I finished this at 2am this morning and it took me a long time to sleep afterwards, specifically because of the ending.The story certainly went where I never expected it to at the beginning of the first book, but it was worth the journey. Sanderson showed that he is capable of weaving hints and pieces of world building right the way through, so that in the end it all made sense. I didn't have any unanswered questions and was left with a sense of wonder at how it fit together.It's the best book, or series of books, I've read in a long time, and Sanderson skilfully avoids the trap many Lord of the Rings wannabes* fall into, which is having to move characters around on a vast landscape, resulting in long walks with not much happening (or random incidents thrown in to keep the journey interesting, without actually forwarding the plot). However, there are points when the plot sags, such as the middle of book 2, when we get very deep into Luthadel politics. I felt that could have been cut down without losing anything, and that pacing is ultimately why the series only got four stars instead of five.And so to the ending.It killed me. When Elend found himself with Marsh's axe in his chest, I believed it was going to spur Vin into defeating Ruin, then she'd revive him. That delusion only lasted a few paragraphs until he was beheaded. Then when Sazed took the power, I thought he'd be able to revive the pair of them. Right until the moment when they are found in the field and Sazed announces he couldn't bring them back to life, I was sure they would be resurrected.Maybe some people would have thought Vin bringing Elend back to life or Sazed bringing them both back to life would equate to a deus ex machina, and it would have been only in the literal sense that we were dealing with the power of a god - the power of Preservation, which we were told brought life to humanity in the first place. There would have been nothing out of the blue about that one small piece of mercy Sanderson could have thrown the readers. A throwaway line about the pair of them - and all those who died - being somewhere peaceful isn't enough for me. If they fought so hard in life, then it only seemed fair they get to enjoy that peace in life too.Part of me immediately wanted to reread the story to watch the pieces fit together now I knew what they were, but I don't think I can. I don't know if I'll ever be able to. It's one thing witnessing J K Rowling slaughter beloved characters from the viewpoint of a character who survives. It would be another reading the viewpoint of someone you know is doomed to die in the end. I don't think my poor broken heart could take it..I suppose this means I'll have to seek out and devour everything else he's written instead**.*Actually, my personal opinion is that Lord of the Rings falls into this trap too. Cries of blasphemy will be ignored.**Except his ending of the Wheel of Time because that series is the worst example of endless-walking-not-much-plot I've ever comes across.