The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2)
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2)

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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.

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent Book
    One of the best fantasy books I've read! I highly recommend it and all the books in the series....more info
  • Just wow!
    After reading Elantris, it was easy to see that Sanderson is an author to be reckoned with. Mistborn only further supported that notion. After reading these books, by girlfriend told me that I absolutely had to read them and they were some of her favorites to date. Now usually when something is really hyped up to me, it tends to fall short after I experience it. This was not so with this trilogy. The world that is created in Mistborn is given the kind of attention and thought that Tolkien gave his world (not quite as deep and detailed, but on its way). I felt such an attachment to Vin and Kelsier, it was hard to imagine that there were only three books in this series. I felt like just as much happened in these three books than a few 10 book series that are out there, an without missing any of the rich detail that has become a staple of the fantasy genre.
    Elements such as the presence that Kelsier has throughout all three books is what keeps me in awe even after I have finished reading. These characters do not even exist, yet I feel like I would jump right into the crew and lay down my life for all those involved. Spectacular stories, and each as good as the next. As a reader you will never begin to expect the directions that Sanderson takes you. What a journey! A must read.
    ...more info
  • Excellent Book
    If you are a fan of Ice and Fire (George RR Martin) or The Golden Compass, you will enjoy this book. This is no cliche fantasy epic. From the start to the end, you will be surprised, intrigued, and amazed. I can't wait for the sequel!...more info
  • pure awesomeness
    I loved the first book of the mistborn series, and the second just pulled me farther into Sandersons world. Fantastic writing, couldn't walk away from this book, and I can't wait for the third installment to come out on paperback!...more info
  • Despite lackluster love story, a can't-miss for fantasy lovers
    The second book in the Final Empire series starts up a while after Vin defeats the Lord Ruler. Elend Venture has taken over as king of Luthadel, trying to establish a modern, more enlightened type of government, including a Congress-like Assembly made up of merchants, skaa and noblemen. Vin acts as Elend's bodyguard, protecting him from several assassination attempts by kings who have taken over other sections of the Final Empire after the Lord Ruler's demise.

    But all is not good. Two armies have set up camp outside of Luthadel, Elend's father leading one and an influential politician from the West leading the other, and a siege has begun. Everyone is hoping to get their hands on The Lord Ruler's secret stash of alium; unfortunately, Elend and the remaining members of Kelsier's crew have not located it.

    To make matters worse, Sazed, who has been traveling to spread his knowledge now that The Keepers no longer have to live in hiding, has heard accounts of the mist killing people. The mist also seems to be staying around longer and longer into the day. Prophesy comes back into play, and a strange mist-creature and a faraway pulsing beat begins to haunt Vin. It seems that the Lord Ruler's dying words--that he was preventing some great evil from taking over the world--might have been true after all.

    Again, one main problem with this novel--the characters are again a bit clichd, but in this book it gets slightly worse with a drawn-out "drama" between Vin and Elend where they can't seem to communicate to each other and misunderstandings take place and love is thwarted and blah blah blah. That is not a plot line I ever enjoy in books, I just find it old-hat, annoying and laaaaame. I thought it was completely distracting in this book and unnecessary and I wish Sanderson had left it out. I feel like one fault of his is his inability to make engaging love stories. I can't even put my finger on why exactly, I just don't really find myself caring about Vin getting with Elend or Sazed and his interest or Ham and his macguffin wife. Like, with Vin and Elend I can get why they would love each other, I just don't "feel" it--you know? I don't know, they're no FitzChivalry and Molly, I'll say that much.

    That said, the Vin/Elend drama is an extremely minor aspect to the overall book, which is just as fast-moving and otherwise creative as the first. The plot twists, for me, were also equally surprising as they were in the first book, and the mysteries remained mysterious until the book wanted them revealed. I am unbelievably excited for the third book. Like the first, this book has a quasi-satisfying ending , but the overarching story line is still up in the air. Cannot wait for October!
    ...more info
  • Solid Read
    It's a good book... but seemed a bit more like a lead up to the next installment than a stand alone. I enjoyed the development of the characters, but it seemed to move a bit more slowly than the first novel....more info
  • Well of Ascension, Well Written
    What a marvelous continuation of the Mistborn book! The Well of Ascension creates a wonderful tale of what happens after evil is defeated. Just when you think Brandon Sanderson has pulled out all the stops, another surprise comes your way.

