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The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson Review: An amazing climax that cures the slow start

Read Time: 11 minutes
Published On: May 10, 2023
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages culminates the first era of Mistborn with an awe-inspiring climax and unfolds the Cosmere in breathtaking ways

About "The Hero of Ages"

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: The Mistborn Saga #3

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre: Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Other works from the Author: The Stormlight Archive Series, Elantris, Warbreaker, Skyward Series

Page Number: 572 pages

Audible Listening Time: 27 hours & 25 mins

Goodreads Rating: 4.52/5

My Rating: 4/5

Plot - 5/5

The Hero of Ages begins a few years after the events of The Well of Ascension. The political environment of Luthadel is in complete Chaos. The political climate in Luthadel is in complete chaos, and despite having two powerful Mistborn in Vin and Elend, the world is teetering on the brink of destruction. Vin's actions in freeing the deity Ruin have caused massive upheavals in the planet's climate. As the name suggests Ruin has only one purpose, destruction of the world as it is.

The stakes are incredibly high, and the world is facing the possibility of collapse and starvation. The only hope lies in finding the storage cache hidden by the Lord Ruler, but this is no easy task. While Lord Ruler planned for the world's destruction, he also ensured that the plan was not easily accessible to anyone. Vin and Elend must uncover the clues to the storage cache to find a way to defeat Ruin.

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
Mistborn: The Hero Of Ages by Gaga Turmanishvili

Meanwhile, TenSoon is facing a different kind of struggle, trying to convince the Kandra people of the looming threat. His efforts to reach Vin in time to warn her of the danger, and his struggle with accusations of treason, leads to an intriguing turn of events that reveals many secrets.

Elend has a daunting task ahead of him, as he must unite other kingdoms to consolidate resources for his people. Balancing his need to do what's right and his desire to conquer kingdoms as the ruler to feed his people is increasingly challenging. Spook hears Kelsier's voice guiding him, but nobody else can hear it. Is this really Kelsier, and why is he only speaking to Spook? The mystery of Kelsier's voice adds another layer of intrigue to the story.

Finally, Sazed is struggling with a great loss, and his faith in every religion has been shattered. The world is growing increasingly hostile, and his morality is being pulled in different directions. He must find a way to reconcile his need to do good with his loss of faith.

The plot progression of The Hero of Ages is excellent. This has to be the most satisfying conclusion of a series in fantasy in my reading experience. While there were clues to the plot twists, the unexpected turns made for a thrilling reading experience.

Characters - 4/5


The Hero of Ages is a book in the Mistborn trilogy where Vin's character takes a backseat to other characters but still has a significant impact on the story. While her role may not be as prominent, her character growth throughout the trilogy makes her one of the most compelling characters


Elend is one of the most fascinating characters in The Hero of Ages. As a ruler of a collapsing nation, he constantly struggles to balance his ideals with the practicalities of his situation. He is a genuinely good man who must make difficult decisions that often go against his own moral code. This constant dilemma is what makes him such a compelling character to read about.

One of the things I love most about Elend is his propensity for deep, philosophical conversations. Even when they don't necessarily work in the current political climate of Luthadel, Elend is always willing to engage in thoughtful discussions about the nature of power, the role of government, and the ethics of ruling. His insights and perspectives are refreshing and add depth to the story that is truly captivating.


Sazed is unequivocally my favourite character from The Hero of Ages. He is simply outstanding, particularly in the climax, where his storyline truly shines. The plot twist in the end caught me off guard, despite the many clues scattered throughout the trilogy. The feeling of surprise and excitement that I experienced was unparalleled in my reading journey.

What makes Sazed so compelling is his ongoing battle with faith, something that I can deeply relate to. He is an incredibly well-crafted character whose struggles are both poignant and thought-provoking.

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
Mistborn - TenSoon's Trial by Marc Mestre


Spook unexpectedly emerges as one of the most compelling characters. Despite being a minor character in the previous books, Spook's chapters are some of the most intriguing and informative in the entire novel. His point of view provides crucial insight into the magic system and worldbuilding, making his character essential to the plot.

What I loved most about Spook's character in this book was the air of mystery surrounding him. His chapters were shrouded in secrecy at the beginning, which kept me engaged and eager to read on.


TenSoon continues to be one of the most compelling characters in The Hero of Ages. As my favourite character from the previous book, he certainly did not disappoint here. The Kandra people were always a source of intrigue for me, and this book provided even more insight into their society and way of life.

Worldbuilding - 5/5

In The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson's worldbuilding continues to impress and exceed expectations set by the previous books in the series. The world-building is unique and unexpected, adding to the story in organic and logical ways. Sanderson's worldbuilding is not only immersive but also unpredictable, as it integrates seamlessly with the plot and character motivations.

