Joseph's Reviews > The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
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's review
Sep 27, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read from September 16 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** This seems like a situation where the more I think about it, the lower my rating will go, so I'm going to try to wrap this up quickly.

I guess it's kind of difficult to up the stakes when the villain in your first book was ostensibly a god, but I think Sanderson made a huge mistake with the character of Ruin. He's seemingly all-powerful (except when he isn't), which fits well into the series' pattern of putting its characters up against impossible odds, but on the other hand, he's so nebulous that he dissolves into meaninglessness. And that's pretty strange for Sanderson, who seems to be obsessed with creating iron-clad rules for the world he's created.

That, too, is a bit of a double-edged sword. It's impressive to see the precision with which he's organized everything, but that level of organization also tends to sterilize things, leading to a sense of inevitable predictability. He's working so hard to flesh out all the corners of allomancy, that even his surprises don't seem terribly surprising. And also ... 16? The all-important number around which he's organized his magic system is ... 16? It just seems so arbitrary. Which, I guess, is why he never actually gets around to revealing what the last two allomantic metals are.

I guess what I'm saying is that the ending doesn't really feel earned. The final climactic battle between Vin and Ruin comes down to little more than Vin winning because she's the book's protagonist, and her and Elend's deaths seem like a futile attempt to add some pathos to what is otherwise almost literally a deus ex machina. Sazed's story is obnoxiously repetitive and kind of stupid; Spook's story feels like it belongs in a different book.

Frankly, I was kind of bored reading this at times. Sanderson piles misery on top of misery to the point where I was just waiting for the ending to wipe the slate clean because there was literally no other way for things to end aside from the planet's destruction.

Oh, yeah, and what was the deal with the Deepness? It seemed like it was going to be such a big deal throughout the first two books, and then it only got mentioned once or twice here. Maybe I missed it, but I don't think it ever got explained.

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