    Vin, Elend, and their band of companions struggle to maintain control of Luthadel as multiple armies beseige the city and the ambassadors beg to open the gates and let their foes in. Meanwhile Vin struggles with her new place in the world. Is she a thief, a noblewoman, or a diety?

    Well of Ascension is a well laid tale that, like its predesesor, will leave you scratching your head in shock at the end.

    Blood Forsaken (Paperback)...more info
  • An excellent read, but I didn't like it as much as the first
    I enjoyed the first mistborn book, and so I thought I'd pick up this one. I was satisfied with the story in general, but not as much as the first book.

    Pros: Once again, the excellent magic system of allomancy is amazing, and feruchemy is explained and used in more detail. It also sets us up to find out more about the mysterious third system, hemalurgy, that Brandon mentions will be introduced in the third book.
    -Much better characterization of the side characters. You get to learn more about ham and breeze, as well as finally begin to see more about Elend (though he's really not a side character).
    -The "New Element." Like mistborn, this story has enough original material in it to not be boring, and not remind me of every other fantasy/sci-fi book I've ever read.
    -Good character growth. The characters seem to learn from their mistakes, and have very real relationships with each other.
    -It leaves a perfect set up for the third book to be absolutely spectacular.

    The Main Plot (the impending war) tends to sometimes get overpowered by Vin's concerns about the deepness and the mist spirit, which I would guess will be critical to the third book.
    -The plot is not as engaging as the first, though still very fulfilling and still a very interesting read.
    -There isn't as much resolution as the first book, and it actually starts a major plot thread in the last chapter. I think it's worth it, though. It's INTENSE.

    So, in summary, this book is an excellent read for anyone who liked the first book, and I would recommend this series as a whole to anyone who likes fantasy.
    ...more info
  • Mistborn 2 (for lack of a better title)
    I really enjoyed book one, which left me waiting for book 2. I love Sanderson's writing style and truly enjoy the plot of his books. This one is not left behind... although I am not much for politics and religion, I still enjoyed this book as it was a good long read. (one I didnt finish in 2 days :-) It's a bit slower than the 1st book, but once the war is on... I couldnt put it down! I will agree with a previous review... I think the relationship between Vin and Eland lacked to say the least... especially in the epiloge... they seem like really good friends that got married as opposed to 2 people truly in love with each other... I hope that book 3 will fill in some of those charactor relationship gaps!...more info
  • Beyond Fantastic
    This book is terrific. It embodies all the superb elements of fantasy novels and discards most, if not all, of the undesirable elements. This is rounded out with great character development, a mature and realistic romance, and a couple of great plot twists.

    If you liked Mistborn, then you will love this book. If you like fantasy, then I strongly suggest reading this book's prequel then reading it. You will not be disappointed, I guarantee....more info
  • Entertaining, but disappointing
    I really enjoyed Elantris, Mistborn: the Final Empire and was happy to finally read a sequel to one of Mr. Sanderson's books. While I found the read to be entertaining, I was ultimately disappointed by the book. I really want to say that Well of Ascension was a great book for me to read, but it didn't live up to my expectations.

    There are many good things about Well of Ascension. First, it has the same great world that was in The Final Empire. Second, more is revealed about Allomancy. Third, there are some great action scenes. Fourth, Brandon's writing is usually clear and enjoyable to read. Fifth, Vin is still a fascinating character to read about.

    What ruined the book for me were essentially three details:

    First, there is a fair amount of graphic violence in the book. While the Hong Kong martial-arts film inspired action scenes can be thrilling, there are a number of gory depictions I could have done without. In fact, it seems that most of the characters become a little sociopathic during this book.

    Second, the character of Elend faltered for me. He changes from a loveable bookworm and idealist to an often merciless egotist by the end of the book. Elend receives far more attention in Well of Ascension than he received in Final Empire, but his grandiose involvement in Well of Ascension seems contrived.

    Third, I was disappointed in the ending which seemed to be a forced cliff-hanger included just to make sure a third book in the series could be written. Worst of all, the ending left me with a feeling that reading the book was a waste of my time because everything that happened doesn't really matter anyways.

    I'll probably read the final book in the Mistborn series, because I know Brandon tries to be a good person. So I'm trusting he'll redeem his story-line and his characters in the last book.

    ...more info
  • Another great Mistborn book
    You can read the summary of the story elsewhere. These are some of my thoughts about the book.

