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The Hero of Ages

by Brandon Sanderson

Other authors: Moshe Feder (Editor), Isaac Stewart (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cosmere (4), Mistborn (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,2742061,538 (4.27)261
To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness--the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists--is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed unless Emperor Elend Venture can find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world.… (more)

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» See also 261 mentions

English (202)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (206)
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
I haven’t been this impressed with a trilogy or an author in a long time. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
Having reached the end of I-don't-know-how-many-pages I feel obligated to say that the idea driving this final book is certainly a mind-blowing one. About half-way through the book I found myself eagerly anticipating what HAD to come. I knew there was a reason that my favorite character was my favorite character.
Despite this eagerness, I feel like this ultimate conclusion was not built up to very well. The need that ended up being fulfilled was not obvious or even hinted at in the first book. And, as I seem to have said throughout the other two, his ultimate goal could have been (and should have been) accomplished in half the time. The soap-opera dramatics were largely unnecessary, and the characters, after hundreds of pages were finished, were merely cardboard cutouts in my imagination. Call me unimaginative, unphilosophical, or just plain dense, but I felt like this was a mediocre attempt to present a first-class idea. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
What an ending. I can't really gather my thoughts right now regarding the end. I will try to write a coherent review when morning comes, or actually, after I slept since its already 4am here.

The tears. It wasn't the perfect ending, but it was the most logical one. This book, compared to the previous two in the series, sets it's pace much slower as we see the characters getting despaired and wondering if they could ever solve the prophecy that was passed on even when some of the text has been tampered with. How do you fight someone who created the World and who gave you the power?

Albeit this wasn't the perfect ending to me, it certainly was beautiful enough to leave an impact on me after reading the epilogue.

So much to praise, so much to spazz but I will be going on for 3 days if I had to write them down. Furthermore, it's best if one reads this on their own without being spoiled. ( )
  violetbaleine | Sep 22, 2021 |
In many ways, The Hero of Ages, the conclusion to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, is the most traditional epic fantasy of the series. An ancient evil threatens to destroy the world. Darkness blots out the sun. Monsters overrun the land. A small group of heroes resists, scattering on various missions whose telling slows the overall story and bloats the page count. But The Hero of Ages is still an intriguing read, largely because Sanderson bent the genre so imaginatively during the earlier books.

In the first, The Final Empire, things are already bad: the Lord Ruler, Sanderson’s Sauron, has dominated the world for a thousand years. But after the heroes, led by Vin, overthrow this tyrant, a power vacuum results, and the sequel, The Well of Ascension, sees the Final Empire devolve into chaos, with the lot of everyday people becoming yet more unbearable. On top of that, Vin is tricked into releasing Ruin, the ancient evil who lusts to end everything.

Now, in The Hero of Ages, the final battle plays out… but not in the way I expected.

One thing that surprised me was how dynamic the main characters were except for Vin. She did most of her evolving in the first book, and then—aside from a twist during the climax of The Hero of Ages—stayed generally static while the rest of the protagonists changed around her. Elend, Vin’s love interest, goes from scholar to leader/warrior/wizard. Sazed, also an academic at the beginning, loses faith and struggles with depression. Spook morphs from awkward teen to inspiring figure. And even the departed characters progress: Kelsier becomes revered as a deity, and the Lord Ruler is revealed to have been the lesser of two evils, an initially decent man who did everything he could to protect the world from Ruin, despite its insidious, corrosive influence on him.

There’s also more ruminating on political structures and religion than you’ll find in other fantasy novels. The former doesn’t lead to anything profound—Elend essentially comes to the realization that ruling requires making hard decisions. But Sazed’s exploration of faith ends in something more interesting: the idea that, while no religion is completely true, believing is still worthwhile, because all religions have truth. (Although Sanderson’s finale indicates that he thinks there’s one overarching truth.)

Structurally, The Hero of Ages continues the earlier books’ style of preceding each chapter with a short journal entry. But while the excerpts in The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension were penned by historical figures, contemporaries of the Lord Ruler when he first seized power, the epigraphs in The Hero of Ages are written by one of the active characters. This didn’t always work for me. When Sanderson used the clips to quickly describe a mechanic of one of his systems of magic, or an important nugget of backstory, I thought he’d found a clever way to insert necessary bits of exposition. But when he used the entries to explain the ramifications of plot developments that just happened, or hint at something about to come, the delivery felt forced.

On balance, though, The Hero of Ages is a thought-provoking culmination to a creative series. Mistborn isn't my favorite fantasy trilogy, but it kept me guessing more than just about any I’ve read. For that, and its bold tweaks to the standard formula, I’ll remember it.

(For more reviews like this one, see www.nickwisseman.com) ( )
  nickwisseman | Sep 16, 2021 |
Ever since the Lord Ruler was killed in the first Mistborn book, things have been getting worse. It all comes to a head in The Hero of Ages. The world is quite literally ending.

Sanderson's strength continues to be his world building. We get a lot more details this time around. We learn of a few more Allomantic metals. We learn all about the third metallic art (only previously hinted at): Hemalurgy. On top of that, we expand on what exactly the Koloss and Kandra are, what abilities they have, and how they came to be. It's crazy awesome how it all fits together and would be well worth the read just got that.

On top of that, there is a strong plot that pulls you through the book. As mentioned, the world is ending. There's still hope, all throughout the book, but as a reader I honestly didn't know how they were going to make their way out of the problems stacking up in front of our heroes.

One thing that I realized by the end of this book is that the entire Mistborn trilogy of how much the story is actually Sazed's. He begins a Steward and Keeper, a collector of religions. He manages to believe in them all, setting truth and value everywhere. By The Hero of Ages, Sazed is an atheist. He cannot find a religion without flaws. And at the end Sazed becomes a god. He has gone full circle, once again setting the grains of value in all religions. Its a powerful story and really makes one think.

Overall, it's a great book and a great conclusion to the first Mistborn trilogy. Even better: there is more!

One oddity from near the end: Elan determines that sixteen percent of people are becoming mistings. Sixteen percent of those can burn atium. It's a cool twist... But doesn't quite make sense. Atium isn't one of the sixteen Allomantic metals, it's one of the two God Metals. So why does it fit into Preservation's scheme? It's not story breaking, but it is odd. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
Sanderson's conclusion to the epic that began with Mistborn and continued in Well of Ascension resonates with all the elements of classic heroic fantasy, along with unusual forms of magic and strong, believable characters.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Jackie Cassada (Oct 15, 2008)
Sanderson pulls loose ends together, explains vague prophecies, and produces the Hero of Ages, and the Mistborn trilogy concludes satisfactorily.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Regina Schroeder (Oct 1, 2008)
Sanderson's saga of consequences offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 18, 2008)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Feder, MosheEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stewart, IsaacIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChristianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Jordan Sanderson,
Who can explain to any who ask
What it's like to have a brother
Who spends most of his time dreaming.
(Thanks for putting up with me.)
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Marsh struggled to kill himself.
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To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness--the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists--is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed unless Emperor Elend Venture can find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world.

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