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The Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 663 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Mistborn Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy (after 2007's The Well of Ascension) to a dramatic and surprising climax. Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world from Ruin's deadly Inquisitors, the insidious lethal mists called the Deepness and the increasingly heavy falls of black ash that threaten to bury the land and starve its inhabitants. As the duo search for the last of the former emperor's cache of atium, source of the strongest Mistborn energies, they battle Ruin's forces as well as monsters and prophetic powers. Sanderson's saga of consequences offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The Lord Ruler is dead, and Elend Venture is working on consolidating his rule. But the mist is becoming actively dangerous, ash falls almost constantly, and brutal earthquakes are shaking the world apart. The subtle, nearly omniscient Ruin is infiltrating both Elend’s army and his opponents. Fortunately, the stubborn Vin vows to discover a way to destroy him. When failure seems imminent, help comes from unexpected quarters. Sanderson pulls loose ends together, explains vague prophecies, and produces the Hero of Ages, and the Mistborn trilogy (The Final Empire, 2006; The Well of Ascension, 2007; and this book) concludes satisfactorily. --Regina Schroeder --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mistborn (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 760 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765356147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765356147
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (663 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

January 2015 marks the release of Firefight, the sequel to Steelheart. When only evil people gain super powers and become tyrants, it's up to normal people to hunt them down. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook of Steelheart here on Amazon that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible. My Firefight book tour in the US lasts throughout January.

Recent short releases are Legion: Skin Deep (sequel to Legion), the further investigations of an average man whose many hallucinations are all experts in their own fields, and also my novella Sixth of the Dusk, set in the same universe as Mistborn and Stormlight, revolving around an attack on an island trapper's way of life.

My biggest recent epic fantasy is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it's the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be. October 2015 and January 2016 will also see the release of two new Mistborn books, Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning.

Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan's epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at brandonsanderson.com/library -- and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alisa Kester on October 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first two books in the Mistborn series were excellent, but it is only in this one that Sanderson twists everything you know, and everything you *think* you know in such an unexpected, completely original direction that you're left breathless. All the little clues were there, but he planted them so artfully that they aren't even noticed until suddenly you realize the meaning *behind* what you've been reading! I've rarely read such a masterful plot.

I discovered this author by hearing that he had been chosen to finish Robert Jordan's last Wheel of Time novel. I started reading Sanderson's books because I wanted to assure myself that Jordan's family had chosen a writer who could finish the saga successfully. Now I realize that writing Jordan's last book is a waste of Sanderson's talents; he should be writing his *own* books. I positively cannot wait to see what Sanderson's next book, or series of books, will be. I also want to sit down and re-read the Mistborn trilogy over again from the beginning; the first two books will be an entirely different reading experience, now that I understand the truth.
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Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy of this book a while back. And I have to say that Sanderson's storytelling keeps getting better and better.

Simply said, Brandon Sanderson's books are so good that they're starting to piss me off. It just doesn't seem fair that someone should be about to write this well, this fast.

I don't believe in spoilers, so I will say simply this. Everything comes to good resolution in this final book. It all fits. It all makes sense. But at the same time I didn't see it coming. That doesn't happen very often.
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By Azrof on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Brandon has established himself as a new heavy hitter in the fantasy genre. Elantris was spectacular (albeit with a few problems) and his Mistborn series is a step above that.

With the Mistborn series Brandon firmly calls out other authors of the genre - not only in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity. Writing as much and as well as he does should be a crime - one that gets him a life sentence of...more writing.

In this third Mistborn book questions are answered...and more questions are raised. Action is fast paced and for those of us male readers who need a new masculine hero (after Kelsier died), to identify with - we are given it. Combined with the female protagonist (Vin), the new hero balances the books in a way they have not been since the death of Kelsier.

The only drawback of the way Sanderson writes is his tendency to leave questions unanswered, or to raise new questions near the end of his novels. To the reader, these might seem to be promises he is expected to answer eventually. Unfortunately Brandon has yet to commit to answering them.

On a side note - as an author Brandon is incredible accessible and personable to his fans. Unlike other authors, he seems to genuinely appreciate each and every fan he has.

And that, my friends, is just one more reason for us to buy his books; we must keep him writing!
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Format: Hardcover
Don't let the negative reviews fool you: The Hero of Ages and this entire trilogy is a story for the ages.

Mistborn: The Final Empire enthralled me, seamlessly integrating its magic system into the setting along with perfectly believable characters. On top of that, there was the amazing plot. Taken all together, there was one amazing product. Anyone who has read The Well of Ascension can surmise that there is much more to the original concept--what happened if the Hero of Prophecy failed--than even conceivable.

The first two books left large shadows, but Hero of Ages satisfies. To say that it "satisfies" is the largest understatement I've ever said. My fears that the trilogy would collapse from a horrible final volume were completely unwarranted. Instead, I was left with a phenomenal book that may just be the best one I've ever read.

In The Hero of Ages, the world is on the edge of destruction, brought about from the force known only as Ruin. Ashfalls grow ever more turbulent, and the mists still kill. Vin and Elend are stymied: how can one save the world from certain doom?

I won't say any more of the plot, but it is a story crafted with a chisel of a master. Things from the first book suddenly become immensely important, and questions from before are answered in a simple, logical fashion. If this story was crafted by anything less than an expert sculptor, a series as complicated as Mistborn--with three different magic systems interacting at the same time--could easily disintegrate into insanity, but this novel never fails to disappoint. Rather than confusion, this book left me in awe of Brandon Sanderson's genius. Every surprise is genuine, yet amazingly logical at the same time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've never before felt this way about a book. When it was all said and done, I found the overall story amazing. I loved it. The way all my questions were finally answered, how everything came together in the end was just awesome. But the journey itself was painful. Like in Well of Ascension before it I was infuriated by the lack of moving forward. Too much repetition and introspection. Too much description of stuff we don't care about. Characters were ok, but the internal dialog was annoying, and the banter between them not enjoyable. The "new" Spook was just... different. Not the same character at all, and not likable. I find it telling that TenSoon was the only character I genuinely liked in this book. Like other people critical of this book (as in "Well" before it), I especially found the relationship between Vin and Elend lacking. They come off as really good friends that are a little too obsessed with eachother, but not genuinely in love with eachother--they do make great sacrifices for each other, true, but that doesn't change the fact that they lack any kind of romantic or sexual chemistry. And I do believe it would have been possible and more realistic to show that romantic and sexual chemistry despite the war and the end of the world going on. And if Sanderson didn't want to "bog down" the story with the details of their relationship, why bog down the story with so much other superfluousness. Ultimately, I believe this story could have been truly awesome if it had been shorter. Perhaps by cutting out the dull bits and combining the truly interesting parts of Well and Hero we could have had a truly great read. But as it is (or rather "as they are," since the same goes for Well)... I can't recomend it/them without a strong warning about what to expect.
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