    I loved Mistborn so I eagerly looked forward to The Well of Ascension. Where Mistborn looked at the consequences of what happened if the hero of legend failed, The Well of Ascension looks at once the heroes succeed, how do they govern and create a stable world.

    I find Vin and Elend two interesting characters. Vin I like because with all her powers, she still is frail in many ways and can definitely make mistakes, including a costly one she makes in this book. Elend is a man of great ideas who has to learn to strike a balance between physical power and intellectual power.

    The story itself builds on elements that were only minor players in the first book and now are growing in importance.

    I can't wait to read The Hero of Ages....more info
  • A must read
    A great book, and a great follow up to "MistBorn: The Final Empire". Again the characters are sharp, the concepts innovative, and the world beautifully imagined. On the downside the emotional interplay between Vin and Elend was a bit overdone, and the book suffered slightly from "middle book syndrome". But all-in-all the story was fantastic and the ending brilliant. ...more info
  • Kept me spellbound
    This 2nd book in the series from Brandon Sanderson is, like the first, awesome. I had heard about this author only because of the death of a very famous author and Brandon is going to finish this other authors last book in a very long series. Brandon, if he continues to write like he has done in these two books, will be and already is, one of the premier authors in this Genre. Robert Jordan would be proud!...more info
  • Evil's in the Eye of the Beholder. 4.5 Stars
    Is Evil always evil? Or is Evil only evil depending on your viewpoint? That's one of the central themes in Brandon Sanderson's entertaining sequel to Mistborn.

    Once "Well of Ascension" gets over its sluggish beginning, the book moves along like one of the earlier entries in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The pacing and characterizations are done well, there is plenty of political 'House of Games' intrigue, and some of the absolute best action sequences you'll find in the genre.

    The book would have benefitted from more sizzle between Vin and Elend (who seem more like brother/sister than lovers); I understand that in this genre there shouldn't be too much sizzle, but just some sizzle would have been effective.

    Recommended....more info
  • worthy
    The first Mystborn book started slow, but by the end I thought "okay, now we're getting somewhere". Well of Ascension starts fast and just gets better as it goes. I couldn't put it down. Took me 72 hours to read it. Just when I thought I'd read it all in SF, Robertson takes me by surprise with his innovative concepts, plot twists, fully fleshed and flawed characters. He has the potential to become one of the best of SF writers, in league with Jordan, George RR Martin, Heinlein and, yes, even Tolkien. I can't wait for the next book....more info
  • What happens after you've won - still a good read
    This book is a slower, and larger instalment than the first book in this series. Be warned, there's a lot of politics involved as Vin and Elend try to cope with solidifying their initial success with overthrowing The Final Empire - only to find that theory and reality don't always mix well, and other emerging Warlords and Kings don't particularly want Eland on the throne and will do anything to get him out of the way if it will help them find The Lord Ruler's fabled stash of atium.

    This middle book by its end sets up the stakes for the final instalment in this series, and still makes me impatiently waiting to see how it will all end with book 3. It's a recommended read though the first half is a bit slow to start.

    ...more info
  • $9.99 for a Kindle version?
    I have not bought or read this book, but $9.99 for a Kindle version? The paperback sells new at Amazon for $7.99! When I first saw this book for sale, it was like $6 and change. Maybe like $6.79 or something. Now a jump to $9.99, even more than the retail price of a paperback version of this book? No thank you!...more info
  • Good "Middle" Plot Builder Book
    In most series, whether they are many books long or if they are just a trilogy as this one is, the middle book is often considered the lull in the story. This is the part when the author broadens the world in which he writes. So, for the people that want a wham bam kind of plot line don't get the same kind of satisfaction.

    In my opinion, Brandon Sanderson addresses this so called problem to keep those kind of readers interested. He keeps growing his characters, but at the same time keeps the events rolling at a natural pace as to not bore the masses. This is what makes this 3 book series a real good read for someone wanting to get in and out quick.

    All in all, the first two books have been great, and I am anxiously awaiting the third at the end of this year....more info
  • Exciting and complex
    A great sequel to Mistborn. Complex characters, relationships and politics. Surprising twists. A really good read....more info
    In the riveting sequel to Mistborn: Final Empire, Sanderson doesn't hold back, continuing on from where he left off: the Lord Ruler is gone, but this was just the first mighty battle in the ongoing war. In The Well of Ascension times are still hard for many, even though the skaa have been freed and Elend is now king of Luthadel and the surrounding territories. The nobles must now learn to live in a democratic society where they cannot have slaves. It is a different world for many.

