Review: Mistborn – The Well of Ascension

This post will include my review of the book The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. It is the second volume of the Mistborn series, released in August 2007.

The text below is taken from the blurb on the back of the book.


Evil has been defeated. The war has just begun.

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.

Hot on the heels of my review of book one, I just finished reading book two and thought I’d share my thoughts regarding this second installment of the Mistborn series. In short I think that book two wasn’t quite as interesting to me as the first one. Now, whether that feeling stems from the fact that I am more familiar with the world and therefore it didn’t seem as exciting or fresh I don’t really know… But to be honest I suspect it’s because Kelsier wasn’t in it.

There was also a lot less action in this book than in the first, and the settings in this book were also fewer – largely confined as it was to the besieged city of Luthadel – but there was more opportunity for political intrigue which – for the most part – was interesting even if it was rather simplistic at times.

One again my issue with the other characters never really being fleshed out continued to the point where their deaths weren’t all that impactful (and they could have been). That said the ongoing character development of Vin (particularly her relationship with OreSeur), and now Elend, and Sazed was good and I mostly found myself caring about what they were going through. But at least once I thought why would they do that? An act so completely out of character or spur of the moment that it came across as jarring.

On top of this there were a several instances in the text where the properties of the various metals in Allomancy and Feruchemy were explained and I found myself thinking “yeah, yeah, yeah I know this, I read book one.” Such repetition did work against my complete enjoyment of the story.

Despite the seemingly negative tone of this review I did enjoy this book overall and I am looking forward to book three. I am going to hope that action of the story went through a bit of a lull before picking up again and hopefully the series will conclude with the same wow factor I found in the beginning.

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