After an amazing first installment, and a pretty solid follow-up, I was excited to see how Sanderson ended his Mistborn trilogy with The Hero of Ages.
Oh. MY. God. It took me about 10 minutes to read the last couple pages because I had tears in my eyes. WARNING: Some spoilers are below!
In The Final Empire, Vin and her crew defeated the immortal Lord Ruler. Then, they fought off three different armies in The Well of Ascension to keep control of Luthadel even as the world around them collapsed. Now, the remainder of Kelsier's crew has to face the most challenging foe yet - Ruin, the powerful force that was released from the Well. Ruin plans to regain his physical body and destroy the world. Only the mythical Hero of Ages has a chance to stop him.
The Hero of Ages ended up being my favorite installment of the Mistborn series, with the first one not far behind. Even though it was long, I thought the pacing of this one was much better than its predecessor.
The best thing about this novel was how Sanderson brought so many little details together. All of my questions from the first two books were answered, especially about Feruchemy. I have the highest respect for Sanderson's writing process, he leaves no stone unturned - there was a reason for how many men died in the mists, every small bit of metal had a purpose, and the prophecy of the Hero fit the story exactly as it should. Many of Sanderson's plot twists surprised me, while others I only guessed a few pages before they were revealed. That's pretty rare for me when reading, and it was SO NICE to have a book cheerfully drag me along to places I wasn't expecting.
My favorite chapters were the TenSoon chapters. I loved him so much in the previous novel, and the kandra's way of life was one of the more interesting things to learn about. I was dying for a Vin and TenSoon reunion, but I had to make do with rooting for him to help Vin from afar, even though he did play a large part in the end.
The single best scene, in my opinion, was Elend communicating with the mist spirit. Something about that exchange - and what I later learned about the spirit - was heartwarming, funny, and sad all at once.
The only thing that I didn't like about this book was the repetition. There were several “Okay, I get it already!!” moments, mostly to do with Sazed and his loss of faith after the events of The Well of Ascension. Every time the story went back to Sazed, it explained his feelings all over again...and again. And again. Spook's desire to prove himself and Vin's doubts were both pointed out a number of times as well. I skimmed a few pages here and there because of this.
Overall, despite the repetition, this was an amazing page turner and the perfect ending to the Mistborn trilogy. The last twenty or so pages were a work of art. The tiniest pieces of the puzzle slipped into place and the tension built to a glorious finale. I know a lot of people dislike fantasy, but with books like this in the world I'm confident there's something wrong with those people.
The Hero of Ages was an easy 5 stars for me. Mistborn was a great introduction to Sanderson and I cannot wait to read the rest of his work. Next up is the second Mistborn trilogy, which is set a few hundred years after the first one. Fingers crossed it lives up to the original!