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.
©2009 Brandon Sanderson (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
The story and narration deserve 5 stars, but what's up with the audio book ending abruptly before the end? Roughly a page at the end of the last chapter and the entire epilogue are missing! I guess that explains why this version is 24 minutes shorter than the Macmillian audio book. I had to get the book from the library just to finish the story...
This is a good intro to a new trilogy and a new fantasy universe with an interesting magical system. the characters are reasonably well drawn and Sanderson is pretty genre-savvy. the pacing of the book is excellent, and I found the twists quite surprising. Many of the themes are very thoughtful and I welcome his gentle challenge to many of the assumptions that inform orthodox fantasy novels.
The narration is good, though the narrator does choose some pretty stereotypical 'voices' for the villains. This tends to broadcast whether the character in question is a 'goody' or a 'baddy', which is disappointingly simplistic and unnecessary. On the other hand the characters unmistakeably wear white hats or black hats and there are no shades of grey in there. Nice to have a female protagonist who is somewhat complex as well as being kickass.
This is an amazing book, absolutely loved the story, the characters, the plot twists, the very world it was set in! This series will probably be in my top ten favourites for a while, itching to get the next one.
To be honest I think what I enjoyed most about the book was the characters and how they interacted with eachother and the world.
For me it's a toss up between Kelsier and Sazed when it comes to my favourite character, both brilliant and proactive characters who held my interest deeply entwined.
I'm sure there were many moments that moved me, though nothing particular jumps to mind at this very moment.
This book is amazing, listen to it NOW!!! You shalt not regret it!
This is an amazing story line, so inventive and involving. I found myself completely hooked. Michael Kramer really brings the character to life.
The audible book finished early (about a chapter) so I emailed Audible and they fixed the problem in minutes. Thank goodness, that last 30 mins so set the scene for Book 2.
I did not read the printed version.
It's characters and it's explanations of the physical 'mechanics' of allomancy.
He does an extremely good job at conveying the mood of the environment in which the story takes place. Climaxes are also very well emphasized. Consider me a fan!
Several moments between Kel and Vin, and also a a few moment between Vin and Elend, especially the humorous conversations.
I am in awe at what can be accomplished using words. This is truly a piece of art!
This is my first Brandon Sanderson novel and I have to say it was a real treat. The audio narration was exquisite. Michael Kramer’s deep tones complimented the richness of the prose which served to create an immersive reading/listening experience that had me looking forward to my times on the exercise bike and the commute to and from work. There were times when my mandatory 30min cycling blew out and other times when I wished I didn’t get to work so quick. Where are the red lights when you want them.
I like Sanderson’s world building. It may not be as detailed and complicated as say Steven Erikson’s Malazan series, but I don’t see that as a negative. What Sanderson achieves in The Final Empire is world building that is rich yet accessible, fascinating and mysterious but at the same time doesn’t hinder the plot. In the world Sanderson creates, we have The Lord Ruler, An immortal Tyrant with god like power, who has ruled The Final Empire for a thousand years. On the bottom end of the scale, we have the oppressed lower class ie the Skaa, who are ruthlessly used and abused by the noble houses who are in turn overseen by the Lord Ruler’s religious institutions, The Steel Ministry and The Canton of Inquisition.
The characterisation was excellent. I don’t think there was any character that I found boring or didn’t care what happened to. Even the minor characters were well constructed. Vin, the main protagonist, is a young Skaa street urchin surviving on the streets by her wits as well as a special talent that makes her useful to the thieving crew she works for.
But the star of the show has to be the magic system. I don’t think I have encountered a magic system in any fantasy novel that is as fascinating and well thought out and explained as in this book. Sanderson takes an almost scientific approach to “Allomancy” (the main magic system in the story) with very well defined rules and limitations. Magic costs, Magic needs to be fueled. Magic can have unintended consequences. An Allomancer (AKA Mistborn) fuels their abilities by ingesting the associated metal or alloy and then “burning” the metal required for the particular Allomantic effect. For example burning steel allows the Allomancer to “push” metal objects while burning iron enables them to pull on metal objects. The result being a skilled Mistborn can use these abilities to send metal projectiles hurtling towards enemies or they can use a combination of pushing and pulling to launch themselves into the air in virtual flight, “spiderman” style. Sounds easy? Except the Allomancer has to be aware of things like the physical weight of objects being pushed and pulled. Push against something heavier than yourself and you will fly backwards – which is ok if that’s what you intended. Or pull against something lighter than yourself could see a hunk of metal hurtling directly towards you – again ok if you intend to duck at the last minute and hit the guy behind you. Otherwise you’re dead. And that’s just two of the metals, there are at least 10 with effects from increased strength to enhanced senses to mind manipulations.
Sanderson skill is in taking us on a journey of discovering these abilities in a way that is not daunting or over complicated. Rather the introduction to the magic felt natural to me and I just found myself wallowing in it.
An absolute pleasure – 5 stars
Fully envisioned world.
The sense of scope and depth to the society and the interactions between castes and factions.
You knew immediately which character was speaking without being distracting.
This is a sound book and launches a great series. It does feel a bit rushed towards the end. After so much of the book being a well-paced build up of people, events and the introduction to the use of the powers, the end arrives a bit abruptly.
MMM, I did struggle to push through this book, not an easy ready with allot of new concepts and allot of characters to remember.
I'm currently listening to book 2 of the Mistborn series. Already easier to read than the first book, but I've read better.
Yes, I think I'd rather see the movie
First purchase on Audible, though I'd read Sanderson's stuff before. Took a little getting used to listening to a story rather than reading it. Other than that, the story just slides off the page - and into your ear. The telling is also masterful and captivating. Already on the last book.
I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone
Magic, mystery, Different
how to pronouce some of the names, metal and magics
this book has a great way of using the same item, but creating different magics depending on what you are capable of using. some people are limited to only one thing, others to more then one. and how one girl is learning to be a mistborn wht it means to trust, be respected and how to use her powers to help the greater good
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