    Before the dust even has time to settle, King Elend faces problems from various fronts: there is dissension in his democratically elected cabinet who wish to return to the old ways; then there are three armies marching toward Luthadel. Before our main characters can decide what to do, they find themselves under siege from two massive fronts. One is controlled by Lord Straff Venture, Elend's father who wants his son to hand over his kingdom to him, no questions asked. Then there is Lord Cett looking to seize control of Luthadel with his own substantial army. Elend finds himself in a unique position where he can ally with one army and therefore be able to overthrow the other. The question is who to ally with?

    As he contemplates this a third army arrives, of koloss. These are tall 9-15 feet creatures that vary in size but are terrifying to humans. Originally created by Lord Ruler for his army, their skin is extremely wrinkled and hangs off them in places like loose clothing; while there are great tears in the skin and yet the koloss ignore this. But their red, blood-rimmed eyes strike terror in all who view them. They may seem dumb and slow, in battle they are fierce and destructive, and it's unknown whether they may lost control at any second and begin rampaging into the city of Luthadel.

    Then there is Sazed, a loyal member of the group who is a Terrisman, a special person with the ability to store thoughts, memories, and knowledge in metal that is worn in the form of rings or armbands. Stored in these armbands are also other abilities such as great strength and speed. But in Sanderson's world, it's all about balance, as the energy stored in each armband is finite, and in some cases can take many years to be stored up, but can be used and extinguished in a matter of minutes. Sazed is a scholar and knows much is not right with the world. Somehow the mists that are feared by many for a long time throughout the realm begin killing people and even wiping out whole villages. There is the Deepness, a mythological force that was supposedly stopped when the Lord Ruler came to power, but is not fully understood and may bring terrible things to pass. Sazed must also find the correct location for The Well of Ascension, for it is here that the Hero of Ages - who he believes Vin to be - will release the power and save the world.

    Then there is the OreSeur, a kandra, an ancient race who are able to absorb the bones of a dead person or animal and take that form and appear almost identical to them. OreSeur is Lord Straff's kandra, and is sent to spy on Vin, but it's also discovered that there's another kandra somewhere within Luthadel who, with the kandra abilities, could literally be anybody.

    Finally there is the supposed Hero of Ages, Vin, who isn't sure what she is, but knows she is one of the most powerful people in existence, but must use her power wisely and not kill recklessly. She befriends another allomancer, Zane, who seems very familiar, and she becomes close to him, for they have so much in common, and yet he is the allomancer for Lord Straff and therefore an enemy.

    Sanderson continues the complexity of the world, with many moral and sociological questions coming into play, as well as adding new plots and subplots. While it may seem a little overbearing, he skillfully keeps everything organized and separate and maintains the reader's interest throughout. It is a sequel worthy of its name, as The Well of Ascension keeps the pace going from the first book, making the reader hunger for more at the last page. The trilogy is concluded in The Hero of Ages. ...more info
  • well, well, well...
    the second part of MISTBORN explores political and religious machinations in a refreshing way as Vin continues to fulfill her destiny. the first thing i did when i finished reading was to try and order the last part... unfortunately it's still "cooking".
    oh well, i guess i'll have to wait....more info
  • A very good sequel
    It's hard to come back with a sequel on the same level as the first book, but Brandon Sanderson has done this very thing in The Well of Ascension. Plot twists and genuinely likeable characters makes this a quality read.

    I recommend this book and I can't wait until the third. My only gripe is that I wish they would have kept the hardcover artwork, but I guess you can't win them all....more info
  • Dark times for a fledgeling King and a new government...
    I was wondering how this book would be, since one of the major figures of the last book was gone... But it was interesting seeing them all try to cope. And the remaining characters did seem to step up to the plate a bit and try to fill the gap.

    The story itself was good, with the end satisfying, even though it's obviously a "middle book." The Lord Ruler's tyrannical thousand-year rule has ended, but of course that means chaos fills the power vacuum. Lord Elend Venture, an idealistic, scholarly aristocrat who always championed the oppressed Skaa, tries to lead the Central Dominance as a king who establishes a council with power and rights. But his ruthless father, Straff Venture, has gained kingship in the North and is now coming to Luthadel to conquer it. And the minor king of the west has also brought an army to besiege Luthadel. Trying times calls for decisive leadership, but Elend cannot compromise his belief in giving power to his people, even when he risks losing everything that was gained.

