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The Hero of Ages: Mistborn Trilogy #03

by

The Hero of Ages: Mistborn Trilogy #03 Cover

ISBN13: 9780765356147
ISBN10: 0765356147
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Excerpt

Chapter One

Legacy Of The Survivor

Fatren squinted up at the red sun, which hid behind its perpetual screen of dark haze. Black ash fell lightly from the sky, as it did most days lately. The thick flakes fell straight, the air stagnant and hot, without even a hint of a breeze to lighten Fatren's mood. He sighed, leaning back against the earthen bulwark, looking over Vetitan. His town.

"How long?" he asked.

Druffel scratched his nose. His face was stained black with ash. He hadn't given much thought to hygiene lately. Of course, considering the stress of the last few months, Fatren knew that he himself wasn't much to look at either.

"An hour, maybe," Druffel said, spitting into the dirt of the bulwark.

Fatren sighed, staring up at the falling ash. "Do you think it's true, Druffel? What people are saying?"

"What?" Druffel asked. "That the world is ending?"

Fatren nodded.

"Don't know," Druffel said. "Don't really care."

"How can you say that?"

Druffel shrugged, scratching himself. "Soon as those koloss arrive, I'll be dead. That's pretty much the end of the world for me."

Fatren fell silent. He didn't like to voice his doubts; he was supposed to be the strong one. When the lords had left the towna farming community, slightly more urban than a northern plantationFatren had been the one who had convinced the skaa to go ahead with their planting. Fatren had been the one to keep the press gangs away. In a time when most villages and plantations had lost every able- bodied man to one army or another, Vetitan still had a working population. It had cost much of their crops in bribes, but Fatren had kept the people safe.

Mostly.

"The mists didn't leave until noon today," Fatren said quietly. "They're staying later and later. You've seen the crops, Druff. They're not doing wellnot enough sunlight, I'd guess. We won't have food to eat this winter."

"We won't last 'til winter," Druffel said. "Won't last 'til nightfall."

The sad thingthe thing that was really dishearteningwas that Druffel had once been the optimist. Fatren hadn't heard his brother laugh in months. That laughter had been Fatren's favorite sound.

Even the Lord Ruler's mills weren't able to grind Druff's laughter out of him, Fatren thought. But these last two years have.

"Fats!" a voice called. "Fats!"

Fatren looked up as a young boy scrambled along the side of the bulwark. They'd barely finished the fortificationit had been Druffel's idea, back before he'd really given up. Their town contained some seven thousand people, which made it fairly large. It had taken a great deal of work to surround the entire thing with a defensive mound.

Fatren had barely a thousand real soldiersit had been very hard to gather that many from such a small populationwith maybe another thousand men who were too young, too old, or too unskilled to fight well. He didn't really know how big the koloss army was, but it was bound to be larger than two thousand. A bulwark was going to be of very little use.

The boySevfinally puffed up to Fatren. "Fats!" Sev said. "Someone's coming!"

"Already?" Fatren asked. "Druff said the koloss were still a while away!"

"Not a koloss, Fats," the boy said. "A man. Come see!"

Fatren turned to Druff, who wiped his nose and shrugged. They followed Sev around the inside of the bulwark, toward the front gate. Ash and dust swirled on the packed earth, piling in corners, drifting. There hadn't been much time for cleaning lately. The women had to work the fields while the men trained and made war preparations.

War preparations. Fatren told himself that he had a force of two thousand "soldiers," but what he really had were a thousand skaa peasants with swords. They'd had two years of training, true, but they had very little real fighting experience.

A group of men clustered around the front gates, standing on the bulwark or leaning against its side. Maybe I was wrong to spend so much of our resources training soldiers, Fatren thought. If those thousand men had worked the mines instead, we'd have some ore for bribes.

Except, koloss didn't take bribes. They just killed. Fatren shuddered, thinking of Garthwood. That city had been bigger than his own, but fewer than a hundred survivors had made their way to Vetitan. That had been three months ago. He'd hoped, irrationally, that the koloss would be satisfied with destroying that city.

He should have known better. Koloss were never satisfied.

Fatren climbed up to the top of the bulwark, and soldiers in patched clothing and bits of leather made way for him. He peered through the falling ash across a dark landscape that looked as if it were blanketed in deep black snow.

A lone rider approached, wearing a dark, hooded cloak.

"What do you think, Fats?" one of the soldiers asked.

"Koloss scout?"

Fatren snorted. "Koloss wouldn't send a scout, especially not a human one."

"He has a horse," Druffel said with a grunt. "We could use another of those." The city only had five. All were suffering from malnutrition.

"Merchant," one of the soldiers said.

"No wares," Fatren said. "And it would take a brave merchant to travel these parts alone."

"I've never seen a refugee with a horse," one of the men said. He raised a bow, looking at Fatren.

Fatren shook his head. Nobody fired as the stranger rode up, moving at an unhurried pace. He stopped his mount directly before the city gates. Fatren was proud of those. Real, true wooden gates mounted in the earthen bulwark. He'd gotten both wood and fine stone from the lord's manor at the city center.

Very little of the stranger was visible beneath the thick, dark cloak he wore to protect himself from the ash. Fatren looked over the top of the bulwark, studying the stranger, and then he glanced up at his brother, shrugging. The ash fell silently.

The stranger leaped from his horse.

He shot straight upward, as if propelled from beneath, cloak whipping free as he soared. Underneath it, he wore a uniform of brilliant white.

