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The Final Empire (book review) *contains spoilers*

Book: The Final Empire
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Published By: Tor Books
Published Year: 2006

My Review:
Having been requested to read The Final Empire by a friend of mine I was worried that this book would not be something I would like however, I was completely wrong about that. Having read the book in a week with the help of two readahons #24in48 and #reversereadathon I was completely drawn into this book and couldn't put it down.

The book is about a man called Kelsier who is rebelling against the Lord Ruler who is said to be an immortal being with a crew of thieves who have powers. As the crew all do their parts and a girl called Vin joins their party to get access from information from the inside might the crew just succeed in bringing down the Lord Ruler?

The book put into five different parts, a prologue and an epilogue as well, putting it into sections easier to read and keeping the reader constantly excited about what was going to be coming next. The five parts of the book are called: The Survivor of Hathsin, Rebels Beneath A Sky Of Ash, Children of a Bleeding Sun, Dancers in a Sea of Mist and Believers in a Forgotten World. With this I will review each part of the book separately and do an overall of the book as well.

With the master of the plantation having a visitor he sees a man who is in the field and seems to have fire burning in his eyes which stops him in his tracks. However, after having looked away for a moment could not have seen where the man had disappeared to. The reader then meets the man from the field and finds out that his name is Kelsier and tells the elders of the Skaa how they are happier in the north and are being treated better than the workers at the plantation they are currently at. As they all hear a scream of a girl from outside Kelsier decides to look for her and ends up killing the guards at the plantation field and killing the master of the land causing the plantation workers to wonder where they are to go now.

This part of the book had me wondering if I would only be reading about slavery and was not sure wither I would like the book or not and if I had the right decision from having picked up this book. Also not being sure what to make of Kelsier I was looking forward to discovering more about him and how he was able to travel from one plantation to the next without having been caught.

Part 1: The Survivor of Hathsin
During this segment of the book the reader is introduced to a street urchin named Vin who is helping a crew do a scam on those in power in order to get money using Vin's "Luck". As they manage to get the money the government realise that they have got scammed and start to follow them however Kelsier and his friend decide to help them out and protect them however taking their money and house while inviting Vin to join them as they notice that she is not just someone who has allomancy and able to use one power from metals, but a Mistborn someone who is able to use all ten of them. As Kelsier is also a Mistborn he decides to teach Vin about the metals and how they are able to work to enhance herself and influence those around her. While doing this however Kelsier plans on how to take down the Lord Ruler of the world in just over a years time using the help of the rebellion, while also knowing he will need to use the eleventh metal which he does not know the power of or how to use it.

I found this part of the book a lot better than the introduction and found myself really getting into the book as a whole and getting excited to see how Vin would grow and if they would be able to take down the Lord Ruler. Knowing that Vin is new to her powers as well it was interesting to see how she would grow and if she would become more confident with the group of people in which she is around also if she would be able to help the group as much as Kelsier and the others were hoping. It also had a great pace to it and kept me wanting more and not want to put the book down.

Part 2: Rebels Beneath A Sky Of Ash
A few months later and Vin has learned a lot with her powers and becoming a noblewoman in order to get into the balls and dinners in which the nobels put on in order to gain information for the crew from the inside. As she goes to her first ball she meets a man named Elend who is next in line to one of the noble houses. As Vin retires for the night she finds out that her old crew have been violently murdered and mentions to them the crew that her father was at the dance however she does not believe he knows about her. As well as this Kelsier decides that he is going to go to the Lord Ruler's house and see what is in a room that he always goes to and was the reason in which Kelsier got caught by the Lord Ruler the first time. Taking Vin with him they get caught and Vin gets badly wounded leaving Kelsier and the crew wondering wither she will be able to survive.

Feeling awkward for Vin being at the ball you can understand why she doesn't wish to particularly be there and that she is wanting to get away. However, meeting Elend does make the reader feel like at least there is someone else like Vin standing out among the crowd of people. As Vin leaves the reader is worried about Vin as if the government was able to kill her old crew would they be able to find Vin as well and kill her as violently as the others or will her new crew be able to keep her safe from the inquisitors. As Kelsier also goes to the Lord Ruler's house the reader starts to get worried incase Kelsier does get caught again as he would be unlikely to survive for a second time, as Vin gets badly injured there is a lot of tension and worry about if she will be able to survive or if her injuries will kill her. Keeping that in mind I did find that this bit of the book made me want to know a lot more about Elend and why he would be coming over to Vin if he is from one of the noble families when they do not talk to those beneath their station.

Part 3: Children of a Bleeding Sun
As Vin starts healing Sazed starts to translate the book and finds it is a journal from what they believe to be the Lord Ruler himself. During this time Vin is told she is no longer able to use allomancy until she is fully healed from her ordeal with the steel inquisitor but is allowed to go back to court. As she does this she gets closer to Elend and others at court and finds some gossip to give to Kelsier. Vin is also given the hankerchief as a form of affection from Spook and from Elend himself after he discovers that she had been given one by someone else. As this is happening the army for the rebellion is getting bigger and the man who hired Kelsier takes over with the army from Ham, however this ends up with the army going to a fight that they would not be able to win and most of the warriors having been killed as a result, making the mission a fail. As a result Ham agrees to join the Garrison in order to provide for his family and the reader finds out more about why Sazed's past and why his people are feared by the Lord Ruler himself. Finally, the noble houses are also starting to turn against each other.

