The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

(8.5/10) Heart wrenching characters, brilliant storytelling with smooth prose.

What happens when the story you thought would take three books to finish, finishes before you even reach the second book. It’s a nice surprise, and where I found myself when I jumped hurriedly in to Brandon Sanderson’s second of his Mistborn trilogy, The Well of Ascension.

And the story of book two is simple; what happens after you win?

The answer? More often than not, it seems, is that you lose. Several times, before maybe clawing back a minor victory at the very end only to realize that you’ve unleashed doom upon the world.

That might be a little specific, but that’s how I’d sum up The Well of Ascension. It makes good use of characters that have had a book to prepare themselves for main roles – both in terms of storytelling and in terms of their own characters growth – and continues a story that winds mythology and religion underneath a healthy dose of political intrigue and scheming.

I really admire an author who doesn’t hang around with a story, dragging out points like three armies besieging a city, and gets it over and done with in the first third of the book, leaving the second third to be a well played-out stalemate.

Sanderson could be accused of writing the story a little conveniently for his own sakes, ditching certain character traits or character memories so that the story will move forward according to the overall plan. But these are such minor occurrences that the overall story is left unscathed.

And Sanderson allows himself to be pulled in to the Tolkien method of storytelling – finishing well away from the climax of the story (even though this is only the second book). The last couple of chapters dragged, for me, and I found myself skimming – unconsciously – so that I could reach what I assumed was the next climax, only to be disappointed and having skipped large portions of a characters inner monologue.

The growth of Sanderson’s characters has to be admired. From a book that focused mainly on two and a half characters (Vin, Kelsier, and Elend) to a book that allows six characters of varying importance have their own perspective, Sanderson introduces us to the newcomers with practised ease; their input into the story not strictly necessary, but welcomed.

If you want a good series to read, then Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy definitely seems like a good bet. Two out of three books are spectacular, mixing the metaphysical with political, gripping action with heart wrenching characters, brilliant storytelling with smooth prose.

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3 positive reader review(s) for The Well of Ascension

61 positive reader review(s) in total for the Mistborn series

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The Well of Ascension reader reviews

from America

Beautiful book, well written and definitely worth your time.

from Portugal

Brilliant! Read what you can from Sanderson, you won't be upset :)

from newcastle

Literally couldn't put it down, amazing book.

9.6/10 from 4 reviews

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All reviews for Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series

The Final Empire

Mistborn: Book 1 written by Brandon Sanderson

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power [...]

Published: 2006

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Well of Ascension

Mistborn: Book 2 written by Brandon Sanderson

The impossible has happened. The Lord Ruler is dead has been vanquished. But so too is Kelsier the man who masterminded the triumph. The awesome task of rebuilding the worl [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

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The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: Book 3 written by Brandon Sanderson

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed [...]

Published: 2008

Our rating: 10.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Alloy of Law

Mistborn: Book 4 written by Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn trilogy has become a firm favourite with fantasy fans the world over. The imagination that Sanderson brought to the series and his skill at marshalling epic st [...]

Published: 2011

Our rating: 9.8 | positive reader reviews

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Published: 2015

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