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