Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Review: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson


Title: Hero of Ages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Tor Books
ISBN: 0765356147

Notes: The concluding volume to the Mistborn trilogy


The Epic Conclusion to a fully Realized Fantasy World - 5 stars - a book review

Let me just say this before I begin: if you even consider yourself halfway interested in fantasy and you have not read the Mistborn trilogy, you are doing yourself a disservice everyday that passes without experiencing this epic masterpiece.
At the conclusion of The Well of Ascension Vin had been tricked into releasing Ruin, one of the Gods responsible for the creation of the world, and the one given the promise of destroying it. Vin, Elend, and the rest of their gang have their work cut out for them not only fighting an unknown force, the increased ash falls, and larger mists blocking the sun; but also uniting the Dominances and uncovering the secrets left behind by the Lord Ruler.

Hero of Ages
brings the trilogy full circle, enlightening readers to things throughout the previous two volumes. The world of the Final Empire is epic in scope and fully realized in this volume. In each installment has unveiled a little bit more of the Final Empire, gradually increasing knowledge of Sanderson's world.

The characters all have their personal conflicts and ethical dilemmas they each have to deal with. They are believable and engaging. Some of the lesser characters in the original Kelsier gang take on more prominent roles, leading the charge on undermining local city governments and completing difficult tasks for Vin and/or Elend. Additionally, the Kandra, the Koloss, and the Inquisitors play a larger role as well, and the history of their species is rich and lush; providing a lot of background information about the land of the Final Empire and the Lord Ruler himself.

My main concern (and it is minor) with The Final Empire is with the character Sazed, the Terrisman scholar. He had previously been one of my favorite minor characters, but in this book he was so preachy about how he couldn't prove any of the hundreds of religions he knew were true; this is understandable since he was having a personal conflict after the loss of his recently found love at the end of The Well of Ascension. However, the nature of his internal dialogue is well executed, and although annoying at first, it does become more meaningful and thoughtful as the book continues.

Per usual, the allomancer battles are exciting and interesting. That magic system devised by Sanderson rivals anything in recent memory in terms of creativity and believability. He executes his Allomantic Pushes and Pulls with grace and ease.

Sanderson's world is enthralling and impossible to resist. I wouldn't recommend reading anything else until you've finished this trilogy. If you are a fantasy fan, you have been kidding yourself for far too long by not reading this.

Good reading,

Plants and Books

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