Book Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

It’s almost as perfect as everyone says it is.

Brandon Sanderson is kind of a mythical author to me, one of those that if you read just a little bit of fantasy here and there and discuss a book now and then, his name will eventually pop up. I don’t remember when I first heard of him, but when I did I knew I had to read him.

The mistborn series was always on my list, even though I read Skyward first, a few years back when it first came out. I liked it and it was a good introduction to Sanderson’s style and writing. If anything, it served to convince me more that I needed to read the mistborn series.

I usually keep at least three books going at a time: one ebook on my phone, one physical book next to my comfy chair at home, and one audiobook for when I’m on the go. The Final Empire felt like a perfect book to listen to, so when my audible credits started piling up during a particularly busy period last year, I used the chance to grab it.

The premise Immediately hooked me. A class of enslaved people rise up against their tyrannical rulers, planning to overthrow the elite and reclaim their magical homeworld. The perfect fantasy setting.

Sanderson’s biggest strengths is in his world building. Everything is perfectly planned out, from the social hierarchy, to the way the magic system works. The ancient histories of his world, the religion, the fantastical creatures that roam the mists… It’s all brilliant. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you want to go live there, that makes you wish there was an online roleplaying game, or a 12-season long TV series you could binge somewhere. Oh well, for all we know that might be in the works.

The plot is great too, don’t get me wrong. Sanderson weaves an intricate and exciting story, all of which wanted me to see it through to the end, but… It got a bit boring during during the middle parts, right? Maybe it was the pace, maybe it was the fact that it was an audiobook, maybe it was me, but I just wanted it to move faster. Of course much of the plot deals with political conspiracies and working-in-the-shadows type stuff, which naturally moves a bit slow, but still. Good start, good ending, slogging middle.

I haven’t picked up the second book yet, because I’m not entirely sure if I’m sold on the series and I have too many books waiting to be read anyway. But I hate staring series and not finishing them, so if I know myself as well as I think I do, I’ll probably read them all.

So in short, if you happen be looking for a new favorite fantasy series set in an incredibly captivating world, you probably can’t go wrong with this.

Have you read this or anything else by Brandon Sanderson? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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