Home > Books > Review: Mistborn: The Final Empire

Review: Mistborn: The Final Empire

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

I’ve been a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s writing podcast, Writing Excuses, for a while now, and I was so impressed with his advice that I decided to pick up this book. I am very glad I did, since it is definitely the best book I’ve read so far this year.

The setting is very interesting, sort of a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. It is a world that really, really sucks to live in and comes off as being very believable and unsettling. The magic system is the most original one I’ve ever seen and I like how Sanderson goes to great lengths to make sure it makes sense, rather than just have magic to be a sort of “Do whatever the plot requires at the time” affair. It ends up working in a very logical way and it’s very cleverly utilized during action sequences.

The plot itself SEEMS rather straight forward at first, with a band of thieves using their talents to help start a rebellion which overthrows the totalitarian government by an evil overlord whose basically declared himself God after allegedly saving the world, but it has quite a few twists in it, particularly one near the very end which had me genuinely shocked. I was pretty impressed by this since I’ve become very good and predicting most plot twists in literature and movies ahead of time.

There’s quite a few good action scenes in this book, almost all of them using aforementioned magic system. Usually I find fight scenes in literature kind of boring to read and difficult to write in an interesting way, but all the fights are acrobatic and the creative use of the magic system in the fights makes it quite exciting.

The best part about the book though is the characters, especially the main character Vin. Vin is an antisocial girl with severe abandonment issues living at the absolute bottom rung of society who gets wrapped up in the plot to overthrow the Lord Ruler. She matures a lot over the course of the book. It’s done gradually, but she noticeably changes over the course of the book and its written in a way that is believable and natural for her character. Most of the characters have complex but believable motivations and, aside from one-off characters who only appear in one scene, few of them come off as two-dimensional. I found myself really loving most of the characters, to the point where once the book was finished, I immediately wanted to go out and by the next one, just to see what happened next to all of them.

The best thing a book can do is make you want to see more of the characters and not want to leave the world the author’s created for you. Mistborn was one of the most well-written fantasy books I’ve ever read that kept me pulled in all the way through. Sanderson is a talented writer and I’m excited to see how the rest of the series tops this first book.

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