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The Hero of Ages


This page is about the third and concluding volume in the Mistborn Trilogy. If you haven’t read the first book, I suggest looking here first. The Hero of Ages, which I often refer to as Mistborn Three, was published in hardcover October 2008 and in paperback April 2009.


This book is not only the third book in a trilogy, but it’s Act Three of the the three-act structure for the Mistborn Trilogy—it’s the part of the story where the heroes have discovered that what they thought was the problem all along was not the true danger, and now they’re fighting for not only their own survival but that of the world they live in. The mists are killing people and staying out much longer than they should. The Ashmounts are spewing more and more choking ash into the sky, burying the crops that everyone needs to eat to live. And Ruin, the creature Vin was tricked into freeing from its prison of a millennium, is loose to wreak havoc upon the land. Life under the Lord Ruler is starting to look like paradise in comparison.

While the first book in the trilogy turned the standard fantasy story on its head, this volume (perhaps inevitably?) returns in a way to the tropes the first volume was a reaction against. Yet in this case the enemy is not a human or humanlike Dark Lord, but something more like a force of nature—entropy itself given a will and a guiding personality in the form of Ruin.

Ultimately, the book is about how the characters we have grown to love from the previous volumes—Vin, Elend, Sazed, TenSoon, Spook, Marsh, and others—find the courage and faith to fight on in the face of overwhelming odds, just as Kelsier taught them when he plotted the downfall of the Final Empire.


Transcendent . . . all the familiar ideas and plots from epic fantasy have been turned inside out, and what happens at the end is utterly astounding in its audacity. The characterization is stellar, the worldbuilding solid and the plot intricate and compelling—if you haven’t read the first two books, go and do so immediately then buy this one. You won’t regret it.

Winner, Romantic Times 2008 Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Best Epic Fantasy Novel

Romantic Times

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.

Publishers Weekly

A good story and a good ending to the series . . . if (this) is any indication, “Wheel of Time” will have an excellent conclusion as well.

Sacramento Book Review

Fantasy trilogies are so common that it’s sometimes hard to decide which ones to recommend above the others. I have no problem recommending this one.

Critical Mass

Sanderson finish(es) the trilogy with three top notch books, each telling a part in a greater story all the while managing to play with his own rules and the conventions of the genre . . . a terrific story, with great characters and a fascinating world. I would highly recommend this volume and the whole series without hesitation.

SFF World

The conclusion to Sanderson’s outstanding—and highly innovative in its magical elements—Mistborn trilogy . . . I highly recommend this unique series to all fantasy readers. I thoroughly enjoyed The Hero of Ages and look forward to Sanderson’s future works.

Book Loons

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