Monday, December 10, 2012

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

My Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Amazon Rating: 4.50 / 5.00
Goodreads Rating: 4.39/ 5.00

I read this book as part of a very enjoyable Read Along hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

This is the third and final book in the Mistborn Trilogy: I previously reviewed the other two Mistborn and The Well of Ascension. If you have not read those titles, then I suggest that you avoid this review as it inevitably has many SPOILERS for them.

Having unleashed the Deepness upon the world, Vin has doomed all of humanity to death and destruction. The mists are spreading and the land is tearing itself apart, with violent earthquakes and increasingly frequent ashfalls. Starvation seems inevitable as crops fail throughout the land.

Emperor Elend Venture uses his new powers as a Mistborn to try to save the remaining people, pursuing the clues that the Lord Ruler left behind about the nature of the Deepness. As the world is destroyed around them, he and Vin must try to outwit the force known as Ruin, even though it seems to be omniscient. The world stands upon a knife-edge and the most unlikely person will become the Hero of Ages.

Throughout the first two books in the series, Mr Sanderson had been leading us to a cataclysmic finale, and I have to say that I was not at all disappointed. In this final part we pick up on hints and suggestions made in both of the earlier books drawing to a very satisfying conclusion. I cannot think of any loose ends that are left dangling, which is not something I can normally say at the end of a series.

Yet again, we return one year after the action of the previous title. I like this choice, as it gives the characters and society time to develop and grow without it feeling forced or rushed. It also adds to the sense of reality that keeps us grounded in the action and entranced by the world: we do not have to suspend our disbelief as much as is necessary in some other fantasy worlds. Our characters continue to develop and behave like real people, which makes us feel so much more attached to them and invested in their fates.

This time around, we get to see Elend as a Mistborn, giving us a different perspective to that of Vin when she began to train. We also see Spook become a force to be reckoned with, although the fact that he begins to ‘see’ Kelsier is a little worrying. We also learn about yet another form of magic: hemalurgy, which is extremely bloody and more than a little evil. However, it answers a lot of the questions that were raised by the first two books and also explains some other aspects of strangeness, such as Vin’s continued link to her dead brother.

I will not go any further into the plot, or reveal who the Hero is, as this would ruin the surprise for those of you who have not read the book, which would be a real shame. Suffice it to say, the identity of the Hero is a surprise, but not a huge one as we are led to it with many hints along the way. The final few chapters will have you reading with your heart in your mouth as the world collapses into a final battle for survival. I will not say who lives and who dies, but I promise you that I cried like a baby and that the ending is quite beautiful.

Note: there is another book set within this world, An Alloy of Law, but this takes place three hundred years after the events of the Trilogy. I will be reading it soon though!

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