The Final Empire (Mistborn, Book 1)
By: Brandon Sanderson
My Rating: FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS
Best for: 14 and up
Man, I’ve put of this re-read for way too long.
I can easily say I loved The Finale Empire (Mistborn, Book 1) even more the second time. There are complexities in this story that went way over my head the first time around, and now that I’ve seen the bigger picture there is even more there to appreciate.
I finished Mistborn yesterday. The only coherent thought I could find to express the way I felt was this:
Now that I’ve slept and had time to digest, I’ve been able to come up with a bit more by way of commentary.
I’ll tell you what kind of book this is . . . it’s Incredible. Powerful. Meaningful. One in a Million. Destined to Become a Classic.
Here’s what I loved–
The three books of the Mistborn Trilogy are The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. Book one introduces the reader to a land ruled by a tyrant known as The Lord Ruler. The Lord Ruler is immortal and has ruled unchallenged for 1000 years. He is God. He calls his Kingdom “The Final Empire,” implying there will be no more—The Lord Ruler intends to rule for ever. People are divided into two classes: Nobility, with their lavish life styles, and Skaa, the peasants who are slaves to the Nobles. The Mistborn Trilogy is a story of rebellion, of doing impossible things, and of learning too late that ruling is much harder than it looks.
Mistborn doesn’t just have one great character—it has several. I hesitate to share too many details for fear of diminishing the reading experience for someone else. I’ll simply say for me, strong characters = as strong story, and the heroes and villains of The Mistborn Trilogy are as strong as any I’ve ever read. They got to me, and I felt for them. Even now that the story is over, they are still in my head and I want to know more. Really great, great characters.
Usually when I read a book, I like to notice the writing style of the author. How easy does the book read? Does the dialogue flow comfortably? Do the descriptions seamlessly take me to the place I’m reading about? I was several hours into the book before I realized I hadn’t even noticed any of those usual things. Nothing about the writing was getting in the way of the story—no awkward phrasing, no quirkiness, no weird use of adjectives, dialogue that flowed easily. I really felt the writing was so smooth I didn’t even notice the words.
The Fight Scenes!
And speaking of smooth writing—OH MY WORD! The fighting and battle scenes were incredible! This is a place Brandon Sanderson shines. The magic system he developed for Mistborn is brilliant, and it creates opportunities for some truly tremendous fight scenes. Picture a battle between Yoda and The Hulk, written in glorious detail—so much so that your heart starts racing and the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you want to yell out loud when it’s over. I’m telling you…it’s good.
I enjoyed the philosophical parts too—discussions on the purpose of religion and the role of government were integral to the story and made quite a lot of sense.
And the ending? Well, imagine yourself reading through all 2000+ pages of an amazing book–dying to get to the end, building up your expectations, thinking you know exactly what is going to happen, knowing exactly what you want to have happen–and then when you finally get there the ending is so big all you can say is…
Mistborn is now on my Greatest Ever shelf. I hope it makes it to yours as well.
There is no language or sex, but it is violent. I won’t let my kids read it until they are 14 or 15.