The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Published October 14th 2008 by Tor
*Caution: Synopsis contains spoilers*
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.
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 its near omniscience and ability to warp reality make stopping it seem impossible. She can’t even discuss it with Elend lest Ruin learn their plans!
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.
*Review contains minor spoilers*
The Hero of Ages is the third book from the original Mistborn trilogy (there's also a sequel trilogy set centuries after the original trilogy, the first one of those, or fourth overall - The Alloy of Law - has been out since 2011 and the next one, Shadows of Self, is coming out late next year) and believe me when I say I did NOT want this story to end. I first started the series in 2012 and read the second installment early in 2013. But it took me until now to finally take the plunge and finish off the original trilogy. I just wasn't ready to say goodbye guys! And it turns out, I had NO IDEA how NOT READY I really was!
Firstly, I have to say that I had no problem at all getting right back into the Mistborn-world, because as usual, Sanderson flawlessly refreshes the readers memory, without being repetitive in the least. The Hero of Ages picks up around a year after the events of The Well of Ascension, and the situation is more dire than it has ever been before. When Vin and Elend thought they were saving the world, they ended up releasing an ages old force of destruction, a thing called Ruin. With the very planet falling apart around them and little time to spare, Vin, Elend and the rest of the crew must work quickly if they want to have a world to save. Needless to say the story started out with a bang and just got more and more intense as things began falling into place, not just for this book, but for the overarching plot of the trilogy as a whole.
When you get to the end of a series, it's always a bittersweet affair. Sanderson clearly knows this as well, because The Hero of Ages had a distinctly nostalgic feel to it, as it revisited some key moments from the previous two books. It really put the insane journey that is the Mistborn Series in full perspective. The world changed so.much. from the first book up to this point. So many things shifted or altered in some way by the events that have taken place thus far. Character-wise, this trend was especially satisfying as it showed how the main character Vin evolved throughout the entire story-arc. It's no secret that I am a HUGE Vin fangirl, so seeing how she grew, throughout the series from poor, abused street-urchin into a fierce, level-headed warrior made my heart very, very happy.
The other secondary characters in The Hero of Ages brought all kinds of feels as well. There's the wonderful Elend Venture of course. Sigh. Elend! His transformation from The Well of Ascension to this point is nothing short of legendary. He's had to make some seriously tough calls during his rise to Emperor, and I don't think anyone could have done a better job of it than he did. Elend owns my heart. That's all there is to it. As a couple, Elend and Vin are seriously one of THE best couples EVER. Their character growth complemented each other to perfection and this time around, it felt as though their relationship was the most balanced it's been; they truly complemented each other perfectly. ♥
I could go on and on about my love for these characters. Sazed's struggles broke my heart time after time and when his moment finally came along I was SO.READY. Spook was another brilliant one, the way he was introduced as such a minor character in the beginning of the books...and to have him transformed into a full-fledged powerhouse of a character this time around? Wow. Breeze, Arlianne...MARSH (sobs quietly) ALL.OF.THEM. I adore all.of.them!
Moving past the characters and plot, the suspense was absolutely INSANE in The Hero of Ages as the pieces started falling into place with the forces known as Ruin and Preservation. As any good high-fantasy read, things started gradually, but with the stakes already so high at the end of the second book, it didn't take long for things to escalate here. By the end I was barely holding on. I did not want it to end, but at the same time, I needed to know how things would go down. I'm not going to lie: the ending for this one shattered me. It took my already swollen heart, brimming with feels, and punched it. Hard. I won't go into the gory details but suffice it to say, this was basically me:
I know I've said so before, but here I go again: If you haven't read the Mistborn Series. You NEED to do so. Like, now. It is a truly brilliant and epic story, one that you won't soon forget. I'm already craving a re-read so I can go nuts about all the foreshadowing I surely missed along the way. Bottom line? The Hero of Ages was a stunning conclusion to an absolutely incredible trilogy! I need to mourn these characters and their story (quite a bit) before I jump into The Alloy of Law, but I know I'll be returning to this world soon.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!