The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

What an end, even on a reread.

Set around a year after the events of the previous book, things are looking even worse now than they had been. The mists are staying later every day and ash fall is increasing, so this means that food is getting almost impossible to grow and supplies are going to run out. Vin, Elend, Sazed, and what’s left of the crew are trying to find the Lord Ruler’s caches and also see if there is any way to prevent what looks like the world failing.

So this is a bit of a mixed bag. I thought the first half was pretty slow, seemed more of the same in that there were armies on the march, with new antagonists trying to hold off the changes that have occurred or going to the opposite extreme. However the oppressive atmosphere throughout was very impressive, done almost too well in that it made the politicking going on seem redundant. It’s one of the few series that the end of the world felt very real in a literal sense and I could empathise with the character’s basically trying to ignore it as something too big to deal with.

The characters were still good, they even grew up a bit! Vin has learned to trust and accept herself so luckily we didn’t have the navel gazing we experienced in the last book. Elend is pretty much the same as well in that he’s started to balance what he was to what he is. Unfortunately we weren’t spared the angst fully as Sazed took on that and spent most of the book in a crisis of faith. Somewhat understandable but went too far I think. We also had a lot more of Spook in this book and though he isn’t the most interesting character it was an interesting arc.

The end was amazing. Sanderson has an almost unique ability to put everything in plain sight yet you still miss it until the reveal. Well I do anyway. On a re-read it’s all so obvious but I still remember the first time and being completely blind sided by it. It was a dark, sad, and beautiful end that made the whole book and series. I have very fond memories of this series and though some parts didn’t hold up as well as I remember, most of it did and I ended up really enjoying it.

4 stars

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