The seven hundred twenty-four page culmination to the Mistborn Trilogy left me holding a huge bag of mixed feelings. The trilogy as a whole is a wonderful piece of literature, with a very intriguing and original twist on magic, religion and setting. Brandon Sanderson is a consummate writer, with a solid talent and skill for storytelling. His plots are complex without being convoluted and realistic without being stodgy. The characters are individuals, not cardboard cutouts, and their reactions and motives are well thought out and true. All of that on the positive side, I still got the feeling that this tome was a herculean effort to tie up all the loose ends of the previous two novels, and leave just enough to set up a sequel.
Once again, I’d reiterate that this is a wonderfully written trilogy, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves epic fantasy, but it took me a very long time to read, simply because it was so much to take in, that I could only take small doses.
One other minor problem I had with this installment of the trilogy was the pre-chapter out-takes, and how they were used. In the previous two novels, I enjoyed them. They gave clues without being didactic, and made you think while you were reading, which was essential. In Hero of Ages, I got the distinct feeling that these same excerpts from an unknown point of view—until the ending—, were set up to explain the plot twists that you had just, or were about to read. I found them off-putting instead of intriguing, as if I was being told that I did not have the intellect to understand the plot, and here was the explanation. Such a consummate writer should not have to use such props to hold up the story, although it probably saved us several hundred pages.
All in all, a very high recommendation for this entire series. I don’t know, however, if I will be picking up the sequels, though the teaser chapter at the end of Hero of Ages, for Brandon Sanderson’s next work, Warbreaker, looks very good!