    Vin, with her Mistborn powers, renowned for killing the Lord Ruler, loves Elend. She has to constantly thwart assassination attempts against him--and has to fight her own heart which tells her she isn't worthy of him. She also battles her feelings for a mysterious Mistborn opponent who comes out of the night to challenge and intrigue her...

    I enjoyed these characters much more than I thought I would. They were overshadowed by the very charismatic Kelsier in the first book, but they seem to be developing nicely in this installment. I will certainly look forward to the next book in the series.
    ...more info
  • Very good trilogy "middle book"!
    Sanderson expands on his unique magic system and further develops his characters very well in this 2nd Mistborn book. The overall story of the trilogy is furthered, while an entertaining and action-packed story of seige and war is told around it. I am very much looking forward to the conclusion of this series. Sanderson is one of the better fantasy writers today. Recommended!...more info
  • He's done it again!!
    After reading "THE FINAL EMPIRE" I just had to order and read "WELL OF ACSENSION". I was not disapointed. The world that Sanderson has created is as wonderfull and unique as the characters. I read fantasy almost exclusively and this trilogy is ,so far, my favorite by far.I can't wait to see what happens next.
    JDJones11207...more info
  • More of the same, but with other problems to solve...
    As can be expected the second book is somewhat more of the same but with other bad guys.
    There are some expected twists in the plot, but on the whole it's a nice book - maybe since the charm and freshness of the idea is gone since it's the second book - it drops a mark for me......more info
  • Good book
    This was a great book, probably not quite as good as the first, but not very far behind at all. The ending was very unexpected and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book....more info
  • Keeps Getting Better...
    Brandon Sanderson is rapidly becoming my very favorite author. With that being said, the Mistborn series begins with a Sanderson trademark, which is an innovative and unique magic system. While the first book focuses on this magic system and a budding romance, The Well of Ascension goes a new direction entirely. This book focuses on character development of every character introduced in the first book, as well as innumerable twists and turns of all types of conflict, from physical, to strategical, to psychological. If it has a flaw, it is almost too good.

    Really, this book is quite unpredictable, and quick paced, full of action and suspense, albeit, a lot of it being psychological suspense. Now, if you want guns blazing action throughout this book, you really find it more of a 'how can we get out of this remarkable predicament with integrity intact' kind of ride, for the majority. Then the rest is all gun blazing action, well, more like allomantic action, but you get the picture.

    Sanderson in this book takes the somewhat risky subject (since it is unfamiliar to most people) of city siege, and deals with it deftly, by reducing it to national style politics, and negotiation. When physical conflict does arise, it is mainly dealt with from individual perspectives, limiting the descriptive detail on strategy. This is further strengthened plot wise by allowing the attack to occur with mindless brutes as the aggressor, which basically have no strategy. Now it all seems realistic, without a lot of detail. Brilliant.

    Now this book isn't perfect, but it hides its flaws well, namely through distracting you with a wonderful story. There are some lapses of logic, where things are a little too easy, but they are easy to forgive. Still, since I haven't finished the third book, I strongly suspect some of these so called 'lapses' might reveal themselves to be undeveloped plot. Who knows?

    Overall, lovers of fantasy should love this book, especially if they have read the first one. This book takes a completely different direction from the first book, as far as subject matter goes, but somehow it is equally enjoyable, if not more so. A rare thing in trilogies, for something like this to be accomplished.

    A word on romance. Folks who loved the 'pseudo Jane Austen style' romance in the first novel, might be disappointed, since all the romance in "Well" is based on the continued development of the main romance started from the first novel, which has lost all of the 'noble' aspects of the setting. To flesh out the situation more, however, this novel inserts the 'dark stranger' romance, with elements of 'he's too good for me' thrown in for good measure. Sort of like a vampire novel where the girl must make the choice between the darker character and the good guy. All that being said, I can see no reason for lovers of the first book not to love this book as much if not more so than the first book. Bravo, Brandon!

    Highly recommended....more info
  • Great follow up book to The Final Empire
    The Well of Ascension is an entertaining read especially if you want to know what happened after the good guys won. This book was just as good as the first book in the series. I look forward to reading the third book....more info
  • Story loses its momentum
    The first book in this trilogy, Mistborn, was exciting, original, and worth the time. What's not to like about a group of rogues overthrowing an oppressive government, after all? This book, which slogs through the aftermath of those events, doesn't even come close to living up to the quality of its predecessor. (Some minor spoilers follow.)

