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

In a world ruled by an immortal tyrant no uprising has been successful for a thousand years. But Kelsier and his crew are planning to change that. Vin, a street urchin with the power of Allomancy becomes part of Kelsier’s crew and as she learns to use her powers, events start to unfold that might just change the Final Empire forever.

It started with the bad guy defeating the hero, but how will it end?


The premise of this book intrigued me, but had a bit of a hard time delivering on the expectations for me.

The structure is interesting, with entries from the diary of the man who is now the Lord Ruler of the Final Empire prefacing every chapter. Thus the book tells two stories at once; on one hand there is the story of the Lord Ruler and how he saved the world, and on the other hand there is Vin’s story. Of course the latter is far longer and deeper than the first, but the diary exerpts still explain enough to understand the other story. The style of the writing feels very typical for high fantasy, and while it doesn’t hinder the story, it doesn’t particularly help it either, and after a while it started to feel like just another fantasy story.

The characters were interesting, even though a lot of them didn’t feel particularly deep. Some of the things happening as the story progresses could have had a much bigger impact if they happened to characters I could actually care about, but as it was they happened to a guy who had about three or four scenes up to that point and had barely managed to build rapport with me. On top of that I felt like it seriously lacked in diversity. There were very serious topics addressed in the society in general, from slavery to breeding programs for people, but the book could have done better in my opinion.

Then the plot. The plot suffered from a seriously slow middle part. The beginning was, if not the most gripping, an interesting enough introduction into the world and main cast members, and the ending managed to pick up enough momentum to be interesting again, but by the time I reached it, I had simply stopped caring about the story, because it had started to bore me. There were no surprises in the middle part, no interesting new revelations; in fact, it didn’t even feel like the middle part had much impact on the story. I understand that Sanderson needed some of the things in the middle part to lead up to the finale, but all in all I feel like he could have handled it better.

In the end I did enjoy some things in The Final Empire, but it was nowhere near enough, and while I’ll probably read the rest of the series at some point, I’m definitely not running to the bookshop to get a copy of the next book as soon as I possibly can.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 Stars)

Additional Information

Publication Date: 17 July 2006
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Page Count: 647
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780575089914


In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.



2 thoughts on “Review: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

  1. I agree with all of this!! I thought it was good and the plot was interesting, but it just lacked in so many areas?!? I felt so distant and never REALLY invested in any of the characters’ lives. Unfortunately, I went from “oh this series is okay” to absolutely loathing the sequel.😂So I hope you have better luck than me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to all of that! And now you’re making me seriously question if I should even buy the sequel. Then again it’s so far down my priority list at this point that I probably won’t ever get there unless someone buys it for me. 😂


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