The Final Empire, Mistborn Book One by Brandon Sanderson
[Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]
I know – I’m ten years late in discovering this brilliant fantasy writer. But I guess it’s better late than never!
I actually came across this series by chance, because I had just run out of really good books to read, and was searching the web for inspiration. Plus, I had just finished the Terry Goodkind series, and was looking for another good fantasy read. Sanderson’s name came up in all the top lists I googled, so I decided to give it a try by ordering the Mistborn trilogy set online. I’m so glad, because the story is so good that I couldn’t put down the book in more than one occasion, and I don’t think I can wait too long to read the second book (in fact, I’ve already started reading it).
I think Sanderson’s success lies in his ability to create a refreshing new world around allomancy – a magic system revolving around the use and “burning” of metals, his masterful mix of intrigue and suspense in the story line, and a skillful pacing of the narration. He managed to develop the characters sufficiently without going into long descriptions of their thoughts and feelings like some authors do. The logic of the magical systems he created is not too complex to understand, and yet also not so simple that one loses interest midway. In fact, you might be able to pick up some simple chemistry and physics theories along the way!
VERDICT: This Mistborn book is a must-read for all fantasy book lovers, and I hope the other two books in the trilogy live up to the expectations the first book has given rise to.
For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:
For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, a divinely invincible leader. Hope is long lost, until a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa in the depths of the most hellish prison and discovered he has the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, Kelsier will turn his talents to the ultimate caper: one with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Only he’s not just planning the greatest heist in history, he’s plotting the overthrow of a divine despot. Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks like a long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.