- Series: Mistborn, Book 2 (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 592 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (August 21, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765316889
- ISBN-13: 978-0765316882
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 879 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) Hardcover – August 21, 2007
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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.)
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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
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I'm going to have to go with [...] Ray's review of Sanderson's last Stormlight book though, that Sanderson seems to get fairly formulaic in his plotting. I don't see that as a bad thing since knowing what's going to happen doesn't necessarily ruin my personal enjoyment of a story, but the way he's setting up his events all feels very similar. While I'm enjoying Mistborn and Stormlight, I doubt I'll pick up anything else from his universe. I don't feel I'll gain anything new.
This is what I think the central theme to the entire book is. All of the characters are stumbling through their new positions and lives in a new world without the Lord Ruler. After being repressed for so long each member of Kelsier’s remaining crew and Elend the new King are trying to build a better country. That in itself is hard enough but a new challenge arises when Lord Straff besieges the city in hopes of ousting his son Elend.
The Well of Ascension is more of a political intrigue than Mistborn was. It is a lot harder to build up a new nation than it is to tear one down. The shift is noticeable in the pacing and although this moves along a little slower and there is less action than in Mistborn it sets up nicely. It takes a sometime for some of our characters to really grow into their roles. This is more of a thinking book than the first in the series. Elend is King, but he is struggling with the balance of power and remaining true to himself. He has great ideas but the execution of them is not going as well as he would like.
-- “A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.”
Elend must learn how to be a King and all the books in the world are not going to help him with that. Vin is a Mistborn but she is struggling with her place in the Kingdom. She has a strange religious following since she is the closest thing The Survivor’s had to an heir. She is also seeing strange shadow in the Mist and there is another Mistborn who makes her question her role to the city and to Elend. Vin is a little lost without Kelsier, he was the closest thing to family she had and now he is gone too. The broken little girl inside her still is not sure how to trust and she has a hard time believing in herself. She and Elend are in love but Vin doesn’t trust it and is sure he deserves better. They both needed this book to grow into their respective roles. Even though I got a little frustrated with them at times I understand where both came from and how both needed to grow and trust themselves before the relationship between them could become stronger. Good thing Sazed is there to be the philosophical voice of reason when we need it.
-- “At first glance, the key and the lock it fits may seem very different,” Sazed said. “Different in shape, different in function, different in design. The man who looks at them without knowledge of their true nature might think them opposites, for one is meant to open, and the other to keep closed. Yet, upon closer examination, he might see that without one, the other becomes useless. The wise man then sees that both lock and key were created for the same purpose.”
I again loved all the side characters. Sazed is always a favorite but Oresuer also took the spotlight away and I loved learning more about the Kandra and enjoyed the budding friendship between he and Vin. Breeze was wonderful, he is such a breath of fresh air whenever he is on the page and his PoVs were enlightening. Straff is a wonderful bad guy and I wanted him dead most of the time which = great villain. There were some betrayals I saw coming and others I didn’t. Sanderson does always do such a good job of keeping me guessing. Even when one thing goes right others go completely wrong and it all gets deliciously messy at times.
Just because there wasn’t as much action as in Mistborn doesn’t mean it wasn’t just as interesting. There was more magic to learn about and in true Sanderson fashion the last 20% is just packed full of suspense and action. The feelings I had were so intense. Not everyone lives, the spy was not who I thought it was and the Well of Ascension, that was a complete surprise. I totally enjoy the world and characters built here and can’t wait to see how it all works out.
I love that Sanderson has a way of telling a great story with fantastic characters and even when you are sure you know what will happen next….you are blissfully wrong and the story is all the better for it. It is a great achievement for any author, which is why he is one of my favorites.
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