Home > Book Reviews > The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension is the middle book of the Mistborn trilogy and as such it doesn’t have the same bright newness of the first book nor the satisfying denouement of the final one.

After taking down the Final Empire, Kelsier’s crew must now find a way to rule, tediously organizing a government and gathering resources to support the people. Vin becomes essentially the Mistborn successor to “The Survivor” and Elend accepts the mantle of benevolent philosopher king.

(For another book that wryly describes what happens after the Dark Lord is defeated, I highly recommend Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward.  It’s very definitely a memorable book.)

Much of the novel focuses on the political maneuvering to retain the crown while multiple armies march on the capital. A rogue, insane Mistborn alternately attempts to suborn Vin, kill her, and attract her romantically; at the same time, she attempt to discover which of the crew has been replaced by a kandra, a shapeshifting race with unknown goals.

Like the previous book, each chapter is headed by short texts from some larger document which continues to reveal the backstory of the Lord Ruler.  It’s enjoyable to try to draw conclusions about his motives.

As always, the magic system is fantastic.  Sanderson expands it with previously unknown metals and alloys and further illumines the talents of feruchemy.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars (mostly because it is a second book and is slower at times — October 19th, 2010)

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