In an attempt to educate Mrs. NW, who is not exactly an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, Mr. NW each month assigns a novel to read.
After my epic fail at finishing Childhood’s End by Arthur C.Clarke (way, way too dry for my tastes), I’m ecstatic to have finished a book for once. Clearly, I’m leaning heavily towards the fantasy genre at this point, except grimdark. I’m hoping Mr NW will up his game with picking sci-fi books (maybe you guys can help him out with some suggestions).
So I present my review of The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
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. – Blurb from Goodreads
I’ve been teasing Mr NW about how he is always reading one of The Blue Books for the better part of a decade, so bearing that context in mind, it very much pains me to say that I wholeheartedly loved this book.
Now as a skeptic of the fantasy and science fiction genres, I normally use this space to complain about the aspects of the book that annoyed me or seemed unlikely.
So here they are:
Ok, I’ll try a bit harder:
- The book is long, except it doesn’t feel long when you are reading it. In fact, the tension builds and releases at exactly the right moments. But that does mean it is heavy to hold in one hand. To avoid this I recommend using two hand or getting the ebook, problem solved.
- I woke up feeling exceptionally groggy after reading this book. I may have stayed up reading until very late into the night, so it was largely self-inflicted.
- Ok, nope, I’m really clutching at straws now.
I really enjoyed the way this book unfolded. It was like the opposite of The Name of the Wind. Small questions that popped to mind were soon answered, but the bigger mystery lurked in the background. The plot and the action moved along a quick clip, such that as I mentioned early you forget you are reading a very long book. But at the end of it all, it resolved with satisfaction, and just a few threads and glimmers of what might continue on in the next book. Enough to keep you intrigued but not enraged at the unanswered nature of it all. If I were to walk away from the series now, it would be fine.
Whilst the characters and the dialogue are very good, it is really the world that Sanderson builds that brings the mystery and intrigue. He manages to make it original and unique with the allomancy (the form of magic) but yet familiar in other ways. But for me, the best part of all was how it all unfurled without having to concentrate. What starts as a dim picture slowly grows brighter as you read, with more clues and context along the way. It really draws you in. So on that note, I’m going to stop typing and go pick up the next book, The Well of Ascension.