Book Review: Mistborn – The Final Empire

Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn - The Fallen Empire

Title: Mist born – The Final Empire
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Published By: Tor Fantasy
Published Date: 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-5038-1
ISBN-10: 0-7653-5038-6
Length: 643 Pages
Purchased From: Amazon @ $7.99

Additional Information:

Mistborn is a Trilogy written by Brandon Sanderson. The three books which make up this series, in order, are The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. These books were originally published in 2006, 2007, and 2008. This review covers a later publication in the form of Mass Market Paperback. This publication of The Final Empire took place in August 2007.

The Story:

Mistborn is a story that takes place in a world that is no longer green and covered by flourishing vegetation. Instead, this world has been overtaken by a sky full of ash which blocks out much of the suns light. Plants and other vegetation have lost thier green color and have turned brown and gray, leaving the world pale with a lifeless feel.

In the evening, the mist comes out and floods the streets and country roads. While the mist is no real danger, the skaa workers are terrified of it and hide within their crowded sleeping quarters while the nobility host grand balls.

At the center of everything is the Lord Ruler. This evil man has created a class system which forces the Skaa to become the slaves of nobility. After years of torture and brutal killings, there is finally a serious voice among the Skaa to rebel against their Lord Ruler, their self proclaimed God.

The story of Mistborn follows that uprising and two people that are most important to its success. Kelsier is the sole survivor of the Pitts of Hathsin with incredible allomantic abilities. Vin is a sixteen year old girl who is discovered by Kelsier as having great potential for allomancy. The pair work closely together with a group of rebels with the goal of overthrowing the Final Empire.

My Thoughts:

After reading The Belgariad Series David Eddings, I really wanted to read something that wasn’t so black and white. It was recommended to me to give Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy a try, as it was said to contain gray characters and a darker storyline. I couldn’t have been any more pleased by that recommendation and thought the book was a fantastic read.

What set this book apart from my limited fantasy experience was its lack of incantations and hand gestures to create magic. Instead, Mistborn uses a system called Allomancy, which I found very interesting. This magical system works by an Allomancer ingesting metals then burning them within the body. There are ten common metals, all of which have one particular ability.

The storyline itself flows well and never feels as though it has stalled. Because of the flowing storyline, I found it easy to sit down and read for an extended period of time. It was sometimes difficult to set the book down between chapters because it always felt like something was just around the corner and I didn’t want to hold off to read it.

I actually enjoyed this book so much that I am concerned about the next one. The progression in Vin from being a street thief to a powerful allomancer has me hoping that I don’t run into the same problem that I did with the movie The Matrix. In that Movie, which was excellent, Neo progressed from a nobody to the most powerful person in the matrix. In the following movie, he seemed far too powerful due to the fast progression and, as a result, the movie sucked. I am hoping that I don’t see the same thing happen in The Well of Ascension and Vin’s abilities.

If this write-up has sparked even a little curiosity within you about this book, I would strongly suggest picking it up and giving it a read.


Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Mistborn – The Final Empire

  1. Sounds like a cool book! Myself, on the opposite hand of you, would not care for the magic that way it seems they do it. SO in order to do magic, you have to drink metal and only then can you do the magic spell…hmm…so If they are in combat, they have to stop, drink, cast…wow…I think I would just hack, hack, hack – LOL Now maybe they are not in combat situations and such, but it just seems like a long process to go through to make a magic spell 🙂

    i know, I should read the damn book and figure it out myself, but I have movies to watch and video games to play dammit – LMAO.


    1. Mike,
      It doesn’t work like that. The system allows the Allomancer to ingest so much and draw/burn it as needed. Its less of a magic spell and more of an ability, but yeah, you should definitely check it out.


  2. The Mistborn series is one of my faves. I reread the first book after hearing Brandon Sanderson talk about his philosophies on world building at Jordan Con. One of the things he talked about is how every magic system he creates has some sort of cost, which is more obvious in some systems (Mistborn) than in others.

    As for how the magic works, Mike…

    You swallow the metal in advance, and “burning” it is practically instantaneous; it’s all a use-as-you-go process. The only downfall to that is that if you don’t use it, you still have to use it up before you go to sleep.

    Of course, there are more subtle costs to Allomancy than simply the price of the metal. While that can be substantial for metals like gold, the other costs are in many ways more significant.

    And yes, definitely go read it. You’d probably like it, because the system is actually quite logical and follows its own rules, and its limitations do actually cause problems for the Allomancers and Mistborn sometimes.

  3. AHHHHHHHH – I get it now 😉

    Off to drink some mercury to see what spells I can do =) lol just kidding kids, dont drink metal :p


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