Book review time: The Last Empire (Mistborn #1)

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Final score is 4.5/5 stars)

This book kick-starts the Mistborn series, and I really liked Sanderson’s style. Can’t really wait to read the next books in the trilogy! And see where the story goes from here.

The setting is a totalitarian empire, where someone called the Lord Ruler, with the help of the nobility, his ministers and inquisitors, is ruling with and iron fist. The wealth of this empire is built atop the suffering and slavery condition of the skaa, which have been subjugated as long as everyone can remember.

The things I liked:

  • The magic system(s), specifically Allomancy. We are lucky enough to get a basic step to step explanation, video game like, since the main character is learning along with us the readers. One, if not the best, magic system I have ever read. And I do read lots of fantasy!
  • The action scenes. Dear Lord (Ruler)! They are vivid, vibrant, action packed, plausible with the powers. Action caviar, basically.
  • Some of the characters, and specifically the “adventurers group dynamics”. Whatever that is.
  • The lore. We only get our tiptoes into it, but so far I like it, and I would love to see more of it as the series advances. But to be sure I really am hesitant were the next books will take us.

The things I liked less:

  • The language was too simple and easy at times. It felt sometimes like a young adult novel, because of the language, but then you get mature themes and lots of violence. Not sure why Mr Sanderson achieves so much with so little, but hats off. It is just not my cup of tea, and would have liked a bit more complex language at times.
  • The “bad guys” and “good guys” were always clearly separated by a thick line. There was no shady grey character, which agenda you can’t decipher, and that go on either side depending on different agendas. So they felt a bit basic at times, that is all.
  • The love thought of the main character. This might be a personal caveat of mine, but it reinforced the YA novel feeling. It was too cheesy for me, but plausible given her age.

Don’t let my upper lists above discourage you. This book was a fantastic read all along, and would definitely recommend to anyone interested in fantasy, action packed novels, and cool magic systems.

P.S. as part of my new year resolutions I want to write reviews (even if short) about the books I read. This will help me recall in the future what I thought about them, and see patterns in my reading 🙂


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