The Final Empire

eBook - 2007
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"Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangles the land. He failed."--Cover, p. [4].
The Skaa, having slaved for 1,000 years under the corrupt power of the Lord Ruler, still manage to find hope, which rises once again when a criminal mastermind teams up with an unlikely heroine. The plot contains sexual references and violence. Book #1
Publisher: New York : Tor Fantasy/Tom Doherty Associates Book/Tom Doherty Associates, [2007]
Edition: First Mass Market edition
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9781429914567
Characteristics: 1 online resource (viii, 657 pages) : maps

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From Library Staff

List - Classic Fantasy Novels
SFPL_LisaF Jun 23, 2017

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 color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson's intrigui... Read More »

From the critics

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Hillsboro_RobP Jul 03, 2019

A not-to-be-missed tale of revolution and magic for the fantasy fan. Come chat with me about the very, very cool things that happen here.

Apr 25, 2019

Book 1

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 15, 2018

Is this a new idea? As far as the overarching plot goes: no. As others have pointed out, from Dune to Harry Potter, Vin comes from a very poor background, gets kicked around a lot by the people who are "taking care" of her, and then learns she is "the girl who lived" basically, with a lot of powers that she quickly learns and uses against the Lord Ruler, the guy who has ruled the whole world for about 1,000 years and survives minor things like beheadings and stakes through the heart.

Why then, give this book five stars? One: this is a trilogy and we've taken care of at least one pretty bad dude by the end of book one, so that's not going to be a continuing theme. Second: this writing is straightforward and fast-paced. I liked that Sanderson didn't make us guess about how the metals worked; as Vin learns how to use them, we learn along with her. Sanderson keeps us guessing about a couple of things, but we're not generally left wondering "what the heck just happened" unless Vin is in the same boat.

Sanderson is great at making characters. In Vin's little band, we have Kelsier, his brother Marsh, Sazed, Dockson, Clubs, Breeze, Ham, Spook and Yeden. While his language is straightforward and relatively bare bones, I was never confused about who was talking or what each person brought to the group. Each one had a distinct personality without anyone being a flat stereotype.

The world building was detailed and amazing. Besides those who are able to burn different metals for different powers, we are in a world where giant volcanoes are constantly belching ash into the sky. Nothing is green. Staying clean is a luxury. And he has set up a caste system with the skaa as workers dependent upon the nobility for food and shelter, while in turn the nobility are dependent upon the Lord Ruler for place and power. Both the nobility and the Lord Ruler see no problem in cleaning house through slaughter when the mood strikes. It is a system that has been in place for 1,000 years under a single ruler. There's also the mist, that the skaa have been taught to be afraid of. The mist only comes at night and it is clear through the story that the mist has not always existed, just as the volcanic ash has not always existed. These core, but less pressing mysteries, along with the characters are what will keep me going through this extremely dense series, with pleasure.

As an aside: I think that hype is picking up on a book that was first released 12 years ago, in part because word of mouth is spreading. This original cover and subsequent covers have been unfortunate choices in an era where cover art in YA is more important than ever.

Oct 26, 2018

An excellent opening to perhaps the most well-planned and genuinely epic series I have ever read. The organization and structure of the metal-based powers immediately showed that the author really thought things through, and the dark, oppressive world is very well portrayed. The very strong core trio of characters are quite memorable, the threats and dangers are compelling, and I was left eager for more. Thankfully, there sure is a lot more.

Oct 17, 2018

Brandon Sanderson's books are great reads. They are well written, have great characters who you are routing for all in a fantastic world with interesting systems of magic. One of my favorite authors.

Sep 07, 2017

Unlike what the title says, this isn't Mistborn the Final Empire (the first MB book). Its Mistborn: Secret History. I would strongly recommend reading all three of the first MB books (Final Empire, Well of Ascension and Hero of the Ages) before reading this book. It spoils the endings of all 3 books. Secret History begins towards the end of Final Empire, and continues the story of Kelsier. It takes place 'in the background' of the first trilogy, and it explains a lot of things that don't get explained throughout the series. It also gives a better glimpse of the original 'gods' of Scadriel, as well as showing bits of other worlds and realms in the cosmere. I read SH after reading the 6th Mistborn book, and it even provided a lot of context to what was happening in that book. Secret History is described as a 'one off', but after reading Bands Of Mourning, I would have to say its a must-read if you want the full story of the series. It should technically be book 3.5, being read before Alloy of Law but after the main trilogy.

Jun 20, 2017

Brandon Sanderson is a legend. Mistborn books are my favorite, but you simply cannot go wrong with any of his titles.

May 05, 2017

Mistborn: The Final Empire is arguably one of Sanderson's best works. It is certainly one of the ones he is most known for, and for good reason. Fast-paced and witty, especially for an epic fantasy novel, it breaks many of the conventions of fantasy, while retaining the heart and soul of the genre. Mistborn is accessible to readers across a wide spectrum with its diverse and colorful cast.

The tone overall (more particularly in reference to the world) is dark and bleak, but seen through the eyes of characters like Vin and Kelsier, it is a fascinating and dynamic world full of intrigue and adventure. One really feels the tension and understands the stakes as the unlikely band of heroes and criminals make and launch their plans against overwhelming odds. Definitely a gripping read that will leave you wanting more.

cmlibrary_ecrites Jan 23, 2017

Sanderson builds a world like no other and this is one of my favorites of his. It has a unique and interesting magic system and characters with depth. It is a well-written and inventive take on the classic tale of the "despotic big-bad" and the "rebels" who seek to regain balance. It has magic, adventure and a dash of romance.

Beatricksy Nov 09, 2016

It meanders a lot and repeats itself and generally gets a big laggy and boggy in the middle, but the worldbuilding is spectacular (of course, it's Sanderson, did you expect otherwise) and the final part is a breathless race to the finish.

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Jul 07, 2016

“If you’re always on time, it implies that you never have anything better you should be doing.”

Jul 07, 2016

“What would you think if I told you that I wasn’t an Allomancer?” Sazed asked.
“I’d think that you were lying,” Vin said.
“Have you known me to lie before?”
“The best liars are those who tell the truth most of the time.”

Jul 07, 2016

“Men rarely see their own actions as unjustified.”

Jul 07, 2016

“You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way." - Breeze

Jul 07, 2016

“Belief isn't simply a thing for fair times and bright days...What is belief - what is faith - if you don't continue in it after failure?...Anyone can believe in someone, or something that always succeeds...But failure...ah, now, that is hard to believe in, certainly and truly. Difficult enough to have value. Sometimes we just have to wait long enough...then we find out why exactly it was that we kept believing...There's always another secret.”

Jun 20, 2016

"I've always been very confident in my immaturity."

Jul 12, 2014

Ham (to Breeze): "I'm a soldier. Your witty verbal attacks have no effect on me, for I'm far too dense to understand them."

Jul 12, 2014

Kelsier: "I strive for nothing if not consistency."

Jul 12, 2014

Kelsier: "You aren't drinking."
Vin: "You might have slipped something in it."
Kelsier: "Oh, there was no need for me to sneak something into your drink. After all, you’re going to drink this vial of mysterious liquid quite willingly.”


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Add Notices
Aug 24, 2017

Violence: Several scenes of bloody violence including people being stabbed to death, shot with metal projectiles, beaten brutally, and one beheading. Some acts of violence may be disturbing for young readers.

Mar 17, 2015

Violence: Contains some quite gory fantasy violence


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