Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Book: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #2
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Pages: 763
Release: August 21st, 2017

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

So maybe I've been reading too much YA. This book was long and lengthy (thin pages, small font), but whoa. This entire novel just. Blew. Me. Away.

It's been roughly a year since Kelsier's crew took down the Lord Ruler, an act that was to guarantee freedom and equality between the skaa with the noblemen. Elend himself has taken the throne, bringing with him his studies of how a prosperous and just government runs. Except shifting away from the dictatorship the Lord Ruler has installed for a thousand years isn't that easy. Add to fact that three separate armies are readying their forces to take new city away, plus something worse is slowly returning to the world with the Lord Ruler's death.

What I liked about this book was just how much more in-depth everything was. The first book was a lot of world-building and character exploration, but that was all just a small taste of the depth this book goes into with everything. Plot, characters, worlds, creatures--you name it, it has it!

Vin literally blew Kelsier and his legacy completely out of the park. I really don't think it's that much of a spoiler, since she defeated the Lord Ruler in the first book and has thus gained the title as the most powerful Mistborn in existence, but holy crap I did not expect her to be expressed as so powerful so quickly! Recall that Kelsier being able to take out half a dozen Hazekillers--soldiers trained specifically to fight Allomancers--was an amazing feat. For Vin? That number is laughable. She's strong enough to take out a third of an army in 10 minutes. HOLY CRAP. Can I be friends with Vin? Please?

This book added a new element that worked seamlessly well into the story: mystery. The way Sanderson executed this thread was amazing: it was subtle, often forgotten by both the characters and readers in comparison with the other major events going down, but had enough importance to be a true source of worry. Kind of like you don't want to think about it or solve because it seems almost irrelevant compared to everything else going on, but you need to figure it out soon, because it could change everything.

A complicated character added to the fray that I particularly enjoyed was Zane. It was easy to see how Vin often saw his existence to be like Kelsier, but at the same time, you could see just how different he was. Zane was one character that consistently held my interest; his upbringing and personality were fascinating to read and guess about, especially his relationship to Elend. He played the physical source of romantic tension between Vin and Elend (note I said TENSION--it is NOT a love triangle!), but for good reasons that Vin reflects on. I did note that the story ended off with some unexplained things about Zane, and as much as I want answers about his backstory, I'm uncertain whether or not there will be a chance to delve deeper into his past in the next book.

Both Vin and Zane really explored what it meant to be used as a knife or tool in the game of politics and war. What does it mean for one, individually, if they're seen and used as nothing but a weapon and threatening tool? The politics of war are never as straightforward as we think them to be, especially when one factors the complications Allomancers can pose!

This book also wasn't without twists and turns. It continued and answered some more questions I had from the last book, like feruchemy and the kandra, but it also opened the doors for even more questions, the mists and the koloss. As one may have garnered from the first line of this review...THAT. ENDING.

Maybe it could be that this is my first adult fantasy series, but I was just utterly blown away by the depth and complexity of the story's world and characters. And though it wasn't a huge cliffhanger ending, it still ends with a big unpredictable reveal that has you going "wait, what? What does this mean for the next book???" and "I need to have the next book when can I get the next book how long do I have to wait to get the next book I need the next book now!"

Lucky for me, I happen to have the next book right on hand. *Grins wickedly*


  1. Looks great!

    I gave your blog a follow, and I would truly appreciate it if you could check out my book reviews blog located at and possibly give it a follow as well! Looking forward to reading more of your reviews!

    - El

    1. Thanks for dropping by my blog, El :) I gave your blog a follow--it looks fantastic as well!