Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  215,462 Ratings  ·  14,548 Reviews
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 color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage —
Hardcover, 541 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Tor Books (first published July 17th 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Final Empire, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jason Wood I don't know why, but anytime I read one of Sanderson's novels, I picture it as an anime in my head ... because of the in-book art style maybe? I…moreI don't know why, but anytime I read one of Sanderson's novels, I picture it as an anime in my head ... because of the in-book art style maybe? I don't know but I've been begging for some japanime studio to pick up one of his books and turn it into an anime mini series.(less)
Julia Hörmayer I'm 16 and this is the best book I've ever read. I also only read YA, usually. You should 100% read it.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kat O'Keeffe
Jan 28, 2015 Kat O'Keeffe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Just as I expected, this book was FANTASTIC. The story, the characters, the world, the magic system--I loved it all! It was a wonderful first book in a series--satisfying on its own, yet there's still plenty to explore in future books (which I will definitely be reading soon!)

Really, the only somewhat negative thing I have to say is regarding all the hype. While I definitely think the praise is deserved, it did leave me with very very high e
Khanh (the Grinch)
Dec 30, 2015 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it really liked it
Sometimes, I revisit a book I had loved ages ago, only to tell myself "What the actual fuck was I thinking?! This book is crap!!!!! Oh young Khanh, you were so dumb :("

Thankfully, this was absolutely NOT the case for this book. I appreciated it much more the second time around. It could be that it just took time for me to appreciate the book. Or maybe it just glows in comparison to all the crap I had been reading (2.5 average rating last year, baby!). Either way, I ain't complaining!

First, the b
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
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. :)
Benjamin Duffy
I can't remember being this violently conflicted about a book in quite 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'all?

Language. About two and a half chapters into this book, I found myself asking, "Why does t
Christine Riccio
Jan 29, 2015 Christine Riccio rated it it was amazing
Clau R.

On to read the next book!
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I hate everyone.

You: Everyone who?
Me: Yes.
You: Eh?
Me: Leave me alone. I don't want to talk about it!
You: *backs away slowly*

Are you one of them? Are you? Did you rave about MISTBORN and convince me it was one of the BEST fantasy series ever? You can't believe I haven't already read it--I'm going to LOVE it. Hmm? DID YOU?!

Then you, friend, are who I hate.

As for you, Mr. Sanderson . . . I TRUSTED YOU.

I collected your clues and gathered your hi
It reminds me of Ocean's Eleven meets The Italian Job, but set in Mordor after Sauron has ruled for 1000 years or so. In many fantasy stories, a dark lord is rising and it is up to our heroes to defeat him before that happens. In this, the Dark Lord is already set in place as the status quo and the heroes have to motivate others to want a change.....Yet there is a noble class of The Lord Ruler's flunkies who will need to be scammed and robbed along the way, to finance this big revolt.....I love ...more
Note to self: You are no longer allowed to bring books this good on family road trips. It makes you antisocial. You ignore the great views outside the car. You resent being torn away from the book to spend time with family, and when you are you babble incessantly about how awesome it is and how everyone would like it and how cool the magic is and how great the characters and on and on and on until your family is probably sick of you. And then, even after an eight-mile hike in the desert when you ...more
Bookworm Sean
Jan 06, 2017 Bookworm Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an epic fantasy series and The Final Empire, the first book in the trilogy is, in itself, epic. A world oppressed by a dark ruler sees a thieving group take upon the mantels of heroes. This, along with the help of their mystical power, Alomancy, determines the fate of the Mistborn. If anything, Brandon Sanderson certainly knows how to write alarmingly cool books.

Awesome magic system

Alomancy allows the wielder to burn metals, inside themselves, enhancing their physical abilities such as
Jessica (priceiswong)
Feb 16, 2016 Jessica (priceiswong) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own
See my full discussion (with GIFs :P) at
"He shall defend their ways, yet shall violate them. He will be their savior, yet they shall call him heretic. His name shall be Discord, yet they shall love him for it."

A thousand years ago, a young and noble hero arose from rural obscurity into being hailed by Terris priests as the prophesised Hero of Ages. The nations and armies of the world were united beneath his banner in an effort to challenge the Deepness, the mysterious force of darkness threatening to engulf the world. All hope was pla
Raeleen Lemay
Dec 10, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
December 2015

I re-read half of this (on audiobook), and I feel like I remember enough now to continue on with the trilogy. I only read this a year ago, so it's actually a bit fresher in my memory than I thought!

July 2014


So good oh my godddddd
Darth J

Guys, I really tried to get into this. I'm always looking for a new series to binge and I heard great things about this one. Sadly, like with Steelheart, I just wasn't feeling it. I think I'm just immune to Sanderson's writing style. Further, I guess High Fantasy really isn't for me (maybe it's all of the ridiculous names?).

Anyway, what I did like was Allomancy. You can tell Sanderson spent a lot of time working out what different metals would do in his universe. I especially liked t
Dec 01, 2016 kazzexual rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

The Final Empire was :'( in all caps.

and i can't believe you guys want me dead and/or irretrievably missing and a pox on all my descendants... bc why else would you so fervently recommend i read this book??

i'm almost never okay, but this... it absolutely destroyed me, crashed me, took my life in its hands and twisted it until there's nothing but a pathetic dangling string left.

and even though i'm not currently wearing sunglasses and a giant fur coat, laying facedown on dirt (bc i feel like dirt
Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things
Oh my gosh. I have tears in my eyes. This was by far one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read.

