The Final Empire (Mistborn Book One)
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.
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.