Sunday, July 6, 2014

78. "The Well of Ascension" by Brandon Sanderson

****Spoiler Alert****
This review contains plot spoilers

Sanderson, Brandon. The Well of Ascension. New York: Tor, 2007.

796 pages.

Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love

The Well of Ascension picks up where Mistborn left off; Luthadel is in chaos after Vin defeated the Lord Ruler. Elend is left as king but his leadership is clumsy and inept. Sazed calls on his fellow Terris(wo)man, Tindwyl, to help train Elend and teach him how to become an able leader. Unfortunately, she is attempting to teach him these skills when three separate armies sit outside the city gates, planning a siege. His people are starving and his soldiers are vastly outnumbered. Meanwhile, ghosts are forming in the mists and the mists are killing villagers in surrounding areas of the Central Dominance. Thus begins Vin’s quest to protect her King and city.

The mist grows thicker: “Chaos and stability, the mist was both. Upon the land, there was an empire, within that empire were a dozen shattered kingdoms, within those kingdoms were cities, towns, villages, plantations. And above them all, within them all, around them all, was the mist” (Sanderson, 243). The plot grows thicker as well.

The Well of Ascension moved a bit more slowly than Mistborn but the tension built up beautifully to a climatic, blockbuster ending. The last one hundred pages flew by but would have been empty had it not been for the first six hundred pages. Through this second installment, readers get to know the characters at a greater depth that makes the loss of several in the end dramatic and upsetting. All the subplots had a purpose and fed into the main plot wonderfully. The romance was plausible and not cheesy. The moral questions were natural to the situation and not rote or trite.

Brandon Sanderson is a truly talented writer. Onward!

3 darts out of 5.
Bookshelf Project Status: return to borrower

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