Mistborn: The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson

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Mistborn: The Final Empire
“Ash fell from the sky. Lord Tresting frowned, glancing up at the ruddy, mid-day sky as his servants scuttled forward, opening a parasol over Tresting and his distinguished guest.”

Overthrowing an empire, anyone?

Mistborn: The Final Empire is Brandon Sanderson’s second novel. Originally published in 2006, it’s the first of the Mistborn trilogy. Sanderson started the series while trying to get his first novel, Elantris, published.

It received many favourable reviews and was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award for an Epic Fantasy Novel. In 2016, DMG Entertainment purchased the film rights and in 2017, they assigned a screenwriter.


Summary

The story follows a 16-year-old street urchin, Vin, living in the city of Luthadel. The world is in chaos; ash falling from the sky, plants dying and barren, an entire race enslaved and living in fear of the Lord Ruler. A so-called divine leader, he’s a dictatorship that had turned the city into a hellish prison. Vin is one of the many Skaa slaves trying to survive on the streets as part of a thieving crew. But there’s a rebellion on the horizon, and when the rebel leader himself tells Vin that she had more powers than she could ever dream of, she’s joins them. The Lord Ruler is invincible, but so are Kelsier and his crew. Vin learns how to navigate her new powers, the life of a noble woman, and her growing affections for one of their enemies. Will they ever succeed?



Commentary

Mistborn: The Final Empire is a brilliantly developed novel full of magic and intrigue.

Praise

  • The characters are incredible. Everyone has unique personalities, goals, motivation, fears and reactions. They develop throughout the novel but still remain true to their original selves. I have yet to find an author who creates characters as well as Sanderson, and in this book they do not disappoint.
  • The plot is just as well developed as the characters. There are plot twists and plans and foreshadowing that makes you grin like a madman once you realise. At it’s core, it’s a simple idea: overthrow the empire. But there are layers upon layers on top of that, creating a complicated and intriguing story.
  • There is not a single other magic system on the planet that is as complex and thought-through as the one in the Mistborn trilogy. Every possible plot hole in their form of magic is accounted for until the reader is left with something so developed and intristic that it almost feels real.

Critique

  • It is rather cliché. The subjucated people, the dark lord ruler, the vigilante team led by a gentleman thief trying to overthrow the empire. There’s never any doubt that they’ll suceed because that is just the result of these type of books. As a result, the journey is far more enjoyable that the destination.
  • Speaking of the gentleman thief; Kelsier ticks alllllll the boxes of the suave-and-debonair-conman-with-a-heart-of-gold. He’s got the Tragic Backstory TM, the spurrned lover, the once-betrayed. As interesting and complex as his character is, his actions are predictable purely because he acts as the charming mastermind.
  • For a heist book, there is very little actual heist. The majority of the book is spent planning, and although that much detail is definitely needed considering they’re planning to collapse the entire nation, there are times when you wish for more action.


Recommendations

Overall, I’d give Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire five out of five. It’s a incredibly well developed and enteraining novels that will have readers hooked for hours.

I’d recommend this novel to fantasy fans. It’s a very long novel, and for those who don’t really care about the fantasy genre, it’s probably too long for them to enjoy it.


5/5 Star



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