Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Updated: Jul 22, 2021
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Mistborn ERA 1 (1/3)
Book World: The Cosmere
“Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope."
The Final Empire was the most recommended book to me when I started craving books more complex, with higher stakes and darker plot. It was also a transition from the urban fantasy I usually read to high epic fantasy.
Now that I have read the book and cried a river, I will firmly stand on the public opinion of this being one of the best-written high fantasy books.
The most common trope of 'Chosen One' is undone by the author and he strives to show the reader what happens when the chosen one fails to protect the world from evil and the dark lord wins reigning for thousand years hereafter.
The Lord Ruler established the Final Empire, dividing the population between nobles who supported him and skaa who opposed him. He went to create the Steel Inquisitors, ruthless beings that obey his will, and kill those who present a threat to the empire with no reservations.
Set on the planet Scadrial where ash falls from the sky taking away the vibrancy of the world.
For a thousand years, Lord Ruler's tyranny continued. Any attempts at resistance were drowned in blood. The skaa were slaves, they were treated with a little dignity, while the nobles fought their petty wars for power.
In these trying times Brandon Sanderson also managed to create one of the most complex and at the same time a very intricate magic systems of Allomancy based on ingestion of metals. Allomancy, the inherent ability that allows the Allomancer to burn specific metals, offering powers that can enhance physical and mental capacities, was considered a privilege belonging to the nobility.
Scroll side to enjoy the art. (Note: I don't own any of the artwork. Credit to the talented artists)
Things take a turn when our 16-year-old street urchin Vin, finds out she is a Mistborn, an allomancer capable of accessing the powers of all 10 metals, her life consisted of hiding and conning changes when a group of high and elite outlaws hire her to do the impossible, to take down the Lord Ruler and overthrow the Final Empire.
With careless and reckless Kelsier as their leader, this bizarre group of misfits taken in Vin, showing her a world where friendship and relationships are the true basis to form a team. Kelsier teaches her how to harvest her powers. How to be a Mistborn.
My favorite literature trope of 'found family' is found at its pinnacle and represented very well. The bond between Vin and rest of the gang Ham, Breeze, Docs and Sazed is shown in a developing arc.
“There's always another secret.”
The Final Empire is an impeccable work of a great worldbuilder; in this epic saga of betrayal, intrigue, resistance and survival, Brandon Sanderson, transports you into Luthadel's rotten, poorly lit alleys, in contradiction we see the lavish and majestic ballrooms. He manages to blaze us with the emotions of fear, worry, disgust, bravery, love, hope, utter, devastating heartache. With the mists engulfing the body, and the ash covering clothes, you become one with this intricate, imaginative, dark, and strangely emotional story, and you realize with high respect and admiration that Brandon Sanderson is the Master of Fantasy.
“But you can't kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you've never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.”
Even after you finish the book a question looms in your mind is this the end? or just a beginning to the greater end?
Dear reader, I can't recommend The Final Empire enough. Please, grab a copy and dive into the treacherous streets of Luthadel with Vin and Kelsier guiding you,
"Don't be afraid of the mists; just let them in".