Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy
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 protege, 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 protege 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.
Spoilers for The Final Empire
“How insane are you feeling at the moment?”
The Well of Ascension didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but it was still a pretty good read. After the death of the Lord Ruler, the world is in chaos. Young Elend Venture has taken control, but he’s young and inexperienced and has a bit of an idealistic way of ruling, which will easily be taken advantage of. Several armies wish to seize power for themselves, resulting in a very tense stalemate, and Luthadel in the middle of an awesome siege. On top of that, Vin is starting to hear drums, and is certain that this has something to do with her massive power. Oh, and there’s a little matter of THERE’S A SPY IN OUR MIDST.
All in all, it’s got all the ingredients of a really good book. There are the characters we’ve grown to love; Vin, who used to be the underdog, is now kind of awesome; Breeze, who will never cease to jump at the opportunity to sass someone; Sazed, our Keeper of religions, who has to face the anger of another Keeper after bringing the Empire down. Not all of them were as present as I would have liked (*coughBreezecough*), but when they were around, I was not disappointed.
I also really liked the relationship between Vin and Elend. I liked how Vin was the superior of the two and Elend didn’t give a damn; I liked how Vin went on killing people in the most awesome and ridiculous ways and Elend didn’t give a damn; I liked how Vin slowly started to lose her mind and Elend didn’t give a damn. He loved and trusted Vin unconditionally, which was really nice to see. You don’t need all the mushy love scenes to understand their relationship. But if they did get a little mushy, it was beautiful:
“When I wear a dress,” Vin said, “they expect a lady. Then they’re disappointed when they find me instead.”
“Anyone who would be disappointed to find you is too dense to be of any relevance.”
Then there are the journal logs, usually one paragraph at the beginning of every chapter, where some piece of legend is discussed. This time, it was all about The Well of Ascension, and how the Lord Ruler came to grab the immense power of the Well. There’s also the Hero of Ages, who is supposed to protect the world from complete destruction. These were by far my most favourite parts, as they brought more mystery and intrigue to the table, and I couldn’t wait to discover the answers.
However – and I feel like this is a typical problem with Brandon Sanderson books – I found this book to be really slow. While Sanderson usually makes up for the slow pace with his impressive world-building and brilliant story, I didn’t quite forgive him this time around. This entire book was basically focussed on the siege. Yes, it did create a lot of tension, and yes, some of the battle scenes were really quite epic, but I didn’t sit down to read these books so I could read 700 pages of battle scenes, and I feel like that’s pretty much what I got.
I also started to understand the people who think Vin is a Mary Sue. I don’t completely agree with them, but she did start to annoy me a little bit with just how incredibly awesome she is. Yes, we get it, she is fierce and powerful, but you don’t need to rub it in every single time. Or keep referring to the time when she lived on the streets. We figured after the first ten times. Nevertheless, she was the cause of some pretty epic fight scenes (hur hur, exploding heads), so I can let it slide.
Once again, the ending really sets you up for the third book, and you can’t help but put the book down and yell “DAMN YOU SANDERSON”, because you know he’s reined you in for another ride. You can’t finish the book and not wonder what’s going to happen in the next one. He is awesome and you cannot resist.
P.S. Bonus points for Zane.