The Final Empire
by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 4 Stars
‘In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals...’
My boyfriend has been trying to get me to read some Brandon Sanderson for years (he’s a big fan). After my friend Jess over @themoormaiden told me she was going to try and read the first book of the Mistborn trilogy back in January, I thought it sounded like a good time to jump on the bandwagon. Dan leant me the full trilogy and I was off! Well, sort of…
It took me a while to get used to Sanderson’s writing style. progress at the start was very slow and I struggled to engage with the characters. I can’t quite put my finger on why – possibly because it is a book largely dominated by men and the female main character has little in the way of personality at the beginning of the book (don’t worry she starts to come into her own later). It also took a while for the plot to surprise me.
But there was enough there to pique my interest so I kept reading. As I read on I was intrigued by the world-building, amused by the banter and thoroughly enjoying the dynamics of the crew. But I wasn’t concerned for them. I think this was because the plot seemed to progress predominantly along expected lines and in accordance with Kelsier’s original plan.
As such, it did not feel like the characters were under much threat. But things started to get really interesting once Kelsier’s plans begin to go awry and the pace from then on is much more suited to my taste.
Don’t get me wrong, pacing isn’t everything. I really, really enjoyed the book. The world-building is epic and I like the sense that we are dealing with the aftermath of a previous cataclysm. I found the magic system intriguing, the journal snippets in every chapter worked really well and the resolution to this portion of the plot was actually really satisfying. As previously mentioned the interaction between the characters was a lot of fun and there were a lot of good twists in the second half. My only quibble is that it felt like the first half could have been condensed considerably without us loosing a great deal. You have to wade through quite a bit before you get to the really good stuff – but once you get there it’s worth it.
I haven’t read the next two books in the series yet – I haven’t fancied something quite so slow paced for a bit, but I will get to them eventually!