REVIEW ✓ The Final Empire

CHARACTERS The Final Empire

REVIEW ✓ The Final Empire ✓ For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomedFor a thousand yea. I can't remember being this violently conflicted about a book in uite some time There are some areas where it's just so well done with the author absolutely nailing it and then others where I found myself grinding my teeth in frustration I'm going to abandon my usual practice of writing short pithy reviews and just drunkenly ramble on a few things here Still no spoilers though That OK with y'allLanguage About two and a half chapters into this book I found myself asking Why does this feel like a kids' fantasy book It wasn't the subject material or the plot both of which are much sophisticated than Harry Potter and his ilk While I would feel perfectly comfortable having a 12 year old read this PG13 violent and utterly asexual book I don't feel as though it's necessarily written for tweens Finally it occurred to me it's the language This book is one of the most simply written books I've ever read using only the most basic vocabulary That isn't a bad thing as I'd rather read something direct and simple than something flowery and overwritten but Sanderson's language is so simple here that it's almost as if he's drawing with the Crayola 16 set when other authors have the big 64 One notable exception having apparently become recently enad of the word he uses maladroitly at least three times Maybe he was jamming some Weezer while he wrote I haven't read any of his other works yet; Mistborn #2 is on deck but I have to assume this simplicity is by conscious choice and it's an interesting choice at that I'm just not sure yet how I feel about itOne language choice that I am sure how I feel about is Sanderson's decision to have his characters speak good old American English The narration is similarly plainspoken with a fair amount of American slang thrown in rather than the twee faux Elizabethan style of a lot of fantasy authors I like the approach One of the most time honored fantasy tropes is having all the characters thee and thou each other with a few ne'er did yon stars of Yomama glimmer so resplendently my suzerain for good measure And I can handle that stuff having been weaned on Tolkien and everything that came after but I found Sanderson's decision to move away from that convention refreshing I interpreted it as Sanderson saying The unspoken assumption here is that this book has been translated from whatever languages they speak on this made up world so why translate it to anything other than what is most understandable and comfortable for you to read To couch this story in funky language is to insult your imagination by implying that you need that in order to realize you're reading a fantasy novelSetting and Plot The setting is a typical high fantasy world feudal style nobility and peasantry; shadowy powerful priesthood; mysterious evil lord etc with some odd almost steampunk flourishes thrown in There are wristwatches Men's formal wear is described as something like Victorian coat and tails than medieval garb Magic in this world is fueled by elemental and alloyed metals which are described rather exactly using percentages It's a uniue and interesting blendThe basic plot is about as stock as it gets If you're familiar with the Star Wars films the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson books Eragon the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy Dune Ender's Game or any one of about a million other works please play Mad Libs with me Dear kid with weird name I know you are only a farmer orphan urchin child of a minor noble and this will be hard for you to accept but you have Great Powers are the Chosen One insert name of funky power here You are the only one who can save the world save the universe defeat the Empire restore order to the Force kill the Big Boss Luckily even though you just learned your destiny fifteen minutes ago you will make up for lost time by uickly becoming better than anyone in the history of ever at uidditch dragon riding sandworm riding Allomancy Any uestionsNeedless to say the book's plot could have been a ticket to Hack City but it really isn't Vin's growth and development are handled wellExposition This is a fantasy book for the video game generation By that I mean that the book follows the general path of a first person RPG1 Introduction to the world and the main characters2 A few early levels whose only apparent purpose is to teach the player how to use the buttons3 uests of increasing difficulty with progressive reveals of the Big Plot4 Fight with the Main Boss including the inevitable twist5 Denouement and teaser for the next installmentNot that that's a bad thing But I was really surprised at the way Allomancy the main magic in this world was laid out In the two towering fantasysci fi works of the 20th century The Lord of the Rings and Dune the supernatural elements of the story operated behind a sort of curtain or screen The One Ring in LotR and the spice Melange in Dune both held great mysterious powers but the specific effects and extent of those powers were seen only in fits and flashes and never understood completely by the characters or the reader In contrast fairly early in this book Kelsier takes Vin on a practice run where he explains how her powers work and what their advantages and limitations are using plain language and real world physics and lets her fly and mess around and just generally exult in her magic It left me the reader as well as Vin the character feeling that even if we didn't understand this magic perfectly right now we might at some point in the future which was a very different feelOK after enough rambling about things I feel ambivalently about let's wrap up with one big win and one big failWIN Brandon Sanderson can write the hell out of an action scene And since the final uarter of this book is pretty much all action playing directly into Sanderson's strengths it kicks all kinds of ass The fights in this book are gut wrenching without being overly gory and the chases and sneaks are heart stopping as well Perfect combination of pace and detail Amazing Possibly the best I've ever read from an author in this genre and if he's able to do that so effortlessly so early in his career it gives me hope that he can fixFAIL the dialogue In spite of being favorably disposed due to the use of informal American English I eventually found the dialogue here really clunky Everyone is too wordy Everyone says one sentence too many Over and over again I found myself going Real people don't talk like this and especially Real people who are supposed to be close friends don't talk anything like this to each other Seriously think of how you talk to your best friends in private then compare it to this book In addition there was always that odd feeling of unneeded exposition as if the characters were talking half to each other and half to the reader It was unfortunate especially in contrast to how slick and fast moving and just plain awesome a lot of the other writing wasAll in all this was a fun kinetic readwith a few holes in it It builds it explodes and the ending is really good If half stars were allowed this would have been a 3 12 Good stuffAlso here are my spoiler free suitable as previews reviews of the second and third books in the series if you enjoyed this one

Brandon Sanderson ☆ 8 REVIEW

Rs the ash fell an. WOAH That was a crazy epic adventure full of fantastic characters and action packed madness It definitely lived up to all the hype for me

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The Final EmpireD no flowers bloom. I'M NOT OKAY I'M STILL CRYINGOn to read the next book