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
I must confess at the time of writing this review I have yet to finish Hero of Ages though I do very much intend to, I feel so comfortable in this series, it’s like slipping into a warm bath at this point, even if it is a warm bath of PAIN, but my schedule doesn’t care about any of that. I will assume that there is a twist coming up that will no doubt make everything even worse for our characters, more so than it already is. Because these books are definitely an exercise in trying to make people go through the worse possible situations, trying to get them to crack. However the reading experience of each book has just kept getting better: Final Empire was great, Well of Ascension was brilliant, Hero of Ages was amazing, (maybe I’m just a sadist).
It’s strange that I’m always surprised by how much the books keep expanding, like new cities with new politics, the kandras, the koloss, everything has a deep lore that we have barely scratched the surface of. This book broke my heart, if you have read any of my previous reviews of this series you may be able to guess why. A part of me really wants to give this book a one star review because of this. However I feel I must give this book a five star review for being so good at breaking my heart.
OH THE PAIN OF IT ALL
I’m going to start sounding like a wind up doll: once again this book just does terrible things to these beloved characters. There is an overwhelming sense of doom from the prologue to the end and its unnerving to start a book that practically screams that it won’t end happily. And I do love these characters at this point and I will be very sad when this is all said and done. I enjoy how easily empathic all the characters are, of course I don’t agree with all of them (and some of them just need to pull it TOGETHER) but Sanderson makes them all very human, which makes it easier, maybe not to agree with them but at least understand them. They all need a ruddy hug and instead they are just punch further into the ground, with everything they have ever worked on being warped and twisted by an invincible villain. All the characters have matured and sobered, just like the description of the land around them – bleak and dying.
Of course at this point it isn’t unexpected there is going to be a twist or two, though usually I’m hard pressed to figure it out, (I still have no idea how this will end). But I did work out a couple of things in this book, long before I think I was supposed to. there’s a certain fun in having the rug being pulled from under your feet with a twist, knowing the rug is going to be pulled is just childish and annoying. But I may have just guessed by chance because I found myself paranoid of EVERYONE in this book, when the enemy can subtly nudge your emotions and thoughts, how can you even trust yourself? There are (however brief) moments of levity in the book, allowing the reader a chance to breathe, and believe me they are necessary.
MY PROBLEMS WITH VILLAINS (VERUS ANTAGONISTS)
I don’t like the term villain. Most ‘villains’ are antagonists. They are not forces of pure evil and the epitome of horror. And those that are, are usually terribly unrealistic because it’s impossible to be someone who is pure evil. Evil is a force rather than a personality trait. Which is why Ruin is so horrifying. It’s just gruesome and powerful and without mercy, of course how do you find mercy in a force? And when that force of pure evil is put in a human form, that’s when you get a great villain.