The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Pico is way heavier than this epic fantasy.

Why I Read It: The first 2 books in the series were incredible, so I had to see how it would end.

Where I Got It: Own it.

Who I Recommend This To: Dark, epic, fantasy freaks would love this series.

Publisher: Tor Fantasy (2009)

Length: 748 pages

Series: Book 3 Mistborn

This whole series has been amazing and I got into it thanks to a group read of Mistborn: The Final Empire hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. The Hero of Ages starts some months, perhaps a year after The Well of Ascension ends. The world is slowly being covered in ash, the days are getting shorter, and the mists are becoming unwelcome lingering day guests. The whole tone of the end of this trilogy is dark throughout.

Vin and Elend are trying to hold the Empire together, trying to protect and save as many people for as long as possible as they can. Elend’s new powers, while strong, are not refined, having only had so many months of practice and not years. Uneasy alliances coupled with the dark chaotic power Ruin makes life difficult for Elend and Vin.

So much of what the readers learned in the first two books comes to a crazy, galloping, bloody, transcendent ending in this book. It takes clues and heroes from all the races to save the world, but can they do it? Honestly, I was biting my nails until the end, hoping they could pull it off. The giant blue, fighting Koloss hold a piece of the knowledge; the Kandra have one huge action (and gift) to give the world; the Terrismen hold the world’s knowledge in metal; and the Inquisitors will play a decisive role.

What I Liked: Very satisfying end to the trilogy; the main characters continue to grow and change; heroes everywhere in so many ways; the dark is dark and Brandon Sanderson doesn’t pull any punches; Sanderson has deleted scenes for this series on his website.

What I Disliked: I think Vin is suppose to be like 5 foot tall – damn she makes Elend look short on the cover!

As part of Stainless Steel Droppings’ R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, I am going to count this book as Dark Fantasy. This event is still going strong until the end of October, so feel free to hop over there and join the fun.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Why I Read It: Started the series as part of a read along over at Stainless Steel Droppings.

Where I Got It: Own it.

Who I Recommend This To: If you’re into epic fantasy, this series is a must.

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates (2008)

Length: 796 pages

Series: Mistborn Book 2

Vin kicks even more ass!

This sequel picks up a year after Book 1, Mistborn: The Final Empire. Elend is king, but can he hold his crown with his even-handedness and high ideals? The Assembly he created to help rule Luthadel is constantly arguing. Meanwhile, multiple armies are marching to take Luthadel by force. Vin is Elend’s love, and his body guard. Many, many people would love to see Elend dead. Vin’s companions in the mist are quite an eclectic lot: assassins, her helpful kandra, some sort of mist creature, and another Mistborn with mysterious intentions.

With Kelsier gone, his remaining crew try to stay true to Vin in their own way – strengthening Luthadel’s defenses, intrigue, spying, and even returning to a besieged city. Sazed had wandered far in pursuit of his dream of teaching the Skaa about the world’s lost religions. However, he finds few willing, let along enthusiastic, students. Instead, he comes across tales of mist mysteriously appearing during the day and killing people. Kelsier’s brother Marsh appears on the scene and leads Sazed to an abandoned Steel Inquisitor tower, where they find few answers and only more questions. Sazed is convinced he must return to Luthdel, despite the imminent danger the city is in.

I believe this book was even better than Book 1. Book 1 set up several of the main characters and the world. In this addition to the series, Brandon Sanderson explores more of the world. For instance, we learn about Koloss society, Mistborn and Feruchemist abilities, and the complicated kandra. We also get more info on the legend of the Hero of Ages. This book was full of action, friendship, betrayal, hard choices, and a little bit of kissing.

What I Liked: The relationship between Elend and Vin was more real; kandra in a dog suit; Vin in everything she does; Zane as a crazy counterpoint to Vin; Elend’s growth in character; Sazed and Tindwyl.

What I Disliked: I found the sudden relationship between Breeze and Allrianne to be a bit forced plot wise.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Heldig and Mistborn: The Final Empire

Why I Read It: Participated in a read along over at My Awful Reviews.

Where I Got It: Own it.

Who I Recommend This To: Epic fantasy junkies!

Publisher: Tor Fantasy (2007)

Length: 672 pages

Series: Mistborn Book 1

Vin kicks ass.

It needed to be said up front.

This is another wonderful Brandon Sanderson world; it’s ashy and grey, there are Steel Inquisitors with metal protruding from their eye sockets, Allomancers rule the night with their ability to manipulate metal objects, and mistwraiths roam the lands between cities always hungry. Much of this story is seen through Vin’s eyes; she is a street thief and an Allomancer (though she doesn’t know that last to begin with). Kelsier runs a group of skilled individuals who want to overthrow the empire and he takes Vin under his wing. He has a suspicion that Vin is somewhat like himself – a Mistborn. Mistborns can manipulate all kinds of metal, whereas most Allomancers can only work with a pair of metals. And Kelsier could definitely use another Mistborn to help him with his plans.

This book was wicked fun from beginning to the end. The premise of a small rebel group wanting to overthrow the ruling regime probably seems simple, maybe even overused. However, it gets complicatedly good quick. Each character has a backstory, some of which we learn throughout the tale. Each has his and her own reasons for following Kelsier on his mad quest. The bad guys are not fumbling idiots either, but rather skilled, deadly, and mysterious. A side romance adds a few complications to the master plan, but played well for the reader.

What I Liked: The cloaks; the intrigue, on many levels; Sanderson creates rules for his world and sticks with them; Hoid; there were several twists I did not see coming.

What I Disliked: The initial romance was a little sudden, but I eventually settled into it.