The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
Posted 19 Februari 2008on:
Do you know that old fantasy cliché, where the protagonist is a farm boy with hidden abilities, who is destined to defeat the great villain and save the whole world from destruction? Well, in this series Brandon Sanderson has taken that cliché and given it an imaginative twist, which results in this fantastic first installment of the Mistborn trilogy.
(But take my advice. If you ever decide to buy this book, do not read the blurb! Reading it will be more exciting if you don’t know what the twist is, with an added element of mystery about an unidentified writer of a diary that is excerpted in the beginning of each chapter.)
The story itself is set in a kingdom where ash falls instead of rain, the mist rules the night, and the Lord Ruler and the nobility enslave the skaa. It is in the skaa slums that our story really begins, as a thieving crew concocts a grand plan to steal the expensive, magical metal called atium from the palace of the Lord Ruler himself. Yup, unlike adventure or political intrigue stories that usually permeate the fantasy genre, this book has the feel of a heist movie. Think Ocean’s Eleven meets The Lord of the Rings. It’s very refreshing, and I enjoy reading as the crew execute their plans and troubleshoot as unexpected plot twists throw them some tricky problems.
At the heart of the thieving crew are Vin, a girl with an abusive past, and Kelsier, the mastermind who leads this crew. They are both Mistborns, people who can practice Allomancy, a way to manipulate metals to do magic. I just love it when an author takes time to create a unique magic system that has logical and consistent rules. It results in magical battles that are quite fun to read.
As an added bonus, there’s romance in the air!
So, this book has everything that I look for in a fantasy book. A unique world, a fresh twist on the genre, great plot, interesting characters, a cool magic system, and a little bit of romance. Can’t wait until the second book comes out in paperback!