Book Review: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Backlist Burndown is a monthly meme hosted by Lisa from Tenacious Reader where you put aside at least one book from your blacklist every month to read, and then post a review of it on the last Friday of that month.     0


The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: April 5, 2014 (first published August 21, 2007)

Edition: Paperback, 784 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

Another 5 star rating?!


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.

I didn’t want to give this a 5 star. When I finished, I actively thought back, reflected, and searched for any reason at all to take points away. NOTHING. I feel so easy and cheap giving Sanderson another perfect score – but there was nothing to complain about! #GoodBookProblems? LOL

The Lord Ruler has been destroyed! The nobles kicked out of their high chairs and the skaa freed! Elend and Vin will now rule Luthadel and make cute little Mistborn babies, while Sazed travels across all the dominances spreading his knowledge and giving the people back their religions. Ah… how lovely. Oops. Wait. Nope. That’s NOT what happens. Maybe in a perfectly little dream land thats how it went after Mistborn: The Final Empire, but that’s not what Sanderson has is mind.

Lord Elend has now become King of Luthadel and was able to implement the government of his dreams, however, the power he gave to the Assembly and the voice of the people is making things more difficult for him. (Especially when two invading armies come knocking on gates).

Sazed has gone off to the Southern dominance to spread his knowledge, but the people are not willing to accept or even listen to what he has to say, and Skaa are still superstitious of the Mists – for good reasonn.

And Vin… well, she has a host of things still going on: from Keslier and Elend, to being a Mistborn, to something in the mists at night, and assassination attempts, and this figure that seems to follow her around she calls “The Watcher”.

What I loved right from the beginning was NOTHING went as you would have expected. I mean, they threw down the tyrant! Gave the power back to people! That’s where the story ends and you expected things go flourishing from there, and really, everyone live happily ever after. Not even close to the case; it’s the exact opposite. From Elend to Sazaed to Vin and to whole thieving crew, all their careful planning, and laid out plans – it all goes wrong! Everything backfires! Granted the Lord Ruler was a tyrant, but at least things were stable and consistent in his rule. Change is difficult. And some people may have actually preferred the Lord Ruler’s rule.

The only thing that came close to bothering me was actually the start of novel because of this: last time, the start was slow also, but that was because we were learning about Allomancy – which I loved. Here though, it was almost like laying down the ground work for a whole new set of plots, and the plots being shown weren’t doing much for me: Sazed had something interesting happen to down South, but his POVs are a little short. Vin, naturally, has a lot of stuff still going on, but I didn’t feel alone could hold the story together. And Elend this time, too, really takes a focus with his new leadership.

In Elend’s plot to start, Sazed asks another Terriswoman to come by to help Elend learn to be a King – and it felt exactly like Vin learning from Keslier all over again. Not bad an idea, but while Sazed POVs was far and few, and Vin’s POVs were mainly self reflection… it felt like Elend was taking the lead in book and I just wasn’t feeling it.

Not the 5 star rating you were expecting right? Well, let me tell you something. After things started to getting a slow start, EVERYTHING HAPPENED. The stuff with Sazed takes off and unexpected stuff gets added to it; the growth and development Elend’s character; the internal struggles that Vin faces; even other members of the crew step up as major POVs. This book showed how complex all of Sanderson’s characters are. One character that does a lot more attentions is OreSeur – and he (it?) was my favorite this time 🙂

Then the plot! I can’t even describe how complex the plot gets! All the twists and turns and mysteries – yes, the mysteries! I went to a Sanderson signing the day I finished this novel, and told him how the whole last half of the book, and the plot, and this spoiler and that spoiler just shocked and I wasn’t expecting any of it! He laughed and said yeah, I know. And then he stopped and asked if that meant I hadn’t read Hero of Ages yet, and told him no, not yet. He just gave me this evil looking smile and said wait till you see what happens there.

I was surprised by how complex things got and deep the world building suddenly got. The Final Empire had multiple plots, but there were basically all in the same direction. Now though, we get those multiple plots branching all of each other.

I find with epic fantasy as complex as this one, it can be difficult to do reviews for them because there are so many threads going on and a single review cannot touch on all of them – but this book was just better in every single way, and too much happens for me to even try and list.

I love Vin. When she comes in through the window, and lands on a stack of books, or sits on her feet on the arm of a chair, cautiously looks around at people thought her hood, all I can picture is a cat. A cute little black cat that comes running the room, jumps on Elend’s stack of books, and lands on other side. Then ever so slowly, peeks its head up, eye peering just over that top book, with the ears bent back… That is 100% how I picture Vin. A cute little back cat 😛

5/5 Rating


Date Read: 10/03/15 - 10/08/15
Review Written: 10/21/15
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6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson

  1. Tammy says:

    I really should check out Brandon Sanderson. I may be the last person on the planet who hasn’t read him:-/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. proxyfish says:

    I absolutely love this series! So glad you’re loving it too. Sanderson’s writing is just perfection. I can never find anything to dislike about his work.

    Sazed is most definitely one of my favourite characters in this series – he’s awesome!! And the plot developments in this book…. ahhhhhh! Love. I’m not even sure I could write a coherent review it makes me fangirl so much 😀

    Hope you love the rest! I can’t wait to dig into Shadows of Self!


  3. Wow, can’t say I’m a fan of these new covers. Glad you enjoyed this, really curious to see what you think of the final book 🙂


  4. Oh yay, Mistborn! I too am curious what you’ll think of the final book, because up to that point I actually enjoyed this series a lot…but the ending kind of left me wanting to punch a wall, lol. But from what I’ve see, the reactions vary a lot. I hope you will enjoy the rest of the books!


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