Book Review: THE FINAL EMPIRE by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4/5 stars
Series: Yes - first in trilogy


the final empire.jpg

The Lord Ruler holds absolute sway over the Final Empire, enslaving the skaa to toil in the ash-clogged world, where the mists rule the night. Key to his power is Allomancy – rare magic powered by consumed metals. Very few are born with the power of Allomancy – all nobles – and none can match the power of the Lord Ruler.

Vin is a skaa street-rat, part of a thieving crew with Luck on her side – except her Luck is Allomancy. Recruited by charismatic thief-turned-revolutionary (for a price) Kelsier to help overthrow the Lord Ruler, Vin is quickly drawn into the world of Allomancy and espionage.

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What drew me to this book was the unique magic system. Magic accessed by swallowing metals? I love magic systems full of rules, restrictions and impositions – there are less potential loopholes to get around problems. This book did not disappoint on the magic-system-front. The book also had a far more political-fantasy slant than I was expecting – which I loved!

Kelsier was very vague and elusive throughout, but I loved him by the end. I was never quite sure what his motivations and was pulled into his chapters because of this. Vin is a great co-MC (though she transitions to primary as the story goes on). I really liked seeing the world through her eyes – and it’s quite a world. Even being primarily in one city, the scope of the world is felt and fleshed out.

This book is long – somewhat too long. It is a very complicated, involved story, but it felt like there had to be something that could have been cut. The prologue (which didn’t seem to serve any purpose other than introduce Kelsier and the world, but this was done in the opening chapters anyway), for instance, and the journal extracts. While I loved the insights into “the chosen one’s” mind, and his story, in the form of brief paragraphs above the chapter numbers, the longer extracts in the main story jerked me out of the narrative a bit.

Short review today, but I’m certainly going to read the rest of the series.

Read my reviews of other books by Brandon Sanderson:



For reviews of the final Wheel of Time books Brandon Sanderson finished off, see Robert Jordan

Young Adult:



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