Book of the Week: October 2nd, 2015

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Wow, I almost forgot about this post. For the second week in a row. My bad, everyone. It’s especially bad because I’m so excited about Shadows of Self coming out next week, and how much fun I’ve been having on this Mistborn reread. As expected the Book of the Week is The Hero of Ages.

Hero of Ages

After the ponderous and sprawling Well of Ascension, the third Mistborn novel is a totally different animal. Hero of Ages is a lot faster-paced, goes out of its way to answer questions (as it should, being the final installment in a trilogy), and ramps up the tension even as it does solve some of those mysteries.

I think the most notable change in this book is the proliferation of major POVs. Where in the first two books, there were really only two or three main POVs in each one (Vin, Elend, Kelsier, and Sazed), in Hero of Ages we get Spook, Marsh, and TenSoon added in. The world expands in a major way, for the first time really concentrating on other places than just Luthadel. The result, I think, is that faster pace that I mentioned, as well as a richer platform to work an “end of the world” type story off of.

That next twist, which we were only hinted at during the climactic events at the Well of Ascension, is great. The move to bring Cosmere elements to the forefront, in Ruin and preservation, is not only the first major step to build the meta-plot across Sanderson’s books, but also ups the ante in a series that’s anchored by a constant trend upward in tension. Every single achievement the protagonists make in the first two books leads to some greater struggle, giving a nice narrative pace across the trilogy as a whole.

Of course, the ending of Hero of Ages still features a typical Sanderson Avalanche. From the moment Vin is captured by Yomen, the pieces begin falling into place. The revelation that Vin has been hearing Ruin in her head all these years, and not just Reen, is shocking and frankly terrifying. Vin’s encounter with Marsh in Yomen’s office, and Elend losing control of the koloss, are both awesome to read. Exciting stuff. And we can’t forget Vin’s fight against the Inquisitors at Kredik Shaw, or her true Ascension to Shard status.

Overall, I think Hero of Ages is a pretty good ending for the trilogy. There are plenty of curveballs that Sanderson throws, some more surprising than others. It was an apocalyptic ending, to be sure, but also rather charming. And it sets the stage for so much more to come on the world of Scadrial. I give The Hero of Ages four out of five stars.

 

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