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I have read a lot of books. My library is large and filled with many books, mainly fantasy, sci-fi and non-fiction, and I’ve written over a hundred reviews for Fantasy Book Review.
In all that time I honestly do not believe I have read a book as compelling and as flawlessly executed as the third and final in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, ‘The Hero of Ages.’
To fully appreciate this book, I imagine that you have to read the previous two books. Sanderson does an admirable job of catching you up as you go along, but it is probably not enough to really satisfy and is mostly just skipable if you’ve already read the first two.
As a result, the story is a continuation, and therefore not much can be said here without giving away the sheer exquisite skill and enormous magnitude of the story being told. I spent the entire book suffering from one visceral emotional reaction to another. My girlfriend can testify to a small moment of my life that was spent frustrated at Sanderson for a contrivance I believed he had perpetrated on me before I picked the book up again and realized just how magnificently he was working me.
I hear tell of authors who sow clues in the beginning of their series, letting them be revealed and hinted at and solved as the series trundles along to conclusion. Most times I miss them; I’m too invested in the book to try and solve it. Other times I see them and groan, close the book, and put it back on the bookshelf, complaining about the predictability of some authors.
Sanderson somehow managed to not only provide me clues that I could solve, but twice as many that I couldn’t, half as many that were wrong, and a whole handful that I am sure haven’t been solved at all. This is, apparently, the first in a trilogy of trilogies, so we’ll just have to see what comes of them.
The imagination at work here in this series, and I think specifically in this book, is breathtaking. Sanderson has combined so many aspects of fantasy that we’ve come across time and time again, but this time allocated them to a story that is completely different, retuning them and making them work for him, rather than letting them dictate how the story should turn out.
Themes like religion and death are dealt with, power and helplessness, corruption and goodness. Weaved together like a master basket maker, this story lets you grow attached too, love, and lose, characters that you never thought would be lost. The focus shifts dramatically, and the subtle hinting at the beginning of each chapter leaves your mind reeling as new pieces of information are dropped at the proverbial doorstep.
Much is made of Sanderson’s ability to create intriguing magical systems. I think more attention needs to be focused on his mastery of storytelling and humanity. Orson Scott Card describes Sanderson as being “astonishingly wise,” and given the scope and depth of understand displayed in this book, the way in which he tells the story to capture our attention and the lessons he shows his characters facing backs that claim up 100%.
This review is probably one of the most verbose and superlative I’ve ever written. Maybe because it’s late and I’m tired, but maybe, just maybe, this book is one of the seminal fantasy stories of this generation of writers. Feel free to disagree, but I honestly feel that this book is one of the best that I’ve ever had the opportunity, and sheer pleasure, to read.
One of the seminal fantasy stories of this generation of writers.
Review by Joshua S Hill
9 positive reader review(s) for The Hero of Ages
63 positive reader review(s) in total for the Mistborn series
Colin from United States
It is the best book I've ever read, I think. Speaking of the phrase, "I think", if you want to know when and how to use it correctly just pay attention to Sazed's speech pattern!10/10 (2017-01-19)
Jale from America
Best book I ever read.10/10 (2016-02-17)
Nabz from Philippines
It was perfect. I don't think I've ever read a book so touching and heart-breaking such as this one. I totally felt every single one of the characters - all of their emotions became mine too. Brandon Sanderson is now officially one of my idols. He made me cry horribly at the end of each book. I hated it. And loved it at the same time. God it was awesome. People definitely need to read the Mistborn Trilogy. Like right now.10/10 (2014-12-13)
Nikitas from UK
I really liked the third part of the trilogy. I found the second part a bit slow and lacking momentum, but the third part is a page turner. I like how the author concentrates on new interesting faces, like Spook, that weren't that important previously. I also loved how everything falls into place and there are explanations for previous unfinished stories, events and important items. Sanderson managed to create a very interesting theory of his world and keeps his readers on their toes till the very end.9/10 (2012-11-08)
Iz from England
These books are without a doubt, great. You can feel the story weaving itself around you, and it is a very addictive series to read (I read Well of Asencion in about 4 days). Every thing falls into place, and the world Sanderson creates is so incredibly built up by this time. The magic system (or systems) is unique, and a refreshing change from spell casting and incantations. You can be swept away by the story, it is such a fun thing! There are so many concepts and different aspects of society that a lesser author could certainly not pull off, and I appreciate it very much. But I miss Kelsier. I miss him a lot. He completely carried the first Mistborn book. He didn't want to be nice, a complete hero, and save everyone, as the characters seem to do in books 2 and 3. The first book felt more reckless, more adventurous and more romantic than the rest of the trilogy. This book was excellent, and it is wonderful to see all the ramifications and the responsibility Vin has to take for her actions in the first book, but Final Empire was truly the best. Hail the Survivor.9/10 (2012-10-19)
William from AZ
Like this guys says, the book is amazing. I've read the trilogy twice, and it never ceases to amaze me. The mysteries Brandon uses in his books are mind-blowing, and I can't wait to read future works about this world. Go Brandon!10/10 (2012-03-01)
Adriana from Earth
I just finished reading this book about two days ago, and the whole book just moved me. Brandon Sanderson talked about loyalty, courage and faith and it really made me question myself, "What would I do if I were in that situation?" It shows us about selflessness and making hard decisions that always bring consequences. For me, this series is thoroughly original and I am now 100% a Brandon Sanderson fan. :)10/10 (2012-03-01)
Aaron from West Jordan, UT
I was first introduced to Brandon's works by my uncle. (Who, oddly enough, knew Brandon in college and was the inspiration for Captain Goradel.) He handed me a copy of Elantris and I thought it was decent work, better than the average fantasy novel. The Mistborn Trilogy blew me away. The Characters are compelling, their development is often deep and personal, the world is visually exciting, (Sometimes in a visceral kind of way, Who said doomsday couldn't look cool?) The magic is fascinating, the mystery is infuriating sometimes... Read the Hero of Ages. You'll have to read the first two books as well, and I get the feeling that most fantasy readers won't mind a bit.10/10 (2012-03-01)
Mathachew from Spring, TX
The Mistborn series was the first work of Sanderson I had ever read. The full scale of this trilogy's story did not hit me until after I finished Hero of Ages and began reflecting. Simplistic in nature, precise in execution, brilliance in planning; this is an epic masterpiece of a story. Words such as hate, love, and epic are grandiosely used in society and on the web so much that they have greatly lost their value and significance. When I called this story epic, I sincerely mean that it is one of the best stories I have ever read. Allow me to reiterate the point I'm trying make about this book. It's amazing. Addictive. Brilliant. Epic. Satisfying.10/10 (2012-03-01)
9.8/10 from 10 reviews
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