I am constantly amazed at Sanderson's ability to craft breathtaking worlds and magic systems that are interconnected with the wider physics of the Cosmere. His worldbuilding skills are second to none

Magic System - 5/5

Brandon Sanderson is a master of creating unique and fascinating magic systems in his novels. He once again showcases his expertise in The Hero of Ages by introducing Hemalurgy, where metal spikes are used to steal and transfer powers and attributes from one person to another. The idea of Hemalurgy adds a new layer of complexity and raises the stakes significantly because it renders all Mistborn and Mistings powerless at any given moment. This concept was both thrilling and impactful to the overall plot.

Pacing - 3/5

The only complaint I have from this book is like The Well of Ascension, the second book in the Mistborn trilogy, The Hero of Ages starts incredibly slow. The first 50% of the book is full of intricate world-building and political intrigue. It serves to progress the plot but you won’t see it until the climax. This makes it a daunting task to stick with the book until the very end. This has been the main gripe I have with all the books in the Mistborn trilogy.

Enjoyment - 4/5

I am thoroughly satisfied with the conclusion of The Hero of Ages. Though the slow start was a challenge, the climax was nothing short of astounding and had a lasting impact on me. In fact, I believe this book boasts the best ending to any fantasy series I have had the pleasure of reading. The depth of the plot twists and their execution, along with the complex character development, was remarkable and left me with a sense of awe. Ultimately, I am willing to overlook the slow start in light of the breathtaking conclusion.

Final Verdict - 4/5

The Hero of Ages concludes the Mistborn Trilogy with an exceptional experience that couldn't be more perfect. Brandon Sanderson once again shows his brilliance through his writing, proving that he is first and foremost a fantasy fan, then a fantasy author.

The Hero of Ages
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages by Gediminas SkyriusPRO

Despite the slow start in the first half of the book, it delivers intricate world-building and amazing characters that make me believe that I'm a fool for complaining about the slow start. The slow build-up was exactly what the book needed to make the impact it did on my mind.

The characters are phenomenal, and with every book, Brandon Sanderson made completely different characters my favourite. Vin from The Final Empire, OreSeur from The Well of Ascension, and Sazed from The Hero of Ages are my favourite characters in the Mistborn Trilogy.

The creation of Scadrial and the magic system is unparalleled in modern fantasy. This will be the best world-building and magic system you will read if you have not read The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson before.

The Hero of Ages is the most enjoyable book in the Mistborn Trilogy, and it did make me sit up on my bed with the climax it delivered. I refrained from reading anything for two days after finishing this trilogy to digest and ponder everything that I experienced while reading this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to read fantasy.

Favourite Quotes

“Somehow, we'll find it. The balance between whom we wish to be and whom we need to be. But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are.”

“If you give up what you want most for what you think you should want more, you'll end up miserable.”

“Faith means that it doesn't matter what happens. You can trust that somebody is watching. Trust that somebody will make it all right.”

“The nature of the world is that when we create something, we often destroy something else in the process.”

“To believe, it seemed, one had to want to believe.”

“Vin, Vin. Why can't you see? This isn't about good or evil. Morality doesn't even enter into it. Good men will kill as quickly for what they want as evil men—only the things they want are different.”

“People with passion are people who will destroy—for a man's passion is not true until he proves how much he's willing to sacrifice for it. Will he kill? Will he go to war? Will he break and discard that which he has, all in the name of what he needs?”

“How did men believe in something that preached love on one hand, yet taught destruction of unbelievers on the other? How did one rationalize belief with no proof? How could they honestly expect him to have faith in something that taught of miracles and wonders in the far past, but carefully gave excuses for why such things didn't occur in the present day?”

“I am mountains that crush. I am waves that crash. I am storms that shatter. I am the end.

“Never let your life depend on the competence of someone whose life isn’t also on the line.”

The religions in my portfolio weren't useless after all, he thought, the power flowing from him and remaking the world. None of them were. They weren't all true. But they all had truth.

“An easy life taught one very little.”

“There is a beauty in death—the beauty of finality, the beauty of completion.”

“I am a storyteller," Slowswift corrected. "And not every story is meant for every set of ears.”

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
Mistborn: Hero of Ages by GisAlmeida

Amazon Blurb

"Description contains spoilers for previous book in the series"

Who is the Hero of Ages?

To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness—the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists—is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed.

Having escaped death at the climax of The Well of Ascension only by becoming a Mistborn himself, Emperor Elend Venture hopes to find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world. Vin is consumed with guilt at having been tricked into releasing the mystic force known as Ruin from the Well. Ruin wants to end the world, and its near omniscience and ability to warp reality make stopping it seem impossible. Vin can't even discuss it with Elend lest Ruin learn their plans!

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