Monday, July 3, 2017

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Publication Year: 2008
Pages: 748
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 5/5
Spoilers for Mistborn: The Final Empire & The Well of Ascension 


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.

The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave readers rubbing their eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.


WELL that was...quite something! It's been a couple of weeks since I've finished this book and the ending still gives me shivers. This book makes it easy to see why Sanderson is a titan among his peers. He has managed to create an intricate world, complicated characters, and as always an epic cinematic ending. This books wraps up old story arcs, expands and explains the magic system and introduces us clearly for the first time (although there are hints in his previous books) at the larger intertwined universe and mythology  of the Cosmere. Some peripheral characters like Spook and Ten Soon get their own story arcs as seemingly small or peripheral scenes or issues become of crucial importance to the resolution.

The one thing that really stood out to me about this particular books was just how much the scale of the story had changed from the start of the trilogy; the close knit heisty narrative of the gang of thieves which made me so love the first book has been replaced by a broader narrative that touches upon morality, good and evil, and whether or not an individual has agency. Problems and solutions have become more abstract and the focus on Vin and Elend is less prominent. It’s as though throughout the course of the three books Sanderson has taken his story about a small band of elite thieves and zoomed out to give us a meta view of their context.

He has done so in a way that is subtle and skillful, this is clearly a masterful trilogy. My only concern is that at times this zoom felt too fast which is a bit of a strange thing to say since each book is hefty at over 500 pages each, however I enjoyed the first book so much that the loss of the camaraderie aspect of the first was felt in the other two. It says a lot about just how good this book is that my only quibble is that I wanted more.

The story wraps up in a way that is both emotionally satisfying and wrecking. It is an emotional gut punch which leaves you blinking in a daze after you have turned the last page. The only balm on my battered soul is knowing that we will revisit this world again in a new trilogy and that our time in the Mistborn world is not yet over. 

Here's Sanaa's take on the Hero of Ages:

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