Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

 The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Mistborn Saga #2
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi/Adventure
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: August 21st, 2007
Edition: Kindle Edition, 815 pages
Source: Library
Purchase: Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | BAM | Book Depository | Bookshop | Powell's

   The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler -- the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years -- has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.
   As Kelsier's protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.
   Stopping assassins may keep Vin's Mistborn skills sharp, but it's the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn't run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier's crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won't get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler's hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.
   As the siege of Luthadel 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.

*   *   *   *   *

   This book took me so long to finish. My borrow got returned to the library before I could finish it back in March and I didn't get it back until a couple of weeks ago, so there was a huge break in my reading of this book. I was also over halfway done with it. Luckily I was still engaged enough that when I got it back I didn't forget anything that happened and could just pick up where I left off. 

   Some of the complaints I heard about this book, I disagree with. I think people sometimes expect their main characters to have confidence, and that's not always the case with people who've been put on a pedestal as a hero but don't feel they deserve the title. Vin's behavior in this book makes a lot of sense. Some of her actions, while reckless, make sense for her character and the situation they are in. Her being unsure if she is good enough for Elend and what he wants to do for the City and potentially the world,  makes sense for her character.    
   I also didn't see it as a love triangle. Zane didn't love Vin, he was more obsessed with her than "in love" with her. From my perspective, he only wanted her because he didn't think Elend deserved her. That isn't love, it's being possessive. It was important for Vin's character to be faced with asking that question and it coming from somebody from the crew wouldn't make sense.

   I liked the side plots of this book more than the first book. Though there were some characters introduced that I wish had more of a presence or played more of a role in this book than they did. But they might in the next book and setting up who they are in this book is important to what their role will be in the next. 

   The two main plots for this book, I didn't think were given equal focus, and they didn't really tie in together either. They were both engaging, I just would have liked them to be more connected. And the plot of the Well was more interesting in my opinion and it was the one that I felt should have been more of the focus. 

   I am really excited to finish up this trilogy and then move on to the second Mistborn series. I can see why this series is many people's favorite works from Sanderson. 

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