WARNING: The blurb contains massive spoilers from book one. My Review will not do so. So if you have yet to read/listen to book one, skip the blurb and just read my review 😉
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 world has been left to his protégé Vin; a one-time street urchin, now the most powerful Mistborn in the land. Worryingly for her Vin has become the focus of a new religion, a development that leaves her intensely uneasy. More worryingly still the mists have become unpredictable since the Lord Ruler died and a strange vaprous entity is stalking Vin. As the siege of Luthadel intensifies the ancient legend of the Well of Ascension offers the only glimmer of hope. But no-one knows where it is or what it can do…
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: Michael Kramer
Running Time: 29 hours 3 mins
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited
Audio Release Date: 18/03/2011
My Rating of ‘The Well of Ascension’: 5 out of 5
Much the same as my review of the first book in the Mistborn trilogy (The Final Empire) the main theme will be how much I enjoyed this book. As, much like it’s predecessor, it seriously scored high in all the right places. And, even more so than its predecessor, it scored high in other places.
My main critique of The Final Empire was that I didn’t feel the secondary characters, despite having huge roles to play, were fleshed out nearly as much as I would have liked for an epic fantasy. Brandon Sanderson has rectified that issue in The Well of Ascension, giving the reader/listener a rich background of some characters and a deeper look into others that were perhaps a little more fleshed out in the first book than some other characters.
For instance, in the first book, Kelsier and Vin were the primary characters and, because of this, we got a good look into what made them tick. We were told what drove Hammond (his family’s safety) but not given much info about the man. Much the same could be said for one of my personal favourites (Breeze) and even less info was given about Clubs other than him being a bitter old man that was hard to like and very easy to forget.
After the events of the first book, Sanderson was pretty much forced into giving the reader/listener more info about the other members that made up Kelsier’s gang. This has made a good book great in my opinion. As doing so has made certain scenes for certain characters far more powerful. It has also served to make me feel as though I am listening to a book in which the characters have soul rather than simply character.
The Well of Ascension has an almost Game of Thrones feel about it what with all the various factions warring to take charge of the nice big chair that everyone seems to want to sit in. This book does an excellent job of expanding upon the world already created and gives the reader/listener the feel that they pretty much have a damn good understanding of how everything in Sanderson’s world works and where they belong.
The different races/sects within the Mistborn world make the series an enjoyable one to delve into. In fact, I am enjoying it so much that I have put off listening to the final instalment purely because I do not want it to end. Although I am very intrigued by the Kandra and by the Terrismen, Sazed most of all due to the many levels of character given to him in The Well of Ascension, so will have to bite the bullet and push on some point soon.
To continue my Game of Thrones likeness, characters do die. Much like George R.R Martin and other writers of believable yet totally unbelievable fantasy, Sanderson realises that not all the heroes will live through unrealistic odds. As sad as this is (because Sanderson writes it painfully well) it’s a great dimension to the series as you never know who will survive and just if your favourite character will remain safe.
All in all, my overall opinion is that it carries on consistently in both powerful storytelling and powerful writing. It transcends the small niggles I had with the first one and, because of this, is well-deserved of a five star rating.