It is week 4 of Mistborn Monday. Looking at The Hero of Ages, the finale of the first trilogy in the series. You can catch up on Mistborn Monday here, check out The Final Empire, and The Well of Ascension reviews. Again, this series gets bigger as more secrets are revealed, so if you have not read the series this post may contain spoilers of the first two books.
Published in 2008, Hero of Ages is the culmination of everything we have learned about Scadrial, its politics, and magic system. Where the other books had secondary genre influences, the third installment is very much an epic fantasy in all sense of the term. The world is at risk, and the stakes are at their highest. Filling the entire novel with an intensity and desperation.
Hero of Ages begins with Elend Venture showing his worth as a Mistborn and the undisputed Emperor of Scadrial. With the assistance of his wife Vin, they follow the clues left by the late Lord Ruler. Aware that his world was in danger, the Lord Ruler had made preparations. Creating storage caches of food and water in random towns throughout the world. As our heroes push to collect these resources, they discover clues as to what is on the horizon and how they can combat it. Two books after the Lord Ruler is over thrown we witness his humanisation, and that what he was doing was for the good of everyone. By defeating him, Vin may have inadvertently destroyed the world.
The largest and most valuable storage cache is hidden under the one major city that has not joined their cause. Thus, Elend and Vin must poor what little resources remain into conquering Fadrex City. Discovering secrets of the Koloss, Kandra, and Inquisitors, they learn that they are unable to speak their plans out loud, for their enemy can hear them. Adding to the difficulty of an already extreme situation. The ability to take over the Koloss has been their strongest weapon thus far, but now it might be used against them.
There are some great character journeys for some old favorites. Spook becomes a leader of a revolution, gaining mysterious new powers. What a growth from a kid that we could barely understand in Final Empire. TenSoon is under trial and discredited by his entire species, only to convince them of their fate in the end. Marsh is consumed by the dark powers of Ruin. Then there is Sazed, tortured with the loss of his love, Tindwyl. Sazed gives up on his beliefs, takes off his metal minds, and is on a personal search for the one true religion. The pieces of his search slowing down the pace of the book, yet build suspense and come into play at the end, when the Hero of Ages rises.
The conclusion of this novel brings the trilogy full circle and has a truly epic feel. Vin and Elend have their backs against the wall in a final battle, each piece of the world is falling apart. The battle of Preservation and Ruin is an optimal good versus evil. And the Hero is not whom is to be expected, with the ascension being an amazing, unexpected chapter.
The Hero of Ages is one of the greatest conclusions to a trilogy in todays culture. The stakes raised to extreme levels and the suspense was thick enough to pour on ice cream. The idea that there are more secrets to be revealed after this trilogy seems impossible. For anyone who is thinking of reading this series, what are you waiting for? These books will entertain everyone. I give the first trilogy 5/5, I forgot how much I loved these books until I started Mistborn Mondays.
Thanks booknerds, next Monday we jump ahead in time for the western/mystery Alloy of Law.