Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Well of Ascension (Brandon Sanderson)

Despite some minor frustrations a strong middle book


Title: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
First published: 2007
Edition: Paperback, published by Gollancz in 2009

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.


Having been introduced to this world in the previous book, The Final Empire, I was excited to continue to follow these characters on their journey. This middle novel did live up to my expectations. The few relatively minor issues I had with it do not pertain to the actual over-arching plot. They simply had to do with the way Sanderson chose to tell this story and the points of view and how he used them.

Let me preface my niggles with my praise of the world that Sanderson has created here. It is interesting and feels original. Not necessarily the city and the landscapes, but certainly the magic system and peoples. Maybe it could have done with a bit more cultural detail, but that is simply a personal preference thing. His world building still really works for me and so does most of the storytelling.

However… Sometimes some of the main characters lagged behind to us, the reader, in learning the truth. This can work very well as a storytelling device, but I did not love it here. I preferred to have found out somethings with the characters rather than through a point of view that felt a little superfluous. It did not stop me from enjoying the story, but it was something I noticed a few times and which took me out of the story for a little while. The purpose was probably to make the reader feel helpless as the main character was misled. I just was not the biggest fan of that plot device.

There were some other small niggles I had with mainly the lack of common sense displayed by the characters at time, but despite these small frustrations I still really enjoyed this book and the overall story. I am looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy soon. I have an inkling about where it is heading, but no doubt I will be proven wrong. We’ll see!

5 out of 7 stars

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