The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2) (DNF)


This is an unfinished book review as I did not complete the book in question.  Sometimes a story doesn’t hold my interest enough or there’s a a fatal flaw in the writing that makes it impossible for me to read; however, I feel that I should still put up my impressions of the story and explain why I was unable to make it through.  These reviews will vary in length depending on how much of the novel I was able to complete.

Mistborn Series

 <–The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)

Title: The Well of Ascension
Series Title: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Date Added: September 4, 2013
Date Completed: Unknown
Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 796
Publication Date: August 21, 2007
Media Type: Paperback

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege 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.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

Spoilers for The Final Empire (Mistrborn #1) in the review.

In Sanderson’s second installation Elend Venture is the current king of Luthadel with Vin as his personal Mistborn bodyguard, but the young monarch holds a very precarious position as his father, Straff Venture, is camped outside his city’s gates with an army bent on conquest.  This fact is compounded when another army (that of Lord Cett) shows up, and of course there are still assassins trying for Elend’s life.  On top of this, Vin discovers a mysterious Watcher during her nightly patrols who tests the limits of her Mistborn abilities.

Sanderson again tells far more than he shows in this series.  The most blatant instance of this comes when Elend meets with Dockson, one of the late Kelsier’s original crewmen, and afterword the author insists that Dockson doesn’t like Elend, but at no point in the prior exchange was there any sign of animosity between these two individuals.  Their conversation was polite and there was nothing in the narrative or dialogue tags to show what Dockson felt.  We don’t find this out until afterward where Sanderson tells us that it’s so, and has Elend bemoaning the fact.

I also found reason to dislike Vin in this novel among other things.  She has inherited OreSeur the kandra, a creature that can take the shape of people (and later animals) that it consumes.  Vin is still upset that the kandra essentially ate Kelsier after he died in order to impersonate him for a time, even though this was Kelsier’s plan all along.  Her treatment of OreSeur both bothers me and seems out of character with someone who has been trodden on and abused her entire life.  Kandra follow a contract that allows them to live in human society, and are therefore forced to obey their human master/mistress by this with few exceptions.

I really tried to get through it this novel  I wanted my fascination with the Deepness to cut through my ever growing ennui and fuel a desire to find out what the hell that was.  I fought to maintain my interest despite the stodgy dialogue and constant telling instead of showing.  I attempted to latch on to some of the attempted intrigue with Zane who *spoiler* ends up not only being the elusive Watcher, but also Straff Venture’s bastard Mistborn son who constantly hears “God’s” voice telling him to kill everyone he meets especially his father. *end spoiler*  I tried to care about this stuff, but it all just seemed so forced and trite.  No one really had a strongly discernible personality, and I gave up and resorted to reading the Mistborn wiki to find out how both this and the third one ended.  Having done that I’m even happier that I didn’t waste my time in finishing because I’m less than impressed.

The first novel was okay.  The idea was new and fantastic: what would happen if the villain won?  Brilliance pulled off in a not so stellar way, but I was still able to slog through it.  This one has the two armies besieging our protagonists, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to a ragtag bunch of thieves and spies trying to overthrow god (which, let’s face it is essentially the plot of every Final Fantasy), and Sanderson’s writing just wasn’t compelling enough to hold me to this story without those dire odds.  Maybe this one just begins slower because it’s mostly about politics, but even reading about the end had me shrugging my shoulders.

I may still give Elantris a try at some point, and Warbreaker is already on my TBR list.

2 stars.

 <–The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)











7 thoughts on “The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2) (DNF)

        • Whew lol! It’s not that I love to hate things, but I want to give honest reviews, you know? And I posted all of my high rated reviews already, well the ones that were backlogged, because I was more excited about those than books I really didn’t like. If I’d done the one for this book The Land of Painted Caves holy lord would you have seen a Narcissist rage :p

          Liked by 1 person

            • I wanted to rage so hard at The Mazerunner BUT since I’m a writer, I try not to be ragey for no reason, because I’m super sensitive, and I want critiques to help not hurt. Unless we’re talking about books/stories that are themselves harmful, but then again I’m going after the work not the writer though I know very well writers and their works are hard to separate. Gah, it’s so complicated.

              I agree with your “mediocre” assessment. It’s like you don’t want to give a bleh review because someone else might find the book astounding. One of my friends doesn’t understand the appeal of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which is in my top five favorite books/stories of all time. He didn’t hate it, but the faults (ha!) he found in the writing far outweighed what the story was trying to project whereas with me, I thought its message was far greater than any issues.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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