Book Review: Mistborn, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

6547258Edition: Paperback, 647 pages
Published by: Gollancz, 1st October 2009
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
Completed: 20th April 2016

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed.

For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, a divinely invincible leader. Hope is long lost, until a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa in the depths of the most hellish prison and discovered he has the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, Kelsier will turn his talents to the ultimate caper: one with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Only he’s not just planning the greatest heist in history, he’s plotting the overthrow of a divine despot.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks like a long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.


Mistborn is set in a world where ash constantly falls from the sky and this empire is ruled and controlled by a dark lord called the Lord Ruler and who is known as known as God of this world. There are two different classes – the lower class and the upper class. The lower class are called skaa – people who are enslaved. The upper class are called the nobles and they have access to this magic called allomancy, which involves swallowing and burning certain metals such as copper, zinc and pewter to enhance super strength and gain abilities. A normal allomancer can only use one power, but if they are able use up all metals, which is rare, then they are called a mistborn.


We are introduced to a sixteen-year-old girl called Vin, who is a skaa and a street urchin but she is not treated very well by her thieving group and doesn’t trust anyone, as her own brother betrayed her. We met another main character called Kelsier, who is known as the ‘survivor of Hathsin’ because he escaped. He recruits Vin after he realises she is a mistborn, like him. However, the job that Kelsier has planned for his group so happens to be overthrowing the Lord Ruler.

Throughout the entirety of this book, Kelsier seemed like a martyr. Whilst he is very witty, charismatic and humourous, his actions are always risky and pretty much insane but he’s probably my favourite character in this book and I always looked forward to reading his point of view. Kelsier is a great mentor for Vin, as she trains to become a mistborn and I really liked the bond between them, as it almost looks like a father-daughter relationship.

With Lestibournes, aka Spooks (renamed by Kelsier) didn’t have a freakin’ clue on what he was saying at all! He kept saying words like ‘wassing’ – something along those lines, I don’t remember.

One of the things I was not expecting in this book was the romance between Vin and Elend because last time I checked this isn’t exactly YA. It wasn’t the main focus, which is good, but it was cute. I really enjoyed reading about their time together and it is one of the things I looked forward to. Elend is adorkable. When Vin first sees him, he’s just sitting at a table at the ball instead of dancing, reading a book and basically just ignoring Vin.

One word I can describe about this book is that it is very interesting. I haven’t read much epic fantasy (don’t know if you count Throne of Glass??) so I found the world building is very impressive and original but this genre is impressive anyhow since I don’t read much of it! Come to think of it the whole setting is quite dystopian-esque. Kind of reminds me of Harry Potter in a way with Lord Voldermort being the villain and in Mistborn with the Lord Ruler as also the villain.

I’m not going to get into too much detail on the ending because of spoilers, but I enjoyed that last quarter a lot more and there were some plot twists that I did not see coming. It took me a long time to really get immersed into the story – about over half way into the book. This world that Sanderson created is A LOT to take in with learning about the allomancy and the metals, which is actually quite draining. I don’t exactly know how mistborns Pull and Push, as well as with shooting coins and jumping in the air.

Having read Mistborn, it doesn’t make me want to pick up another fantasy series, only because it is just draining and generally the length is just a bit long. I think you need a lot of spare time to devote to reading fantasy – I’d say about 2-3 hours a day would do it.

Even though I only gave it 3 stars, it is a good book. This is because I felt a bit detached from the story, as it’s a lot to take in. However I finished The Well of Ascension the other day and I enjoyed that one from start to finish a lot more! Its funny, I was not having high hopes for the second instalment. I mean, if I’m on the fence with the first book, what are the chances of enjoying the second book? It took me by surprise.

I like to read contemporaries and thrillers, so Mistborn is very different from what I’m use to reading. Going a bit off topic – the only other fantasy series I would consider picking up is A Song of Ice and Fire (I know obvious choice!) Since I watch the TV show, I am familiar with the story, so I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to immerse myself into the books.

I’d recommend Mistborn if you want to read something different or if you enjoy epic/high fantasy in general.


3 stars out of 5



6 thoughts on “Book Review: Mistborn, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

    1. When I started I thought I’ve got a long way to go! It definitely looks intimidating but try reading it when you have a lot of spare time and feel in the mood for fantasy. The writing style is easy to read, so I think you’ll probably get into the story 😉 the mass market paperback’s small fonts can make it harder to read! But hope you enjoy it and look forward to your thoughts on it 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s