Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released July 31st, 2007
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 5/5


Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn (Summary from Goodreads).

Whoa.  Just whoa.  I cannot express how much I loved this book.  From the very beginning, I was intrigued with this world where ashes fall from the sky, the sun is red, oppressed people known as skaa work relentlessly for the nobles, and an unsympathetic Lord Ruler has, at the risk of sounding redundant, ruled for a thousand years. 

Even more awesome was the magic system.  This magic known as Allomancy allows certain people, mostly nobles, to "burn" metals and gives them powers.  Mistings can utilize only one type of metal, thus one type of power.  Mistborns, however, can harness the power of all the Allomantic metals.  After one of the main characters, Kelsier, suffers the loss of a loved one, he seeks to take down the Lord Ruler with the help of his thieving crew and sixteen-year-old Vin, who he trains to use her Allomantic magic.

Spoilers Ahead!

Like I said above, I was drawn into this story from the beginning.  This was definitely one of the largest books I've read in a while at 647 pages, and although there was a lot of world building which could get a little dry at times, I was so hooked to this world that it really didn't matter.  If anything, the world building made the story even better because I could easily visualize the images in my head.  The scenes where Kelsier and Vin used their Allomancy were so well written that I enjoyed every single minute of it. 

I also liked the way the magic system was introduced.  An explanation wasn't just dropped on me all at once.  I enjoyed trying to figure out for myself how the magic system worked a little at a time.  It added to the mysterious vibe of the story.  Then when Kelsier started training Vin, I felt like I was there learning with her.

This may be my immature teenager-ness coming out, but when Elend and Vin met, I started reading this book crazy fast.  That's the moment when I knew I was going to love this book.  For some reason, I really like books where one character in a relationship has to hide some awesome part of her from the guy, like how Cinder had to hide the fact that she's a cyborg from Kai in the first book of the Lunar Chronicles (also one of my all-time favorite series).  That dramatic irony got me excited in all of Elend and Vin's scenes together.

Also, it's been awhile since a character's death has made me feel genuinely sad.  When Kelsier died, I literally made dying animal noises and I think I actually went through the five stages of grief.  I was in complete disbelief at first, telling myself "nahhhh he's gonna come back from the dead everything's all right," but obviously he didn't and I continued to make said animal noises, letting all my family and friends know that a main character had just died (to which I received blank stares).

I liked the character development, as well.  Vin overcame most of her paranoia and distrust of others, and Keslier became less selfish and obviously was willing to die for the revolution. 

The detail in the world-building and magic system was amazing, and I can't wait to start the next book to learn more about Vin's powers and Lord Ruler's warning before he died.  I have a feeling that this "Deepness" might still be around...
Seriously, I liked this book so much I put fanart as the background on my phone.

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