The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So I am going to break this review down into three categories. Characters, plot, and writing style.
As usual my review will contain some spoilers. The only spoiler-free part of this review will be the short overall paragraph below this.
Overall I thought this was an enjoyable end to a unique trilogy. It tied all the loose ends and connected twists back to the original book making me at the very least feel everything I read was important.
Spoilers begin now
There are way too many characters to dive into each one lol
I will start with the big 4:
In case you didn’t read the spoiler warning already here’s another one: SPOILERS
This was vin’s weakest book. She spent a large portion of it captured and she felt almost like a diet version of her former self. I mean Elend being able to defend himself eliminated about 40% of her purpose to exist in earlier books. However, she became an incredibly compelling character by the end of the book. Her best scenes came when she was trapped in her own head and I’m happy we finally got answers to why her brother’s voice was in her head the entire first book and why god was in Zane’s head in book 2. By the end of the book she was granted the power to move planets then sacrificed herself to protect the world. By tying her internal dialogue back to the voice of doubt in book one it really amplified her arc. She went from do anything to survive, to sacrificing herself.
Though Elend became a competent badass I felt like his changes were the most subtle. On the surface he changed the most. He went from spoiled rich brat to all powerful emperor and mistborn with abilities to conquer cities but those are just powers. What made his development so unique is that he didn’t change that much despite being given all the opportunity in the world to do so. He never risked the lives of innocent people and when the moment came for him to sacrifice himself he did so without hesitation.
Sazed’s transformation in this book was my favorite. He went from all is lost in this world to being the architect of the world’s future. He had a major identity crisis and lost the woman he loved, yet still found a sense of duty to preserve history, even when his heart wasn’t in it. He went from reactive advisor to proactive celestial.
Tensoon hated humans and thought they would bring nothing but destruction. He truly believed his religion was right that all his kind had to do was wait for humans to destroy themself. His major change was then fighting to preserve humans over his kind.
The first book had the most movement. Book 2 was mostly spent under siege and book 3 was mostly spent sieging another city. Like I said in the previous section the most compelling moments of the book came when Vin was trapped in her own head, talking to Ruin, and doubting her abilities.
Secondary characters sorta disappeared in this book. Spook was given substantial screen time to show how hemalurgy could impact someone. That was the big reveal this book. Book 1 showed two types of magic. Book 2 showed more details on how those magic types can be used (more metals and controlling other species). Book 3 introduced the all powerful beings, along with the introduction of more metals, and the explanation of how hemalurgy works.
While the villains were more powerful than they had been in previous books the fighting itself is at an all time low.
Basically most of the plot was a siege but the planning was light. Vin got captured because they literally had a plan as simple as go to a ball, cause a distraction, break into a vault. Like I’m not asking for oceans 11 but when the characters even acknowledge it’s a simple plan for something as serious as robbing a sieged city then maybe they need a few more tricks up their sleeves
So when I first started the series I was really impressed with sanderson’s writing style. These are massive texts that keep me engaged and handle large worlds. He brought in a complex government system and hundreds of religions (though only a couple were actively practiced over the course of the series). However my one knock was always large sections of exposition, and moments of unnecessary explanation. While it didn’t get any better or worse throughout the series it did bore me a little more by the end. Especially in this book since the plot was so static, like there was barely any movement at all. The POVs shifted but the characters, with the exception of Spook, mostly stayed where they were and talked—then in between the talking there was a wall of explanation.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series.
Book rating 4/5
Series rating 4.5/5