I don't even know how I'm going to function enough to give this a worthy review. Brandon Sanderson, you have rocked my world.

Seriously, if you want to try a high fantasy but you want to avoid those long/boring/depressing series - give this a go. I'm just going to point out all the things that made this a great read for me - but I'm not going to go into too much detail. I read this book without kn
You know, when a book leaves you feeling dead inside?
No? Then you obviously haven't read The Final Empire!!

“He smiled despite the grief he felt at the deaths of his men;
he smiled because that was what he did.
That was how he proved to the Lord Ruler
and to himself that he wasn't beaten.”

"Survivor of Hathsin," it said."You promised me a fight."
Kelsier flares him metals. "I never said we were done." Then he smiled."

Brandon Sanderson, you owe me a novela, or an entire series about younger Ke
Robin (Bridge Four)
Aug 26, 2015 Robin (Bridge Four) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and George RR Martin Fans
Recommended to Robin by: Gavin
Reread of Series starting August 12 - Just as good the 2nd time through plus I caught some hints this time so even better.

Shadows of Self should be released October 6th. So what better excuse do I need to reread every book in the Mistborn world? NONE!!!

Original Review May 2014:
“There’s always another secret.”

That seemed to be the theme for this book. Even when I thought I was on the inside and knew what was going on a new development would come about and I would realize that I like the chara
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
My name is Sarah and I am immune to the deadly virus that is Acute Sandersonitis.

Oh dear, even Schwarzy is in shock. I guess that's what happens when you come across one of the two sane people on this silly planet who do not lose their silly senses the minute Silly Sanderson is mentioned. Yes, you Freaks, I just called your Lord and Master SILLY. Go ahead and unleash your vengeful wrath upon me. And watch me shudder with fear. And tremble with total, complete, utter horror.

Yes, this is me shudde
Dec 17, 2013 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW. That. Was. Really. Good.
Add-on December 7 2014:

I completed my first re-read of Mistborn today and I must say that it becomes a lot slower to read the second time when you know where everything is headed. You notice the wordiness of the prose, the clunky dialogue and the fact that there are quite a few spots where it feels overly dramatised rather than necessarily natural. Yet for all of that Brandon Sanderson is a fine storyteller - not necessarily as great a writer at first but he gets a lot better in his later books
Jillian (bookishandnerdy)

David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
A masterpiece in every way, Mistborn - The Final Empire doesn't just rise to the top of the fantasy genre, it actually redefines it!

The history books of the Final Empire tell of a battle that took place over 1,000 years ago, when a prophesied hero defeated a threat known only as The Deepness and gained the powers of a god to be come the Lord Ruler. However, the people of The Final Empire know better! They know that the omnipotent Lord Ruler that now dominates them all is no hero or god, but rath
Duchess Nicole
Epic Buddy Read with my Epic Fantasy loving buddy readers Tom, Amy (BW), Pat, Rosanna, Sarah (my lovely), Estelle, and Roxanne...Whew!!! I've been dying to read this series!!!!!!!!!
"Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope."

It's been a thousand years since people have seen the sun or a flower...a thousand years since the Lord Ruler claimed control over the world, since he assumed the role of the Hero o
Simona Bartolotta
EDIT 08/05/2016: Who has the best friend in the world? *furiously points to herself*
Her name is Nina The Great and Lovely, she's my exploding fluffball/partner in buddy-reads, and she gifted me this book. <3

"We can rob the unrobbable and fool the unfoolable. We know how to take an incredibly large task and break it down to manageable pieces, then deal with each of those pieces. We know how to get what we want."

I'm not one to be impressed by beauty, but I do lose myself in the details. On the
Hasham Rasool

For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.

A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa str
Dec 05, 2016 Ashwood rated it it was amazing
This was the one and only book I've read by Brandon Sanderson and it did not disappoint.

The Final Empire is a unique fantasy story that I was not prepared for when I started reading it. The distinctly different but unforgettable characters, the insanely strategic plotting and planning, the plot twists and overall overwhelming moments that create this epic story, is unbelievable.

This story focused on a few main characters at different parts in the story. The beginning and middle-ish of the book
Dylan Williams
Jan 30, 2015 Dylan Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know words. I just know this was fantastic!

I read this as a part of Booksplosion and #YearOfCosmere
Nov 09, 2016 Kaya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
"But you can't kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you've never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.“

This book wrecked me. It was better than I've expected. Robert Jordan's influence is apparent, but Sanderson is still original in sharing his imagination. He lays low on the cliché and this novel is everything but predictable. It can also be read as a stand-alone, though I can't wait to continue with the series.

A thousand years ago, a young man arose as the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Princeps' Fury (Codex Alera, #5)
  • Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #2)
  • The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time, #12)
  • The Price of Spring (Long Price Quartet, #4)
  • Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3)
  • Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)
  • The Curse of Chalion (World of the Five Gods, #2)
  • Wings of Wrath (The Magister Trilogy, #2)
  • The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
  • The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage, #3)
  • The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, #1)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law #1)
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s S
More about Brandon Sanderson...

Other Books in the Series

Mistborn (7 books)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4)
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)
  • The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6)
  • The Lost Metal (Mistborn, #7)

Share This Book

“You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way.

- Breeze”
“I've always been very confident in my immaturity.” 642 likes
More quotes…