Book Review: The Well of Ascension, A Mistborn Novel
By Brandon Sanderson
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.
Adult Point of View
Sanderson has put himself in an interesting position to write the second book, however, it is obvious he has a master plan from beginning to end. With the demise of the empire it would seem that the trilogy should end. The result is that the death of the Lord Ruler has left such a hole in the structure of society and the fabric that constructs their world that it seems everything is even worse than before. Trying to rebuild a nation after a war is never easy and this is the problem Elend and Vin face with the help of some of the former crew. Sanderson states on his website,
Everyone has read the stories of the heroes overthrowing a tyrant—what I DON’T think many people have read is the story of those same heroes trying to build and rule a kingdom following their great victory.
I think that rule—building something up, rather than tearing something down—is an even more difficult task than than overthrowing an enemy. (brandonsanderson.com)
Many found this novel slower than the first, and I have to agree to a degree, but I still enjoyed it to gain a greater depth of characters and to have more pieces of the puzzle fit together. I am particularly interested in Sazed and loved the time devoted to him. I’m still thinking about Vin and Elend’s romance, though it does seem that they both need each other for different reasons. I’m not sure that I find it completely compelling. I am also very interested in the Kandra because they are so vastly different in structure and social reasoning than the humans. How does Sanderson’s brain come up with these quirky ideas? He is on my list of authors I would actually want to sit down with and chat for an afternoon even if there was no dessert.
I continue to be fascinated with the magic associated with the characters and am constantly guessing where it will go in relation to The Alloy of Law (which I read first, rather than the Mistborn). I also liked that more was revealed about the past when the Lord Ruler took the power at the Well of Ascension because it added to the theological depth of the world Sanderson created. The pull between good and evil becomes murky and our perception changes with the events as more knowledge is given to us.
My one word of caution is that the book is violent and fairly descriptive of the violence, particularly in the scenes using Hemalurgy.
- the Mother
Teen Point of View
I liked this book. I like the romance between Vin and Elend because they really trusted each other. They didn’t get into little tiffs over pointless issues and they didn’t get jealous. I liked how they would critically think through their problems rather than go off of their emotions. The characters weren’t reckless hotheads who never thought through things, and then would miraculously solve all their problems by fate.
I like the writing style because it is detailed, and it really engages you. Sanderson has a unique writing style and it is really good.
- the Teen