This time round, I thought I’ll recommend an epic fantasy novel with a twist. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the original Mistborn trilogy, which in turn are the first three books in the Mistborn series. A bit confuding, I know, but I hope you guys are still with me. If you are, then without further ado, let’s dive into why I recommend The Final Empire.
What attracted me to The Final Empire initially was the premise: what happens if the prophesied hero failed and the villain won? According to Sanderson, an ashed covered world ruled by a thousand year old tyrant where if you’re not a noble then you are basically nothing. Sounds really uplifting, you say. Well, don’t worry because the book focuses on a gang of con men/thieves who decide to take down the ruler and make a profit, obviously. Let me just say that there are plenty of twists in the novel and I’ll admit that the last third left me pretty surprised. It’s been a while since a book manage to surprise me in the The Final Empire did, and I love it. The whole book challenges the tropes used in epic fantasy, in particular those that centre on the hero or the villain, making it a refreshing addition to the genre.
One of the book’s strengths is the magic which are split into two (a third is introduced later in the trilogy) types, allomancy and feruchemy. Allomancers gain an ability by ingesting the metal associated with it. These vary from enhanced strength to being able to manipulate someone’s emotions. Normally, allomancers can only use one particular metal but there are some allomancers who can use all eight metals, who are called Mistborns, are pretty overpowered. Feruchemists are individuals who use feruchemy, an ability that allows you to store attributes like strength and knowledge in metals and use the attributes at a later time. I’m sure you guys can see the metal theme developing here. Both of these types of magic feature heavily in the book but both are very versatile magic systems that add to any action scene or even to slower scenes, for example when of the characters is attending a ball, they actually use allomancy while talking to a noblewoman. As with a lot of things in The Final Empire, the magic is unique, well though out and adds much to the novel and the world within it.
I could go on for a couple more paragraphs about The Final Empire but I would rather people discovered the other great things about it by reading the book. The whole novel offers something that is completely different to other epic fantasy novels. The writing is strong; the characters are relatable and the world building and magic systems are unique. So if you are looking for an epic fantasy novel, or maybe something that is a little different, then I highly recommend The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
Book cover was found on goodreads.com