REVIEW: THE HERO OF AGES (MISTBORN#3)
Vin and her friends try to piece together all the clues left by The Lord Ruler before Ruin destroys the world.
Note that while there will be no major spoilers for THE HERO OF AGES, spoilers from the prior two books, THE FINAL EMPIRE and THE WELL OF ASCENTION, will be discussed.
HOW I RATED IT
5/5 Big stories like this one really all come down to how they stick the landing. In spite of some slower pacing in the second act, this is one finale that absolutely delivers on all the promise of the books leading up to it.
The world of MISTBORN is once again one of the most iconic and engrossing elements of this installment as it was in the previous books. The state of this fictional world is far more dire than it ever has been before though. While THE WELL OF ASCENTION dealt with the fallout of The Lord Ruler's death, THE HERO OF AGES shows it the the brink of destruction. We also get to see far more of it this time around with different characters visiting various major cities in hopes of discovering their secrets.PLOT/TONE
At this point in the series, most of the characters are very well established. That said, those that were largely on the sidelines or even simply in the background before are far more prominent this time around. Although the story still places a great deal of emphasis on Vin, Elend, and Sazed, other characters like Spook and TenSoon get entire chapters told from their perspective which makes the core cast of heroes feel much more expansive. All the different character arcs build brilliantly upon these characters that we've come to love and their separate adventures come together at the story's epic end.
While getting more time with some of the series' lesser known characters was nice and did keep things fresh, it also served to slow down what is otherwise meant to be a rather dire narrative. There isn't any real sense of urgency until around the final act when everything comes together and that can make the story feel a little slow at times. That said, in typical Sanderson fashion, there is purpose in every scene no matter how odd or irrelevant it might seem in the moment. Even with the constant perspective shifts, there is a constant feeling of dread and desperation that remains constant and kept me hooked as the heroes unlocked the secrets of the mists, The Lord Ruler's contingency plan, and the very nature of the gods themselves. Without spoiling anything about the ending, I will just say that I really appreciated how it stayed true to form with the rest of the series while still delivering a satisfying end rather than indulging in on that would have flown in the face of the running themes of the series (I think those who've read it will understand what I mean).CONCLUSION
The methodical way that Sanderson crafts this world, it's narrative, and all the characters that play a part in it really shines through in this conclusion to the original MISTBORN trilogy. I've really enjoyed this series for its thoughtful magic system, compelling characters, intriguing world, and sprawling narrative that never gets too complicated to enjoy. This is the perfect end to such an epic trilogy.