    Because the animating spirit of the first book, Kelsier, is no longer available, we are left with Vin and Elend as our main protagonists. Vin is powerful, Elend is principled, and they're supposedly in love (though, really, their romance feels like it was scripted by George Lucas at his most tedious--reading their conversations was like watching Young Darth and the Queen all over again. Boring, boring, boring). I was rather hoping their relationship would fail, because that seemed the only way that something emotionally interesting might happen to someone--no such luck. If you're still rooting for their tepid young love by the end of the book, you're a more tolerant soul than I.

    The plot is equally inspiring. The heroes have defeated the Lord Ruler only to find themselves confronted with a new set of problems, none of which are very interesting unless 1) you like siege warfare or 2) you enjoy fantasy villains that are super powerful, unfathomable, and apparently inhuman. The human bad guys are just silly and irritating, and it's impossible to take them seriously, especially with a character like Vin around. When the good guys can kill anyone they want, anytime, with only a minimum of trouble, how can we be expected to worry about the various scheming contenders for Elend's throne? We can't, of course. The result of all this is a serious lack of suspense.

    If you just *have* to know what happens next, by all means check this book out of the library and give it a look. If Kelsier was the reason you enjoyed Mistborn, however, you might be better advised to spend your time with a more worthwhile novel, as this one is unlikely to satisfy....more info
  • Meaty and brilliantly cool
    My golly-gosh this was a great book to read! highly enjoyable and meaty, I challenge anyone who knocked down harry potter in a day to try the same with this one! it's impossible, it's one of the amazing book where you are torn between going slow and savouring said meaty juices of enjoyment (and oh... oh I love the kandra so...) and staying up till it's morning again churning through it.

    Not disappointing!...more info
  • Excellent Fantasy reading!
    This series (and the author in general) is great! He builds a rich world and good character development. I want more!...more info
  • a veritable fountain of excellence [no spoilers]
    Vin, Elend, and company struggle to maintain hold of Luthadel a year later in "The Well of Ascension", second book of the "Mistborn" saga. Every chapter has a purpose, little is wasted conveying useless information unless one finds the political maneuvering boring waiting for the amazing Allomancy encounters. The political intrigue is carefully thought out, the romance between Vin and Elend develops properly, and the unique creatures are practical and suitably placed.

    Additional characters join the cast, the more notable ones are Mistborn Zane and Keeper Tindwyl. I enjoyed learning more about Feruchemy. The clever concept behind the Deepness and its overwhelming influence sets a fresh approach as an antagonist.

    The possible major editing issue concerns the confusion at the start of chapter 24 when Vin asks Clubs to burn bronze for sensing Allomancy but as a smoker only burns copper. He stated he heard nothing, which is true in a way but only because he cannot burn bronze. The summary of book 1 is at the end, it better serves a reader placing it at the beginning.

    Check out the author's web page at for excellent inside information and deleted scenes (he provides warnings before any spoilers).

    I highly recommend this series to any fan of the fantasy genre.

    Thank you. ...more info
  • The Well of Ascension
    This book was extremely well written. The main characters have incredible depth to their personalities and the twists and turns will keep you on your toes....more info
  • great follow up
    I like to keep things short, so i'll just say, if you see a review where the reviewer doesn't finish the book, keep in mind why they may have given it the poor review they have...

    This book is very inventive, and while it is not the quickest read, I found it's pace satisfying and with enough spurts to make me read chapter after chapter at times...

    you owe it to yourself to at least check out a few sample chapters on brandon's website and decide for yourself, just search his name and u'll find it, it's worth the time...more info
  • Holding it's breath for book 3
    Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn is a knockout, a totally new magic system that is fascinating. Strong characters and an exciting ending. In book two, like most of the second books in a trilogy, is mostly filler and expansion of multiple sub plots. Interesting but slow. He spends a lot of time with characters thinking about the same things they just said. But having said that, I still must get the final book to see if all the sub plots end satisfactorily. Reminiscent of Robert Jordan, Sanderson does a great job of telling a multi-layed story and still keeps you interested. Looking forward to book 3. Buy this you will find it worth while.

    ...more info
  • Not as good as the first Mistborn book, but still excellent
    While the storytelling and pacing was excellent, I found myself rooting against Elend though the whole first part of the book. I was clear to me that the real danger came from the mists, and I knew that Vin wouldn't leave the city until Elend lost his throne. Instead of feeling suspense, I was frustrated and skimming parts of the book because I wanted Vin to get out there and confront the real threat. (I have a friend who didn't have that problem, though.) For those who might have my problem, I'll let you in on a secret--preserving the city turns out to be important to the greater battle after all.

