I want to prefix this by saying that Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire is not a book you should attempt to read in a month, or a book you should rush through period. It’s quite lengthy, with much build up taking place throughout the first half of the book. I was unable to finish the book within a month, which is why I am not calling this a review. This will simply be my thoughts on the book so far.
The Final Empire is the first book in the popular Mistborn series. The Final Empire is set in a world where the empire is led by The Lord Ruler. Under his rule, the world of Scadrial is split into the nobility class and the lower class known as skaa. At the beginning of The Final Empire, we are introduced to a skaa girl called Vin. She is recruited by a mysterious man called Kelsier, who claims she is Mistborn, just as he is. A Mistborn being is able to develop Allomantic powers that allow them to burn metals inside and outside of the body to grant them magical abilities. With Vin on his side, Kelsier aims to overthrow The Lord Ruler and collapse the economy
Much of the first third of the book is dedicated to Kelsier training Vin and formulating his plan. The book reads much like a heist story. However, the lengthy passages of world building can be draining and I believe that this takes away from the appeal. Another thing that slightly takes away from the story is the lack of emotional depth in the characters. The book is written matter-of-factually, and it can sometimes come feel as though these characters are simply acting without any feelings.
Brandon Sanderson is known for creating some of the most unique magic systems in the fantasy genre, and he certainly takes pride in detailing how it all works. Although I admire his creativity, I wish his breakdowns were easier to digest. Instead of being a pleasant and somewhat obsessive read, Brandon’s work on The Final Empire is more-so a commitment to stick with until the pay off.
I may not have finished the book yet, but there’s no doubt that I will stick with it and enjoy it at my own pace; for this is not a book to rush through.
So far, I would definitely recommend The Final Empire to those who appreciate an epic fantasy. Mistborn is a well loved series and I hear that it gets better with each addition. Just be prepared for a long reading experience with no instant gratification.