Saturday, March 14, 2015

5 Star Book Review: The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)

Author| Brandon Sanderson
Edition| Mass Market Paperback (American)
Genre| Epic Fantasy
Publisher| Tor
Rating| 5 Stars
Related Posts| The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension 
This review has SPOILERS FOR FIRST TWO BOOKS although I will try to give nothing away of this book.

Writing a review for this book seems impossible.  For one, I cannot contain what I felt for this book in one post.  Or two.  I would need to have a very long conversation that stretched days in order to really get across what I felt.  For another, it seems like a lie to say this series is over.  Technically, I know it's not.  There are the Wax & Wayne books, the first of which is already released, and two more series planned in this world.  But the original Mistborn trilogy is all done, everything tied up nicely with a bow.  After spending about three months living in this world with these characters I feel empty.  Yes, I have a book hangover.

This book picks up not too long after the last one.  Elend is emperor and Vin is empress.  They must try and unite all the world in preparation for the end of said world.  For the god (entity?) Ruin has been released and this is the purpose of his existence.  With a creature that can do all but read thoughts, our heroes must find a way to prevail or watch as their world is buried in ash.

The strangest thing about this one is that, barring a chapter or two, takes place exclusively outside Luthadel.  Luthadel is a city I have come to know so well I feel I could give guided tours of it.  Suddenly, spending time in Fadrex and Urtea I felt out of place.  It didn't take long, though, to realize that rather than location-driven (as I think there may be a case for this in the first two) it is completely character-driven.  It didn't matter where they were; I would follow them anywhere.

Speaking of characters, I came to grow very fond of one in particular- Spook.  He's always been a minor character when compared to the rest of the cast.  Here he's clearly one of the main characters.  And I loved it.  It's as if Brandon Sanderson was growing him in a garden, waiting for him to bloom, before showcasing him in such a way.  I also felt very able to connect with him, more so than any other character in the series.  If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my many posts about needing to give Spook a hug.

As for the rest of the characters, I still think fondly of them all.  Each character had a satisfying (and sometimes too satisfying) conclusion.  Over the course of the whole series, though, Sanderson has done a great job of not dragging a character out or not using enough of them.  He really knows how to get the best of each character.

The ending of this one has left me reeling.  I think about it every day since finishing (I finished it earlier this week but wasn't coherent enough to write a review) and will think of it more still.  It's one that is bittersweet.  Good in many ways, but also sad in many ways.  It's haunting and resonating- a beautiful feat for any huge-sized series.

I once heard someone say that if they had one wish, it would be to see their favorite movie again as if for the first time.  Go into it without expecting anything and coming out with everything.  That's how I feel about these books.  I want to keep enjoying them again and again, with a fresh mind so that I can take everything in.

Thank you, Mr. Sanderson, for writing such an amazing trilogy.

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