Friday, February 13, 2009

Review: The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages

Hardback, 572 pages
Publisher: Tor
Cover Design: Jon Foster
Release Date: October 14, 2008
ISBN-10: 0-765316897
ISBN-13: 978-0765316899

The Hero of Ages picks up a year after The Well of Ascension leaves off. At the end of the previous book, Vin accidentally released the primal force called Ruin from the Well of Ascension. The third book in the Mistborn trilogy starts with Vin and Elend seeking out the supply caches left by the Lord Ruler. They must hurry because the ash from the volcanos is beginning to fall even more heavily than before and threatens to bury the land completely. Elend has managed to unite most of the fractured kingdoms back into the empire except for two major holdouts in the cities of Fadrex and Urteau. Vin and Elend head to Fadrex to besiege the city and find the last supply cache. Sazed and Breeze are sent to meet up with Spook in Urteau. Elend is determined to survive, however it seems that Ruin opposes them at every turn. Is it the end of the world or is simply the darkest hour before the dawn?

As with the prior two novels, the characterization is very well done. Elend became a mistborn at the end of the second book and is now a seasoned fighter and soldier. He has become a combination of emperor, soldier, and scholar that the role has forced him to become. Vin doubts herself after being fooled into releasing Ruin. Not only that, but while seeking to stop Ruin, it seems to take a personal interest in her. Many secondary characters, including Sazed, Spook, and TenSoon, also get plenty of action and character development in their resistance to the machinations of Ruin. The end of the world makes for a pretty gritty and heavy storyline yet The Hero of Ages shares the determinism and optimism of the previous two books. Ruin’s actions and manipulations happen on a scale only a primal force can affect. How can any one person make a difference? Read the book and find out.

One thing I realized with The Hero of Ages is how the scope of the series increases with each book. Mistborn started with a simple thieving crew intent on killing the powerful and immortal Lord Ruler. The Well of Ascension takes the next step as the characters try to deal with the fallout of the Lord Ruler’s death and bring some stability to the empire. The final novel deals with no less than the fate of the world itself. Information and plot threads from the previous novels come together in the final book. I was often surprised at little bits of information from Mistborn that suddenly gained importance in Hero. The Mistborn trilogy is a great series and Brandon Sanderson has established himself as one the brightest new voices in fantasy.

Rating: 9/10.


Anonymous said...

Good review. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Benjamin said...

Thanks Mashiara!