Mistborn: The Final Empire

Posted: May 29, 2010 in My Bibliophilia

This book was suggested to me by a good friend of mine, though, at first, I was reluctant since fantasy genre had nearly always let me down ( just so everyone knows, for me Tolkien is no longer “fantasy”, its mythology, epic) . But thanks to his good judgment, I did not miss a fantastic story.

The book is set in a dystopian fantasy world ruled by an empire called ‘the Final Empire’ presided over by a tyrant god known only as The Lord Ruler. The population is divided into Nobles and skaa. Needless to mention, the Noble minority are filthy rich, while the majority skaa are a poor and oppressed lot. Vin, a half-skaa street urchin, is chosen by Kelsier, a powerful and charismatic Mistborn, to be his disciple. (Mistborns are people who are gifted with wide ranging allomantic powers. What is allomancy? READ the book.)

Kelsier and his crew seek to overthrow one who has ruled the Final Empire like a God for hundreds of years in what seems like a bloody and impossible revolution. Vin has to struggle against her inner turmoil while fighting Nobles, Lord Ruler’s minions, Kelsier’s megalomania and even her own feeling’s for a handsome nobleman.

The book near entirely follows Vin in third person, and we come to know more and more about the world from her perspective. This is why childish notion of good and evil, which is strong at first, soon starts getting blurred as the story progresses. The author has paid a decent amount of space for character development. Resulting in rounded characters and this is about one of the things that I like most about the book. In nearly all of the fantasy books that I had read so far, there is a very sharp distinction between good and evil. This book is a raging debate on which is preferable, order and suppression or anarchy and freedom. The book is breathlessly paced which may not appeal to all, but I felt that it suited the story well.

The concept of magic in the book is ingenious and not some stupid harry potter-ish wand waving. Kudos to the author for thinking up such an amazing concept.

Moreover, the book is incomplete as far as the bigger story is concerned, and is followed up nicely by its sequels. Many questions are answered in the sequels so if you can’t understand something, hold your horses!

OVERALL, I give it a 4.5/5. It’s a gem of a fantasy novel and a must read. All hail Brandon Sanderson!

P.S. : don’t miss the beautiful cover design by Jon Foster.

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