Fatren cursed, jumping backward as the stranger crested the top of the bulwark and landed on the top of the wooden gate itself. The man was an Allomancer. A nobleman. Fatren had hoped those would all stick to their squabbles in the North and leave his people in peace.

Or, at least, their peaceful deaths.

The newcomer turned. He wore a short be

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

nrlymrtl, October 28, 2012 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
This whole series has been amazing. So much of what the readers learned in the first two books comes to a crazy, galloping, bloody, transcendent ending in this book. It takes clues and heroes from all the races to save the world, but can they do it? Honestly, I was biting my nails until the end, hoping they could pull it off.
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Rodney Wilder, October 5, 2012 (view all comments by Rodney Wilder)
What a conclusion! I will do my best to write this review without any spoilers, but the emotions this book Rioted in me are tethered to very spoiler-riffic occurrences.

Anyway, I'm not going to cover the plot or synopsis here. There are other, better reviews for that information. What I will offer is an explanation for the 5 stars I gave this, Sanderson's third and final book in his Mistborn Trilogy.

After establishing various characters and settings, and then bringing them through two previous books’ worth of struggle, this third offering sees this dramatis personae we’ve (hopefully) become intimately bound to tested across the board. Tested…that’s saying a lot considering the monumental opposition Vin and co. have already faced down and overcome, empires and gods (you know, just the soup du jour...). This third book, though. Sanderson does not let you for a moment forget that this is indeed the end. With an atmosphere of dangerously palpable despair, The Hero of Ages wraps up the trilogy…perfectly.

Sanderson has this seemingly magical talent for correlating every single detail he presents. There are no loose threads fluttering from this tapestry of eschatological conflict. The smallest things, things we may have encountered only in passing two books back, are suddenly revealed to be of incomparable significance, every piece, every little thing, coloring the whole of this narrative. I love that, knowing that nothing is forgotten, but everything has a point. Everything has a purpose. I believe Spook and Sazed would appreciate the notion.

Speaking of characters, I read high fantasy (oddly enough) not for its fantasy (although the magic system of the Mistborn Trilogy is without equal in sheer awesomeness - allomancy, feruchemy, and hemalurgy? Come on! Sanderson is not just a genius, but a wordsmith after my own heart.) - but for the depth and believability of its relationships, and here, Sanderson’s craft shines strikingly. Characters are thrown over the edge of their own capabilities and expectations, millstones tossed to the ocean, and the way they meet and deal with the challenges they are presented is painfully realistic. You will watch your favorite characters crumble. You will watch the faithful embrace despair. You will watch the strong stultified, the brave cowering. In the midst of the darkest circumstances conceivable, Sanderson’s characters must reevaluate what it means to hope and persevere, and find its power in themselves.

These are not one-dimensional aspects of humanity, but each person comes across beautifully and tragically…flawed. Real. This is, I maintain, the most powerful aspect of the Mistborn Trilogy. It is the reason we fall in love with these characters - with Vin and Elend, Sazed and TenSoon, Spook and Ham and Breeze - and it is the reason bidding them farewell at the story’s culmination is the scar-inducing ordeal that it is. If you loved this series, don’t expect to leave it unscathed.

Then again…would you want to?

5 stars for a story mesmerizingly unpredictable, exploding with cosmic intrigue and the very mysteries of creation. 5 stars for a story written well, but for characters written even better.
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Tim Lewis, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by Tim Lewis)
As the final book in the Mistborn Trilogy (although a fourth book has since come out) The Hero of Ages expands even further what you thought you knew about the Final Empire. The background behind the strange powers of Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy are further explained and what it all means for the struggle between good and evil, Ruin and Preservation. The Hero of Ages turns out to not necessarily be who you think it is but loose ends are tied up. This is a story of faith, trust, love, and hope and Sanderson does a good job with all of them.

My only complaint is that all three books could have been cut another 5-10,000 words without any effect to the story. Now I can't wait to read The Allow of Law, which is a standalone book set in the same Mistborn universe but in more of a modern age.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780765356147
Author:
Sanderson, Brandon
Publisher:
Tor Books
Subject:
Fantasy - Series
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Courts and courtiers
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Mistborn Trilogy
Series Volume:
No. 3
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
784
Dimensions:
6.75 x 4.19 in

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The Hero of Ages: Mistborn Trilogy #03 New Mass Market
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Product details 784 pages Tom Doherty Associates - English 9780765356147 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Sanderson's outstanding fantasy debut...offers something for everyone: mystery, magic, romance, political wrangling, religious conflict, fights for equality, sharp writing and wonderful, robust characters....The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers wont want to put it down....Sanderson is a writer to watch." Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
"Review" by , "This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax....Sanderson's saga of consequences offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility."
"Review" by , "Elantris is the finest novel of fantasy to be written in many years. Brandon Sanderson has created a truly original world of magic and intrigue, and with the rigor of the best science fiction writers he has made it real at every level."
"Review" by , "Elantris...is marked by vivid and strongly drawn characters (including a memorable female character) and ingenious plot twists that will keep the reader turning pages. Dont miss it!"
"Review" by , "Transcendent!"
"Synopsis" by , To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin kills the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists called the Deepness is back, along with ashfalls and earthquakes. Now, humanity appears to be doomed, in this conclusion to the Mistborn trilogy.
"Synopsis" by ,

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. She cant even discuss it with Elend lest Ruin learn their plans!

The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave readers rubbing their eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.

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