Monday 18 September 2017

REVIEW: The Final Empire


This was an odd one for me. I've seen an enormous number of opinions about Sanderson's books on the fantasy forums I hang out on, the great majority favourable. I was interested to see what it was that had sold so very many books and got such an incredibly high average score on Goodreads. 

The opening was strong and engaging. Then I started to falter. For most of the book I didn't think that I would be giving it 5*. I started to worry that I might have a legion of Sanderfans on my case :o

I think I am too much of a scientist for the magic system not to jar against me. I liked the complexity, and the effects, and the ways it was used were cunning, clever, and ingenious. But the ingredients and the execution fill me with unanswered questions.

And for much of the middle section I was struggling through all the balls and house politics, having a hard time caring.

And the plans felt flimsy and dubious...


But, the last hundred and fifty pages were a huge payoff and I really liked all the twists and turns. Also the action scenes were great, and the tension was kept high, nobody felt safe, the reveals kept coming ... it was all really well done and I had a blast with it.

I've heard it said that Sanderson's biggest strength is plotting, and yes, the plot unwound splendidly.

The reading experience and writing put me in mind of Brent Weeks more than any other writer I know.

A really fun read.

You can go like my review on Goodreads if you like.


  1. Have you ever read the empire series by feist. That reminds me of this book but the politics and plotting were unlike any other books I've read. Well recommended.

  2. After reading a lot of recomendations for Sanderson's books, I decided to buy one of their short stories to give it a try (the emperor's soul). The plot was amazing! Then I took The final empire with all my expectations on it. The truth is, I found it way too long and a little boring in some parts, exhausting in some way; but again, the plot was incredible and the last hundreds of pages were worth all the jorney.

    I won this book in a giveaway some weeks ago, a beautiful hardcover version, so now I'm reading it again and preparing myself to keep going on this jorney till the end of the story.


    I quite enjoyed this one (teen romance subplot aside) but I can't help feel that Sanderson killed off his two most interesting characters (Kelsier and the Lord Ruler) at the end of the first book and then left us to trudge through two more books with the leftover, somewhat banal characters.