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The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson Book Review

Book: The Final Empire

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: The Mistborn Saga book #1

Pages: 537

First published July 17, 2006

What if the whole world were a dead, blasted wasteland?

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Brandon Sanderson, fantasy’s newest master tale-spinner and author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the prophesied hero failed to defeat the Dark Lord? The answer will be found in the Misborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises that begins with the book in your hands. Fantasy will never be the same again.

Brandon Sanderson

When I first started reading books and got excited about the fantasy genre, I started looking for must-read authors. As you guessed, Brandon Sanderson’s name was one of the first. He writes in a captivating way. Through the descriptions, we get enough information to get a feel for the world he presents. What I didn’t like was the mental anguish of the characters, which was sometimes too much for me.

The Final Empire

The first book I read by Brandon Sanderson was The Final Empire from the Mistborn series. I spent a lot of time wondering about it because chemistry and I don’t really get along and there were a lot of metal alloys in the book. Still, the first book in the series was interesting to me.

The world Sanderson describes to us is one of fog and ash. A pretty bleak place to live. During the day there is a heavy frost, and in the evening the mists that everyone fears come. The magic here is not the typical magic. In this world live people who can absorb metals and extract certain powers from them, they are called allomancers. Most of them can only work with one metal, but there are more powerful ones that use all metals – Mistborn. Here it was a real challenge for me to remember all these metals and who is for what.

Life in the Final Empire

The story takes place in a world ruled by a deity – the Lord Ruler. Society in his realm is divided into different classes and these are explained and delineated very clearly. There are the nobles, who form the upper class. They enjoy the worship of the ruler and have wealth at their disposal. The ministerials – they are the police authority. They are fanatically loyal to the Ruler. They include the Inquisitors, who are rather strange creatures, a bit like Frankenstein. The lowest of the low are the Skaa. They are slaves, without rights, but with many duties.

The Mistborn saga map


Our heroes are criminals and thieves. In the first place is Kelsier. They call him the survivor. He bears marks on his body from his time in one of the lord’s mines and is the only one who managed to escape from there. Kelsier is a Mistborn. He’s the kind of thief who only throws big punches. But as the story progresses, Kelsier is built up to be a rebel who wants to overthrow the End Realm and kill the Overlord. I really liked his character and even wished he was the main character.

The protagonist of the series is Vin. We first meet her in the hideout of a gang of petty thugs. She manages to be inconspicuous and thus survive in this male-dominated world. Her hard life has taught her not to trust anyone. Kelsier takes her under his wing, because he is firmly convinced that there is more to her and that he can use her for his plan.

Next comes the plan to overthrow the Final Empire…

Kelsier devises a way to defeat the ruler, but his companions don’t know exactly what his goal is. He is ready to sacrifice himself to prove to the Ska that they can fight for a life of dignity. They need a hero.

And an ending that is sure to make you want to read the next book. “The Final Empire” is a book that should be on your reading list.


Hello, my name is Todora, but now also known as Dochka or Docheto. I have two wonderful dragons at home (boys ages 5 and 7) that I am trying to raise in the love of books. I was quite a chatterbox as a kid when I had required reading in school, and now I am trying to make up for it. I love reading fantasy, sweet endings are not my "thing". I love it when there are struggles, intrigue, and surprises in a book that shake you to your core. If I fell into paranoia that all the characters were traitors, my rating would be 5 stars. In short, I love to read and if one day I find a way to make this my sole occupation and get paid for it :D, I will have stumbled into heaven.

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