Book: Well of Ascension (Mistborn Trilogy Book 2) Review

“Mistborn: Well of Ascension!”

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 1st October 2009 (UK version)

Warning! Some of this review contains spoilers for the Mistborn book 2, although I will avoid going into details. Read The Final Empire‘s review here.



A lot of authors suffer from “middle-book” syndrome, which is that the second book in the series is always less interesting than the first book. That’s sort of applicable here. Mistborn: The Final empire was given a very high rating by me because of the completeness. Most of the plot-points were completed, the character endings were concluded, and overall it was satisfying to read an epic fantasy book that gave the reader what they wanted. I was expecting the Lord Ruler to dragged out as the bad guy for three books, but he was dealt with in book 1.

How would Sanderson continue from that?

Well, the aftermath of the Lord Ruler’s death, had led to a new era of character roles. Vin is now Elend’s bodyguard as he takes over Luthadel, but things aren’t as good as they seem. Just when he’s finished giving the regular folk rights as regular citizens of Luthadel and creating a council that will give them democratic rights, they decide to overthrow him. Elend is now left in a bind as he is being stargazed by several armies that are holding siege to Luthadel, whilst he is slowly losing power.

Right when all of this political mess is going on, there are mysterious assassins trying to kills both Vin and Elend, and one of them is a Mistborn called Zane. Vin’s fascination with someone claiming to understand her and being more powerful than her frustrates her to no end, especially since it plays with her insecurities with not being good enough for Elend.

I found that this book was really stifling compared to the first one. The characters have “won”, and that means being hailed in the streets, or being openly hated. Part of what was so enjoyable about the first book was that the characters had a hidden, mysterious, underground quality to their movements, but now they are open public figures.

Elend, in particular, makes a large mess of things, giving people equal rights to himself, which is a good thing. It’s just that no-one actually appreciates it, and we spend the first half of the book watching him mope that his own philosophies have turned against him.

The main relationship that the book focuses on is Vin and Elend, with some side character coupling up as well. Normally, I don’t like every character paired up in stories, but it’s sort of critical to lay foundation for what will happen in the third part o the trilogy. Besides, Brandon Sanderson does that better than most other authors, and it’s a more conclusive relationship.

The weakness of the book is that most of the book’s action is based in Luthadel whereas the first book had some sort of journeying. The sieges at Luthadel really back the characters and the reader in the corner. I was desperate to explore this world now that the Lord Ruler was dead, but it seems to take the characters ages before they can manage to leave the city, and that’s only for brief moments in time.

Overall, I thought the book was slower the The Final Empire, however, both the characters and the reader were getting their feet in this new world. As if to make up for the lag at the first half, the second half of the book is VERY action-packed. It’s back to the amazingly choreographed fights and character motions. I loved that the ending, whilst complete in it’s own way, still left a problem for the third part of the series. I recommend just buying the entire trilogy, cause waiting hurts!

Rated – 4/5 Not as satisfying as the first book, but still incredibly epic and capable.

Read the review for the next book in the series!

Read the review for the previous book in the series!

As usual, why is the alternative cover so epic? I like the UK cover, but this… is art!

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1 Comment

  1. I agree, it did seem a little slower. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but from what I remember, a lot was going on in this one, and all the plots didn’t tie as closely together as in the first book. That may have made it drag a little, even if there was still a lot of action and mystery. Regardless, though, I still really enjoyed it, and own a copy for future reading…


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