Sunday, May 9, 2010

final instalment in brandon sanderson's the mistborn trilogy; the hero of ages

Brandon Sanderson's The Mistborn trilogy comes to an end in The Hero of Ages, as the true hero is revealed and the cryptic words of the Lord Ruler are finally explained.
Sanderson's first two books in this series – The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension – built the backbone of the plot. A world overcome by volcanic ash, a serfdom of Highborn and Skaa and an immortal ruler coming together in violence, rebellion and myth.
Centred on the street girl Vin, her inborn 'mistborn' powers – an ability to use various metals to become faster, stronger and smarter than the average person – leading to her becoming first involved in rebellion and later to kill the undying Lord Ruler.
Despite killing off the supposed source of all their woes, Vin, her Skaa companions and her Highborn husband, new emperor Elend Venture, discover that by killing a god and releasing the power of the Well of Ascension, they may just have made things worse.
Finally, the story focuses on what exactly caused the Mists that have taken over the world, blocking the sun, killing the plants and causing illness to exactly 16 per cent of the population. The group realise they have to discover why the Lord Ruler hid caches of food, water and tools across the country and what they have to do to save their world.
Cleverly Sanderson has created a world that is not to dissimilar from ours so that readers can easily identify with the protagonists, but it's different enough to be interesting. The plot twists right to the end of The Hero of Ages – there's a surprising denouement right at the end that one doesn't see coming at all.
Sanderson is clearly an author on the way up. After Robert Jordan's death in 2007, Sanderson was chosen to complete the final book in Jordan's epic The Wheel of Time series based on just the first in The Mistborn trilogy, The Final Empire. He has already released The Gathering Storm – the first in the three-part culmination of Jordan's series – to thunderous applause from both fans and critics including Jordan's widow, Harriet McDougal.
In The Hero of Ages, Sanderson shows exactly why he was chosen for such an important task in the world of fantasy fiction. His characters are well-developed, his plotting is fantastic and his imagination runs wild yet is still accessible. In fact, the book has been shortlisted for the David Gemmell Award.
However the pace of his books needs to pick up a little. All three of The Mistborn books suffered from slow starts, a little too much detail – The Hero of Ages alone is 748 pages – and a tendency towards too much pontificating.
But despite this drawback, Sanderson's works are classic fantasy fiction and enjoyable reading. He's an author to watch.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson is published by Gollancz, which is owned by Orion Books and is available from good book stores and online.


Post a Comment