The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

The basics

Title: The Hero of Ages


Series: Mistborn #3

- The Final Empire (July 2006)
- The Well of Ascension (August 2007)
- The Hero of Ages (October 2008)
- The Alloy of Law (November 2011)
- Shadows of Self (October 2015)
- The Bands of Mourning (January 2016)
- The Lost Metal (2017?)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson's saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

Read a full summary of The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Hero of Ages and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

in short

Ruin is, well, ruining everything. Vin and Elend are travelling around the empire to look for supplies and atium. They’ve acquired a koloss army. Sazed has lost all faith. Spook has been burning tin for a year, and so his senses are in overload and his body is kind of screwed. TenSoon has been imprisoned by the kandra. So there’s a lot of travelling around. Vin and Elend end up confronting an atium allomancer. Spook starts seeing Kelsier, except it’s not really Kelsier and it’s really Ruin, who is able to talk to people when they have metal piercing their skin LIKE A FREAKING EARRING. Ruin takes control of the koloss army. Vin dies in Luthadel and becomes a god. She kills Ruin and herself after Elend is killed in battle. Sazed realises he’s the Hero of Ages, and unites the powers of Ruin and Preservation and becomes Harmony.

what happened in The Hero of Ages?

  • Prologue: From Marsh’s POV, we get to see the Hemalurgy process as they create a new Inquisitor.
  • Elend arrives in a small town to train the men to fight koloss, as a tonne of koloss are on their way there. They rush at the koloss, giving them the element of surprise, and then Vin arrives. She and Elend take control of the koloss. They kill the Inquisitor who was leading the koloss army.
  • TenSoon is imprisoned by his fellow kandra. Rude. He requests a trial.
  • Elend wonders if there could be a third power aside from Allomancy and Feruchemy.
  • Vin and Elend find information on Malatium, and the control of the koloss and kandra.
  • A note from the Lord Ruler states that the evil thing from the Well can hear and see what they say or write.
  • The mists attack the refugees. The survivors of this attack are now immune to future ones. The refugees are taken to Luthadel.
  • TenSoon gets a new body and makes his way to his trial. He’s interrogated, and he has some pretty good arguments. He says they should pledge themselves to Vin like they did with the Lord Ruler.
  • Sazed and Breeze wonder if a supernatural force is behind the mists and the ash.
  • Vin gives Sazed the flower picture that belonged to Mare. Aw.
  • Vin and Elend plan to march to Urteau and Fadrex to get the food there.
  • Marsh decides to pretend to go along with Ruin for the time being until there’s a better time to strike.
  • Spook has been flaring tin constantly for a year. It’s messing things up, to say the least. He’s been spying on Quellion’s meetings. He gets knocked out after following Quellion one day.
  • The mists are acting weirdly around Vin. They also apparently hate Human, Vin’s koloss “friend”. Elend exposes his soldiers to the mists.
  • Sazed arrives at the Pits of Hathsin. The Terrismen and Terriswomen are now living there.
  • Spook hears a voice that tells him he’s about to die in a burning building. The voice guides him out. Then Spook sees who he believes to be Kelsier.
  • Vin can’t figure out how to fight Ruin, and she can’t talk about it because Ruin would be able to hear her.
  • Vin and Noorden figure that there’s a 16% sickness rate amongst the soldiers – in this batch and in previous ones.
  • Sazed meets with the elders. He asks about the sickness and the deaths caused by the mists, and it turns out that the Terris people aren’t affected.
  • The kandra give TenSoon a dog’s body because they think he would hate it. Think again!
  • Elend and co. reach Fadrex. Vin goes in as a scout.
  • Spook notices that he’s been stabbed with silver, and is about to remove it when he hears Kelsier’s voice telling him not to. Stupid. STUPID.
