The Final Empire (Mistborn # 1) by Brandon Sanderson - Book Review

Write on: Fri, 12 Jul 2019 by  in John's Reviews Read 2860

I began my Brandon Sanderson journey with the Way of Kings, and I haven’t had any regrets so far. Still it was a little strange moving backwards in time to the final three Wheel of Time books and now onto The Final Empire. Much like the Realm of the Elderlings books, I am playing catch up with my wife who finished the first Mistborn trilogy earlier this year. I put off reading this book for years despite having heard so many people sing it’s praises (I mean, it has 4.5 stars out of nearly 320,000 ratings on Goodreads). It’s fair to say there was a considerable amount of hype leading up to it.

It lived up to it.

Mistbook Book 1, the Final Empire, takes place in a world where the evil Lord Ruler has reigned for a thousand years, having fulfilled some prophecies and overthrown a darker eviler evil. Ash now falls from the sky. A strange mist dominates the night. Society is split into two castes, the ruling nobility and the slave class called the Skaa. Understatement of the year: the Skaa are treated horribly. What’s worse is there is no way out from beneath the thumb of the nobility and the Dark Lord as it is believed he is a god. The Sliver of Infinity, they call him, a splinter of god.

Only violent Danny Ocean…I’m sorry Kelsier, the survivor of Hathsin, dares to dream of a world without the Lord Ruler. And like the Cylons, he has a plan.

The Final Empire does a lot of things very well. In my reading experience, no one makes me care about characters faster than Brandon Sanderson. Kelsier has a flair for the dramatic from the start. He’s a freedom fighter who is fighting for more than just his slice of pain. He dreams of something bigger. Vin is a broken child of the streets, pulled in to something bigger than she could have imagined. Even the rest of the crew (Sazed, Breeze, Ham, Spook, Clubs, Marsh, etc.) are all given enough character and depth that I grew to deeply care for them. The world felt real almost immediately. The magic system is so intricate and so integral to the world (I mean, it’s BranSan) that it almost feels much. I think about 10% of the book is spent just explaining how Allomancy (metal-based magic) works. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it ever felt forced. It helped that one character was learning ALL the metals.

If you’re hankering for a good story in an immersive world with spectacular characters and a complex magic system, what are you waiting for? The Final Empire is only the first book of the trilogy, and there’s a sequel series to boot...with a fourth book on the way (eventually). Furthermore, Well of Ascension and the Hero of Ages are even better than the Final Empire. So I’ll ask this one more time…

What are you waiting for?

An enthusiastic 5/5


John Scritchfield spends his days caring for his four children and his nights wearing costumes and pretending to hit people with blunt weaponry. There is very little money it. He holds an MFA in Acting, which he puts to use as the Creative Director for the Calvin Theatre Company at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he also teachesIn his free time, he enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading, writing, and spending time with his wife, children, and two cats (Jasnah and Vin). Oh, he's also the Booknest co-Admin.