Publisher: Macmillian Audio
Series: Mistborn #1
Narrator: Michael Kramer
Edition: Audiobook, 24 Hours 39 Minutes
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The Mists rule the night.
The Lord Ruler owns the world.
Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.
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.
The Final Empire has been on my TBR for years, and it’s always been one of those books that I look at each year and swear I’m going to get to…and then never do. Thank goodness for my book club, which voted for this one and effectively forced me to pick it up.
The Final Empire is very much a story about revolution and the machinations of an empire full of class & social issues that oppress some and elevate other; at the center of this Kelsier, a man determined to take the empire and right centuries of wrongs, and Vin, a girl who has grown up on the streets and finds she is more than she thought. This on the surface is your standard fantasy fight against oppression, but where it sets itself apart is Sanderson’s excellent world building and incredibly unique magic system. I love love love the magic happening in The Final Empire! It’down s rooted in a person ability to “burn” metals, and from those metals, they gain abilities like super strength or heightened senses. The fights involving these powers were so cool, and I even had moments where I actually went back and listened to fights scenes over because I just needed to ‘see’ that happen again. I think the story overall is pretty interesting, with a lot of build up involving politics and careful maneuvering, but it does have some pacing issues that can be a bit disorienting. There were sections where the story slowed down considerably and while interesting didn’t have a ton happening on the page.
Another thing that kept this from reaching that 5-star rating lies in the characterization. For the most part, I enjoyed the vast majority of the characters or at least their overall idea, but there were so many that I felt like I didn’t quite ‘know’ by the end of it. This is a problem I was expecting though because there were similar issues with Elantris. There were two characters that I felt I grasped, Vin and Sazad, and they ended up becoming my favorites very quickly with Keilser close behind. It feels as if much of the effort of backstory was focused on these three, which means that many of the other crew while likable were sort of flat in areas. Sazad is an absolute stand out though, and I spent much of my time puzzling over him and his people. I love the uniqueness of his abilities and how his people value collecting knowledge, and I’d be lying if I said that part of the reason I’m so excited for book two had nothing to do with finding out more about him.
So overall, I found The Final Empire to be a really fun read and an excellent start of a series. I’m definitely going to grab the second book, The Well of Ascension because I can’t wait to see where the story goes.