Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Hero of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson

2.5 stars

The Mistborn trilogy has put on a lot of weight since we started - where Mistborn: The Final Empire was tight, lean and exciting, The Well of Ascension became a bit flabby around the middle after getting bogged down with too much thinking and not enough action. The Hero of Ages tried admirably to perk itself up a bit towards its last stretch, but its ingrained bad habits proved to be just slightly too much to overcome, with too much of this feeling like a retread of what had gone before.

Having ended The Well of Ascension with Vin having been tricked into releasing Ruin into the world and with Elend Venture reanimated as a Mistborn, we pick back up to find the world still dying - the killing mists now come during the day as well as at night, and every day sees ash fall more thickly while the Venture crew are busy tracking down the secret caches left by the Lord Ruler in preparation for the end of the world. Which is how we find ourselves having yet another siege, with Elend this time at the head of the besieging army. Thankfully, this time around Vin isn't quite so riddled with self-doubt, but unfortunately that doesn't mean we've seen the back of all the whining. It's just Sazed's turn this time.

With the besieging and the whining taking up a good three quarters of the book, I started to take less and less kindly towards it as time went on and, where I'd previously at least enjoyed the characters that were being put in such a predicament, I started getting irritated that those that had fleshed out the crew were mostly forgotten and shoved towards the sidelines while those that remained in the spotlight were no longer very interesting. Where I'd previously thought Vin a bit of a badass, I now couldn't care less which metals she flared as she took down thousands upon thousands of enemies all by herself. And while I appreciated the work that had gone into crafting Ruin's long-con, I couldn't help but feel it would have been helped by some judicious editing during The Siege 2: This Time It's Less Interesting to have brought a little more of the excitement of the last quarter of the book to the 500+ pages that preceded it. 

Don't get me wrong, this is still a series I enjoyed, with an especially blistering opener. It's just a shame that the excitement didn't last.

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