Book Review: ‘The Final Empire’ by Brandon Sanderson

It’s taken me a very long time to get round to a well-loved series of books. I have to say, I can see what all the fuss is about. The twist on the usual interpretation of fantasy is very refreshing – the idea that the evil overlord (the ‘Lord Ruler’) is in control, with the main characters being the rebels.

The magic systems as well (those of ‘Allomancy’ and ‘Ferochemy’) are unlike anything I have read before. By virtue of its sheer innovation therefore, the story is one of exploration of a new world, complete with histories and cultures. For me, a self-confessed world-builder, I found such an exploration incredibly interesting.

The plot itself, while starting a little slowly, does build up momentum, and by about the halfway point, I found myself pulled along by the political intrigue. While a book including political intrigue seems bound to be compared to Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the sort found in The Final Empire is far more accessible and perhaps more understandable, if less subtle. By the time I reached the last five or so chapters, I was unable to stop myself from continuing. The twisting nature of the final chapters was so unexpected that I was forced to re-read them more than once, and I still ended up shouting at the book – always a good sign for me.

In short, I would definitely recommend the book, and feel that it certainly lives up to the hype. Writing immediately after finishing the book, I do feel however that this high praise comes only off the back of the conclusion of the book. The slow initial sections are inevitable when introducing a new world, and I feel they were dealt with as well as can be hoped for.

‘The Final Empire’ by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in The Mistborn Trilogy. 

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