Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasy trilogy overturns the expectations of readers and then goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.
A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields.
But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.
A word of mouth success in the states the Mistborn trilogy has, this year, broken onto the New York Times Bestseller list. The time is ripe for its success to cross the Atlantic.
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Comments about The Final Empire:
Book one of the MISTBORN TRILOGY is a seriously, truly, unforgettably, remarkably, memorably and highly original story. Set in a world where ash permanently falls from the sky, it tells of a place where 'Skaa' are a set of social outcasts that we would refer to as slaves. Magic comes to a lucky few, and the world's most precious commodity is metal. There are ten forms of this substance, and the reader will learn of a mystical, highly valuable eleventh, on which the fate of the story's principal characters, and you could say, the fate of the world rests, too.
The story revolves around two main characters. One is a young teenage girl called Vin, who as it turns out is a Mistborn, one of the very, very, very few members of this world's population that can control more than one metal. As we learn from the story, some people can control one metal but if you can control two, you can control them all. (*gasps*).
Her companion in the book is the rather mysterious Kelsier, who too can benefit from the manipulation of more than metal. His past is involved and complicated and tied in strongly with the principal set of bad guys from the early part of the book. Kelsier has other friends and associates, of course, and they are introduced with names that perfectly describe their magical talents. Excellent work.
Can we all say, "Revolution".
Yes, that's right. The book opens with a revolution. A small case of distraction and robbery of the capital city's treasury and followed up with a small dose of revenge featuring the kidnapping and presumed murder of presumed principal bad guy, called, "The Lord Ruler". The original feeling of excitement and disbelief that you may feel is also reflected by the associates of Kel (and Van for that matter) when details of his plan are revealed for the select few (and the reader) to hear. This of course adds tension, but also a sense of realism, to the story telling.
The method of application of the story's magic is very clever and is sure to impress the reader. Kudos should also go to the publisher for offering for sale a physical book that is actually a pleasure to read. Orbit Books in the UK have come up with a package that is as original as the story contained within. A cover that perfectly matches the book's plot. Print large enough to be absorbed in long sittings without eye strain. A joyous and pleasure inducing 641 pages to fall in love with. And that smell of paper that wafts up to your nostrils as your fingers flick through the non deckled edge of the paperback is just excellent.
I am not sure if Raymond Feist is one of Brandon Sanderson's literary heroes or not, but the prologue and opening chapter start with a brief five word sentence in a style very reminiscent of the one used by Feist in his Riftworld books. A nice touch.
I will say no more of the book's plot. Naturally it is best for the reader to discover this for yourself. But it's with a great deal of pleasure and excitement that I award this excellent book a solid and awesome four stars. Being the opening part to a trilogy, I feel the need to leave room for greatness. And I am feeling very confident in that regard.
Number Of Pages: 672
Published: 1st October 2009
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.4 x 4.4
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1