Title: The Hero of Ages
Series: Mistborn, #3
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
My Rating: ★★★★★ (is it possible to give this thing six out of five stars?)
There is a spoiler-free section in this review.
Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.
[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]
This is the first time where I feel that words can’t describe just how good this book is. I can’t adequately portray through this post how much this series is a game changer, and that frustrates me. I’m going to try my best, though, to explain the epicness of this book.
One word to describe this book: INTENSE.
Brandon Sanderson is a goddamn genius. I don’t know how he does it. The amount of planning and scheming every character did in this book was enough to make the head spin. The fact that actions from the past books were all part of the plan that was revealed in this last book blows my mind. I appreciate the amount of planning and care that it clearly took to create not only this finale, but the whole series. It came to make one of the best series I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s up there with Harry Potter and Throne of Glass. Yes, you read that correctly. The Mistborn trilogy is up there as one of my favorite series of all time with the Harry Potter series and the Throne of Glass series.
Let’s talk about Brandon Sanderson’s writing, shall we?
IT’S F*CKING BEAUTIFUL.
Honestly. H O N E S T L Y. The plot could be complete crap but I would still love what Sanderson writes because he does it so well. He describes battles and war so well that I can imagine the movie in my head with little effort. There are some authors that can help you visualize yourself in the setting, and then there’s Brandon Sanderson where you ARE there in the scene. I felt the ash falling down and beneath my feet while I was reading. I saw the mists swirling around outside the windows. I could physically feel the fear and hypersensitivity of the characters when they are in danger. I didn’t visualize it. I experienced it. That’s how good his writing is.
The Hero of Ages is a combination of so many great elements. It has fantasy, mystical powers and creatures, mythology, creation and destruction, scheming, epic battles, abstract forces, and a little bit of insanity.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the story, but I appreciate in the paperback version published by Tor Teens (not Tor Books, although I’m assuming Tor Teens is a sect of the former) they included summaries of the first two books in the series. It’s as though they expected people to take big breaks in between each novel like I did because of the sheer length of each novel. When I first started The Hero of Ages, I didn’t remember anything that happened in the first two books since it’s been a couple years since I’ve read The Well of Ascension. I had to look up summaries online and didn’t realize that summaries were included in the back of the book until I finished The Hero of Ages. Despite the fact that I didn’t utilize what was given to me within the book, I still appreciate that the publishers included it in there.
Just in case you missed it, this is the section with spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled, scroll down to the character section where I rave about everyone and anyone.
Ok, are they gone?
First, I need to get this off my chest. I did not want Vin to die. Did I expect her to die? Yes. Did I want it to happen? Absolutely not (also Elend dying was absolutely unacceptable but whatever). I’m just glad Sanderson threw his readers a little bone at the end of the series where Sazed (a.k.a. the motherf*cking HERO OF AGES AHHHHHH) let’s Spook know that Elend and Vin are happy in their afterlife. It’s a bittersweet ending, the fact that the two sacrificed so much to save the world just to not be able to live in it after it was all over. It was like Sanderson gave his readers a band-aid after ripping our hearts out.
I know I touched up on this above in the spoiler-free section of this review, but the sheer amount of planning this dude did to create the Mistborn trilogy is impressive. Something as mundane as an earring in the first book played a huge role in the finale. The amount of scheming on Ruin’s (and Preservation’s) (and the author’s) part was enough to make my head hurt in a good way. It was refreshing to read a story where I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, but what did happen just makes SENSE. There were many plot twists, but they were all sensible. They weren’t out of convenience. Sanderson had them all planned since day one.
Sanderson did a great job depicting war. Well, I think he did an amazing job. I wouldn’t know because I never fought in one before. I’m glad that he didn’t glaze over the fact that war is hard in more aspects than one. A lot of authors focus on the fighting, but I rarely see the leaders struggle to make decisions. It’s not often that you see leaders have a hard time with diplomacy, planning, and taking all the intel that they have and try and piece it together. Alliances, enemies, decisions. It’s a lot to handle, and Sanderson was right to make Elend struggle with it all.
I love how the antagonist switched from the Lord Ruler to Ruin. In fact, the Lord Ruler and what he did let Vin and Elend view him as more of an ally than an enemy. They came to understand his actions to be necessary evils. The actions themselves were harsh, but the intentions were good. He did what he could while he was alive and under Ruin’s control to save his people.
Speaking of Ruin, the author did a really good job portraying Vin slowly going insane because of Ruin’s influence. Okay, maybe she didn’t go completely insane, but she couldn’t trust anyone, including herself. It was chilling to see the insanity Ruin caused in the mind, and I could physical feel the frustration of the characters while I was reading.
One thing I found very interesting and unique about this book is that Vin becomes a force of nature, without a body. That doesn’t happen a lot in books from my experience. Authors just don’t vaporize their main protagonist from a physical body to a concept. It was at this point when Vin takes place of Preservation where I realized that she was probably going to die. On top of that, the concept of what it would be like to be a force rather than a physical being is something that I’ve never considered. Sanderson’s take on this was rather interesting to read about.
Overall, this book was probably the best book I’ve read in all of 2019. Dare I say it’s even better than the Throne of Glass series? I’m not sure I can commit to that statement wholeheartedly but the Mistborn trilogy is seriously good. Do yourself a favor: drop everything you’re doing and grab yourself a copy right now. You’ll thank me later.
I have come to love this girl as a character even more than I thought was possible. She fights. She kills. But at the end of the day, she does it for her world and the people she loves.
The boy has grown into a man. The relationship he has with Vin is too precious for this world and we mere plebeians are not worthy.
A man of honor, through and through. Despite his inner struggles, he does what he can to help his people win a losing war.
I didn’t find Breeze to be all that important, but I realize now how dull the book would be without him.
I’m not sure I understand his obsession with Beldre, but Spook has a good heart.
A legend on so many levels.
Not the victory I expected from him, but a victory nonetheless. I can’t say more than that because of spoilers.
I would be scared of this… thing. It’s a sneaky little devil.
Read this series. It might seem daunting because of its length, but it’s well worth your time. Trust me. If I could give this more than five unicorn horns, I would.
Until next time….