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Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson


The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler – the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years – has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.

As the siege of Luthadel 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.

My thoughts

When I read The Final Empire, the first book in the series, I never thought it could get any better than that. I expected to equally love this book but realized pretty early that Brandon Sanderson was still able to top the first book and write an even more amazing one.

With a time difference of a year between books this one starts off with the same amount of action the first one ended. With a thrilling start I was thrown back into this fascinating world and was going to read about all these new challenges the characters have to deal with, new enemies they have to fight.
As long as the stories are, it never gets boring. Sanderson can write 50 pages about an attack and I still wouldn’t be bored to read about every little detail.

At first I was too afraid to read this book. At the end of the first book my favorite character Kelsier did something I was still furious about and I was afraid that what he did would have a huge impact on future events and would mean for me that I was not going to enjoy this story a lot. But even though it felt weird to read about the consequences at first it also made for a really interesting new story.

One might think that after what happened in the first book, especially the end, more happy times were ahead and we would see their lives improve. Instead this book has an overflow of hopelessness, even more than the first book. I was always asking how all this is ever going to be okay or if Sanderson is just going to end this series with all my favorite characters dead and a world still in ruins.

Reading this one, I was still fascinated about Sanderson’s talent to create new worlds. His worldbuilding is fantastic. I loved getting to know even more about this world in the second book, especially about the past and how the Ruler came to be. This story of a fallen hero never gets boring and is so fresh and unique, I sometimes wish Sanderson would write a prequel about this.
I was surprised that, after reading all these facts about the Mistborns in the first book, there was still a lot more to get to know about them. That Sanderson adds new facts again and again, still improves his creating, is what makes me love these books so much. He could have easily worked with what he created in the first book, there was definitely enough going on, but nope, he still adds new details.

Something else Sanderson is really good at is character development. I loved to see how the characters dealt with the events from the first book, see them struggling but also grow. On top of that there comes along a new character I fell in love with right away. Even though I love this group of people to pieces and can’t get enough of them, it was also interesting to get a new,fresh view on all these things from a new character.
And as much as I love reading about friendship, which was a huge deal in this book for me, I liked that we also get to read about a love story. Brandon Sanderson also doesn’t write about these two people falling in love just for the sake of it, but it makes perfect sense in here. In this broken world it gives a little portion of hope to see this happening and it also happens between characters who usually wouldn’t be together in a world like that. It was interesting to read about. They had real problems to deal with and Sanderson didn’t made them fight from time to time just so that they can make up afterwards again.

As if all this wasn’t enough Sanderson wrote a mind blowing ending. The revelations at the end were brilliant. I was speechless to read about this, to realize how certain things suddenly made sense and that certain signs now got a meaning. Brandon Sanderson still amazes me with his epic ideas.


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May 18, 2014