The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The basics

Title: The Final Empire


Series: Mistborn #1

- Mistborn: The Final Empire (July 2006)
- The Well of Ascension (August 2007)
- The Hero of Ages (October 2008)
- The Alloy of Law (November 2011)
- Shadows of Self (2014)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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 Anderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage - Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

Read a full summary of The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Final Empire and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

in short

Kelsier and his crew want to overthrow the Final Empire. They recruit Vin, who is another Mistborn, and send her to balls and stuff with nobles to gather information and help to start a house war. Lots of people die, lots of stuff happens, but it end with Kelsier being killed by the Lord Ruler and the skaa rising up, and Vin finally killing the Lord Ruler.

what happened in The Final Empire

  • Prologue: Kelsier arrives on Lord Tresting’s plantation. He is hidden in the skaa’s shelter when he hears screaming. He is told that Lord Tresting is taking a young skaa girl to the mansion, and that she’ll be killed after he’s done what he wants with her. Kelsier walks out into the mists. The next morning, the skaa learn that Kelsier killed Lord Tresting and all of his guards.
  • Vin’s crewleader, Camon, is working a scam against the Ministry with another guy, Theron. Vin uses her Luck on a Ministry official to get him to consider the deal.
  • Kelsier is trying to gather a bunch of people for a job. He talks to his friend, Dockson, in Luthadel. He spots Vin and Camon as they go to see a Ministry official.
  • Vin uses her Luck on the Ministry official, who agrees to the deal with Camon. Vin has a bad feeling. Camon and Vin leave, oblivious to the Steel Inquisitor that has been told to tail them. Luckily, Dockson and Kelsier see it. Dockson distracts the obligator, while Kelsier distracts the Inquistor.
  • Vin tries to leave Camon’s hideaway with her “friend”, Ulef. Ulef tells Camon of the plan, and Camon starts to beat Vin. Kelsier saves her, and takes the boxings that the obligator gave to Camon. He rents the hideaway so he can hold the meeting there.
  • Kelsier shows the thieves the Eleventh Metal.
  • Breeze, Ham, Clubs, and Yeden arrive for the meeting. Kelsier reveals that he wants to overthrow the Ministry and steal the atium from the Lord Ruler. Clubs initially declines but then comes back now that Breeze is gone.
  • Kelsier breaks into Keep Venture and steals their atium.
  • Marsh and Kelsier talk about old times and stuff, and Kelsier convinces his brother to come back again soon. Vin has been eavesdropping and hears the whole thing.
  • Kelsier trains Vin for the first time ;______; and gives her a Mistclock. They jump over the city wall. They spot a mistwraith, and Kelsier explains that mistwraiths are scavengers and aren’t a threat to them. A mistwraith transforms into what it has consumed. Kelsier tells Vin that she can leave if she likes, and offers her the boxings.
  • Vin meets Sazed at Lord Renoux’s estate. Vin is to play the cousin of Lord Renoux and attend balls and things with nobles, so the crew can use the intel.
  • Lord Renoux isn’t actually Lord Renoux, by the way. He’s an imposter posing as Lord Renoux in order to help Kelsier with his plot.
  • Vin is taught to be a noblewoman. She is to attend a ball held by Lord Venture.
  • Vin is then trained by Breeze to burn Brass. They manipulate the crowd at one of Kelsier’s recruitment meetings.
  • The Steel Ministry discovers Camon’s old den. They’ve killed everyone inside. Vin sees Ulef’s corpse. Milev and Camon had obviously been tortured. Camon’s body is found hanging with a hook through his mouth, which is a punishment for those who abuse Allomancy, meaning that he knew Vin was able to burn metal.
  • Vin attends the ball at Keep Venture as Valette Renoux. She meets Elend, and Sazed is not impressed.
  • Later, Vin follows Kelsier back to Luthadel, where he intends to break into Kredik Shaw – the Lord Ruler’s humble abode. And so, in true Keslier/Vin fashion, the two break in to find out what’s in that bloody room. They get to the room, but there’s an Inquisitor in there. Kelsier Pushes Vin away. Vin grabs a book, and is pursued by the Inquisitor who was sent to tail her before. Vin gets out of Kedrik Shaw, but so does the Inquisitor, and she’s almost killed before Sazed finds her and fights off the Inquisitor.
  • Sazed says he can translate the book that Vin found.
  • Two weeks later, Vin wakes up. She talks to Sazed about Keepers and Terrismen.
  • Almost healed, Vin attends a ball at Keep Elariel. Elend sits with her. Vin dances with a bunch of people, and tells one that Elend is a friend of the family and has been asked to look out for her while she’s in Luthadel. Later on, Vin spots Elend going off with some other young nobles. Ones that he really shouldn’t be hanging out with.
