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Monday, 5 May 2014

Review: The Final Empire

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Release date: UK Paperback 1st October 2009
Genre: High Fantasy
Target audience: Adult
UK Publisher: Gollancz
Series: Book 1 Mistborn series

The Final Empire is an epic fantasy novel with its own metallic fantastical twist.

Vin is one of thieves of the underworld. A young girl dependent on her brother and the crew he runs with for survival. She’s a wraith of a girl, half-starved and frequently beaten. She trusts no one as her brother Reen taught her and the beginning of the novel she is finally abandoned by him and is devastated by the betrayal. At the mercy of his crew, she’s instructed by the leader to accompany him of the next con. He thinks she’s his lucky charm but there’s something special about Vin and its about to endanger her life.

Kelsier is the leader of a different type of thieving crew. He’s not a lowly skaa like Vin. He’s a lowly nobleman. He’s also the only person to ever survive and escape the Pits of Hathsin. He has a plan to overthrow the Final Empire and the Lord Ruler who claims to be God. He’ll need his whole crew to pull it off and Vin too. But the Empire is strong and the Lord Ruler even stronger. It’s a dangerous plan.

I did enjoy this book but it took such a long time to get into it. There are so many characters – members of different crews, the Ministry, the Obligators, the Inquisitors. It took a long time to orientate myself to the different groups in this world. It also took a long time for me to care about any of the characters. Because the story is told in the third person roving narrator, you don’t really get to feel the emotions of anyone that deeply. It sought of makes you feel a step removed. It wasn’t until Vin became Valette that I was really engaged. And it wasn’t until the very end of the book that I decided I did want to read the next book in the series.

The idea of Allomancy definitely had flare and originality and so did the concept of the mists. I think it was really the style and viewpoint that held me back from really being immersed in the book. Overall, The Final Empire is a good read and there is great potential for the rest of the series.

Source: Bought from a second hand bookshop in Cornwall.

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