The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler—the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years—has been vanquished.
I read The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson in March 2021 as part of the Cosmere Conquest book club, which has now become The Oasis, an SFF themed book server on Discord. Consider joining us!
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About the Book
The Well of Ascension
The Mistborn Saga Book Two
by Brandon Sanderson
Published 21 August 2007
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Page Count: 590
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The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler—the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years—has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.
As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.
Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.
As the siege of Luthadel 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.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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The Survivor of Hathsin is dead, but is he? The Lord Ruler is dead. The Final Empire has fallen. The Survivor has been spotted and a church is growing in his honour.
It’s up to Vin and Eland now to take up Kelsier’s mantle, rally the troups, and figure out how to form a new, better empire out of the ruins of the last one. We learn a lot more about Sazed and his people in this one, and we also learn a whole lot more about the shapeshifting, skeleton-wearing species known as the kandra. OreSeur, the kandra who had been playing Lord Renoux before, is now bound to Vin’s service and spends most of his time in the form of a large wolfhound. He quickly became my favourite character!
Eland, as it turns out, has a half brother: Zane. Zane is certifiably crazy. He’s a mistborn like Vin, but he hears a voice telling him to do horrible things. He’s been known to poison his own father, and for as much as he seems like he’s courting Vin in his own twisted way, he’s also eager to assassinate her. There’s a weird cat-and-mouse going on between the two of them, except their both cats who don’t realize that the other isn’t actually a mouse, and at times there seems to even be a bit of a love triangle going on as well. Don’t worry, though! I promise it doesn’t get cheesy or tropey.
This book does dip just slightly in awesomeness compared to the first one, and I think it is suffering from middle-book syndrome. Remember that Mistorn was meant to be a trilogy at first and this would have been book 2 of 3. This book has the arduous task of wrapping up the loose ends from 1 while unravelling plenty more for 3, and sometimes scenes drag because of it. I wish there was more action when Zane’s around and a little less posturing. OreSeur has a huge reveal that’ll drive a big part of the plot in book 3 and part of me wishes it came sooner in book 2 so that we got more time to come to terms with it all before we have more feelings about this character as the story continues.
All in all this is still an excellent book and a top-notch series overall. Read it! But read them in order.
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Want more? Check out my 5 star review of The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson!