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Review: The Final Empire (#1), by Brandon Sanderson

Hello, bookworms! I hope everything is ok with you!

I promised yesterday that I would post my review of The Final Empire, so… Here it is! However, I won’t write a post about the books I got yesterday, but you can read it tomorrow! 😉

Without further ado, here’s my review! I hope you leave comments below, by the way!

The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson, is the first book of the Mistborn series, which has six books so far. There is no information about the seventh and final book, but the sixth novel was published in January 2016 and was very well received by the fans. It is important to know that this series is split in two, since the action of the last four books of the series is after the story told in the first three novels..

This first installment tells a revolution led by a Allomancer (someone who can use ingested metals to enhance their physical and mental abilities), Kelsier, who suffered at the hands of the Lord Ruler, a “God” that rules the whole Final Empire. To dethrone the Lord Ruler, Kelsier makes bold plans together with his group. It is early in the development of the revolution that Kelsier meets a Mistborn, Vin, a orphan skaa (the skaa are the enslaved people of the Final Empire) who eventually joins the group because Kelsier promised her that he will teach her all about the metals, because they all have different powers. In the meanwhile, she plays a key role in the revolution: the girl has to  pretend to be a noble, Valette Renoux, in order to trigger discord between the great families of the nobility, to weaken the political system of the Empire. However, there are challenges along the way and the group goes through quite dark moments, but there always remains a desire to improve the Final Empire. So will they be able to realize the dream of seeing an empire ruled by righteous people, or will it be impossible to overthrow the Lord Ruler?

As you can see, the books has a very interesting plot, although it’s not entirely new in Fantasy. Still, it stands out for being simple and for changing certain traditional aspects of Fantasy, like magic. Usually, we associate  magic  with wands or gestures that the characters make with their hands, but in this book, the magic is only possible by swalloing up metal. . Thus, the author gets the reader’s attention through new elements he himself creates. Also, as usual in Fantasy, the first part of the book develops slowly since there is so much detail that we are getting for the first time, but it’s normal because the reader is facing a whole new world. The second part is definitely more action packed, but the plot twists simply fantastic. They were indeed unpredictable.

The characters are the ones that give complexity to the plot since they are all completely different. We have, on one hand, Kelsier, who is fascinating, rebellious and ambitious, and, on the other hand, we have Vin, a weak young girl, but who once learns useful things about her abilities, she becomes a great spy and a very talented Allomancer. Kelsier is undoubtedly one of the most endearing characters, but he did’nt get the attention he deserved, in my opinion. We have little glimpses of his past and we are able to understand his reasons for his revenge and his desire to carry out a revolution; however, he was entirely well developped by the author. Actually, all the characters are under-developed, which is a pity…

Mistborn, digital illustration. Based on “The Final Empire” from the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.:
Fanart: Vin and Kelsier with their allomancer capes.

Still, I would like to talk about two other characters that have captured my attention, even though they weren’t well developed as well: Elend and Sazed. Elend belongs to one of the Great Houses of the nobility, but, unlike the other nobles, who prefer to ignore the poverty and the suffering of the skaas and just want to dance and wear the best clothes, Elend is an idealist rebel. He dreams of a harmonious empire where justice and equal rights can reign. So, once he meets Vin and he understands who she really is, he becomes braver and he definitely wants to fight for what is right, instead of discussin what it’s wrong with his friends and drink a little bit peacefully.
Sazed got my attention for being very intelligent, wise, serene and kind, and for never losing  his patience with Kelsier and Vin, since they both have “stormy” personalities. He turns out to be very important for the plot and he never loses his faith in Kelsier’s  plans.

Alex Allen: Character concept for Sazed from the Mistborn series:
Fanart: Sazed.

What I really loved about this book was Brandon Sanderson’s simple writing style. Many readers are afraid to read Fantasy because of the complex and detailed writing. However, The Final Empire was written in a very simple way and it still gets the reader’s attention, but it can get confusing because of the magic system that we see here.


In conclusion, The Final Empire is a great book for readers who would like to start reading Fantasy. The writing is simple, the plot is engaging and, although it is not completely new, it features original elements that can fascinate you. For those who are big Fantasy fans, like myself, don’t get your expectations high. However, I think you will like this book anyway.

US cover

My rating:


What about you? Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?


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