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Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2007

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Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book No. 1) + The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) + The Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765350386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765350381
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (832 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sanderson's eerie second fantasy (after 2005's Elantris), set in a mist-haunted, ash-ridden world, pits Kelsier, "the Survivor of Hathsin," against the immortal Lord Ruler's 1,000-year domination of both the Great Houses and their serflike "skaa." Through Allomancy acquired in the Ruler's most hellish prison, Kelsier can "burn" 10 metals internally, fueling superhuman powers he uses to assemble rebels in a loose plan to destroy the nobility, the empire and the Lord Ruler himself. Kelsier uses Vin, a street urchin with the same Mistborn powers Kelsier possesses, to infiltrate the Great Houses' society, where she falls in love with philosopher prince Elend Venture. This mystico-metallurgical fantasy combines Vin's coming-of-age-in-magic and its well-worn theme of revolt against oppression with copious mutilations, a large-scale cast of thieves, cutthroats, conniving nobles and exotic mutants. The fast-paced action scenes temper Vin's interminable ballroom intrigues, while the characters, though not profoundly drawn, have a raw stereotypic appeal. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The Sliver of Infinity, the Lord Ruler, is the locus of religious and temporal order in a world in which the skaa are slaves or worse. Half-skaa erstwhile thief Kelsior is the only person to survive and escape the Lord Ruler's most brutal prison, in which, however, he discovered he has the powers of the Mistborn, which are based on the internal "burning" of certain metals, all of which the Mistborn can use, while most others can burn only one. Now Kelsior plans his most daring raid ever, into the center of the palace to discover the secret of the Lord Ruler's power. Beforehand, his band finds the half-skaa orphan Vin in another thieving crew, where she's useful because she brings good luck. She is also Mistborn and, if she can master and learn to trust her powers, will enable Kelsior's crew to infiltrate the nobility and possibly overthrow the status quo. Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

I'm Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

My newest book is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it's the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be.

In September 2013 I also released Steelheart, set in a near-future Chicago ruled by a ruthless villain with no heroes to oppose him. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook here on Amazon that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible.

Mistborn and The Way of Kings are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan's epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at brandonsanderson.com/library -- and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

Customer Reviews

This book has a great cast of interesting characters and it is a very very good story!
Ashley M. Smart
World: Brandon Sanderson does an excellent job creating and building an exciting new Fantasy World complete with its own magic system based on consuming metals.
Poisoned Blade
By the time I was finished, I realized that I had been reading as I only read five-star books.
Neil Hepworth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 159 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Amos on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really wish that amazon would introduce a more intricate rating system than five stars, as this would get about 4.5 stars from me. After many failed attempts at starting up various fantasy series, Brandon Sanderson has delivered something refreshing and vastly entertaining. This is very nearly a five star novel, though there are a few simple discrepencies that keep Mistborn from being legendary.

- I was immideately pulled in by the bizarre world environment here. The idea of a land completely covered in ash at all times is strange and interesting.
- The "magic" system, if it can be called that, is unique and a breath of fresh air. For me, a lot of fantasy is ruined by overuse of magic and lack of explanation about how magic works. His use of metals and Allomancy is genius and it's apparent that Sanderson invested a lot of time into this system. It's fun and believable.
- Sanderson displays great world-building talents in Mistborn. Not only to we have a strange backdrop in the environment, but good history to fill it with. The mists and the Mistwraiths are weird and different.
- There is no lack of action here. While I might have liked a little more description on the larger battle scenes, the Allomancy battles were just plain fun to read. With the characters using their abilities to push themselves through the air and hurl large metal objects, it was almost as if they were battling superheroes, and strangely enough this really works. He paid great attention to the rules and science of the Allomancy he created and applied them to these battle scenes well.

- As others have noticed, characterization could use a little work.
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222 of 242 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on February 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I picked up Mistborn on a lark- based in large point by the written praise of Robin Hobb (an author whose work I greatly enjoy. I have not yet read Elantris, the author's first work. So, with an open mind, I picked up Mistborn...

And was greatly impressed! I consider myself a fan of Jordan, Hobb, Martin, Erickson, Williams and have recently enjoyed the works of R. Scott Bakker. I can now add Brandon Sanderson to the list.

The product description, and some of the other reviews, give pretty accurate assessments of the story and plotline.

So, with that in mind, it's worth highlighting a few of the strengths and weaknesses of his story- with an eye toward hoping the weaknesses are resolved come book 2...


* Nice world-building

* Good story arch/plotline

* Original "magic" system


* Prose/dialogue/elocution: Several passages of inter-character discussions were ... just.. too explanatory. I (personally) try to gauge when reading items whether people in an actual conversation would speak the way an author portrays. And, unfortunately, especially after "major" plot points, I felt some of the conversations between characters were just... too long- near soliloquy's vs. being dialogue. Again, this is a style point and a personal tick of mine.

* "Generic" characterizations: Much has been made of Vin's ability to swiftly learn allomancy; however, both she and Kelsier were the most fully-drawn characters. Other characters- Marsh, Breeze, etc- were more shallowly drawn.
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76 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Eric James Stone on July 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mistborn: The Final Empire is a fast-paced adventure with some fun characters, combining political intrigue with magical battles. The characters are interesting and the plot takes some unexpected turns.

The magic system is, perhaps, the element (pun intended, as you'll soon understand) that stands out most in the novel. Too often, the magic used in fantasy novels tends to either follow some rather stereotypical rules (casting verbal [often rhyming or using an ancient language] spells, potions, etc.) or to lack much in the way of discernable rules at all.

In the world of Mistborn, the magic system is based on swallowing certain metals that are then "burned" to provide the particular power granted by that metal. It means that in the strictest sense, the number of things that can be done with magic is limited by the less than a dozen known allomantic metals. (For example, pushing metal away is one power, and pulling metal toward you is another.) But by ingenious use of the various metals, Mistborn allomancers can do a lot of different things.

This is the first book of a trilogy, but fortunately it works well as a standalone novel as well. I've come to dislike being left hanging off a cliff at the end of a book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tatianna the Reader on August 15, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay I do not normally buy into this is a GREAT read you should buy kind of stuff from publishers and critics; but unfortunately I could not find one single review for this book. I would much rather trust my fellow readers than someone who gets paid to read (that is the sound of me being jealous of those who do get paid to read by the way) and I even broke one my own major rules.

I bought Mistborn and Elantris new, never having picked up the author before and I started reading and reading and reading and reading. I loved this book; I hated putting the thing down to do such mundane things as eat and sleep and not walk into walls. Sanderson has brought characters to life, true life not just the oh what a nice description of someone doing something kind of thing... He has me folks, I'm purchasing The Well of Ascension on my next paycheck, I hate the fact that I've devoured this man's work in such a short amount of time, but Mr. Sanderson's work can be revisited and more nuances found in the slower reading than in the quick estatic jump that I made of my first reading.

Kelsier is a wonderful character, the group of criminals (in the law's eyes anyway) that he surrounds himself with are just as vibrant and intriguing as he is. Life under the Lord Ruler is harsh, possibly short and always dangerous for those who decide to live rather than simply exist; but these men and women do it and do it with style. The type of magic that Mr. Sanderson has come up with is believable and it works, your brain just nods along and agrees with the things that the characters can do.

Vin and Elend will have their stories fleshed out in the Well of Ascension and I can not wait to jump into that pool, but this was a great introduction for me to a great story teller.
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