The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)
First sentence:"Ash fell from the sky"
"For a thousand years the skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord ruler reigned with absolute power And ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably."
Yet hope survived, and we are witness to a new uprising. Together with a thieving crew, a cunning mastermind and an unlikely heroin, are the driving forces behind a mad, impossible plan. Ready to pull off the heist of a lifetime to overthrow the nobility and the Lord Ruler himself
"I represent that one thing you've never been able to kill no matter how hard you try. I am hope."
The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. I have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson before. And I can't believe that I missed out for so long. This book was an interesting, epic, mystical, exciting book. A book with a clear theme: Freedom from oppression. An understanding of how important hope is and how powerful, and that every living thing is worthy and deserves to be treated with respect.
Although it starts slowly, it feels normal and necessary to keep a slower pace at first (still had a bit of a slump in the middle), it never gets boring (there are way too many fascinating and interesting aspects to the story, the world and it's magical system. ) and it became a real page turner in the end.
I won't say too much about the story itself, as it would be too hard to say much without spoiling it. But what I can point out is the diverse and compelling cast. I kinda liked all the main members of the crew and their dynamic together, but my absolute favourites are: Kel, Vin and Sazed.
Kel delinity has lost a few screws. This plan of his is just plain crazy. Or is it? I guess you have to read it to find out. He is determined, always willing to try the impossible no matter what the odds (certainly not in their favour), but he is still one hell of a leader.
Vin begins as a shy, quiet, scrawny, frightened young woman after years of living in the slums of the Skaa or among thugs and thieving crews. Over the course of the book, she develops into a powerful, fierce woman. But not in that typical clichéd Mary Sue style. She goes through a slow development that is clearly not over yet and of course she still struggles and earns her power and not the easy way. It was so refreshing and inspiring to see a shy and quiet person evolve into as such a wonderful, powerful woman while still being herself.
Saze was probably the best companion Vin could ever have! He brought such calmness and, as a so-called Keeper, was a walking encyclopaedia, explaining to Vin and us so many important things about him as a Terrisman and about the world and it’s ancient religions.
"Sometimes we just have to wait long enough, Mistress," he said. " Then we find out why exactly it was that kept believing."
The humour was GOLD and I loved the crew banter and jokes and the sometimes dark humour. I also enjoyed watching the plot slowly come together and the pace pick up as we got closer to the end, until it became a real page-turner that you just couldn't put down. And it had a lot of surprises and twists! It was believable because it was a plan that had taken months to put together, not the silly rash plans that are more common in a book like this!
The Last Empire was my first book with allomancy as a magical system. Although confusing, it was interesting to learn about. Sanderson has done a great job of explaining the system and because of the scientific aspects it's so bloody plausible and believable. I really liked the way he introduced the system and what each metal does without filling pages with boring theory. Together with Vin we discovered everything when the time came.
(But there is also an appendix explaining the magic system again in case you need to have a look at it from time to time.)
The same goes for his world-building. It was rich, real and well thought out. Unlike some other books, there are not too many unanswered questions about the world apart from those that come with the plot itself.
And there is much more to the story than the heist! Religious discussions, class systems, politics and of course the world building and magic system itself are all brilliantly woven together.
"Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope."
I am soooo looking forward to reading the other books in this Mistborn trilogy!
Brandon Sanderson, The Final Empire, Mistborne Trilogy, Book 1, Orion Publishing Group, 2009