I absolutely devoured this trilogy. I was going to do a review on each of the books individually but after finishing the third this last weekend I thought it would be better to do one for all three.
I didn't even realize this was a trilogy when I started reading the first one. I was glad to learn there was more to the story once I finished The Final Empire because I was excited to read more of these characters and this world. I was immediately impressed with the magic system Sanderson created and I think it's one of the more original and unique ones I've come across.
Vin is the main character through all three books and she is a great character that I just love. She's strong, feisty, and fun to read. It was a pleasure to see her grow and change through the series.
I've been thinking about villains recently, probably because I have such a difficult time writing them myself, so I wanted to comment on the ones in this series. They are really good in the sense that they jerk your emotions around and keep you guessing. I like how Sanderson handled the opposition to his protagonists.
The story is basically about a rebellion and then search for leadership in a people lost in all the change. Sanderson does a great job with intrigue but doesn't let it overwhelm the story as in some other books I've read. It was a nice balance and flowed well with the overall plot and character development.
Probably my favorite part of the series is the magic system and the way Sanderson handles the action sequences using this magic. It isn't really magic so much of a strange science in which the chosen can 'burn' metals which give them specific powers. Some can only use one power and others can use all of them. This allows those with power to fly through the air, see long distances, and gain added strength, among other things. This makes for some very entertaining scenes.
Sanderson also introduces a couple new creatures: the koloss, big mindless brutes full of violence, and kandra, who can take any shape and serve humans almost as slaves. I love the kandra and one of my favorite characters is of this species.
I read the first two books in the series in a couple of weeks and then had to wait to read the third until it was available at the library (one of these days I will have enough money to just buy books I'm dying to read). It was well worth the wait, though, and it only took be 5 days to read it. The ending was perfectly satisfying and the next day my mind kept coming back to the story and characters - that's the sign of a great book to me. This is definitely a series I will be recommending to all my friends and I hope to add it to my personal library soon.
When I finish a series like this I always breathe a sigh of content with just the smallest amount of sadness that the magic of the story has ended. I guess that's what prompted fan-fiction. I love that feeling, though. What was the last thing you read that left you feeling that way?