Book reviews / Fantasy

Book review: Final Empire

Oh gawd.

So remember when I complained about Dragonflight‘s setting being a caricature of medieval times? This was like a caricature of the horrible setting of Dragonflight.

Not only is everything fucking awful, it’s been that way for 1000 years, there are ashfalls – like ash falling from the sky ALL THE TIME, their ruler is an immortal despot and the nobility have fucking superpowers.

It’s so completely freaking unbelievable. While one of the main characters is a woman, for most of the rest of the book they only appear as charcters to spread gossip or housekeepers. All the other main characters are blokes. Fine. Whatever.

Except it’s not because the lower class women are treated horribly. Not only does an attempted rape happen in the first chapter – the way they are literally disposable is mentioned many times through the book.

“You know the law says that a lord can bed any skaa woman that he wishes? Vin Nodded. “He just has to kill her when she’s done.”


The Skaa are essentially slaves with no rights and are worked to death throughout the empire. Most of the nobility (even some elightened ones) aren’t quite sure they are smart or compatible with the nobility. And yet, as we find out, about 1/3rd of the male nobility seem to sleep around with them and have children (as some of the main charaters are ‘half breeds’) WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.

So before you even get to the rest of the book you are confronted with this ridiculous setting and social structure. As I said, the aforementioned rape in the first chapter sets up the stupid horrible setting.

The plot mostly revolves around trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler. Some of the characters are ‘allomancers’. Which means, they can ‘burn’ metals which give them super powers essentially – they can be stronger, see better, manipulate metals, see a bit into the future etc. Which…is just weird. I mean, I’m all for weird powers and stuff but I just couldn’t buy it. For one – the main character tells another character that you have to ‘burn’ all the metals you have in you before going to sleep because bad things can happen. Yet, we learn very early on that the character Vin, ‘stores’ up her ‘luck’ which she called it through trace metals in the drinking water. But what about not storing up metals?

But anyway, the horrible way women are treated, the improbable stupid setting, the ridiculous powers were nothing compared to how fucking dull this book was.

It was just sooooo boring. It got interesting in about the last 50 pages but gawd. Just so dull. The same stuff happens every chapter: Kelsier is mysterious, Vin is mistrustful, they are always in dangers, the skaa are miserable. The plot inches along at a snail’s pace. Which then leaves you with nothing but the ridiculous setting.

I looked up on Wikipedia the plot of the next 2 books (how could there be 2 more. So dull). They sounded even more ridiculous than this one.

Out of all the books I’ve read from the list so far, this was the first I seriously wanted to give up reading. It just never got really interesting. At least some of the other really terrible books I wanted to keep reading to see just how terrible they’d get.

Anyway. Boring. Horrible. Improbable. Do not bother with this book.

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