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Book Review – The Well of Ascension

Spoilers for The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson are to follow!


Well, I finished another book. And it was a good one! After the end of Mistborn: The Final Empire, I didn’t think that Sanderson would be able to make the sequel nearly as good as the first one. And while it wasn’t as good as The Final Empire (we’ll get into why in just a minute), it was still one heck of a read. I’ll give him one thing, Sanderson knows how to end a book with a bang!

So what did I enjoy the most about this book?

  1. The Characters – In every book I’ve read by Sanderson, he has not skimped on character yet. While Vin was a very dynamic character and is the center of the story, I enjoyed Sazed’s development more. I think this is because, by the end of the story, he is completely changed and we don’t know what he’s going to do. Sazed starts the book teaching young children all the different things he’s learned that way he can pass down his knowledge as a keeper. But, he’s taken away from it by Marsh (Kelsier’s brother) and he eventually travels back to Luthadel. He is rebelling against what his own people have told him to do. This is the first noticeable point in Sazed’s turn from the Terris religion and people. The second is when Tindwyl arrives and Sazed rekindles his love for her but because of his religion and ways doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. As the story goes on its a bit obvious that Sazed is beginning to doubt himself. His doubt continues to grow both when he Tindwyl dies in the battle and when he figures out what all the writings that he found meant (a big highlight of mine that we’ll touch on in a second) he races to stop Vin from unleashing the Well after Tindwyl’s untimely demise. He ends up failing, and that sends Sazed into what is a deeper depression. He ultimately rejects his people and leaves Luthadel with barely any notice to Vin or Elend. Sanderson pulled my heartstrings with this one because I loved Sazed! He was an awesome character and to see him fall into a depression-like this is heartbreaking. I can’t wait to see what happens to him in The Hero of Ages!
  2. The Writings Sazed Found – This is a minor detail, and The Final Empire may have done this as well. When Sazed travels with Marsh to a place where the Inquisitors had lived, he finds a long transcript carved into the metal. It is a minor thing at the beginning, but in the end, it hits hard. It was true writing stating how everything was a sham. What made this even better was how Sanderson put a line from it at the top of each chapter. Then, at the end, Sazed read the whole thing and realized the truth. He reads the whole thing, unbroken and everything makes sense to the reader and your anticipation and eagerness to find out how it ends grows. It was truly a marvelous plot twist and was one of my favorite things about the book.
  3. The Mist-Spirit – The Mist-Spirit was a weird aspect of the book for a lot of the novel. It was mysterious and I couldn’t figure out what its place was. It had a great pay off in the end, and while I’m curious to see what happens to it in The Hero of Ages, it was a neat part of the book.
  4. The End  – This is probably the most obvious one. The end is better than The Final Empire. If you read Mistborn: The Final Empire and decided you didn’t want to read the rest of the series, you’d be fine because most of the plots are resolved and there isn’t much that urges you to need the next book. The Well of Ascension does not do that. First, I must say that when Vin was going to the Well and Sazed was chasing after her to stop her, my heart was racing. I could not wait to find out what happened. When Elend was sliced open, my heart dropped. I genuinely thought that he would be dead. Then when Vin realized her mistake of letting the beast (or whatever it was) free my heart sank again because she could have saved Elend. But, it turned out that this was Elend’s Pits of Hathsin moment. It is revealed in the last chapter that Elend was discovered to be a Mistborn. There are so many loose threads that have me needing this next book! Though, I am sad that it will be my last journey with Vin, Elend, and the rest of the crew.

There were so many things I liked about this book that they vastly overshadowed the things I didn’t like, but I’ll still briefly mention what I didn’t like.

  1. The Pacing in the Middle of the Story – The book seemed to drag a little bit slowly and delve into the political side of things, and while I understand that this section helped make the end more of a bang, it still was rather slow for my tastes.
  2. Zane – Now I think Sanderson didn’t want us to like him, but I certainly didn’t. Especially after he tried to kill Vin. I wasn’t sorry to see him go at all. I do appreciate what Sanderson did writing the character, and he was well developed, but it doesn’t make me like him anymore.

The book was all around so good! The only reason I didn’t like it more than The Final Empire was because of the slow middle part of the book. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Have you read The Well of Ascension? If so let me know your thoughts below! I try and respond to all of the comments!


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