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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – June 3, 2008

Book 2 of 5 in the Mistborn Series

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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) + The Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn + Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book No. 1)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 796 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765356139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765356130
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (473 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sanderson's entertaining second Mistborn novel begins after most fantasy series end, when the team of brave and cunning heroes find that holding on to power is even harder than overthrowing the previous tyrant. Elend Venture, the scholarly new Lord Ruler of Luthadel, clings to power while Luthadel's aristocrats and merchants grumble and two enemy armies—one led by Elend's father, Lord Straff—camp outside the city gates. Fortunately, Elend can rely on help from his lover and unofficial court assassin, the young allomancer Vin, but her magical metal-using ability makes her a target. An orphan of decidedly low origins, Vin is also having trouble adapting to her position as royal consort, especially since the underclass skaa, newly freed by Elend, look to her as their protector. Meanwhile, the ancient evil known as the Deepness is rising once again. This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In the Mistborn trilogy's middle book, the great revolution's leader is dead, his apprentice Vin is overwhelmed by his legacy, and the idealistic new ruler is beset by those who want power themselves. Everyone wants to find the overthrown despot's Atium supplies, and armies besiege Luthadel. On patrol one night, Vin sees a figure apparently made of mist. The history of Kwaan, who helped the despot to power, emerges, portending a terrible power. The Well of Ascension may furnish resolutions to all these situations, but someone must find it. Vin's struggles with love and power inject the human element into Sanderson's engaging epic. Schroeder, Regina --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this second book as much as the first one.
Baroness of Topaz
This book is much more slow, it seems to focus on building its characters much more than the first one did.
Nigel Bress
Great plot and character development, as well as a very entertaining read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Zach Barker on March 29, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Elend: There is an army outside Luthadel. It happens to be led by my father. I'm king now, maybe I should do something about this.

Dockson: Indeed- wait, what? We made you king? Aren't you, like, 15 years old?

Elend: Ah, shucks, that isn't very nice. I'm 21.

Dockson: Well, you are a good guy so I'll let it pass. This will be mentioned repeatedly throughout the book. Honestly, you are so good.

Vin: (Glances around the room, making sure everything is safe) Hey guys.

Elend: Holy crap you are so paranoid! I love you though. I worship the ground you walk on. Let's make a bunch of mist babies. Have I mentioned how adorably paranoid you are?

Readers: Actually, considering her upbringing and the fact that you are now king, she doesn't seem paranoid. She is just being smart.

Elend: No, no, trust me guys. She is soooo paranoid.

Readers: But, don't you mention how assassins try to kill you every month? And that she is essentially the only one protecting you?

Elend: Guys, seriously. She is paranoid.

Readers: Sigh, Ok...

Vin: You know how I seemed conflicted about my role and who I was in the last book? Well, that was unresolved and we are now going to drag it out for 400 pages.

Zane: Hey, what's up? I'm another Mistborn and I'm the bad boy. I wear all black. By the way, Elend wears all white. There is no symbolism in that AT ALL.

Vin: Woah, who are you?

Zane: Oh, I work for Elend's know, the one who is currently commanding an army that is besieging the city?

Vin: Considering my predilection for not trusting anybody, it would be consistent with my character to treat you as a hostile enemy. But, I'm just so intrigued! Another Mistborn!
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By EMAN NEP on November 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With this book, THE WELL OF ASCENSION (WOA), Brandon Sanderson continues his MISTBORN trilogy. Unfortunately, unlike MISTBORN, this novel came across as more of a chore than a cheer. Here's my take on it . . .


Let's face it, the previous book, MISTBORN, could have nearly been a stand-alone novel. Towards its conclusion most of the plot threads had been tied up--the Lord Ruler defeated, the skaa freed, and Vin/Valette gets to hang out with Elend. About the only thing that didn't get resolved in that novel was this: What about the Mist that is still floating around the world?

As a result, WOA starts off with a situation that, while plausible, comes across as forced simply "for sequel's sake". WOA starts off with the now-free city of Luthadel facing an army outside its gates. This army is led by a nobleman (Straff Venture) that chose to leave the city in the previous book. More armies come to lay siege to Luthadel and all are led by characters who previously had small roles.


You would think that a newly-freed city being threatened by three armies would make for quite the page-turner.
Not quite.
Sadly, a lot of time in WOA is spent just waiting for something to happen. For the vast majority of the novel, the armies do nothing but sit there, Elend Venture learns how to be a king and Vin grows a little distrustful and kills off numerous nameless assassins (which didn't pose that much of a threat anyway. To paraphrase Austin Power's father: "You don't even have a name tag! You've got no chance!")

At the beginning of the book there are a couple of maps. One of Luthadel and one of The Final Empire.
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64 of 78 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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, Kelsier, 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 Kelsier. By the end (spoiler), the Lord Ruler is killed, as is Kelsier, and the Skaa are freed.
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More About the Author

I'm Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

January 2015 marks the release of Firefight, the sequel to Steelheart. When only evil people gain super powers and become tyrants, it's up to normal people to hunt them down. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook of Steelheart here on Amazon that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible. My Firefight book tour in the US lasts throughout January.

Recent short releases are Legion: Skin Deep (sequel to Legion), the further investigations of an average man whose many hallucinations are all experts in their own fields, and also my novella Sixth of the Dusk, set in the same universe as Mistborn and Stormlight, revolving around an attack on an island trapper's way of life.

My biggest recent epic fantasy is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it's the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be. October 2015 and January 2016 will also see the release of two new Mistborn books, Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning.

Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan's epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at -- and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2)
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