    Other than that, the book was good--good pacing, great world building, interesting characters, and so on. I also found the ending a bit more predicitable than the first book in the series, though I expect most people wouldn't find it so.

    Genre Reviews info
  • excellent follow-up to Mistborn
    Brandon Sanderson's The Well of Ascension is the sequel to Mistborn, a very strong beginning to a new trilogy. Bridge books are always dicey things--many fall into a sophomore slump, meandering along trying to get from A to C with the required stop at B (because everyone knows a fantasy story can't be told in only two books, let alone one). Luckily for fans of the first book, Ascension doesn't fall into that trap.
    For those who haven't read the first book, what are you doing reading a review of the second? Anyway, stop reading now, because it's nearly impossible to discuss Ascension without reference to prior events in book one. Spoiler warning. If you know Mistborn well, skip the next paragraph.
    Mistborn is set in an ashen, mist-filled world whose myths tell of a time when plants were green. The world is dominated by the Lord Ruler, a seemingly immortal tyrant who had ruled for centuries, ruthlessly oppressing the majority population of Skaa, as well as the much smaller class of nobles. The Lord Ruler is also the hero who centuries ago defeated the mysterious "Deepness", saving the world from complete destruction. The magic system in Mistborn is "allomancy". Allomancers (a small percentage of the population) can "burn" certain metals to give them superhuman abilities, such as super-strength, super-senses, etc. There are only 10 such metals known and most allomancers can burn only one. True mistborns, however, can burn all. One powerful and charismatic mistborn, Kelsior, leads a group of thieves in their greatest caper--taking down the Lord Ruler. Integral to his plans is a street urchin girl named Vin, a more powerful mistborn than Kelsior. By the end (spoiler), the Lord Ruler is killed, as is Kelsior, and the Skaa are freed.
    One of the pleasures of Ascension is that it picks up where most fantasy novels end. Ding dong, the Dark Lord is Dead. What's left to tell? Turns out plenty. First of all, the rebels start to learn that it's easy to carp from the sidelines but when it's your turn to actually rule, things aren't so simple. They also face the rule of "unintended consequences". Sure, the tyrannical Dark Lord is dead. But all that tyranny had a plus side--people were too scared to fight among themselves. Now civil war has broken out and young, bookish Elend Venture, the new king of Luthadel, faces three besieging armies, all trying to take his city and the rumored stockpile of treasure amassed by the Lord Ruler.
    Oh, and that "free the Skaa, end despotism, move toward rule by the people" stuff that sounded so good in conspiratorial alley-meetings? Turns out sometimes "the people" aren't so smart. Or grateful. Not to mention the nobles continue to plot to find ways to retain their power, even if that means giving up the city to one of the armies.
    The newly-freed Skaa, by the way, are wondering why they aren't getting regular stockpiles of food and tools etc. When they slaved on plantation estates they were horribly treated but someone fed them. Now they have to do it themselves and winter is quickly approaching.
    And finally, the whole "Lord Ruler saved the world from a great evil" propaganda may, it turns out, have been right. And with the Lord Ruler gone, that evil may be back. The mists are now coming during the day and are starting to kill people.
    If that sounds like a lot to deal with, it is. And that's not to mention the son-wanting-to-kill the father subplot, the brother-versus-brother subplot, the Vin and Elend romance subplot, the new bad Mistborn in town subplot, the other romance subplot, and, well, you get the idea.
    Sanderson is juggling a lot here and the truth is he does it with a lot of aplomb. There's a sense of true fun in the telling of this story, despite its dark moments. It doesn't quite have the humor or Oceans 11 banter of Mistborn; it is a much more introspective, darker book in many ways, but it still feels like the author had a great time with it. And there are funny parts. The magical system remains a strength due to its utter originality and the way it gets refined and furthered, though the allomantic battles are a bit hard to follow at times. The secondary characters, with one prime exception and two other less-pronounced ones, aren't `t as strong as in Mistborn, but the focus on Elend and Vin makes up for that somewhat as they are compelling characters in their own right, if not as charismatic as Kelsior. Vin's victories seem a bit too predictable at times, but Sanderson balances that somewhat by not being afraid to have some major side characters die off. Even better is that the book sometimes spills off into very unpredictable directions, though that's all one can say about that. And the ending, though perhaps a bit rushed/abrupt, nicely closes off one story while greatly expanding the larger tale, much as happened in Mistborn.
    Truth be told, the Mistborn series is one of the more original and enjoyable reads in fantasy I've had in some time. It's original in its own fashion, turning away from the typical fantasy tropes but without simply following down the path of the earlier "rebellious" fantasies, the once-new but now familiar "gritty" epic fantasies such as Martin or Erickson (both of whom I'm fans of). The series is highly recommended....more info
  • Impressive for author's first mini epic
    Plot, Magic, Political intrigue, war, love, despair, triumph. What more cane you ask for? Anyone who loves fantasy as I do, MUST read this series.

