Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Read in November 2008
Strangely, this third and final book of the Mistborn trilogy was more depressing and tragic to me than the middle one, The Well of Ascension. It was also disturbing on a theological front for me.
It’s been a year since Elend and Vin were married and they are still struggling to hold their new empire together. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that nothing they are doing will stop the inevitable – the world is dying, ending, destroying itself. Sazed has lost all faith. Where he used to preach and believe in all religions, he has spent the year studying and dismissing all the religions in his research as false.
Meanwhile, even in the face of Sazed’s crisis of faith, we actually meet and get confirmation of two deities locked in a futile struggle. They are Ruin and Preservation. I long suspected, even back in the first book, that the voices in people’s heads where not internal memories or insanity, but an external force pressuring them emotionally and psychologically into actions that met it’s ends.
The one pleasant surprise was learning the true origins of the kandra.
It was a compelling story and I read it almost non-stop for three days. I was very saddened by the fates of the main characters – nearly all of whom don’t make it to the end credits. Even though we lose so many, there is hope and a resurrection of sorts in the end.
Back to my theological concerns – I could see increasing influence of Mormonism throughout this book. It’s subtle, but the Mormon worldview fits.
In the end, Sazed was raised to godhood, but limited in his knowledge and by the laws of the universe. Even with his metalminds, he was not omniscient.
He was always one of my favorite characters and Feurchemy was the essence of Balance so he was the perfect mediator for the elemental forces of Ruin and Preservation.
Since there are still two Alomantic metals undiscovered and Spook has been left in charge with the blessing of Sazed, I imagine we will have more opportunities to visit the newly rejuvenated world of the Mistborn.