  • Kelsier places a body of someone he murdered in House Tekiel’s garden. He meets up with Hoid (Amber has been told that he’s important), who is a street informant. Kelsier asks Hoid what the rumour mill is saying about House Renoux. Kelsier then pretends to be a street informant himself, and meets with Lord Venture.
  • Marsh trains Vin in Seeking.
  • Kelsier travels to the caves where his army is being hidden. Kelsier Riots a guy’s emotions, and then makes him and Demoux duel. Kelsier uses Allomancy to help Demoux win, which gives the army hope. Ham is not sure that this was the best thing to do.
  • Sazed tells Vin about Feruchemy.
  • Vin asks Dockson about his life on a plantation. Dockson warns Vin that all noblemen are horrible people, but Vin doesn’t believe him because ELEND.
  • At another ball, Vin speaks with some nobles and discovers that Kelsier’s house war plan is working.  Shan tells Vin to search through Elend’s books and tell her the titles. Vin confronts Elend about the things that Dockson warned her about, and Elend admits that he once slept with a skaa woman, without realising that she would be killed afterwards. He says he has never done such a thing since. Elend gives Vin a handkerchief, which means he wants to court her.
  • Vin spies on Elend and his friends, and sees that they’re talking about possibly changing the way things are done once they inherit their houses.
  • Ham teaches Vin about burning Pewter as they make their way to the Garrison. Ham intends to spar with some people there, but that’s not possible because there has been a skaa rebellion at a Garrison in the north. It’s Kelsier’s army, led by Yeden.
  • Kelsier and Vin rush to the army to warn them about the Garrison’s arrival. Vin tells Kelsier that it would be foolish to help the army, as they’re clearly losing. They go to the caves, and find two thousand soldiers still alive. Mennis has them all ready to leave.
  • The crew talk about how the job is turning into a failure. Then there are the skaa executions at the fountain, which the crew goes to watch.
  • Kelsier gives Vin some Gold to burn. It’s very different to any other metal. The pair meet with Marsh, who tells them he’s infiltrating the Ministry.
  • Vin spreads rumours to help the house wars continue. Elend tries to convince her to leave Luthadel. He reveals that House Venture is in charge of mining atium at the Pits of Hathsin, and that’s why the noble house is the most powerful.
  • Jastes tries to convince Elend that Valette is a spy from another house. Elend asks for a couple of spies on his father so he can have Valette watched.
  • Sazed finishes translating the logbook. It ends very abruptly.
  • Vin tries to burn one of Sazed’s pewtermids, but it doesn’t work.
  • There is another ball at Keep Venture. This time everyone is treating Valette very coldly because they are busy with their alliances for the house war. It’s revealed that Kliss is an informant, so Vin’s attempts at spreading false rumours through Kliss were futile. Kliss tells Vin that Elend is going to be killed that night. Vin rushes to him, and fights off his assassins. One of them is Shan, who is a Mistborn. Vin kills her.
  • Kelsier tells Vin that she shouldn’t have saved Elend’s life. They have a brief argument, and then they go to the roof to talk. Vin tells Kelsier what she learnt from Elend about Venture and the Pits. Vin tells Kelsier that the Inquisitors can see through copperclouds, meaning that Smokers are useless against them.
  • Lord Venture tells Elend that Shan tried to assassinate him.
  • House Elariel attacks House Hasting.
  • Spook helps Vin to burn tin.
  • Kelsier and Vin go to meet Marsh, but first they stop at a skaa slum. Kelsier speaks to the skaa, and then they go to the meeting room. They find a dismembered corpse, and assume that Marsh is dead. They find a letter from Marsh, which reveals that he thinks the Ministry is suspicious of him.
  • Kelsier tells Renoux to pull out, and tells everyone to go to the backup lair in case Marsh talked before he died.
  • Kelsier goes to the Pits of Hathsin and frees the skaa and destroys the crystals. There are tears all over my keyboard.
  • Kelsier returns to the backup lair and then there are more executions. NO NO NO NO NO. Kelsier attempts to free the prisoners, and then gets into a fight with an Inquisitor – the one who’s after Vin. Vin helps Breeze to manipulate the soldiers so they’ll back off. Elend spends a lot of time looking for Valette. Ham and his rebels free Renoux and Spook from their cage. Kelsier beheads the Inquisitor, and this kills it.
  • The Lord Ruler arrives.
  • nope
  • The Lord Ruler stabs Kelsier in the chest with a spear.
  • NOPE
  • NOEP
  • NO
  • The skaa begin to rebel, spurred on by the legend of Kelsier (sobs) and they march through the mists. Dockson takes Vin and the others to the warehouse where there is a stockpile of weapons. Lord Renoux is now Kelsier and it’s painful. THERE IS A LETTER FROM KELSIER TO VIN AND NO GO AWAY DON’T LOOK AT ME.

how did it end?

