Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released August 21st, 2007
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 4.5/5


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 (Summary from Goodreads).

There are no words except EPICNESS (I'm pretty sure that's not even a word). There are so many things Vin has to face in this sequel. Not just one army, but freakin' two armies and the koloss, those blue crazy uncontrollable giants, for starters. On top of that, the mist continues to get stronger during the day, and strange things start to occur. People seem to die from a human-shaped form made of mist.

We see a lot of detail with the inner struggles that Vin, Elend, Sazed, and even some of the other crew members face. Vin tries to figure out the "right" way she should be using her power and thinks she is not good enough for Elend.  Elend feels useless next to Vin's awesomeness (can we blame him?).  At times, these detailed inner struggles can make the story slow down to a crawl. I admit, my interest in this book came and went during the majority of it. You might be put off by this, but if you stick through it you'll find that the last 100 or so pages are so packed with awesomeness that you cannot help but love it.  I mean plot twists. Plot twists everywhere.

Seriously, I think I scared my family with my flailing around on the couch.

One of the best things about the Mistborn series so far is the detail of the characters. I can try all I want to describe any of these characters to my family, but I would be talking forever because of the amount of adversity and changes these characters went through. Sometimes my mind goes back to the beginning of the first book when all the characters were first being introduced and think, "My babies were so innocent back then." Then all hell breaks extra loose in this book. I mean there was some crazy stuff in The Final Empire, but shit got real in The Well of Ascension.

Spoilers Ahead!

There is so much, I don't even know where to start or if I'll hit everything I wanted to talk about.  At 590 pages, this book took me two weeks to read due to lots of events going on outside my regular college workload. I guess I'll start with some of the characters.

I will admit, like many other readers of The Well of Ascension, Vin annoyed me. Just a little. I could honestly understand where she was coming from, though. Vin has been trying to trust others more. Along comes Zane, who is more like Vin than anyone else. Of course she would feel a connection with him. But it's those frustrations I felt with her that made it all the more satisfying when Vin finally came to her senses and learned to trust others.

Also, some of my favorite scenes in this book were with her and OreSeur (TenSoon). I thought the interactions between these two were funny. The friendship that grew between them was cute, and I hope that somehow TenSoon will cross paths with Vin again in the next book.

I enjoyed Elend's transformation into a king. I found it enjoyable during scenes where Tindwyl gave him the kick he needed to be more assertive. To be honest, Sazed's point of view didn't interest me much, but in the epic last 100 pages my interest grew tenfold. I'm sad for Sazed that he lost Tindwyl and now doesn't believe in any of the religions he studies. But nope, Sanderson has to kill off characters to destroy my feels. It's the pain that lets me know I enjoyed the book. It means that I cared about the characters enough to die a little inside when they get hurt/die.

Speaking of killing off characters...oh my goodness. My jaw dropped at Club's and Dockson's deaths. Plus Breeze is now going crazy and Marsh turned into some evil Inquisitor. That ending though. It was perfect genius. What better way to end this epic book than with the protagonist accidentally releasing some evil force? 

There is so much more I liked about this book that I probably forgot to mention, so I apologize if I missed a great point that seems obvious to other readers since I'm writing this at 1:30 in the morning. I don't even know what to expect in the next book, except that it will probably be even more crazy and epic. 

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