Published: August 21st 2007 by Tor Books
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Page Count: 781
Amazon: Hardcover – $29.41 / Paperback – $11.04
Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $32.19 / Paperback – $8.99
Warning: This is the second book of the Mistborn trilogy so this will contain spoilers. I have a full review of The Final Empirethat has both a regular review section and a spolier section. Please read on at your own risk!
Description via Goodreads:
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. 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.
When I pick up the second book of a series I am almost always apprehensive. There is a part of me that wants to hold back in fear that it won’t live up to the first book. In some cases my breath is taken away and the strong momentum that was going in the first book carries over to the second without a blink of an eye. In some cases I am very disappointed. The Well of Ascension took my breath away and with it went my very heart for this book.
I am sitting here writing this review in a state of shock, understanding, and absolute heartbreak. I am also listening to sad songs to fuel my state. Just like for the The Final Empire, I will be blubbering and I will be including a spoiler section where I can wail freely through words instead of sounds. It will be properly labeled so that those who don’t wish to be spoiled won’t be. Once again, I am a shell of a human for the second time around. Also, at the end I will be including some fan art I found on Pinterest because the artists who have drawn these characters are fabulous and I think everyone should see their works!
I jumped into The Well of Ascension a day after I finished The Final Empire, and in my opinion it was a very different feeling from the first book. This novel held so much growth for the characters and a completely new feel for the city of Luthadel. It was like stepping into your favorite winter jacket, only to discover something new that you hadn’t notice before. There was still a slight familiarity to the world and the characters but readers can definitely notice something new.
Where we leave off after The Final Empire Kelsier is dead as is the Lord Ruler. The Well of Ascension picks up a year later and now Elend Venture is king and Vin is his Mistborn. The original crew is split up and Vin is still trying to hold everything together, especially her fragile relationship with Elend. One of the things that I loved about this book was the relationship that Sanderson crafted for Vin and Elend.
There is hope for them at the end of the The Final Empire, but once we get to book two it is easy to spot that, surprisingly, they are both very human. Their relationship isn’t smooth and I loved the flaws within it because it was believable. So often I find authors craft these perfect ideal relationships that are rarely obtainable, but Sanderson took a very realistic approach to two different people finding their way to one another.
The characters were once again, fabulous! In this book many more people are introduced to Luthadel and some of them are… questionable. Others you can’t help but fall for just a bit… or in my case a good deal! I mentioned earlier that the character development is well done. A year has passed since Vin destroyed the Lord Ruler and she has so much resting on her shoulders. Readers witness her transform more than before and watch her bloom in different ways. Elend undergoes a massive transformation as well! He does a full turn around from book one and it is an eyeopening change! I can’t forget to mention OreSeur, the character that really hit my in the “feels.” More about him in my spoiler section!
My all time favorites from the second installment are Vin, OreSeur (I know…. surprising), Sazed, Elend, and lastly Tindwyl. They each took a piece of my book heart along with them this installment.
Also, there is a good deal of politics in this book. A good majority of it is characters trying to live in a society that they are rebuilding and breaking away from one thousand years under the Lord Ruler’s influence and heavy hand. Personally, I found some of the politic scenes daunting to understand but I did understand that they were crucial. It was interesting to see how the crew members tried to break everything down and digest the changes happening around them. These scenes were slower paced, but they are only preparing you for what is to come. So much action comes throughout this book that these scenes are a nice break.
Overall, I loved this second installment to the Mistborn trilogy! It was fantastic and lived up to the strong start the first book left. I was invested the entire way through and the ending left me with a craving to jump right into The Hero of Ages.
WARNING: THIS IS THE SPOILER SECTION – PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Okay… okay… I need to get a few things off of my chest. I am still mind blown about the ending (last 100 pages) or so and I am trying to gather my scatter thoughts, even hours later. The end of the novel leaves off with Elend and Vin standing together trying to figure out how to stop the force that Vin has released. There is a bleak tone to the ending, the feeling of hopelessness is heavy but there is still that small bead of hope lurking. Sazed is gone, mourning the loss of Tindwyl (heartbreaking let me tell you) and it is upsetting.
First topic of discussion: Marsh!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK – Like seriously, leading up to him being deemed evil, I kept asking myself “Where is Marsh and why isn’t he more present?” Well know I know why, and I am very ashamed to say I gave the book the middle finger when he started to attack Sazed. I really liked Marsh to! I was shocked when Sazed found him and they began to fight. I was really taken off guard.
Next topic of discussion: OreSeur! Or should I say TenSoon? I didn’t like the original OreSeur but his impersonator really was a treat for me. I loved how he and Vin interacted and how OreSeur grew to, in his own way, care for Vin. The kandra are strange creatures and I loved that we were given some of their origin and let in on some secrets through him. What really settled my love for him is the scene where after we discover he is actually TenSoon and Zane is trying to kill Vin, he breaks his contract and tries to help her. It really showed that Vin meant something for him. I feel that it was because she treated him with respect as their relationship grew.
Last topic of discussion: Zane. Oh, Zane. I had higher hopes for you my friend. I was impressed at how good of an actor Zane was with Vin, he was clever and cunning. He was a more worthy opponent for Vin than Straff was in my eyes. He too was Mistborn and their last fight scene really solidified that Vin wasn’t invincible but she was extremely determined to survive.
I would also like to have a pause for all of the amazing characters lost in final battle at the end of the book. Goodbye Clubs, Dockson, and Tindwyl. I really will miss each of these characters and what they brought to the others as well as the story.
Once again, 15/10 would recommend this book! I just can’t believe I waited this long to pick it up. Definitely an amazing read.
END OF SPOILER SECTION
“It was amazing how many books one could fit into a room, assuming one didn’t want to move around very much.”
“A man was defined not by his flaws, but by how he overcame them.”
“That’s the point, isn’t it? We have to live on, no matter how hard it gets. We’ll win in the end.”
This book was given 5/5 star rating on Goodreads. (I would give it 101 stars would that I could).