The Well of Ascension is the second in The Mistborn Trilogy, so if you’ve not read the first book there will be a few spoilers in this review. Turn back now…and buy The Final Empire :).
Kelsier’s protégé Vin is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, or so everyone believes. Suddenly the prickly teenager finds herself worshipped by the followers of a budding religion, and struggles to deal with a malevolent spectre in the mists which once supported her. As disconcerting as being the only person to see a stalking spirit in the mists may be, it’s perhaps not half as bad as the way Vin comes to feel about herself in her new role as the new King’s bodyguard. Most of Vin’s time is taken up protecting Elend Venture from the numerous assassins that descend upon his city. In this installment Vin is close to becoming a living deity, but as the bodies pile up she comes close to losing her moral compass, and thanks to a new sociopathic Mistborn and the misbehaving mists, she could lose her mind too, but none of this matters to her as much as the prospect of losing Elend.
Elegant storytelling makes this a page-turner. Although there is hope for the new kingdom at first, it becomes clear to the heroes of the first book, that they didn’t fully understand the extent to which things were wrong with The Final Empire. The Empire has fragmented, and various nobles are squabbling over lands and making themselves kings while setting their sights on Elend as their final target to ruling over all the lands. In the end, will their infighting really matter when a threat to humanity makes itself known? What chance does a mortal king have of saving a disparate people against powers more significant than the mind can fathom?
Mesmeric and haunting in its detail, this sequel makes no promises. Expecting that there will be twists and turns in this beautifully crafted tale increases ones sense of foreboding. A kinship is forged between reader and fictional character, one borne of fearful apprehension – it is fair to say The Well of Ascension is an emotionally absorbing tale, not easily forgotten.
My rating; 5 (Plot: 5, Full Cast of Characters: 5 Dialogue: 5, Plot: 5 Pace 5)
Related reviews: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)