Book Review: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series : Mistborn Trilogy (Book #2)
Length: 763 pages
Genre: High Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆
The Well of Ascension (book #2 in the Mistborn Trilogy) left off exactly where The Final Empire concluded. As you might guess, I was quite excited to continue with this story, as I really enjoyed the first book in the series (see my review here).
When I did get back into the story, I was saddened to discover that Vin somehow continues to become more annoying over time. Luckily, my love for the other characters overcame her annoying narration. Maybe I'm being a little harsh with Vin, but let's remember that we have to deal with her for 763 pages in this book and I couldn't help but notice the repetitive way she kept second-guessing her relationship with Elend. Because of this and the lack of action early in the story, I feel like The Well of Ascension could be about 200 pages shorter and still be able to accomplish what it needed to with the story line.
While I was annoyed by Vin and the beginning did start off slow, once the adventure picked up I was hooked. I appreciated the care that Sanderson took with establishing the political climate after the events of The Final Empire, but that part did become a little boring at times. Throughout this slow part, we do get to meet some new characters, including one of my favorites, TenSoon. The narration also did change a few times over to Sazed, who is one of my other favorite characters in this series. His point of view on life is completely different from that of Vin and Elend, so it was great to read his thoughts. You also get the chance to see different types of magic other than the powers that a Mistborn possesses. I loved the battle scenes that Sazed was involved in and getting to see the strengths and weaknesses of the Feruchemy. He also had the most dynamic character development and I can't wait to see how he evolves even further in The Hero of Ages.
Without giving too much away, the second half of this book really is what made all 763 pages worth reading. There was so much build up and thankfully, it paid off in the final events and twists. I absolutely loved the last scenes and battles in this book. The way that Sanderson wrote them was easy to imagine, and completely captivating, I didn't want to put the book down. It was a very strong ending to what could have been a very mediocre book. There were also some twists that shocked me, even though I was expecting something surprising to happen. People said that about The Final Empire, but I found it to be more true in The Well of Ascension that you think you know what is coming, but really... you don't.
I mentioned in my Goodreads review that I was blinded by the ending while rating this book, and I still stand by that. After having almost a month to think about the book, I decided that 4 stars was the highest I could give it. Basically, if you start this book and you're feeling a little bored or annoyed, just keep going and you will get to greatness. I can't wait to pick up The Hero of Ages and see how this trilogy concludes!