Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson is the conclusion to the somewhat epic Mistborn trilogy. You can read my reviews of the first two books The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension (the latter with minor spoilers).

The Hero of Ages is a worthy conclusion to an epic and detailed trilogy. All the titbits set up in earlier books come to fruition in this final volume as we, by the end, gain a fairly thorough knowledge of the world. As far as I remember, all the questions raised in earlier books are finally answered (I can only think of one that isn’t and that was raised towards the end of the final volume as, I assume, a hook for Alloy of Law set in the future of the same world).

What I found interesting in Sanderson’s wrapping up was that I was able to guess some of the revelations/twists he threw out before they were revealed (and some seemed obvious several chapters before they were confirmed), some of the twists caught me completely off-guard. Including some twists/revelations which were set up well in advance and for which all the relevant clues were in place. I think this is mainly a product of the sheer volume of intricate world-building he’s packed into the series (or, arguably, my lack of attention but I saw SOME things a mile off).

As with the previous books in the series, I would have liked there to be more female characters in The Hero of Ages since I can literally count all the named, on page women on one hand. The fact that Vin remains an important central character continues to make up for it a bit, but still. This aspect, as well as the intricate world building, makes me want to compare what I’ve read of Sanderson to Patrick Rothfuss but in this instance that wouldn’t be a fair comparison since Rothfuss’s female characters all revolve entirely around the main character and his attempts to lessen this in his second book were heavy-handed. And I’m going off on a tangent.

Back to the point, the entire Mistborn trilogy is well written and I would recommend it to all lovers of fantasy, particularly epic fantasy. It’s definitely the kind of series you have to read in order because the world building is so cumulative. Handily, my Gollancz (UK/ANZ) editions have summaries of the earlier books at the back. And appendices.

4.5 / 5 stars

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