For a thousand years ash has fallen from the skies. For a thousand years the Skaa have lived broken and enslaved. For a thousand years the immortal Lord Ruler has ruled as God with his monstrous priests the Steel Inquisition enforcing his will. The aristocracy work the Skaa to death on plantations. They kill them on the streets and no laws protect them.
The Inquisition spreads the doctrine of the Lord Ruler and have destroyed all other religions. Rebellion against the Final Empire has been small and unsuccessful. This is because the people truly believe the Lord Ruler is God. Eternal and omnipotent. Rebellion is considered insanity. The people of the Empire are taught the Lord Ruler saved the world a millennia ago and the world is his to rule.
Kelsier, the survivor of the Pits of Hathsin, and his crew of thieves take on a mission to destabilize the Final Empire and overthrow it’s inhuman tyrant. Kelsier survived the Lord Ruler’s slave mine when none had before and he beliefs he can end the tyranny of a self declared God. As one of the legendary Mistborn he has abilities beyond normal humans.
As the main protagonist we have Vin. A survivor of the cruel streets of Luthadel with a power she does not understand. Kelsier recognizing her talent recruits her to the cause and explains to her that she too is Mistborn.
A misting has the ability to ingest a metal and “burn” it to release the ability contained within it, this is known as Allomancy, and a Mistborn can burn all of the allomantic metals. Ministry doctrine states that allomancy is a gift of the Lord Ruler bestowed upon the aristocracy only. Mistborn are feared as much as the mistwraiths that are said to live within the mists that envelop the world at night and consume souls.
As Vin ,having lived on the streets, learns how to trust people and explores who she is beyond the necessity of survival Kelsier advances a scheme to do the impossible. Somehow his crew begins to believe his vision and the mission seems to be achievable but is the Lord Ruler’s claim to divinity truly false? After all he has lived for a thousand years and survived being decapitated. What is true and what is merely Ministry doctrine?
The Final Empire is the first book of the Mistborn trilogy, (The book that impressed Harriet Mcdougal enough to choose him to finish the Wheel Of Time series after the death of Robert Jordan.) an excellent fantasy trilogy that includes all the hallmarks of the Brandon Sanderson brand.