Monday, October 26, 2015

The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson

  • Written by: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 45 mins 
  • Series: Mistborn, Book 1
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:01-22-09
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio

  • It probably says all you need to know, if you know anything about me at all, about this book and this series quality that I'm posting this review as soon as possible so I can get beyond my self imposed rule about not progressing in my audiobook consumption until after I've posted a review. (A rule I've broken already, but hey...I was on vacation!)

    Because I am actually really wanting to start the next book in this series I'm going to cheat a little bit and borrow the author's synopsis. (Who better to describe it anyway?)

    "I came into this book with two big ideas for the plot. The first was that of a heist story, like Sneakers or Ocean’s Eleven involving a gang of gentlemen thieves who each had a distinctive magic power. I wanted to tell the story of how their different magics and abilities worked together for them to pull an incredible caper.

    The second idea was to write a story about a world where the good guys lost. I wanted to take the standard fantasy story I’d read a dozen times, that of a young peasant hero who went on a quest to defeat a Dark Lord, and turn it on its head. What if the Dark Lord won? What if, in the final climactic moments, he killed the hero and took over the world?

    Hence, Mistborn. A thousand years ago, the prophesied hero from lore rose up to overthrow a great and terrible evil. Only, he lost, and the Dark Lord took over and has been ruling with an iron fist for a thousand years. Ash falls from the sky in this barren land, and mists come every night, deep and mysterious. In this setting, a gang of thieves decides that the prophecies were all lies and that they can’t trust in some fabled hero to save them. They decide to take matters into their own hands, and plan a daring heist of the dark lord himself, planning to use the emperor’s own wealth to bribe his armies away from him and take over the empire."

    So there we have it.  A nice twist on the typical 'good guy wins' storyline, as well on a twist as to who plans to set change in motion...a band of thieves.

    I've seen a couple complaints that the characters in the story weren't well developed.  I disagree , but I disagree because I know this is the opening book in a trilogy...well the first trilogy.  As such characters are mostly introduced, and we learn about them as we go.  That said I feel like there was plenty of character depth in this opening book, and I was hard pressed along the way to find a stopping point and not succumb to the 'just one more chapter' temptation.

    I've recently learned that while Mistborn was written and planned to be a trilogy, it seems Mr. Sanderson decided to write a...triple trilogy...that is to say three trilogies in this storyline each occurring in separate times throughout this worlds history starting in an ancient past working it's way through to current day.  The first trilogy is already published and two of the three in the second are also already available and the third is due out in late January 2016.  So I have a lot to look forward to fortunately before this series gets put on my 'hurry up and wait' list alongside The Reckoners and The Stormlight Archive also by Brandon Sanderson.  Needless to say, he is a talented and prolific writer.

    Michael Kramer, who also performed in The Stormlight Archive (along with his wife), did another great performance and (as I've already mentioned I believe) I can't wait to hear more from him!

    If you haven't garnered this by now, if you aren't reading Brandon Sanderson's works you are missing out.  I highly recommend that you rectify this now as you have plenty of options for places to start.  

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