“Faith,” Spook said, “means that it doesn’t matter what happens. You can trust that somebody is watching. Trust that somebody will make it all right.”
Everything that I loved about The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension (reviews here and here respectively) – the wonderfully developed characters, the edge-of-your-seat action, a great magic system and some fantastic worldbuilding – can be found in The Hero of Ages, along with the perfect conclusion to the Mistborn trilogy.
(There will be spoilers for the first two books below.)
After Vin inadvertently released Ruin at the Well of Ascension, the Deepness has returned. The Empire is still fractured from the Lord Ruler’s fall, ash falls heavy and constant around the globe, food and supplies are running scarce and the ground quakes beneath the feet of our heroes. While the first book was heavily plot driven and did a good deal of world building, and the second concerned itself with politics and character development, the final instalment of the Mistborn Trilogy brings all of these elements together to create an exciting, heartbreaking, and satisfying end to the series.
The aspects of the story that I had been most interested in previously but which hadn’t been delved into in much detail, the Steel Inquistors and the Kandra, finally had their moment. Through the point of view of TenSoon and Marsh we got to learn more about the mysterious and secretive Kandra society, the art ot haemalurgy and many more things that I can’t mention without spoiling anything. I loved reading from the point of view of Marsh and Tensoon, they were wonderful characters and two of my favourites previously – especially Marsh, who I think gets overlooked a lot considering just how conflicted he is, how strong his resolve is, and how unique his situation is – so getting inside of their heads was wonderful, however it was Sazed who once again stole the show for me. Despite the strong themes of trust and faith that have run through the entire trilogy, I didn’t expect the amount of time that would be spent on Sazed and his internal journey. His struggles with his own faith and his desire for answers made this book for me and while I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination the questions that he asks are the same ones that I find myself grappling with at times and this part of the story was what I ended up enjoying, and identifying with, the most.
Throughout the previous books I found both Vin and Elend Venture incredibly frustrating, my opinions of them were constantly changing back and forth, and it wasn’t until I finished the series that I fully understood why that was, that they were young and unsure of who they were and what their role was within the world. In The Hero of Ages there is no doubt that they both grow up, finally able to reconcile the different sides of themselves. Watching them slowly come to terms with their self-doubts, fears, and limitations, and then seeing how they accept all of the different facets of their beings and assemble them in order to become who they need to be was gratifying and Sanderson does this with enviable skill. While I have said it before it definitely warrants a repeat – this man excels at writing characters.
While both this book and the Mistborn trilogy follow a fairly standard fantasy structure and story, it ended up being much more than what I was expecting. There is so much more that I could say about this book and about this series (and I won’t because I am wary of spoiling anything) but I will say that you should buy it, read it and enjoy it because I had a great time and Brandon Sanderson is wonderfully skilled at emotional manipulation.