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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – June 3, 2008
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Evil has been defeated. The war has just begun.
They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now 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.
They have barely begun when 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.
It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.
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(If you don't recognize the source of the title I chose, you're missing another gifted writer - Robert Jordan)
THE WELL OF ASCENSION was riveting. With this sequel taking place a year after the ending of MISTBORN, it's an understatement to say that these characters have already gone through a lot by the time the story line picks up with them again at the beginning of THE WELL OF ASCENSION. The defeat of the Lord Ruler has changed everyone and everything. People's hearts have been lifted and smashed all at the same time. Kelsier's mission is still playing out according to plan, but that also doesn't mean that everything is peaches and cream. Oh, no. Vin and Elend quickly learn that there are more dangers lurking around the corner and with both of these main characters in the spotlight, the stakes are MUCH higher (which obviously caused me even MORE heart palpitations after everything that happened in MISTBORN).
I really loved how everything just kept developing in this book. The characters I already had grown to love grew even more complex, both in a sense of self along and the increasing complexity of their own roles within Luthadel and beyond. I already knew a lot about Vin but THE WELL OF ASCENSION reveals more of her background, her motives, and her passion. I loved watching her grow from the scared girl we first met in MISTBORN to this confident warrior and passionate partner who is finally learning how to trust. I think the biggest character development that I noticed was in Elend. Yes, I loved him in MISTBORN but he becomes much more of a focus and main character in THE WELL OF ASCENSION, getting more intricately involved in the plot of the entire series as well as forming stronger relationships with the other characters. I loved seeing more of him in this book.
The secondary characters were also incredible. From seeing more of Kelsier's crew to getting to know new characters like Zane, Tindwyl, and Allrianne -- the development of every character and how they fit into the plot is just amazing. Each one really enhances the scene that they're in and they all bring something extremely important to the story line.
In true Sanderson fashion (I mean, from what I know of these two books...), I went from excited to suspicious to curious to horrified to amazed. (Then back to horrified.) The ending of these books... I mean, honestly. Each time, I'm absolutely floored, but undoubtedly impressed! I absolutely loved THE WELL OF ASCENSION (no matter how much it played with my emotions) and immediately had to read the last book in the trilogy, THE HERO OF AGES to see how it all wrapped up. These books made me an instant Sanderson fan and I just inhaled the series!
In this second installment, he was replaced as the main male lead by a very boring character, Elend. Elend is a goody-two shoes scholar who seems to have all the best intentions in the world. I just couldn't believe someone like him would exist in this universe Sanderson built. Whenever I encountered an Elend chapter, I would literally go 'ughhhh' and have to force myself to read through them. He really is very dull.
Then, Zane comes in, and hooray! Finally a character as compelling and exciting as Kelsier had been! My interest in this series peaked again, especially since I thought that he would also be getting regular POV chapters. But no... His parts are few, and in the end, HE DIES AS WELL. Damn it, Sanderson, why are you killing off all the characters I like?!
The book was so bad that my favorite characters went from Kelsier (book 1) to Sazed (early Book 2) to Zane then to OreSeur (latter Book 2).
And yeah, I have to agree with some of the reviewers- Vin's and Elend's internal monologues about their relationship got repeated almost every chapter. "I love him because he is good" was repeated at least 5 times in the whole book. Shouldn't authors be more capable in showing rather than telling???
I got past Sanderson's simple prose in the first book because the events there were exciting. But in this book, because of the lack of action, I kept on noticing how he really doesn't write that well.
Sanderson ends the book by finally realizing that his main male protagonist IS boring... so he makes him an Allomancer as well! Good lord!