Rating: 4.5 / 5
After hearing all sorts of good things about Brandon Sanderson in spite of the intimidating length of his adult novels, I decided to join in for the #Cosmerealong. After reading and absolutely loving the first book ELANTRIS, I was much less intimidated to to continue on. THE FINAL EMPIRE is the first book in Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy and the next book for the readalong.
THE FINAL EMPIRE is set in a dark world where a dark lord ruler has control, knocking down numerous rebellions over the years by those oppressed under his rule. We are following two main characters. Kelsier is a criminal mastermind who has been sent essentially to his death by the reigning powers, but survived. He’s determined to enact a likely impossible plot to finally raise a successful rebellion. In his wanderings he comes across Vin, a teen working for criminals to survive. Kelsier recognizes that she has more magical power in her than she realizes and takes her on as an apprentice of sorts to train and join into his plan.
It is so hard to summarize this book because it is full of plot and action, but I can say that it was wonderful. It took me a little longer to settle into the story compared to my experience with ELANTRIS, but given that this is the start of a new world which will carry over into multiple books, that is somewhat to be expected. Sanderson writes a very intelligent and logical system of magic and there is a lot to learn about it in the beginning as Kelsier is teaching Vin. The system is based around different metals that when ingested give those with the appropriate ability the power to do something unique to that type of metal. It was a lot of fun to watch Vin learn, especially the ability to manipulate some metals to essentially fly over the city. I kept thinking how fun it would be to see it on screen!
The characters are well developed and I enjoyed the relationships among this band of miscreants Kelsier has assembled and with some of the people they draw in along the way. This has some strong found family vibes which I do really enjoy. There were some twists in this plot line which weren’t entirely surprising, but did pull at the heart a bit. I’m very excited to see where the story goes from here!
For a 650ish page book, THE FINAL EMPIRE really did fly by every time I picked it up. The writing is engaging and approachable and I’m really finding myself a big Brandon Sanderson fan! Good thing he’s written a LOT for me to now track down and enjoy!