rule as a freshman in high school!

Oh, yeah, I totally forgot to mention Elend. He’s awesome too. Very Adrian Ivoshkov, but without all the smoking. I think he’s absolutely perfect and awesome and that he and Vin should get together and make several babies. Though, it seems like they’re both busy doing their respective things right now like fixing a chaotic living environment and I dunno, saving the world from some sort of darkness?

So, I hear Well of Ascension is much slower paced and not quite up to par. So, we’ll see how I do with that book. At least I hear good things for Hero of Ages. Anyway, great fantasy novel. Wonderful execution. I loved the fact that we’ve got a strong female lead and that even though Kelsier is around, it is essentially her story. Can’t wait to continue! For my first finished Sanderson, it was an absolute treat. Not claiming my allegiance to Nikki’s army yet, but recruitment is possible!

Written by Fry


Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

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