  • Vin goes to the first informant, Slowswift. He tells her about a ball that’s about to be held. He also mentions Yomen’s weaknesses. Vin then goes to a second informant (Hoid disguised as a beggar). She doesn’t end up meeting with him though. She scouts the palace and then returns to the army.
  • Vin tells Elend that she thinks she’s the Hero of Ages, and he thinks the prophecy has probably been altered by Ruin. Vin suggests they attend a ball in Fadrex.
  • Sazed arrives in Urteau. He meets Quellion, who allows them to stay in the city. They meet Spook, and together they discover why the canals are empty – the water has been diverted to an underground lake. There’s a metal plate with the supplies that contains information on electrum.
  • Elend and Vin attend the ball. Telden tells Elend that he’s becoming the new Lord Ruler. Elend confronts Yomen. #DramaticExit
  • TenSoon is sentenced to imprisonment for ten generations and death by starvation. He escapes.
  • Cett and Elend decide to poison the wells in Fadrex.
  • Demoux talks about statistics again. Apparently 16% of the sick people were either sick for 16 days and then recovered, or they died.
  • Yomen sends people to attack the camp. Vin chases another mistborn into the city but she loses him. This attack was a distraction, and Yomen also attacked the koloss army and killed half of it.
  • Human wants to help Vin create more koloss by removing the skin from a dead koloss and taking out the spikes. He is about to use an unconscious soldier but Vin stops him.
  • The skaa in Urteau are now following The Survivor of the Flames.
  • King Penrod calls for aid.
  • “Kelsier” tells Spook to save some prisoners from being executed.
  • Marsh returns to Luthadel and stabs Penrod with a metal spike.
  • Elend and Vin attend another ball. They’re followed by a mistborn but they ignore it. Vin goes to find the secret supplies. Elend distracts Yomen. He attacks him to see if he’s a mistborn. Yomen burns atiium.
  • Vin runs into an allomancer and it turns out to be Reen. Vin attacks, Reen doesn’t retaliate. It turns out that this creature is actually Ruin. Ruin says it has always been with her.
  • Sazed thinks Spook’s new powers are weird.
  • Spook says they should get the canals flowing again.
  • Vin finds a metal plate which says that the Lord Ruler heard Ruin in his mind. It also says that he hid ruin’s body, and that Ruin isn’t omnipotent.
  • Beldre, Quellion’s sister, begs the group not to kill Quellion. Spook takes her hostage. Sazed questions Spook’s leadership.
  • Telden makes Vin drink drugged wine.
  • TenSoon arrives in Luthadel. He uses Kelsier’s bones as a disguise, and uses this advantage to find out Elend’s and Vin’s location. He tells the followers of the Church of the Survivor to seek shelter. He changes back to a wolfhound, and takes Kelsier’s bones with him.
  • Yomen examines Vin’s earring. This will be important later because THAT BLOODY EARRING. Ruin tells Vin to kill Yomen.
  • The mist spirit points Elend northeast. Elend speaks to it using simple questions, and the spirit waves its arms for “yes”. The spirit doesn’t want Elend to attack Fadrex, and it says that the mists aren’t killing people.
  • Beldre writes to Quellion, asking him to go along with Spook and the gang.
  • Ruin starts gloating to Vin. It tells her that Preservation is dead.
  • “Kelsier” tells Spook to kill Quellion and Beldre. Spook realises that Quellion can see “Kelsier” too. He removes the spike from Quellion’s arm, as well as the metal embedded in him. “Kelsier” vanishes.
  • TenSoon arrives in Urteau. He finds Breeze and Sazed.
  • Yomen has a chat with Vin about the Lord Ruler. He thinks the Lord Ruler is still alive.
  • TenSoon reveals that Rashek’s fellow packmen were turned into kandra to form the First Generation. Sazed and TenSoon set off to find the kandra.
  • Vin finds out that Yomen is an atium misting. Whaaaat. She also notices that the caches are located near mines. She realises that Ruin has been manipulating her. At this point, Marsh shows up. Yomen tells him that he’s been lying about the atium cache being in the city. Vin lies and says they’ve already found the atium cache and they’ve hidden it. Marsh orders an attack on Elend’s army.
