As Naithin said, The Hero of Ages started out much better than The Well of Ascension did, and it was generally a more well-written novel. The thing that really bothered me, in both novels, was how much repetition Sanderson seemed to use. He really likes to hammer certain points home, to the point that by about halfway through the novel I was sat alone on the sofa shouting at the book in my hand saying, “Yes! I bloody know all of this you tell us every damn time we meet that character. Get to the sodding point already!” ((Luckily, nobody was around to witness my outbursts.)) Thankfully, in the last 200-300 pages, the repetition becomes much less of an issue and I once again found myself as gripped as I was with The Final Empire, which is what eventually led me to give this one a 4.5 star rating. If it wasn’t for the repetition, and the whiny, droning throughout the novel from just about every character, it would easily have been a 5. I know the whining was appropriate to the story, all things considered, but a novel needs at least a little hope, else it becomes a struggle to read. This is actually something I considered – why books 2 and 3 weren’t as good as book 1. They didn’t have Kelsier. He gave the story a little bit of light, some humour. Without him, the characters just didn’t seem driven, which I suppose was the point, but the narrative wandered off.
There were a heck of a lot of moral messages paramount in these novels which really hit home in this book, as opposed to the others where they were present, they were just still getting to the point. There’s a lot about religion, about having hope, which didn’t really affect me so much as I’m not all that religious, but it was a very important part of the story, and the idea that it is the hope given from believing in something, not the belief itself, that helps people through tough times is a pretty good moral message to put in there, I think. There was also another one that I noticed, which I’m not even sure was intentional, but the more I read fantasy, the more my view on capital punishment changes. I used to believe that for really terrible crimes it was a good thing but lately my view is changing a little bit. This underlying message seems to say, “Who are we to choose when people should and shouldn’t die, does that make us any better than murderers?” As I said, I’m not convinced it was intentional, but it’s there.
All in all, Mistborn is a series well worth a read, and I look forward to the new one which is supposedly being released in November. I’ve heard that The Way of Kings is a lot better than these books, so I can’t wait to eventually get my hands on a copy of that one.