Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson



Originally posted on Goodreads

PERFECTION.

I am staring at this page, and time and time again, I return to the same question whenever I write a review for something I have come to love, Why is it so hard to write and talk about something we love? And so easy to author extended reviews on the ones we hate? I somehow always attribute this to physical science. Human emotion is located in the Limbic system of the brain, while human speech and communication in the frontal lobe. It is said that the frontal lobe is a fairly recent development in terms of human mental evolution. It is not surprising then that people subjected to a flurry of emotions would have dominating Limbic systems trumping out the frontal lobe, leaving us somewhat, speechless. As i am now.

Perfection, that is all I have to say to what Brandon Sanderson has done with the Mistborn Trilogy.

The magical system was not only novel and unique but well thought of. The plot twists and revelations did not feel forced and unprecedented, in the contrary they were well situated and considered. There is subtle morality in the work. The character development was excellent, substantial and veracious. Again, this is lack of capacity on my part to express what Sanderson has endeavored to create and has successfully done here. I apologize for such failing.

I appreciate this work on a more grand and epic scale the likes of which we rarely see in the fantasy genre.

First is that Sanderson has created this work incorporating ideas that do not lie in banalities' sphere. Perpetuated in his discussions of wars of stabilization rather than of conquest, of eunuchs and women rather than of men, of scholars rather than of warriors, of mistaken antagonists rather than of perpetual and one-dimensional adversaries, of beliefs and cultures rather than of grand narratives and especially of tragedies rather than those of perfect happy endings. And somehow he has masterfully integrated such themes into more commonplace ideas of human emotions of trust, love and betrayal; of class stratification and conflict; of politics, and of god mythologies.

The more substantial antecedent of this work however is something that the fantasy genre needs. This work has splendidly and masterfully pierced Tolkien's veil of dominance and hegemony that he has so imposingly laid over the fantasy genre, albeit unprecedentedly. It has established itself independently as a worthy read in the genre without attaching and employing cliches, recurring plots, and elves and dwarves in the picture. Perhaps I am guilty of romanticizing this work, I however absolve myself, after all, I did say that I simply love this work.
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