  • Elend prepares his army to leave Fadrex, but obviously Yomen’s army attacks his.
  • Ruin takes control of the koloss away from Vin and Kelsier.
  • Vin attacks Marsh using the Bloody EarringTM. She gets Yomen to change his mind and have his army retreat. Elend’s army retreats into Fadrex. Vin leaves for Luthadel. Marsh follows.
  • Sazed plans to convince the First Generation that the end of the world is coming.
  • Yomen tells Elend that there must check sixteen allomantic metals to fit the pattern, and to fit with the Lord Ruler’s religion as it is a sacred number. Elend realises that the mists were snapping allomancers.
  • The koloss attack Fadrex.
  • Haddek talks to Sazed about religion and stuff. He tells Sazed that their god is Preservation, whose body was gathered by the kandra.
  • It turns out that the Lord Ruler had atium moved around the empire in secret so Ruin couldn’t find it.
  • Vin arrives in Luthadel and goes straight to Kredik Shaw. She’s overpowered by Ruin’s Inquisitors. Marsh starts torturing her to get her to reveal the location of the atium. Marsh takes control back a little and rips out her Bloody Earring. Ruin’s voice vanishes from Vin’s mind and the mists return to her. She uses them to heal. I CALLED THIS. FFS. THE EARRING!!!!
  • TenSoon notices that the mists are flowing towards Luthadel. He changes course and starts running towards the city.
  • The koloss withdraw from Fadrex and head towards Luthadel as well.
  • Vin kills all of the Inquisitors apart from Marsh.
  • Sazed is learning a lot about the kandra and the Terris prophecies, including stuff about the day of the Resolution. Sazed is imprisoned when kandra show up to get rid of the First Generation.
  • Vin has taken Preservation’s power. She battles with Ruin. She starts to clear the air by blocking the Ashmounts. Ruin says it doesn’t like the balance between Ruin and Preservation.
  • TenSoon rescues Sazed and the First Generation.
  • Vin and Ruin go to the Pits of Hathsin. KanPaar is there wanting to sell atium.
  • TenSoon knocks Sazed out by choking him.
  • The koloss are now headed to the Pits.
  • Sazed wakes up and Elend finds him. Sazed tells Elend that the atium is Ruin’s body. Elend’s soldiers prepare to fight the koloss. They all swallow atium and are able to burn it. They fight.
  • Marsh attacks Elend. Elend is still able to burn pewter even when it runs out. Elend stabs Marsh with his sword, just as Marsh hits Elend with an ax. Marsh heals his wound, and then decapitates Elend.
  • The atium storage area is empty.
  • Vin sees Elend die, and attacks Ruin. She kills both Ruin and herself.
  • Sazed has been watching the whole fight. He sees Vin’s body appear next to Elend’s, as well as the body of a stranger (Ruin). White mist is leaking from Vin, and black smoke is leaking from Ruin. Sazed takes all his knowledge from the copperminds, takes the powers of Ruin and Preservation, and becomes Harmony. He restores the world and the people, and watches over Scadrial.
  • Epilogue: Spook awakens, and exits the cavern with Beldre and Breeze. He sees grass and a blue sky for the first time. The group finds Vin’s and Elend’s bodies in a field of flowers. Spook finds a book written by Sazed with information on the history of the world and on metalminds. Sazed has turned Spook into a mistborn. The book also mentions that there are two undiscovered alloys. Spook also finds the picture of the flower.

how did The Hero of Ages end?

Everyone dies. Well, that’s a bit extreme, but Vin dies and that’s all that matters. Basically, there’s a massive battle, Vin becomes a god and fights Ruin herself because she’s a badass. Elend fights Marsh but he’s killed because he’s not so badass. Vin sees this, kills Ruin and herself, and then their bodies appear. Sazed sees, then absorbs the powers of Ruin and Preservation, and becomes Harmony. He restores the world to how it should have been, and leaves a book behind for the others to read. Spook and Breeze are still alive, which definitely also matters.

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