For a thousand years the Lord Ruler has reigned and during this time ash has fallen from the sky and the Skaa have been enslaved. Vin is a street urchin who makes a startling discovery that she is a mistborn, a person who can use magic by burning all types of metals, however, only those with noble blood should have it. Vin joins a group of people with unique talents, led by the charismatic Kelsier, the only other Skaa mistborn and the sole survivor of the Pits of Hathsin. This group’s aim is to overthrow the Lord Ruler and free the Skaa, but will Vin learn to trust them and master her powers in order to help destabilise the nobility and cause the chaos needed to defeat the Lord Ruler.
The Final Empire is the first in an epic fantasy series and even though it is full of clichés it is still a unique and interesting book. If I had one complaint it would be that it is long but apart from that it is really good as it has all the elements you want in a high fantasy.
While I like Vin, I did feel that she is quite similar to a few other fantasy heroines, as she was a poor unassuming urchin who has a undiscovered special power, however, that being said her character is well rounded and very likable. I also liked most of the other characters in this book but especially Kelsier as at first he seems all charm and ego but as the book progresses we find out he has a lot of depth.
I really liked how Sanderson portrayed the Lord Ruler in this book as you don’t get to see him until near the end, which adds a lot of mystery to his character. I also really like the magic system in this book as it is so simple, yet really different from other fantasy books.
I really liked The Final Empire and I am hoping that I will enjoy the others just as much. I would recommend this to fans of The Black Magician trilogy and The Belgariad.