I found that this part of the book brought Vin and Elend closer and made me happy as love both of their characters so much. I also felt really sorry on the army who went into battle and ended up being killed due to the bad leadership of the other captain of the army, however I was glad that some of the people did manage to survive even if it was barely any compared to who was there prior. During reading this section of the book I also felt sorry for Spook who Vin just dismissed because he was a little younger than her even though she still kept his hankerchief which made me feel more for Spook and just want to personally care for him myself. Finding out more about Sazed as well and why the Lord Ruler doesn't like the Terris people was a really good addition to the book as it gives more insight into the character and makes the reader more nervous for Sazed and hope that the Lord Ruler wont come after him as he is with the rebellion.

Part 4: Dancers In A Sea Of Mist
Part four of the novel shows how the Lord Ruler starts doing public executions and makes the whole city come out to watch them. As the group gets angered by this the group continue with their plan and Vin goes to her last ball which is at the Venture Keep and as assassins come to murder him just after he breaks it off with Vin she does everything in her power to protect him. As the house wars continue three of the houses end up falling. Marsh; Kelsier's brother also becomes part of the industry and starts to feed them some information about how they are able to soothe the whole city and where the posts for each of the soothing stations are. However, when Vin and Kelsier decide to go and meet him as they had discussed previously they find that Marsh has been murdered which makes Kelsier even more dangerous to be around. Feeling angry he goes to the pits and and destroys all Atium so that the Lord Ruler is not able to use it anymore and then returning to the city. As he gets to the city there is a crowd gathering and prisoners who have been captured are coming into the city square when they realise that the people who are coming are people who worked at the Rendoux mansion. As a result Spook and the others decide to go and save them, however, an inquisitor is waiting for Kelsier which Kelsier is able to defeat, as Kelsier goes to fight the Lord Ruler he is struck down in two hits leaving the crew without a leader and Vin feeling again like she has been abandoned.

I personally loved this part of the book and thought that the emotion used was perfect as you could see just how much Kelsier meant to everyone and I ended up with tears in my eyes at his death begging for it to not be true. I also thought it was good having the prisoners as those who worked at the mansion so that it shows they were noticed and even though the crew was careful there was always the risk that they would be caught. I also ended up feeling really sorry on Vin who again had no-one there for her and you could see how broken she was about what just happened to Kelsier and having seen it in front of her. As you also see how the Lord Ruler keeps control of the city and the only time he comes out is for executions the reader starts to hate his character and really hope that he is defeated especially for killing innocent people and killing Kelsier.

Part 5: Believers In A Forgotten World 
In this section of the book the reader sees Vin getting herself captured after having seen the Lord Ruler as an old man within the room in which they were trying to discover the secrets. While being questioned she admits that her father is an inquisitor which changes the way in which the Lord Ruler was going to let the government rule. During this time she also finds out that her brother didn't betray her at all and he left because he got caught by the inquisitors who kept them off of Vin's back for years by claiming that she was dead. Vin also discovers that Marsh is still alive and he helps Vin to bring down the Lord Ruler and discovers how he was able to show himself as young for so long. Elend also decides to give himself up the rebellion and ends up becoming their king.

I felt proud of Vin at this stage of the book as she was able to show how strong she was able to be and shown that not everyone is against her and some people really are trying to protect her just like Kelsier did. As the Lord Ruler gets defeated I did start to question how the world was going to end up without a ruler and if the world would crumble around them but finally understood how the Lord Ruler was able to live and be young so long made a lot of sense. This ended up giving questions to the reader however also answer a lot about the Lord Ruler himself.

Finally, Vin discovers that Rendoux is her servant and that there could be a bigger threat out in the world in which the Lord Ruler was trying to warn them about before his death. Vin also goes to Elend and when he holds her she realises that she always just wanted to be held.

This makes the reader wonder what could be worse than the ruling of the Lord Ruler and what he was trying to warn them about. It also leaves questions for the reader to make them want to read the second book in the trilogy as soon as they can to answer them. Finally, the reader feels glad that Vin did get the guy in which she loved and that she finally feels at peace.

Overall, this book is one that I found hard to put down once I started reading it and felt that I got really involved within the story and the world in which was created. By having both points of view from Kelsier and Vin it showed how different both characters are and how badly they did need each other which I did really enjoy. Also by having love, action, mystery and fantasy in the same book I couldn't imagine a better book and the way it was written was brilliant.

Having been requested this book I am so glad as this is an author in which I need to read a lot more of and could have found a new love for. I can't wait to read more of Brandon Sanderson's work and I would highly recommend this book to those who like action, mystery and fantasy books as this is one of the best books of this style I have ever personally read.

My Rating: 5/5 

  • If you have read this book what was your opinion of it? 
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