Here it is: my final review for Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. This third volume, the Hero of Ages, just came out last week in the UK, so that means that I only just got my hands on it. When I got back from the store I forgot about all the other books I was reading (and trust me there were a few) and immediately got started on this. The Final Empire had been an extremely strong first book and the Well of Ascension was probably one of the best middle/second books I’ve ever read. With the Hero of Ages Sanderson once again makes a strong case for his writing and concludes the Mistborn Trilogy phenomenally.
To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness – the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists – is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed.Because of the way Sanderson writes – and how the story unfolds across the books – there is a measure of re-acquaintance, not with the world, but with the story. Sanderson likes to have a time gap between the books – he did the same for the Well of Ascension - in which remotely important stuff stills happens. So when we get to the Hero of Ages, we have to read through what happened in the Final Empire (the place, not the book) through explanations in dialogue and narration. I like this. I won’t say it’s something I love but I like it. It gives the reader the opportunity to get back into this world and its characters before we set off on the real adventure. It has the disadvantage, however, of creating somewhat of a slow start, something Sanderson himself is well aware of as he often says in his annotations (on his website).
Having escaped death at the climax of the Well of Ascension only by becoming a Mistborn himself, Emperor Elend Venture hopes to find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world. Vin is consumed with guilt at having been tricked into releasing the mystic force known as Ruin from the Well. Ruin wants to end the world, and stopping it seems impossible.
He also points out in his annotations something I had sort of noticed but hadn’t thought was intentional: the first book concentrated on the presentation of Allomancy, the second on the exploration of Ferchemy and this last book on Hemalurgy. These are just the three magic systems in these books, for those of you who don’t know. I found this….interesting. It means that Sanderson has left us some nice juicy bits of world building up to the last minute so that we never run out.
We already know all the characters in the book – there are very few additions, if any – apart from maybe Ruin. Obviously, as any good concluding volume should do, it expands the character arcs just a bit more, that last stretch before bringing it all back for the finish. I found that out of the new point of view characters – TenSoon, Spook and Marsh – that I thoroughly enjoyed TenSoon’s chapters. While Spook’s parts had a tentative start, before I could begin to enjoy them. As for Marsh, well, there really weren’t that many so it’s hard to give a thoughtful opinion. The joint Vin and Elend chapters were just afun time; they were never boring (not that any part of this book was truly boring, it’s more of a relative thing). These are two characters that I thought probably changed less than in the previous installments. It looked as if their biggest change in character happened during that two year time gap I talked about earlier. It was fine though, it was good to see them just in action.
I guess I have to talk about how the ending worked for me, just because it’s the end of such a great series, staying, of course, as spoiler free as possible. I….liked it. I read the ending and didn’t hate it but it felt rushed, albeit only slightly, but rushed nonetheless. I wasn’t too sure about what I thought about what happens in the end and it took me a while, just sitting there for it to finally all sink in and for me to think: Yup, that’s a strong ending. I love it!
No questions asked as to whether this is a good book or not. If you’ve stuck with Sanderson for this long than read the book and I’m positive you’ll at least find it tolerable, though I’m predicting at least a like. You shouldn’t pick this up if you haven’t read the Final Empire and the Well of Ascension. If you haven’t then don’t waste any more time and go get them. Look out for Sanderson’s A Way of Kings this summer and for the next Wheel Of Time book which he is writing and I believe will be coming out this fall.
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Reading Age: 14 and up
Violence: Yes, same as other two books
Sex/Language: As with all books Sanderson: essentially nothing.
Brandon Sanderson’s website: http://www.brandonsanderson.com/
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