Saturday 11 January 2014

Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Published: June 5th 2012
Pages: 358
Book blurb:

For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.

A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa street urchin, who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.

What if the prophesied hero had failed to defeat the dark lord? The answer will be found in the Mistborn triology, a saga of surprises that begins here.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in fact, I absolutely LOVED it. I have always been a fan of the epic fantasy genre, but for the past year I seem to have neglected the genre altogether. This book has completely reignited my love of fantasy and I have Regan from the Peruse Project to thank for recommending this book on her channel. There are so many reasons why this book is one of my favourites.

First off is the incredible and thorough world-building. This story has such a rich background with one of the most original magic systems I have ever had the pleasure to read. While the world is incredibly complex, it is explained so simply and completely that it was easy to understand (and, in fact, very believable!). Throughout the book the language  is direct and easy to read which I much prefer to the flowery, convoluted language used by many authors.

The characters in this story are FANTASTIC. While the story is told from the point of view of just two characters, Vin and Kelsier, the other characters in the novel are just as well-developed. The main band of characters (Kelsier's crew) each had completely independent characterizations from the loyal and stoic Sazed to the philosophical Ham. The antagonist (The Lord Ruler) was a terrifying enemy with complete control over the entire world; evil to the very core. The descriptions of the Inquisitors with metal disks protruding from their eyes was also incredibly disturbing and added to the feeling of terror surrounding the Lord Ruler.

I found the plot of the story extremely clever; there were so many unexpected twists and turns and I was completely in the dark when it came to the solution of the final conflict. I also loved the use of the diary entry style headers at the beginning of each chapter which added to the final twist at the end of the story.

The only problem I had with the story was the romance. While it did not overwhelm the plot by any means it could easily be described as inst-love and in turn caused the characters involved in the romance (no spoilers here) into complete and utter fools; all rational thoughts are thrown out the window. This was such a minor part of the story that it did not take away from my love of this book.


If you love books with rich world-building and well-rounded characters, a fantastic and clever plot with plenty of action, then you will love this book too.

Have you read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. What were your thoughts?
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