crossed the finish line!
If there’s one thing you can say about Brandon Sanderson’s The Hero of Ages (the third book of the Mistborn) series, is that it’s big. 556 pages big. I’ve been hauling that brick around for a week.
But in books, size doesn’t really matter if the book is good. For example, I only wish that Cloud Cuckoo Land had been bigger.
But I’m not sure (speaking frankly) that Sanderson used his pages wisely. The story pacing across this thing felt… off.
First off, characters tended to moan and complain about their personal problems through this book. In the second in the series, it was Vin who grappled with love. This time around, Sazed the scribe (for lack of a better word), who lost his late-found love in the final battle of the book prior, endlessly moans about religion and his sense of loss (all, mind you, while the world slowly comes unglued towards an extinction-level event). Sure, it’s fine to give some self-recrimination and doubt into a character (I loved when Horatio Hornblower would do it). But everyone’s had the jilted friend who’s come to your house to root on your couch and moan. And that’s what this was like. A little too much.
Further, the long run-up to the final battle was more of a spectator sport than some sort of active-reader-involvement. I like when I have all the pieces of a magic-based world and can watch as the hero puts it all together in some unique was (this is why Mistborn was so wonderful). However, when we’re dealing at god-level combat and we don’t have a basis for how anything works, then the blows and counterblows are just like some sort of Punch ‘N Judy puppet show. I can only sit and nod and say, “Huh. Really? Okay. I guess that works.” Really, it went on and on for long pages, with reversals and counter-reversals that I was told (by the author) were clever. Okay. I guess that is how it works.
Don’t get me wrong. I still liked the third book.But I was rather happy when I could finally close the back cover and put it behind me. I still recommend the MistBorn books to anyone who likes good fantasy. However, the third book in the set could have been a little cleaner and less Alacazam-y.