The Hero of Ages

I just finished the Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. Because it is the last book in a trilogy there might be spoilers for the first two books. I might spoil them, because it’s hard to explain the last book without talking about stuff from the first books. That was sufficiently weird.

The Book
It’s the final book in the first Mistborn trilogy. So anyway. This is the final book, and it’s about basically the end of the world. The Final Empire has fallen, the Lord Ruler is gone, the mists come in the day and the ash is falling constantly. After Vin released Ruin it seems like the entire world is falling apart.


Thoughts
I really liked it. I really loved it, it’s an exceptional ending to a trilogy. So, just to start, I really liked it. I did have some reading grumbling this month, so it took me a bit of time to properly get into this book, but then I read about half in a day (300-odd pages). And it’s really good.

The books just keep going darker and darker. In the first book the people are under this awful leader, trudging away in their awful, dark, miserable lives. Then in the second book they’ve thrown off this despot, but the land is wracked by war and famine and the mists come in the day. In the third book the land is just covered in ash and the mists are killing. It’s just so dark and bleak. Sanderson just makes the whole world feel so hopeless and sad and dark.

It’s a very interesting book about religion, or belief, and the loss of religion and belief, because one of the main characters; Sazed, the Terrisman, has lost his faith. Basically when the Lord Ruler took over a millennium ago all other religions died, and he became God. And Sazed has been collecting the three hundred odd religions that existed before the Lord Ruler took over. Sazed spends much of the novel going through the religions he has collected and trying to find truth. He wants to find out what is the actual truth. I found myself, as an atheist, during the entire book shouting internally; that’s not how religion works! Because he couldn’t find proof. Essentially this is explained to him near the end, which made me really pleased. It’s interesting to see someone explaining religion to someone who doesn’t really get the concept of faith without proof. Because they’ve lived in a world where their God has always been around them, and always corporeal. And they’re trying to understand faith without proof, which is interesting to me. While I don’t believe in God I find the concept of religion interesting.

I also found the sort of discussion of good/evil and the sort of absolutes interesting. The more Vin and Elend, and their crew learn about the Lord Ruler the more they learn that he wasn’t necessarily completely evil which I find interesting, because other fantasy novels/series are about sort of absolutes. The dark forces are evil, the light forces are good, and that’s how the world is. And the more they learn about the Lord Ruler the more they learn about what he did to look out for his people, and maybe he didn’t hate them completely, he had thoughts and contingencies and ideas. Which I liked. He was very misguided, but he tried.

It also looked into the way power corrupts, which I found interesting as well. It’s hard to explain the system, but essentially there are three uses of “magic” related to metals and alloys, and one is called hemalurgy. Metal spikes are inserted into people and it lets Ruin control them. Ruin is a sort of elemental force that would like to destroy the world. And one of Vin’s friends is stabbed and a piece of metal is stuck in him, and he is sort of controlled by Ruin, and it changes him, and alters him, and oh power corrupts, and it’s interesting to see that. And related to that, there was a gorgeous twist and reveal and I loved it so much. There are so many answers in this book, which was good. I didn’t see a lot of them coming, which says more about me than the book.

I really loved the ending. It made sense the way it ended. It was a bit heart breaking and I cried, I will cry at anything, but it was very true to the story and the books. I liked the resolutions and I liked Vin and Elend’s ending. It felt… fair I guess. Which might sound odd if you’ve read the book, or perhaps not, maybe you agree. I think it was a good ending for them, and it was good. I love Sazed, I like his loss of faith and how he struggles with it, it’s interesting. His ending took me by surprise, but I loved it, it was great. I’m using a lot of excited adjectives. I liked it. I really want to read the other books set in the same universe.

Finally

It’s awesome, I love it so much. The whole trilogy is great.