The Final Empire

The Final Empire (Mistborn Book One)

Brandon Sanderson


For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

51e7v-pdyl-_sx307_bo1204203200_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. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate 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.

I’m a big fan of fantasy, in all its various forms, and I enjoyed this book, it’s the first by Brandon Sanderson I’ve read, but it’s a little light for my tastes. There’s a nice enough group of characters, who are developed well enough for me to care about at least some of them, but the bad guy, described as incredibly powerful throughout the book  – which he is when he finally appears – is killed a little too easily in the final battle.

Added to that is the ‘magic’ of this world, for want of a better word; it’s very different from any other type of magic I’ve read about and seems too limited, though there is the potential for power there, and I had a hard time accepting.

Overall I’m interested in reading the next book in the series, but I’m not going to rush to do so, and this is not going to make my top ten of fantasy, let alone my top ten books of all time.

The Redemption Of Althalus

The Redemption Of Althalus

David and Leigh Eddings


Althalus has been a thief his whole life, so when he’s offered a lucrative job after a run of bad luck, he’s quick to accept. It would have been better if he had found out more about the job before he took, because what he finds when he gets to the house he is to rob he finds more than the book he has been paid to steal, he finds a mission to save the world from evil.

davideddings_theredemptionofalthalusAs a big fan of David Eddings and his previous series, The Belgariad and Sparhawk books, I went out and bought this book the moment I saw it was out. I won’t say that I wish I hadn’t because it is a decent book, it’s just not as good as his others. In the series he wrote before he created many good characters that I enjoy revisiting, characters I’d love to know more about – in a couple of instances Eddings had written books that allow characters to do just that, but I can’t say the same for this book. The characters are decent in The Redemption Of Althalus but lack the depth of those he created previously, both the good and the bad.

There’s some cleverness to the plot, which jumps around a little as time is played with, as is space and distance to beat the bad guys, but ultimately it all seems too easy. I would have liked it to be a little tougher for the good guys to win. There wasn’t even any real sense of danger for Althalus and his companions, as he manages to be in complete control even it looks like things are going against them.

If you like your fantasy light then you may well enjoy this book, but if you’re after something harder (as I’ve been accustomed to) I suggest you look elsewhere.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As I said in my welcome post, this site is for reviews of things I’ve read, seen, heard, played or done, which gives me a lot of scope to find things to write about. I hope you will all like my reviews, or at least find them interesting.

If you disagree with them, please do let me know, I like to hear opposing thoughts on things.

My first review is for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the book not the film) I realise this is something that has been reviewed a lot but I feel it’s a decent place to start – don’t worry, I will be reviewing some less well-known things as we go along. And now to the review.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 

By J K Rowling


After years of being either ignored or bullied by the relatives who took him in when his parents died, Harry Potter discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard and can do magic. Not only that but he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


When he arrives at school he finds friends, and enemies – both old and new, and

encounters adventures that excite him as much as they frighten him. At the end of the year he comes face to face with the dark wizard who changed his life. Can an eleven year old boy really hope to defeat the most dangerous dark wizard for a century.

This is a great book, filled with wonderful characters who are richly described and a pleasure to read about. One of the best things about this book is the way the characters develop, learning magic and the ways of the magical world as they, without immediately becoming super powerful and capable of doing anything; the characters, certainly the main trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione, complement each other well with each bringing something to the group.

Along the way to the final confrontation there are laughs as well as some more serious scenes, all of which, though the book is intended for a younger audience, fit to be enjoyed by adults.

I’ve read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone more times than I can remember and continue to enjoy it, which I consider as important, if not more so, as how well the book’s written. In this case the book is both well written and enjoyable, and is likely to remain a favourite of mine for years to come.