Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
First edition cover
|Cover artist||Jon Foster|
|Publisher||Tor Books, Macmillan Audio|
|October 14, 2008|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|Pages||572 pp (first edition, hardback), 25.5 hours|
|ISBN||978-0-7653-1689-9 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PS3619.A533 H47 2008|
|Preceded by||Mistborn: The Well of Ascension|
|Followed by||Mistborn: The Alloy of Law|
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages is an epic fantasy novel written by American author Brandon Sanderson. It was published on October 14, 2008 by Tor Books and is the third novel in the Mistborn trilogy. It is preceded by The Well of Ascension in 2007 and followed by The Alloy of Law in the Mistborn: Era 2 series, Wax and Wayne in 2011.
The Hero of Ages is the prophesied savior of the Terris people, foretold to find and give up the power at the Well of Ascension, in a selfless act to save the world from the Deepness. However, the Terris prophecies proved to have been altered, in a ruse allowing the powerful force named Ruin to escape imprisonment.
Ruin wanted to destroy the world instantaneously but his power was too weak, as part of it had been taken and hidden by the opposing force, Preservation, long ago. Freedom from the Well of Ascension enabled Ruin to directly affect the world more, increasing ashfall from the ashmounts and summoning earthquakes to break the world apart; he could also influence people and control entire koloss armies. He used his thousand years of imprisonment to plot his escape and the subsequent destruction he would reap.
The Lord Ruler, in preparation of such an event, created storage caches containing resources such as food and water in cave complexes beneath certain cities, each one providing directions to the next. As Vin and Elend struggle to consolidate the remaining outposts of humanity, they hunt the storage caches, seeking hints left by the Lord Ruler and the missing atium stash. As they journey from cache to cache, the world itself begins to crumble, ash spewing forth in greater quantities, while the mists claim more people. The last two major unconquered cities are Fadrex City, which has reverted to the Lord Ruler's old structure of mass oppression under the obligator Yomen, and Urteau, a rebel city where the Skaa are free, the nobility overpowered, and a former commoner titled the Citizen rules with increasing violence.
Sazed tries to establish diplomatic relations with the people of Urteau, while continuing to struggle with trauma from the recent death of his beloved, the Terriswoman Keeper Tindwyl. He studies religions, but has lost his own faith and yearns to find a religion that makes sense to him. He and Breeze work with Spook (who has developed strange abilities) to try and help Elend secretly take over Urteau. Meanwhile, TenSoon the kandra is imprisoned and sentenced to death by the kandra elders, while still trying to convince them that the kandra prophecies of the world ending are now happening, and that they must work together with the humans to save the world.
Vin and Elend try to conquer the city of Fadrex and discover more about how their world works; they discover strange patterns in the numbers of people dying after being exposed to the mists, as well as secrets regarding the art of Hemalurgy, which is used to create the koloss, the kandra, and the Inquisitors. Fearing that Ruin will discover their plans, they are unable to discuss their plans with each other. Yomen, the King of Fadrex City, captures Vin on an infiltration mission gone wrong. Elend, left without any choice, takes another koloss army under his control, but the last remnants of Preservation appear to him, warning him to not attack the city. Shortly later, Preservation finally dies. On the verge of the attack, Vin escapes, and Ruin reveals his ability to seize ultimate control over the koloss. Ruin turns the koloss against Elend and Yomen's human armies, but before he can destroy them, Vin leads Ruin's attention and armies away to Luthadel. There, Marsh and the remaining Steel Inquisitors (who are under Ruin's control) battle Vin. On the verge of her death, Marsh briefly reasserts control and removes her earring (which is actually a Hemalurgic spike), allowing her to draw upon the true power of the mists, Preservation's power. She ascends to become Preservation, trapped with Ruin upon another plane of existence, watching the world.
The kandra finally accept their doom, and Sazed finds his faith in the ancient Terris religion and the Hero of the Ages. Urteau is saved, at a great physical cost to Spook, who has discovered that Ruin was influencing him with Hemalurgy. Elend leads the last of humanity to the Kandra homeland, the Pits of Hathsin, where Ruin's power, or body, has been stored. Ruin has been fooling Vin and Elend into leading him to his body, which turns out to be the atium stash, hidden in the Kandra homeland all along. Surrounded, and outnumbered, Elend, realizes that the Mists have been snapping mistings, and that he has been provided with an army of atium mistings. He leads a desperate battle against the koloss, in vain. Marsh appears again, and faces down Elend. Though Elend receives mystical aid from Vin, giving him unlimited metallic power, Marsh strikes Elend in the chest with an axe, which proves fatal. As he is dying, Elend reveals that his soldiers have burnt away all of Ruin's body, the atium, in battle, so now Ruin can never recover his missing power. Vin realizes that Preservation gave of himself to create mankind so that mankind would be able to manifest both Preservation's ability to create and Ruin's ability to destroy. Having both abilities within her, Vin attacks Ruin directly, killing herself/Preservation, but also destroying Ruin.
Vin and many others thought that she was the Hero of Ages, but it is revealed to actually be the Terris Keeper Sazed. One major prophecy, "The Hero will bear the future of the world on his arms", referred to Sazed's Feruchemical copperminds on his arms. He uses the knowledge in these copperminds, along with the combined power of Preservation and Ruin, claimed from the fallen bodies of Vin and Ruin, to help reshape the world, re-aligning the sun and planets to stabilize the world, changing the red, volcanic ecology into a new paradise of blue skies, green foliage, gentle warming sun and rainbow flowers. Spook, Ham, Breeze, and the other survivors emerge to this newly reformed world, and begin their mission of rebuilding society.
- Vin Venture: A Mistborn believed to be the Hero of Ages. She is Elend's wife and empress of the New Empire.
- Elend Venture: A Mistborn of extraordinary power who gained his powers through a bead of metal found in the Well of Ascension. He is Vin's husband and second emperor of the Final Empire.
- Sazed: A Terrisman from the Northern Dominance of Terris. He is a Keeper, and specializes in religion. He is severely depressed by Tindwyl's death in the Battle of Luthadel. He no longer wears his metalminds and is trying to find the true religion that can answer Tindwyl's fate after death.
- TenSoon: A Kandra friend of Vin. He is facing punishment in the Kandra Homeland for telling Kandra secrets, and for killing another Kandra, OreSeur.
- Hammond or Ham: Originally a member of Kelsier's crew and a Pewterarm. Ham enjoys philosophical bouts, especially with Breeze.
- Ladrian or Breeze: Originally a member of Kelsier's crew and a Soother. He possesses an aristocratic bearing.
- Spook: Originally a member of Kelsier's crew and a Tineye. He has become a tin savant, causing his body to adapt to constantly flared tin. He is the crew's spy in the rebel city of Urteau, in the Northern Dominance.
- Marsh: A Steel Inquisitor who is the brother of Kelsier. Like all Inquisitors, he is now controlled by the force known as Ruin.
- Ashweather Cett: One of Emperor Elend Venture's advisors and former king of Fadrex City.
- Lord Aradan Yomen: The new king of Fadrex City and the surrounding areas in the Western Dominance. He is an Obligator devout to the Lord Ruler, believing him to still be alive.
- The Citizen or Quellion: The skaa leader of the rebel city Urteau. An extremist follower of the Church of the Survivor, he burns the houses of noblemen and any person with noble blood.
- Ruin: A god-like, seemingly unkillable being, that seeks the destruction of the world, and was accidentally released from the Well of Ascension by Vin.
- "Mistborn: The Hero of Ages". Tor. Retrieved 2008-09-25.