Name – The Final Empire
Author – Brandon Sanderson
Pages – 541
“PLOTS BEHIND PLOTS. PLANS BEYOND PLANS. THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER SECRET”- Kelsier
Brandon Sanderson is one author who comes purely bookstagram recommended. I am a sucker for flashy covers and intriguing titles. Though I read the blurb before buying a book but what pulls my attention to a particular book in the stack is its cover or a catchy title. THE FINAL EMPIRE- Book 1 in The Mistborn Trilogy is one such book that attracted my attention. The simple grey illustration against a white background with blue wisps as the mist was the first thing that caught my eye and when I went on the internet and searched for information, I was convinced. I had to read this trilogy. It was calling me.
The book is about an empire, ruled by the tyrant from a thousand years who is referred to as the Lord Ruler. He has a strict hierarchy in system with him as the immortal king, the obligators and steel inquisitors as his law, the noblemen as his politicians and the skaa as the slaves at the bottom. The entire land is plagued by red sun and ashfalls. The noblemen thrive on the exploitation of skaa and skaa have little or no regard paid to their life. They are easily bred and generally disposable. An empire where discrimination and abuse runs rampant, where murders are the norm, where their ruler is an immortal self-proclaimed god and where survival comes at the cost of others’ life, a change is brewing as a rebellion plans to rise against a thousand year of oppression, riding their hopes on a self-made legend KELSIER and his apprentice, a street urchin VIN, from the shadows of the darkest streets of Luthadel. Will they overthrow the empire? Is it really possible to over throw a god, the only god they have known?
As I read, I imagine all the scenarios playing out in grey-scale, like the movies of old time. The beginning is supposed to be gloomy, concentrating on the negative aspects of the empire and it does just that, even to our minds. And then suddenly, the film turns colourful with the introduction of nobility and their ostentatious balls. Though the glitz and glamour is not major part of the story, yet the balance between grey, mundane and ash trodden streets of Luthadel and high ornate keeps of noble houses is meticulously taken care of.
Coming to the characters, Kielsier and Vin stand out most as the entire book practically revolves around them. Though the side characters play an equally important part, it is not difficult to differentiate who the writer is trying to concentrate on. Vin is an orphan who has lived her entire life in the shadows of the underground, hiding and covering, making herself as insignificant as possible. Hence, she is wary for most part of the book. But the author has maintained a careful proportion of her pessimism and abundant distrust so as to not put off the reader by her constant suspicion or repetitive stereotyping of people in her life. Kelsier on the other hand is outgoing, witty with an impeccable comic timing and ambition. He is the best thief of his time until he gets caught and sent to prison. He escapes and makes himself into a legend. He is passion driven and his only goal is to over throw the empire, by hook or by crook. The character building of Kelsier and Vin is predictable and yet so eloquently done, I feel as if I am changing as a person and not Vin.
I enjoyed the banter between Elend and Vin, a nobleman and a thief. I read them in the voices of Jim Parsons and Candice King, what an odd paring would that be. I don’t know why they came to my mind, I really don’t.
The creativity and its expressionism is amazing and impeccable. I am truly out of words. I made a mistake by delving into the Sanderson universe, I can never come out of it. Never again will I be able to see metals in the same context as I did once.
The book is consistent, there is hardly any melodrama, yet, there are abundant edge of the seat moments. A major event may be passed off as natural but the course of the event itself is thrilling in its nature.
“There Is Always Another Secret,” an apt description of the final empire. Layers within layers, so diligently hidden that until you pass the layer, you won’t know what consequences it had. The marvelous plot hidden behind plain lines. My suggestion, read carefully between the lines.
I have read so many fiction books that a plot barely surprises me. Most of the time, I encounter a predictable ending. But not for this book. After a long time, I came across a book whose end totally surprised me. As I read through the lines, I realised how the mystery surrounding the finale was always there all along. So, as I said, read between the lines for this work if you want to understand the ending. It’s not confusing, it’s just unexpected. I am awed at the writing, presentation and expressions and everything else associated with this book, so simple yet so eloquent. After a long time of reading numerous books, as I close the last page, I am able to say… “Damn! That is one good book.”
My rating – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ /5
P.S Pay close attention to the anecdotes at the beginning of chapters.