The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson | How does a dreary world become so riveting?

The Final Empire

Thanks to a reading slump, it’s been so long since I’ve actually written a book review. I’m so glad this huge chunk of a book came along and gave me plenty of things to babble about.

spoiler free

Let’s dive right in!

The Final Empire


Synopsis (1)

(Found on Goodreads)

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.


To me, The Final Empire is one of those addictive sort of fantasy books. The sort where you don’t quite realise how quickly you’re going through it (especially when it’s so damn long). The sort that’s intimidating before you pick it up, but sucks you right in the second you start reading.

Something about Sanderson’s writing style made the book feel fast paced. It wasn’t overly lyrical or impressive, but it had that simple effectiveness of getting to the point while holding enough of an air about it to make it compelling.

Which is a good thing particularly, because I didn’t like any of the characters. They were an odd bunch, and it was clear to see the differences in personalities…but I just didn’t grow fond of any of them. I’m not exactly sure why. The only one I can pinpoint is Vin. I didn’t hate her, but she was just plain annoying with how stubbornly she latched on to and repeated her own idiotic thoughts. There were many eye roll moments with Vin. And yet, despite not really being interested in the characters themselves, the world and plot was enough to redeem the book.

Now thinking of the world, the word that comes to mind is “dreary”. The entire atmosphere of this book was pretty dismal, in this dank world where I’m sure no one would relish to live in, and that sunk its way into the plot too. It doesn’t sound appealing, I know, but somehow it seemed perfect for this story. After all, it’s a story of rebellion. I doubt many people would rebel if the world they lived in was full of beauty.

And better yet, even the magic system seemed to fit. Magic comes to this book in the form of allomancy, the burning of metals. And I cannot stress enough how much I love this. It’s not that I like the system itself – that I wasn’t too bothered about. But it just suited the book so so well. Like I said, the entire world seems dreary and dull. Wouldn’t the typical glowy sense of wonder that comes to mind when you think of magic seem out of place? Instead, even the magic is toned down. A more subdued sense of magic, through the burning of metals, just fits the atmosphere of this book so much better than sparkly light-filled magic would.

It just felt so well planned.

And so, I sped through this book a lot quicker than I expected to, especially since I was just coming out of a reading slump. Honestly, I felt like this book could end here as a standalone, so I’m quite intrigued to see where the plot goes further on in the series. Hopefully they’ll all be just as good as this one.

Rated 4/5 stars

4 stars

Book Depository

give a warning

Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Have you read any of Sanderson’s other works? Any you’d recommend?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…


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7 thoughts on “The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson | How does a dreary world become so riveting?

  1. Sanderson’s writing is definitely efficient. I’m a little bummed that you didn’t like the characters, but hopefully (maybe) they’ll grow on you as the series progresses haha. The book was certainly well planned, as was the rest of the series. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the rest of the books. Nice review 😊!

    Liked by 1 person

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