Thursday, 26 November 2009

CBR Book 6: "The Hero of Ages" by Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Page count: 748 pages
Date begun: November 20th, 2009
Date finished: November 26th, 2009

WARNING! THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR MISTBORN AND THE WELL OF ASCENSION - THE FIRST TWO PARTS IN THIS TRILOGY!

The third part of Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy starts a year after the end of the second book. At the end of the second book, Elend became Mistborn, and gained incredible powers, while Vin, thinking she was saving the world, instead released a malevolent force trapped in the Well of Ascension. Ruin is one of two cosmic powers, and strives only to destroy and create chaos. Released from its prison, it can manipulate events in the world directly, and the world, which was already turbulent after the fall of the Lord Ruler, is now moving towards certain destruction. The mists are out even in the daytime, and many people caught in them either fall sick or die. Plants are not getting the sunlight required to grow, both because of the smothering mists and the ever increasing ashfalls.

Vin and Elend, have found four great storage caverns under prominent cities in the Empire, but have to lay siege to the last remaining city, ruled by one of the late Lord Ruler's administrators, in order to get to it. Spook, one of the less prominent members of Kelsier's old thieving crew has been sent to spy in another of the cities, where a man calling himself the Citizen has taken control, determined to wipe out all nobles, and creating a world following all the most extreme ideas of Kelsier, the Survivor of Hathsin.

As with the second book of the trilogy, I didn't exactly dislike The Hero of Ages, but it took me longer to finish than many books do, because I just didn't care all that much. As with The Well of Ascension, the action picks up towards the latter half of the book, and some of Sanderson's ideas really are very original and creative. It's just that the book is far too long, and the plot drags out for hundreds of pages before you get to the really good bits. I have read books this size in a much shorter period of time, and several times this week had to persuade myself to read rather than do other things, which does not happen if I am reading a book I really love.

As a concluding part of a trilogy, it does tie up loose ends very neatly, and there are some cool revelations to previous storylines, but all of these things mostly come towards the latter half of the book. Of the trilogy, only the first book didn't really suffer from being overlong and having parts I pretty much skimmed through, in the hopes that something more interesting would happen soon. Like quite a lot of epic fantasy, the page count should have been reduced somewhat, making the books shorter and faster paced. All in all, the trilogy is a good read, but not a great one.

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