I’m trying very hard not to write in caps right now. Vin goes to Kedrik Shaw and convinces the guards to join the rebellion. FUCK YEAH. Vin incapacitates a couple of Inquisitors, and gets into the mysterious room. She finds the Lord Ruler there, but this time he’s an old bloke. She is caught and thrown in jail.
Elend confronts his father, who is leaving Luthadel because of the rebellion. Elend is staying behind. Elend turns himself into Kelsier’s (cries) crew.
Vin wakes up and realises there is a connection between the Eleventh Metal and Gold. She is taken to see the Lord Ruler. Her father is there, and he tells the Lord Ruler that they should pay attention to the rebellion. Kar, an Inquisitor, tells the Lord Ruler that Vin’s father is her father. This isn’t allowed, and so Vin’s father is murdered. Bye. Vin is returned to her cell, where Sazed is thrown in after her. Sazed uses a pewtermind and breaks the two of them out of jail.
Elend arrives with some guards, and they try to fight off the Lord Ruler’s soldiers. Vin swallows a vial of metals and kills the soldiers herself. Vin asks Sazed to take Elend to safety. Vin goes to kill the Lord Ruler.
Kar is now at the head of the Ministry. But not for long, lawl. Vin tackles Kar, and the Lord Ruler calls in more Inquisitors for backup. Only Marsh arrives, having killed the rest of them. Ha. Marsh attempts to kill the Lord Ruler by pulling a spike out of the Lord Ruler’s spine. But there is no spike, so it doesn’t work. Marsh’s theory about the Lord Ruler being kept alive like the Inquisitors is wrong. Vin tears off the Lord Ruler’s clothes (not like that) and see that he has a bunch of feruchemical bracelets on his arms. Vin channels the mists, Pulls the Lord Ruler’s bracelets off, and this causing him to age rapidly. Vin kills the Lord Ruler with a spear. That one was for Kelsier.
Epilogue: Sazed speaks with Vin and Marsh about Rashek (the Lord Ruler) and how he was a Terrisman. Sazed tells Vin that Kelsier transferred his contract with the kandra (Lord Renoux) to her. Vin doesn’t want anything to do with it. Vin goes to find Elend, who is now in charge of the Final Empire.

anything else

Note: The glossary of metals was provided at the back of Amber’s copy of The Final Empire. Because Brandon Sanderson is flawless.
Iron: An external metal that pulls on nearby metals. A person who can burn Iron is called a Lurcher.
Steel: An external metal that pushes on nearby metals. A person who can burn Steel is called a Coinshot
Tin: An internal metal that enhances senses. A person who can burn Tin is called a Tineye.
Pewter: An internal metal that enhances physical abilities. A person who can burn Pewter is called a Thug.
Brass: An external metal that soothes emotions. A person who can burn Brass is called a Soother. Amber needs a Soother right now.
Zinc: An external metal that riots emotions. A person who can burn Zinc is called a Rioter.
Copper: An internal metal that hides Allomancy. A person who can burn Copper is called a Smoker.
Bronze: An internal metal that reveals Allomancy. A person who can burn Bronze is called a Seeker.
Misting: Someone who can burn one metal. Also called an Allomancer.
Mistborn: Someone who can burn all the metals and is an effing BAMF.
Mistwraith: Scavengers that take the form of those they eat.
Kandra: Grown up mistwraiths.
Allomancy: The ability to burn metals.
Feruchemy: The ability to use metals as storage.
Skaa: Slaves owned by the Lord Ruler.
Terrismen: People who use Feruchemy. The Lord Ruler requires all of them to be eunuchs. The Noblemen employ them.
Hazekillers: Assassins employed to kill Allomancers.
Noblemen: Rich people who rent slaves from the Lord Ruler and spend a lot of time partying.
Inquisitors: Creepy people with steel sticking into their body in various places. They are hard to kill, and very strong, but Marsh reveals that they can be killed by separating the spikes from each other.
Obligators: Loyal to the Lord Ruler. They are the witnesses of the Final Empire.
Lord Ruler: The guy who… rules the empire.
Steel Ministry: Basically the government.
Luthadel: The capital city of The Final Empire
Venture; Hasting; Elariel; Tekiel; Lekal; Erikeller; Erikell; Haught; Urbain; Buvidas.

Other recaps for this series:



    This book was flawless though. FLAW-LESS.

Leave a reply