Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The “Mistborn” are suppose to be of noble birth, however in Brandon Sanderson’s first book of the series of the same name it turns out this is not the case and it proves to be the undoing to the evil seemingly immortal Lord Ruler in the end.  The first book of the “Mistborn” finds both tropes and fantasy genre clichés used in familiar as well as twisted ways, resulting in a excellent read.

The plot followed two individuals, both the titular mistborn: Vin, a young thief just trying to survive, and Kelsier, the master thief who survived a living death sentence and plans to topple the Final Empire by starting an actual skaa (think serfs) rebellion.  Set in a world where the hero failed a 1000 years before and the evil dark lord has ruled ever since, Kelsier brings Vin who doesn’t know she’s a mistborn into his high-end thieving crew with a plan to destabilize and topple the Final Empire.

Giving “Mistborn” its major fantasy element is Sanderson’s inventive magic system of Allomancy, which individuals “burn” metals they have ingested that affect either internally or externally things specific to those metals.  The titular mistborn have the ability to burn all known metals while mistings are only able to burn one metal, nearly all of Kelsier’s crew use allomancy in one form or another which is how Vin trains in the uses of her mistborn powers.

For almost 550 pages, Sanderson writes a in riveting cannot put the book down style that keeps on raising the reader’s anticipating to see how he ends the story.  Unfortunately the last 100 pages prove to be the weakest part of the book as Sanderson ties up all the various story elements he’s laid down.  It isn’t the fact Sanderson ties it up, it’s how he does it.  It almost felt like several things happening on top of one another that kept on pushing down the big showdown that you knew was coming and then didn’t give enough time for a proper denouement, which got regulated to the epilogue.  However the decision to have the Lord Ruler appear only in the last tenth of the book and the bait-and-switch of his true identity was a pleasant surprise.

“Mistborn: The Final Empire” is a satisfying read even with a unfortunate weak end but not even not to make you want to find out what happens next in the aftermath in the Final Empire’s fall.

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