    Sanderon was a largely unknown author until recently when he was selected to finish Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series. That of course led me too Brandon Sanderson to investigate his skills as a writer of fantasy and the Mistborn series. I can already say, (not having read Hero of Ages even) that the the Wheel of Time is in good hands.

    That being said, I can only express my excitement about the potential of future work that Sanderson will produce. Read the Mistborn series. It's GREAT!

    ...more info
  • okay read but not the best
    I truly loved the first book, Mistborn. I was sorely disappointed with this second book. The author is a good writer but the pacing of the story was not very good at all. I was getting bored the first two thirds of the story. I felt the author focused too much on the politics and it seems like he was getting sidetracked from the main story plot, which is obviously the well of ascension. Since this is the main plot, why is the first two thirds of the story about how the city is struggling? Secondly, I was getting really annoyed with Elend. I was not even certain why he became such a big focus of the story. I was very frustrated how stubborn Elend was about his views when the problem could have been solved from the very first: kill the father. The silly part of the story involving the kingship was very very dull. Finally, the story then suddenly rushed and rushed to the climax ending. The end was definitely interesting, but I was sad that the author neglected the main plot of the story until the end of the story. The book is titled the well of ascension. Why is it so ignored until the very end? Honestly, it begins near the end of the story. I wished the author began much earlier and stretched out the fun part longer. I was not able to enjoy the book as much as I could have. I truly liked the first book. The whole book was about the mistborn as the title suggests. Second book, I wanted more than what the author gave. ...more info
  • Good Setup
    This is a great read and if not as good as the first Mistborn book a very good sequel and also enticing prequel to the final book in the series....more info
  • only gets better ...
    One of the main things I dislike about fiction is that it is fiction! In the sense that authors tend to shy away from the grim reality of life and tend to find easy solutions to problems in their works of imagination. Not so with Brandon Sanderson who is one of the few authors I have ever read to have both his feet on the ground and totally aware of the reality of the world around him. Happy will eventually turn not-so-happy. That which we consider as failure and misforture might provide beneficial assistance somewhere later in life. People are neither wholly good nor wholly bad - most are somewhere in the middle, their goodness or badness surfacing dependent on the circumstance and situation - and their own inevitable human weaknesses.

    Not to ramble too much about the relativity of the world we live in - yes Sanderson is fully aware of these paradoxes and it is well reflected in his books. So the stories are much more complex, evolved and truer to life (though they be fantasy) than most works of fiction - but still very accessible.

    Elantris was not too bad. The final kingdom was much better. And the Wells ... is even better. Great storytelling. Sanderson does a twist on the prophecy-hero formula which is quite in line with his realistc worldview.

    I can't wait to get my hands on "Hero of the ages" now!...more info
  • awsome
    I thought George R.R Martin was good. I was wrong . Mr. Sanderson is equally good and better in some respect. Please write more....more info
  • 2nd book as good as the 1st
    It's rare that a series -- and it's always trilogies in fantasy, isn't it? -- gets better after a good first volume. That, however, is exactly what Brandon Sanderson has been able to pull off with his Mistborn/Hero of the Ages series. The first book was outstanding, with a compelling, innovative magic system, interesting characters, and a refreshingly original story. The Well of Ascension, which I finished a few weeks ago, picked up right where #1 left off and improved on the story by adding new characters, fleshing out some of the secondary characters and themes from the first, and moving the story along in a direction that was both plausible, within the world Sanderson's world, and yet not at all predictable.

    I'm reading the third book, Hero of the Ages, now and there has been no 'point of dimishing marginal returns' as of yet -- he's definitely sprinting through the finish line. Read this book if you read the first; read the first one if this on interests you, and work your way into Hero of the Ages....more info


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