Book Review/Discussion: The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 5 (thousand) stars

Published: October 14th, 2008 by Tor Books

Synopsis: 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 adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson's saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

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The other books: The Final Empire (Book 1), The Well of Ascension (Book 2)

"The life of a person is more than the chaos of its passing."

Honestly, it's pretty difficult for me to write a coherent review of The Hero of Ages. I first started reading the Mistborn trilogy in February and was instantly hooked to the complex characters and unique world. Like any great series, the more I read, the more attached I became. As a whole, finishing the final book was a bittersweet end to a beautiful journey.

The character development was definitely my favorite part of The Hero of Ages. Sanderson's rich, intricate fantasy world is entertaining to read, but his dimensional characters add a sense of heart to the already incredible story. With a lot of fantasy trilogies, the main protagonist(s) are stong-willed, confident, and know exactly what they want and need to do. In this one, however, almost every character has their own struggle of grief, fear, self doubt, belonging, and everything else that comes with the human experience, which was very refreshing.

If you haven't started reading the Mistborn trilogy, you're definitely missing out! You'll love it if you enjoy high fantasy novels with a lot of detail. Since The Hero of Ages is the last book in the trilogy, the rest of the review will contain spoilers. If you haven't read it or are in the process of reading it, thanks for reading up to this point, but continue at your own risk!

Like I said earlier, one of my favorite parts of this book is the character development; many of the characters came to terms with their shortcomings and became stronger as a result. Sazed's journey stood out the most to me; considering he started out as a depressed skeptic mourning the loss of the woman he loved and went on to take the power of an actual god-like figure, I think he deserves an award for Most Developed.

Spook is the runner up in the Most Developed category, as he went from being a timid, awkward wallflower to a leader of the crew and the people of Urteau. I honestly didn't give it a second thought when he was wounded in his initial fight, so when he realized that the bit of sword in his wound (along with Vin's earring) was what was actually a hemalurgic spike, I was completely caught off guard, but it made so much sense.

On the other hand, Vin and Elend developed pretty gradually, but I didn't have a problem with it. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Hero of Ages put a much deserved spotlight on some of the supporting characters, and it's not like they could become any more awesome than they already were, right?

I also found the link between the koloss, kandra and Inquisitors to be absolutely insane in the best way possible. The whole concept of hemalurgy was so complex that I couldn't even attempt to see what was coming in this regard. I think (one of) the main reason(s) I would want a Mistborn movie/TV show is to see the kandra and their homeland come to life. Honestly, I mostly imagined the kandra as a bunch of translucent Groots and I need to see how inaccurate my depiction actually is...

While all of this discussion is fun and good, there is definitely an elephant in the room; an elephant that trampled me and left me to suffer in a puddle of my own misery.

Let's take a moment to talk about Vin and Elend's death.

Elend probably had the most tragic death of all; it was so sudden that I had to read it several times to make sure I knew what was going on. However, Vin's reaction to it is what triggered the tears for me. She was truly grateful for the time she had with Elend, but she was so heartbroken to see him die in such a brutal way that she killed Ruin, subsequently killing herself.

Speaking of which...Vin essentially took the place of Preservation. That is a thing that happened. 
She was chosen by Preservation since birth to be Mistborn, take its place, and defeat Ruin. As cheesy as it sounds, when the time came for her to make her transformation, my mind was blown. I don't really have anything to say other than that.

Of course, I can't finish this review without discussing the beauty that is the epilogue.

 Hands down, this was the most bittersweet moment in the entire trilogy:
At the center of the flowers, he (Spook) found two people. Vin lay wearing her customary mistcloak, shirt, and trousers. Elend was in a brilliant white uniform, complete with cape. They were holding hands as they lay amid the flowers. And they were both dead.
But then, when Spook reads Sazed's (aka THE HERO OF AGES') text...
I tried to bring them back, but apparently fixing the bodies doesn't return the souls. I will get better at this with time, I expect. However, be assured that I have spoken with our friends, and they are quite happy where they are. They deserve a rest, I think.


There's so much more I could discuss, but I honestly feel a bit overwhelmed at how fantastic this story was. Reading the Mistborn trilogy was an experience I won't soon forget.

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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