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Review: The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hero of Ages is about how the end of the world might not be a bad thing.

Vin and Elend are given an end to their story as the power couple, having searched their own depths, are able to turn toward saving the world.

Spook finally comes into his own yet finds that his success is wrapped up in Ruin’s plans. His shame is instrumental in the world’s salvation.

But it’s Sazed the depressed Terrisman and his cynical yet desperate-for-hope takes on religion whose story Brandon is really here to tell.

This novel is Sanderson at his most Sanderson. The interplay if gods and humans. The existential, religious crisis. The emotionally insecure heroes. Lore that the reader somehow cares about that two books ago wouldn’t have made any sense.

The Hero of Ages is key to the unfolding story of the Cosmere and an excellent novel in its own right.

Five stars.

View all my reviews

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this week in fandom

This Week in Fandom (1/31/20)

Graphic Novels/Comics

I’m behind on writing this week, but it’s okay, I compensated by reading a lot. In order to meet my lofty 2020 reading goals, I need to count graphic novels and comic books (TPBs not single issues–I’m not a total barbarian). This past week I caught up on some of the comics I had waiting on the shelf. Several upcoming reviews in the queue:

  • Kick-Ass (Mark Millar, John Romita Jr.)
  • Blackbird Vol. 1 (Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel)
  • Trees Vol. 1 (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard)

For now here are reviews of Adventure Time vols. 5-6 (Ryan North) and Captain America, vol. 2: Captain of Nothing (Ta-Nehisi Coates).

On deck to read once I finish the aforementioned reviews:

  • Kick-Ass 2 Prelude: Hit-Girl (Millar, Romita Jr.)
  • Adventure Time vols. 7-8 (Ryan North)
  • Watchmen (Alan Moore)–somehow I have never read this
  • Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Damian Duffy, from Octavia E. Butler)
  • Trees, Vol. 2: Two Forests (Ellis, Howard)
  • Superman: Year One (Frank Miller, John Romita Jr.)
  • Invisible Kingdom (G. Willow Wilson, Christian Ward–I actually have all six issues of this series on order, as the first run was amazing.

I’m always looking for recommendations of great graphic novels/comics. I generally stray from Marvel/DC, but only because of the sometimes sharp learning curve and extended history of certain characters. I will definitely check out mainstream superhero books that pique my interest and seem moderately self-contained (and so Superman above). Have any other suggests? Let me know in the comments!

Books

Otherwise I posted one other review this week–Annalee Newitz’s spec fic time-travel novel, The Future of Another Timeline. Find that here. I enjoyed this book, even more than Newitz’s debut, Autonomous. In both, Newitz weaves together the political, the social, and the personal with technology.

I finished The Hero of Ages this week (my third time through Mistborn Era 1) as part of my reread of the novels in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. I’m to the Era 1 short fiction (“The Lost Metal,” “Mistborn: Secret History”) from the Arcanum Unbounded collection. This is a bit of a deviation in my Sanderson reading plan, as I typically read the books in more or less published order (though always leading into The Stormlight Archive).

Tor, 2015

I also finally picked up a book that has been on my TBR for a long time: V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. I’m enjoying it so far! My introduction to fantasy was really through magic “systems,” e.g. The Wheel of Time and anything by Brandon Sanderson. While I clearly still dig Sanderson, my interests have been verging more toward the “low magic” side. Not that these types of magics don’t have rules, but the rules are neither necessarily clearly defined nor intricate. I’m thinking of someone like Neil Gaiman here, especially The Ocean at the End of the Lane. As it happens, Gaiman is one of Schwab’s big influences, so. Look for a review of the first in the Shades of Magic trilogy next week!

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this week in fandom

This Week in Fandom (1/24/2020)

This Week’s Reviews

I posted two reviews this week. First up: season two of Matt Groening’s Disenchantment on Netflix (link!) The adventures of Bean, Elfo, and Luci continue in season two, which did what all second seasons should do: improve on season one and leave you wanting more!]\

I also finished Resistance Reborn, Rebecca Roanhorse’s tie-in novel to The Rise of Skywalker. Basically: it was great in every way that a Star Wars novel needs to be. See my review here.

Other Bookish Things

Though the novel primarily follows Poe Dameron and some other Resistance operatives, listening to Resistance Reborn, I was struck by Leia Organa and her place in Star Wars lore. See what I’m talking about in “The Woman Without a Country.”

Currently Reading

Last week I wrote about finishing up The Well of Ascension, book two of the original Mistborn trilogy, as part of my Cosmere reread leading up to book four of The Stormlight Archive in November. This week I’ve leapt into book three, The Hero of Ages. Look for a review soon and some more “Cosmereic Faith” posts too!

Something Else

Each week, I try to breakout of the various fandoms that take up a large majority of my head space and write a bit more generally about life and/or some sort of spirituality. This week I posted a poem I wrote about being an Enneagram Type Nine.

If that last phrase sounded like nonsense to you, the Enneagram is a personal typology with vaguely Eastern spiritual roots that started gaining popularity as it was adapted by some psychologists in the twentieth century. My quick take on why and how the Enneagram can be helpful is that it focuses primarily on motivation rather than on behavior, as opposed perhaps to Meyers-Briggs or other typologies that consider behaviors and mannerisms primarily. It’s a great tool for personal growth, whatever your religious background or persuasion.

I am a Type Nine, often called the Peacemaker. Nines are often more peace keepers than peacemakers, however, as they are driven by the need to avoid. I have a not so nice name for the Type Nine, which I’ll reveal in context in a future post. For now, here’s a poem I wrote about my own aspirations and what might be the aspirations of many Nines out there.